American Horror Story Premiere: Enter the Coven

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Goodbye, Nazis and aliens and insane asylums.

Hello, witches and gang rapes and slave torturing.

American Horror Story kicked off its third installment last night, taking FX viewers to New Orleans and setting up a series of very mysterious events in modern times.

However, before we were transported to The French Quarter and Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies - run by Jessica Lange's Supreme witch - the hour opened with one of the more disturbing scenes in recent television history.

Kathy Bates' Delphine LaLaurie made Leonardo DiCaprio look like a benevolent slave owner, slicing open her African-American pieces of property, placing dead animal heads over their bodies and actually using their organs as some kind of de-aging facial cream.

It was seriously gross, difficult-to-watch stuff.

The scene then fast forwarded over 100 years and caught us up to speed: witches are a dying breed and those whose penchant for spells actually shows itself are whisked away to this unusual academy for training.

Taissa Farmiga's Zoe Benson ends up there against her will, where she meets headmaster Cordelia Foxx (Sarah Paulson), who happens to be Lange's daughter - and it's clear these two have a VERY dysfunctional relationship

It's also clear you don't want to have sex with Zoe. The act will literally kill you. That's her special form of witchcraft.

Elsewhere during the hour, we met two other young members of the academy: Gabourey Sidibe as Queenie and Emma Roberts as Madison Montgomery, a teenage movie star. The latter was sexually assaulted by a group of fraternity brothers and used her power to later flip over their bus, killing most of her attackers.

As usual in American Horror Story, there were overarching themes among the violence and gore: the consequences of sex, the fear of dying, mother/daughter relationships.

It was certainly an entertaining opener and it concluded on an unexpected note: Lange's Supreme awoke Bates' Delphine from under the sidewalk and offered to buy her a drink. Well... okay then!

What did you think of the American Horror Story: Coven premiere? Grade it now:

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