American Horror Stories Season 2 Ep 1 Ending & Coven Twist Explained

The twist ending of American Horror Stories season 2, episode 1, “Dollhouse,” revealed the return of a few notable characters last seen in AHS: Coven.

The twist ending to American Horror Stories season 2, episode 1, “Dollhouse,” features an incredible connection to American Horror Story: Coven. “Dollhouse” follows Coby (Kristine Froseth) in 1961 Mississippi as she interviews for a position at a doll factory, only for the unsettling toymaker, Mr. Van Wirt (O’Hare), to kidnap her. Coby arrives at a large estate with a home that has been turned into a dollhouse, with several other girls already held captive. By the end of the first American Horror Stories season 2 episode, the girls enact a risky escape plan, aided by the discovery that Coby has magical powers.

The American Horror Story spinoff may have had mixed reviews in its first season, but the cast and characters of “Dollhouse” prove American Horror Stories season 2 is a massive improvement and a return to form for the franchise. Not only does American Horror Stories season 2, episode 1 showcase frequent American Horror Story cast member Denis O’Hare, but it also revives an iconic character from the original series. American Horror Stories season 2, episode 1’s ending brings back the American Horror Story: Coven character Spalding, but this isn’t the only connection the episode has to Coven.

What Happens In American Horror Stories’ Dollhouse Ending

A blended image features AH Stories "Dollhouse" actors Denis O'Hare, Kristine Froseth, and Houston Towe…season 2’s “Dollhouse” episode features a final twist as Coby and Otis arrive at the Miss Robichaux Academy…

In American Horror Stories season 2, episode 1’s ending, Coby devises an escape plan for herself, Aurelia, Harlene, and the son of Denis O’Hare’s latest AHS character. As the girls dress up the mannequins and place them in the room, Aurelia and Harlene run away from the property while Coby sneaks into the main estate to retrieve Otis. However, Mr. Van Wirt had known about their plan all along, so as Eustace shoots and kills the other two girls, Otis tases Coby.

Van Wirt then reveals that Coby “won” the contest due to her devotion to his son. Coby’s magical powers end up affecting the electricity as she is transformed into a human doll with a porcelain coating set around her, which inadvertently sends an alarm to the witches from Miss Robichaux’s Academy in New Orleans.

Two unnamed witches arrive to bring Coby back to their coven, with Coby promising to still be Otis’s mother and bring him with her. After the witches set Van Wirt and Eustace on fire, American Horror Stories season 2’s “Dollhouse” episode features a final twist as Coby and Otis arrive at the Miss Robichaux Academy first seen in American Horror Story: Coven. Before Otis is introduced to a young Myrtle Snow, Coby excitingly joins the witch coven while telling the young boy to go by his middle name instead: “Spalding.”

How Van Wirt Knew About Coby’s Escape Plan

Kristine Froseth as Coby in American Horror Stories season 2Before the reveal of American Horror Stories season 2’s own connection to American Horror Story:Coven, the twist ending of the “Dollhouse” episode sees Coby captured by Mr. Van Wirt after Otis tases her. Van Wirt explains that he knew about her escape plan all along because he had placed sound devices in the real plastic dolls’ bodies.

However, it’s unclear why he still tried to quote the Bible to Coby if he knew that the clown outfit was actually placed on a mannequin. Nonetheless, Van Wirt had overheard Coby’s entire plan to escape with Otis, which is why he had his son armed with a taser so as to capture Coby once again.

If Van Wirt had sound devices overhearing all interactions in the dollhouse during American Horror Stories season 2, episode 1, it means he also overheard the girls discussing the rumors about the character having killed his wife.

American Horror Stories’ Dollhouse’s Coven Connection Explained

A blended image features Spalding from American Horror Story: Coven and Otis from American Horror Stories: DollhouseEven before American Horror Stories season 1, episode 2’s big twist ending was revealed, “Dollhouse” had several clues to its Coven connections.

Similar to how American Horror Stories season 1 featured several connections to American Horror Story: Murder House, American Horror Stories season 2 kicked off with a well-executed origin story for an American Horror Story: Coven character.American Horror Stories’ “Dollhouse” twist ending reveals that Otis Van Wirt is actually a young Spalding, the non-magical butler of the witch academy, explaining the truth behind how the Coven character first came to the school.

Since Coby was never mentioned in Coven, American Horror Stories’ season 2 premiere episode adds to the history of the academy during the 1960s era, with several new witches being included for the Spalding origin story. Even before American Horror Stories season 1, episode 2’s big twist ending was revealed, “Dollhouse” had several clues to its Coven connections. When Coby began exhibiting psychokinetic powers and explained that they came about when she “stopped being a little girl,” this directly related to how many of the witches’ powers in American Horror Story: Coven had been discovered.

By the end of the episode, it was thus not entirely shocking that two witches in Coven’s typical black robes showed up to bring Coby back with them to Miss Robichaux’s Academy in New Orleans, which is the school that teaches young witches how to control their powers and live together as a coven.

The other massive clue to American Horror Stories’ Coven twist was the young boy obsessed with dolls in 1961. Spalding had an unsettling obsession with dolls as an adult in the present day, even turning two characters into “living” dolls, just as his father had done in American Horror Stories season 2. To make the connection even greater, the actor who plays young Spalding’s father in “Dollhouse” is Denis O’Hare, who portrayed the now-dead Spalding in American Horror Story: Coven.

Who The Miss Robichaux Witches Are In Dollhouse

A brunette and blonde witch from the Miss Robichaux school appear in American Horror Stories: DollhouseAmerican Horror Stories season 2, episode 1 showcases a new witch from Miss Robichaux’s past. The “Dollhouse” twist ending confirms that Coby, who “won” Mr. Van Wirt’s sadistic contest, is a witch who exhibits telekinetic powers, with two of the witches from the New Orleans academy arriving to bring her back to the coven. The blonde and brunette witches are unnamed in American Horror Stories, so it’s unclear whether they were ever mentioned in American Horror Story: Coven.

While Coby and the two unnamed witches who rescue her were never featured in American Horror Story season 3, one powerful character at the end of “Dollhouse” was. The final scene in American Horror Stories’ season 2 premiere shows young Spalding optimistically meeting young Myrtle Snow, an American Horror Story: Coven witch who was Fiona’s greatest foe and the surrogate mother figure to Fiona’s daughter Cordelia.

Dollhouse Ending Makes The Spalding & Myrtle Feud Worse

The reveal of Myrtle Snow at the end of American Horror Stories’ season 2, episode 1 introduced a new context for her feud with Spalding in American Horror Story: Coven.

When Myrtle and Spalding were young residents at the Miss Robichaux Academy, the latter character fell in love with Fiona, who was Myrtle’s biggest competition for Supreme. When Myrtle became suspicious that it was Fiona who killed their Supreme Anna Leigh and that Spalding helped cover it up, the witch placed a spell on Spalding’s tongue to never tell a lie. In response, Spalding cut out his own tongue so that he would never be able to betray Jessica Lange’s Coven character, although Myrtle thought it was Fiona who severed his tongue.

In the present day, Myrtle tries to take down Fiona by telling Spalding to write down the name of who was responsible for his tongue being cut out. Spalding ended up writing down Myrtle’s name, which wasn’t really a lie considering he wouldn’t have done so had she not enchanted it.

Spalding and Myrtle’s feud in American Horror Story: Coven contributed to her eventual downfall, with the misdeeds between the two being made worse by American Horror Stories’ reveal of their first meeting. When Spalding arrives, Myrtle greets him in a friendly manner as she explains how nice it is to have someone the same age as her at Miss Robichaux’s Academy. The two take each other’s hands and run back inside, suggesting Myrtle and Spalding had been friends before the rest of the characters of this era, like future Supreme witch character Fiona, arrived.

Considering the two contribute to one another’s demises in American Horror Story: Coven, it’s far more tragic that they began their relationship as friends.

Dollhouse Ending Explains Several Spalding Coven MysteriesOtis/Young Spalding in American Horror Stories Season 2

Spalding was one of the most curious characters of American Horror Story: Coven, with American Horror Stories’ “Dollhouse” ending finally explaining several mysteries about his origins and odd traits. The biggest reveal from American Horror Stories season 1, episode 1 is how Spalding became so obsessed with dolls; the character’s room in Coven is creepily filled with them, which escalates to living “dolls.” Spalding suggests that Madison was his first living doll in Coven, but American Horror Stories confirms that he had seen many in his childhood due to his father’s “contest.”

American Horror Stories season 2 also retcons Spalding’s American Horror Story:Coven origins to reveal that he was brought to Miss Robichaux’s as a child by Coby, who raised him as a surrogate mother. Coven claimed Spalding lived at the academy all his life, just like his father and his father before him.

However, American Horror Stories explains that this was a lie made up by Coby to cover up Spalding’s past. The “Dollhouse” episode similarly reveals that Spalding had learned the power of cutting out his tongue to stay mute from his father’s henchman Eustace, who couldn’t speak due to most of his tongue having been severed.


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