There are moments in "Boy Parts" where the viewer might find a sense of normalcy; sure, Fiona dug up Madame LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) alive after 150 years, and Misty Day (Lily Rabe) is still alive after being burnt at the stake, but Coven also covers these events with a nonchalance that makes them seem like they could be happening around us every day. But then again, there's also a moment where Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) and Madison (Emma Roberts) sew Kyle (Evan Peters) back together with parts stolen from the other victims of the bus crash, or a a quick glimpse of the Minotaur who is still alive after 150 years.
But American Horror Story generally works with tons of crazy ideas all at once, so Coven does things a little differently when it dips into minimalism. Hey, that's not a bad thing - sometimes the show has had so much going on that it can't effectively combine all of its plots. If Coven wants to take the time to develop its characters more while sticking to only a couple of huge twists, it can only make for a more mature and thematically sound premise.
In "Boy Parts," the plot is divided into two main storylines. The first involves Madison and Zoe, who are both a little uneasy about the massacre of the frat boys on the bus. That's mainly because Kyle died along with all of the other dudes who raped Madison; Zoe's very upset by it because she thinks he was a good guy, Madison's a bit perturbed in a "I-feel-bad-for-murdering-your-potential-boyfriend" sort of way. So in a show of good faith, Madison and Zoe head to the mortuary, sew up Kyle fairly easily with the body parts of the other boys, and cast a spell that resurrects him from the dead. The Frankensteinian creature doesn't react as planned, though, and he murders an innocent mortician, beats his chest, and moans a lot.
Madison's plan sort of materializes out of thin air; until now, there really hasn't been an indication that she cares about anyone but herself. That tough girl shell is a guise, and that's obvious to the audience, but Coven hasn't done enough work to make us feel like Madison legitimately wants to help Zoe.
But this is the better plot of the two. Fiona's interrogation of Madame LaLaurie after pulling her from the grave is exciting because we finally get Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates in a room together, but other than that, there's a lot of fluff and chest-puffing going on at the moment. In short, there's little done with this subplot besides establishing how LaLaurie's immortality came about and setting up a later arc where Fiona attempts to track down magic for eternal life from Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett). It's clear this will be something down the road, but for now there's only a shadow of development.
There's also a hint of events to come with Misty Day (Lily Rabe), a witch burned at the stake who manages to survive and heal herself. Part of Coven's charm is the way it conveys each witch's power; this week we get to see more of Queenie's voodoo doll magic, and Nan gets a moment where she hears Madame LaLaurie's thoughts clearly in her mind. Misty's magic is the most interesting, especially in the killer (literally) opening sequence, and I'm very interested to see more of her and how she can clean up the mess Zoe's made with Kyle.
"Boy Parts" introduces a C-plot as well. Apparently Cordelia and hubby Hank (Josh Hamilton) have been attempting to have a baby for a while now with no luck, and Cordelia is reluctant to use her witchcraft to help the baby magic along. In this episode, she quickly relents, and they have sex in a gorgeous scene of black magic, snakes, and candlelight. It's another highlight of the episode, although the lead-up to it is somewhat rocky - this is the first time we meet Hank, it's the first we hear about problems with pregnancy or that Cordelia even wants a child at all, making it an extremely fast development for the audience.
"Boy Parts" continues the story quite nicely, and it seems Coven has found its thematic compass in this episode. At least it's clearer to the audience where this horror story is headed from here. Still, there's a lot of connective tissue still to uncover, making Coven an addicting, sometimes uneven hour of television.