American Horror Story: Coven has ended and I have to say, I am not surprised by the ending (if you have yet to watch it, spoilers are ahead).
When it came down to choosing the next Supreme, I was expecting the show to do something radical. They could have chosen Nan. Although she had potential, strength, and sass her character was treated according to the traditional binary convention for most disabled characters in literature and film: cure or kill. She was killed and unlike the majority of the other witches in Coven that died, she was not brought back to life (they brought back Misty Day, Zoe, Kyle, and Madison. But then again they were all nondisabled characters). The only options for a disabled character are to be cured or to be killed. Coven chose not to rebel against the rule and selected the latter for Nan.
When Cordelia decided to enter the running to be the next Supreme I was excited. It would be tremendous and progressive move if she was chosen. Given the fact that she was blind at that point in the series, her selection would have made fascinating and expansive arguments about strength, leadership, and disability. Yes, I was hopeful but unfortunately I was not surprised when she magically regained her sight upon passing the last of the “Seven Wonders.” I think the exact phrase was that every Supreme needs to be in “perfect health.”
I was disappointed by the end of the series because I suppose I was expecting something a bit less ableist (that’s probably why I am feeling a little snarky). The conflation of leadership/success and health is disconcerting to say the least. Why couldn’t Cordelia have stayed blind and been a bad ass Supreme? And why couldn’t have Queenie been the next Supreme? Why did we end up with tall, thin, blond, white, nondisabled woman?