American horror story freak show massacres and matinees

Are You Watching AHS Freakshow Tonight?

With only a handful of episodes left, are you watching American Horror Story Freakshow?

Call it curiosity on my part. I tend to look at each series as a whole, and then as a season. I won’t give up in a show, rather I will prefer one season over another. (This happened a lot during True Blood)

There has been quite a bit of backlash about Freakshow and I think it caught producers off guard. To this day I still see more search activity on who killed Twisty…which is interesting considering how long it has been since he died.  I don’t think there was a plan for fans to become so enthralled with his character.

And so I ask you, dear readers: Are you still watching Freakshow or not? Why?

American Horror Story Recap S4E7: Test of Strength

American Horror Story Freak Show, S4E7: Test of Strength

Original Airdate: November 19, 2014

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


Jimmy is at Dandy’s house and he knows that something is wrong.  The twins are there eating ice cream and Dandy and Gloria show him that they are not being held hostage.    Gloria adds that they paid good money for them.  Bette says that Jimmy lied about being the hero.  Dandy is the one who killed the clown.  Jimmy flashes back and realizes that Dandy was the clown trying to saw the twins in half.  Jimmy tells the girls that they aren’t safe there, and that they have to leave.  Dandy makes the mistake of mentioning that he knows Dot wants to have surgery, but that was something she only mentioned in her diary.  She becomes upset when he boasts that he read their diaries, because there will be no secrets between them.  He pleads with Bette to stay with him, but Dot tells her sister that there is something undeniably wrong with Dandy.  The trio leaves, and Dandy stares at them in a horror-filled rage.

Jimmy tests the microphone as Eve starts playing the bass to Nirvana’s “Come As You Are.”  He jumps into the song while Elsa sits in the audience and watches.  We see Penny caring for Paul in his tent.  We also see Dell in the bar asking about Andy.  He hasn’t been seen since the last time Dell had been there.  When the bartender says that you should never fall in love with a hustler, Dell loses his temper and smashes his far into the bar.  When Jimmy finishes the song, Elsa starts to give him feedback and Jimmy says that he isn’t changing the story.  Jimmy tells her that she was a liar, and all of the freaks know that she lied about the twins.  Elsa denies any wrongdoing, saying that the twins ran away.  But Dot and Bette are behind her, and Elsa is shocked to see them. Dot tells a different story, though, silencing her sister so that she can trick Elsa into welcoming them back to the show.  She says that Elsa helped them to experience the finer things in life, but the show is their home and that’s where they want to be.  Elsa is forced to graciously welcome them back or else she will look the fool in front of her performers.

Desiree helps Ethel walk up the walkway to the doctor’s office.  They exchange friendly banter about their surgeries when they see a sign saying “closed for business.”  They’re shocked.  Inside the office, the doctor’s daughter is packing his belongings because the doctor killed himself.  She blames them for what he did.  She says his beliefs were challenged and so he smashed his hands before shooting himself.  Neither woman can believe the story, but the daughter threatens to call the police if they don’t leave.  “Get out, you freaks!” she screams.

Stanley is practicing his skill at the strength meter game.  He manages to swing the mallet enough to register, and yet he can’t get halfway up.  Dell walks by and Stanley tells him that he feels like a fairy today.  Stanley teases him about not being able to “get it up.”  When Dell threatens him, Stanley says that he saw him at the gay bar, and so did other people. Dell is about to take a swing at him when Maggie interrupts and points out that Dell might hit Stanley if he isn’t careful.  Stanley is a master at manipulation, of course, and he planned to have Maggie around as a witness.  He takes Dell into the tent and says that Dell has what he wants: no moral code, strength, and that he must do everything Stanley says.  Stanley pulls out a gun and threatens to shoot him in the nuts if he doesn’t obey.  He needs one of the freaks, dead, but clean.  Dell doesn’t want to kill one of his own, but clearly he has no choice.  He has a day to get the job done.

Jimmy and Maggie are in bed together in their underwear.  He’s upset that the twins changed their story and made him look foolish.  She says that they changed their minds. Jimmy says he will leave with Maggie, but he wants to figure out who the other clown was.  He wonders if Maggie would recognize Dandy’s voice.  She thinks he’s stalling, that he doesn’t want to leave.

Outside, Dell pours chloroform on a towel and goes to Eve’s tent.  He tries to knock her out while she’s sleeping but she wakes up and beats the shit out of him, to the point that he cries uncle.  She throws him out of her tent.  “Who’s the strong man now?” she taunts as he lies on the ground, beaten and bloody.

Eve tells Ethel what happened to her. Jimmy is furious and wants to go to the cops, but Ethel says that they can’t go to the police.  They need to kill him.  Suzi and Eve remind him that he would be at his door with a gun if he’d attacked Maggie.  Ethel tells Jimmy that they need to remember that hope doesn’t exist for them.  They have to survive, and no one will take care of them but themselves.  He can’t get away with it.  “We can’t let the degenerate prick win,” she sobs.  Jimmy says he can handle Dell.  “You handle him, or we will,” she says.

Dell is teasing two men about the game, and the fact that neither one can ring the bell.  Jimmy walks up and says that he wants to talk “man to man.”  Pompous Dell tells him to let him know when the other man arrives.  Dell wants to go into town, and Jimmy can buy him a drink.  Then they’ll talk.  Stanley gives a nod of approval to Dell.

Elsa asks the twins what they’re after.  Bette drinks her drink while Elsa bemoans the fact that they have a Hollywood show.  Bette is doing all the talking now.  They don’t trust Stanley.  With Dot’s approval, Bette says that she wants to be a comedian, and she’ll perform between songs.  And they want 20% of the take.  Elsa prods Dot, who says she wants 50% of the box office.  And they want the money Elsa got from Gloria.  Elsa is in deep trouble now.

At the bar, Dell and Jimmy drink cheap liquor.  Dell wants another drink but Jimmy isn’t a big drinker.  He tells Dell that the women want to string him up by the balls.  Dell tries to say that he tried to talk to Eve about doing an act, but she smashed him up.  Dell tells Jimmy to take another drink.  Jimmy tells Dell that he has to get serious because the women are going to mess him up. Jimmy couldn’t care less either way, but the show has had enough trouble this year.  As Jimmy drinks, he starts talking to Dell about how nice it is to be out in the world.  One year they missed their Tampa booking and stayed in the snow.  It was freezing.  He killed a rabbit and made a coat for Ma Petite.  He enjoyed the cold because he could wear his gloves like every other guy.  Dell tells him to take the gloves off.  He tells Jimmy that if anyone looks at him funny he’ll break his skull.  “Unless it’s a girl, right?” Jimmy asks.  Both men start laughing.  Outside, Jimmy is puking when Dell almost clocks him with a brick.  Jimmy says that he knows who Dell is.  He has always known.  The famous Toledo Lobster Clan.  He knows Dell is his father.  Jimmy wants to hear Dell say that he’s his father.  He begs him.  Dell nods slowly.  “Yes, son, it’s true,” Dell says.  They hug it out, and you can see the fear in Dell’s eyes as he realizes the predicament he’s in.  He pulls Jimmy against him and helps him home.

It’s dawn when they get back.  They’re both singing.  Elsa tells them they’re drunk and she won’t allow them to wake everyone up.  Desiree tells Jimmy that it’s not too late to make something of his life.  Dell admits that Jimmy is his son.  Elsa tells him that it must be courageous to admit such a thing after 24 years.  Dell tells his son the Toledo Family code, that once you let a woman tell you what to do, you’re handing your balls over.  “I want to keep my balls,” Jimmy proclaims drunkenly.  Jimmy tells Elsa that they aren’t going to let her boss them around anymore.  They stagger off together, laughing at making noise. Dell puts his son to bed, and Jimmy says “Goodnight, Dad.”  Dell is floored.  Stanley is outside the trailer.  He tells Dell that he’s trying his patience.

Penny returns home and her father asks if she was at the camp again “with him.”  She says she’s going back and that he’ll have to kill her to stop her.  She taunts him and says that he’s too vain.  He says that he can make it so that no one will believe she is part of his family.  He figured she’d be leaving, so he invited his friend Morris to the house.  Morris is covered in tattoos.

Bette is now platinum blonde.  Dot says she looks like their mother.  Bette thinks she looks like Eve Arden.  The hairdresser has worked on people with two chins, but never two heads.  Bette proposes a new act—the metamorphosis, where the caterpillar turns into a butterfly.  Elsa passes Dot a letter.

The letter, from Elsa, notes that she didn’t say much during their negotiation. She questions what the money is for.  They must work together, the note says.  Whatever it is that she wants, Elsa will help her to get.

Pepper comes into Elsa’s tent with a note.  She sends her off for another drink.  The note tells Elsa that she wants something.  She wants the doctor in Chicago to separate them.  She needs help finding him, and her secret is safe if Elsa helps her.

Penny’s dad watches as Morris finishes his work.  She wakes up and cries that it hurts.  He stands over her and shows her a mirror.  He has had her entire face tattooed, and her tongue is forked.  She screams.

Elsa dines with Stanley.  He comments on her lack of appetite.  She wants to talk about a problem, that the twins are back and dedicated to destroying her.  Elsa says Dot wants to have the operation.  She needs Stanley to find the doctor in Chicago, and then they can be separated.  Stanley steals Elsa’s steak and proposes a mercy killing to end their suffering.  Ethel hears the whole conversation, and she doesn’t like what she heard.  You can see that the wheels are turning in Elsa’s head.  She says she has heard about managers who would kill for their clients, and now she has one.

Dell goes into Ma Petite’s bedchamber with a box.  She opens it and sees a beautiful dress.  She goes to try it on while he waits.  She looks gorgeous.  She needs his help with the zipper.  He says that she looks like a little princess.  He hugs her and smothers her in the process, twisting her neck just enough to kill her and not ruin her body.  “I’m sorry,” he whispers.

Paul wakes up when he hears a noise in his tent.  Penny walks through the darkness and into the light.  When Paul sees her, he hugs her and says that this is all his fault.

There’s a party at the museum.  Madame Curator says that they have a new gift.  It’s a very rare specimen that they believe will bring thousands of visitors.  She pulls the veil off to reveal Ma Petite’s body in a jar.  She’s wearing the purple dress that she died in.

Well.  Ma Petite is dead, Paul’s girlfriend looks like a lizard, and Dell is a bona fide murderer.

See you in two weeks, fellow Freaks!

American Horror Story Freak Show Recap S4E6: Bullseye

American Horror Story Freak Show, S4E6: Bullseye

Original Airdate: November 12, 2014

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


There is a lot of activity at the campground as Elsa orders her workers to bring a giant red and white wheel into the main tent.  She comments that life is like that, a mess of choices between one thing and another, like tea or wine.  But we’ll all end up on the wheel eventually.  Once the wheel has been set up she starts to practice throwing knives at a stuffed dummy, only in her mind she sees Maggie and Jimmy.  She says she knows how to stay off the wheel; by staying in control of herself and not letting anything get in the way of what she wants.  Ethel sees her practicing and asks if they are bringing it back into the act.  Elsa says she used to be a master at the wheel but now it’s for the second act of her television series.  Ethel cautions her against leaving too soon, as the Tattler Twins are missing.  Elsa says they gave her the slip when she took them dress shopping, when really they should be grateful to her.  Ethel says everyone is grateful to her and it’s a special time because it’s her birthday week.  She has a big show.

Gloria has a gift for Dandy.  They’re sitting in the dining room at dinner.  Under the silver dome is a stack of condoms.  Gloria says that his affliction is the result of years of inbreeding, so he must be careful when seeing to his “needs.”  He is appalled—he’d never violate Bette and Dot. He loves them.  After all this time, he finally feels normal.  Gloria becomes angry with this news, reminding him that he could never take the girls to cotillions or balls. Dandy knows it’s because they’re freaks, and he reminds his mother that he’s also a freak.  He says that there comes a time in every mother’s life when she must give up her son to another woman.  He plans to marry Bette and Dot and they will be together forever.

A receiving line has been set up in the main tent as the performers pay homage to the birthday girl.  Indeed, a big banner proclaims Elsa’s birthday and the lady herself is perched on a grand throne.  Ethel gives her a nice gift while Paul gives her lingerie.  “Cheeky bastard!” Elsa laughs.  She loves it all.  Eve has a huge box.  Ma Petite is inside and Elsa is thrilled to have her there.  She clutches her to her chest and kisses Ma Petite’s cheek.  When she notices that everyone seems sullen, Elsa asks what is wrong.  Ma Petite says they miss the twins.  Jimmy wonders if they gave any indication of where they were going.  Elsa goes into a fury and says she gave them a home and they’re ungrateful.  She demands that everyone starts having fun, or else they will end up on her wheel.

Music is playing in Elsa’s tent and Paul is in bed with Elsa.  He’s kissing her back while she smokes her opium.  She tells him that they don’t fall in love, but she knows he is going to miss her.  He gets out of bed and he’s naked.  (Incidentally, she isn’t wearing her prosthetic legs)  She says he could be her valet in Hollywood.  He is impressed that she gave him a thought at all.  Elsa asks for her baby, so he brings Ma Petite to her and bids them good night.  Elsa cradles Ma Petite in bed and tells her how much she loves her.

Paul ends up in bed with a young woman whose bedroom is covered in floral sheets and wall paper.  It’s Penny, the candy striper we met in the first episode.  She asks if he wants her, and he says that he loves her more than anything.  He wants to get to know her as a man and not just as her lover, so that when they make love she’ll know it’s for real.  That’s when her father bursts in and demands to know who she was talking to.  Paul is stowed under the bed for now.  Dad looks pissed off.  He says that he’s trying to keep his little girl safe.

Bette is writing in her diary.  She’s in love and life is now wonderful.  Dandy bursts into the playroom with a tray full of one of each dish.  He introduces Bette to caviar and she loves it.  Dot is a bit skeptical, but as they eat dinner with Gloria, who tells her that they can have anything they want, Dot points out that Dandy doesn’t abuse them in any way.  Later, they have tea together in the playroom and dandy reads about a successful surgery on another set of Siamese twins.  Dot is very interested in the story, and suddenly she realizes that the money she’d need to raise for the surgery is at her fingertips with Dandy.  She envisions talking to Jimmy as a single person.  Bette would be dead, but she’s ok with that. Suddenly the gilded cage doesn’t look so cage-like.

Paul arrives at the pharmacy and asks for a bottle of Venetian Romance perfume.  The clerk says they don’t have any, but Paul sees it on a shelf behind him.  Dandy rushes up to the counter, dressed in a full suit, and asks for another hairbrush.  Paul recognizes him and talks to him while the clerk goes in the back room.  Dandy tries to pretend that he didn’t like the show, but Paul remembers that Dandy did like it, and he liked the twins even more.  That’s when Paul notices that Dandy has bought a ton of women’s accessories in sets of two.  The clerk returns and asks dandy if Paul is bothering him.  When he lies and says Paul tried to pickpocket him, the clerk tells Paul to leave.  Paul knows his rights, but Dandy says Paul isn’t even American.  Paul decides to take his business to Woolworth.  They have ice cream.

That night at the fairgrounds, Jimmy is cleaning up when Paul comes in.  The crowd, Jimmy says, was thin because people want to see the twins.  Paul tells him about Dandy, and he suspects that Elsa took them to Dandy to get rid of them. Jimmy slaps Paul, telling him that Elsa rescued every one of them and she saved their lives.  Paul doesn’t buy it.  Jimmy is close enough to pass as a normal man, but Paul knows that Elsa would do anything for one last shot at fame, including killing someone.  As Paul storms off, his words sink in with Jimmy.

Bette thanks Dandy for buying the perfect shade of lipstick.  Dot is reading the paper and it turns out one of the conjoined twins died, but the other is a miracle.  Bette doesn’t think science should interfere with the will of God.  Dot thinks that they are more of a cruel joke than the will of God.  Bette says they are what they are, and they will always be like that.  Dandy listens to the twins and he realizes that Dot likes to keep secrets.  He says they shouldn’t have any secrets between them so he proposes a game.  They will each share a secret with each other.  He tells the girls that he was the one who killed Twisty.  Dot says that Jimmy would never lie about that, while Bette is thrilled that Dandy is a hero.  When Dot refuses to share a secret, Dandy goes into a rage because Dot won’t play by his rules.  He throws a tantrum and leaves.

Stanley finds Maggie outside.  She tells him that the twins are gone and no one knows where they are.  Stanley needs something to transport so he suggests that they take Jimmy.  He tells her to lure him to their car.  All they need is his hands.  Maggie clearly doesn’t want this to happen, so she suggests that they take Ma Petite.  We see a vision of Maggie bringing Ma Petite to a barn.  Ma Petite says that Maggie is very nice.  Little does she know, Maggie and Stanley are going to put her in a jar.  We see Ma Petite stuck in a jar, and she screams when Stanley pours the formaldehyde in.  Ma Petite is soon pickled.  Back in reality, Stanley laughs at Maggie’s ruthlessness.

Elsa is in her tent practicing her singing.  “These precious days I’ll spend with you,” she sings, looking at Paul, who is watching her.  He says that the audiences will love it.  He moves to leave, but she wants to know if he will stay.  He’s got things on his mind, but it turns out that she smells the Venetian Romance on him and wants to know who he’s screwing.  She knows her monsters don’t wear perfume.  He says he’s not beholden to her.  He knows she did something to the girls and he tells her that everyone is talking about it.  She demands that he wake everyone.  They convene in the main tent, where Elsa rips down the birthday banner.  She asks Toulouse if he remembers how she rescued him from a chain gang.  Or how she found Salty and Pepper in the orphanage, where her own sister wouldn’t have anything to do with her.  They were gnawing on rats in their urine soaked crib.  Ethel wants her to calm down, but Elsa demands that one of them goes onto her wheel.  Jimmy volunteers, but Paul says it should be him.

Paul is strapped in and he tells Elsa not to miss.  “I always miss, darling.  That’s the point,” she says.  Elsa makes a show of the situation, telling the gathering that it takes a split second to separate life and death.  As the wheel spins, she throws a knife and everyone gasps.  She tells them that fate is the true master.  A knife lands between Paul’s legs. Then she throws the last one, and it plunges into his stomach.  She seems saddened by what she has done, but as soon as the others have taken Paul away, she wipes her forehead in relief.

Penny the candy striper is sneaking out when her father points a rifle at her.  He thought she could be a burglar.  She tells him that she is in love and she’s going to live her life.  If he doesn’t like that, then he can shoot her.  She leaves.

Maggie sneaks into Ma Petites bedroom and grabs her.  Ma Petite says the moon is beautiful, and that Maggie is beautiful.  Her present is in the barn.  Ma Petite is hoping for a pony.  Maggie says they are playing a game and she puts Ma Petite in a jar “like a butterfly.”  Ma Petite flaps her arms as if they were wings while Maggie prepares the formaldehyde.

Penny arrives at the fairgrounds.  Eve and the gang are seated at a table.  Penny says she’s looking for Paul.

Paul is in Elsa’s tent.  He takes a hit of her opium.  Elsa tells him that she doesn’t think the spinning wheel act is right for her television show.  It takes too long.  Paul knows that she didn’t really call a doctor.  Elsa says that she wouldn’t shed a tear if he died because he betrayed him.  That’s when Penny rushes in and demands to know when they called for the doctor.

Ethel is putting the finishing touches on the cake.  Jimmy can’t believe she is actually finishing it, but Ethel points out that the cake was already made.  She doesn’t like that Jimmy is questioning Elsa.  Jimmy says that the doctor never came, and that Paul had been trying to tell him something about the twins.  Ethel won’t hear it.

There’s a knock on the door and Eve tells Jimmy that something bad has happened to Ma Petite.  She wasn’t at breakfast or in her tent.  Jimmy says they’ll find her, but that’s when Maggie rounds the corner with Ma Petite in her arms.  Eve takes Ma Petite and Maggie says they were out hunting fireflies.  She grabs Jimmy’s hand and says that they should run away together.  She doesn’t care where, so long as they are together.  She kisses him and he tells her to pack her bags.  Maggie heads to her tent and Stanley is there waiting.  He has a train ticket with him and notes that Ma Petite is not in a jar.  Maggie says that with the twins gone, all of the freaks are on alert.  Stanley says it’s a good thing that there is no value in her dead body, so he’s switching back to his plan—Jimmy.  Or, more specifically, his hands.

Gloria takes a tray to the playroom.  Dandy tells her to go away.  He’s crying.  He has been reading Dot’s diary.  He tells his mother to read it.  She reads that Dot is tired of eating caviar and pretending to tolerate him.  He cries hearing that she is only after his money.  Gloria thinks that they might be able to bribe her by spoiling the other twin.  Dandy compares how he feels to when he had tuberculosis and they went to Iowa and they were surrounded by open space.  That’s how he feels.  Empty.  Now he knows what he is supposed to do.  He packs a knife in his belt.  “My purpose is to bring death.”

The doorbell rings. It’s Jimmy.  Dandy tells his mother he is here for the girls.  She lets him inside.

Ethel has a hunk of cake for Elsa and tells her that everyone else is with Paul.  They don’t feel like celebrating.  Elsa agrees that family should stick together.  Elsa says that she had a sister who died as an infant.  Her parents probably had Elsa to heal their pain, but she was nothing more than a reminder.  She made her own family.  She loves them all, but she sees Ethel that she’s like a sister.  That’s why she saved her.  Why can’t everyone else see that she loves them?  Ethel points out that there is a lot going on.  She lights the candle and hands the cake to Elsa.  She says that if she ever finds out that Elsa is lying or if she did anything to the twins, she’ll kill her with her own hands.  “I just wanted to be loved,” Elsa says.  She blows out the candle.

I have a feeling that things are about to go south really fast in the next few episodes.

What did you think of tonight’s episode?



AHS Freak Show Fans Stunned By Fate of Bette and Dot

(Spoilers for AHS Freak Show S4E5 Pink Cupcakes)

It was all a twisted dream!  Stanley didn’t actually kill Bette and Dot Tattler in “Pink Cupcakes” but it sure looked like it.  Seeing their decapitated heads floating in formaldehyde, dream or not, was shocking.  Watching Dot beg for mercy as Bette lay dying was gut-wrenching.

Of course, the fate of the Tattler Twins is still up in the air when Elsa Mars dropped them off as a gift for Dandy Mott, who has decided to assume the mantle, er, smiling face mask, of Twisty the Clown.

International Business Times talks about “Pink Cupcakes” and provides a list of the 9 most shocking Sarah Paulson scenes in AHS history.

American Horror Story Freak Show Recap S4E5: Pink Cupcakes

American Horror Story Freak Show, S4E5: Pink Cupcakes

Original Airdate: November 5, 2014

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


There have been a few revelations this week about American Horror Story.  The seasons are indeed linked together (in ways as yet to be seen), and Twisty isn’t gone yet.  You can’t keep a good clown down, you know….

There’s a gathering of elite people.  It’s the American Morbidity Museum’s Night of Discovery, and the curator wants to thank…not Stanley.  Maggie laughs, as if that had ever been a possibility.  They’re about to unveil a new exhibit on modern mutations.  They pull back the cover…and it’s Paul the Seal Boy.

It was all a vision.  In a dank hotel room, Stanley explains his plan, that he’s going to need tanks to preserve everything.  He already has them, from an aquarium.  It’s all about the preservation.  That’s why he needs to keep Elsa on a tight leash.  That’s how he is going to capture the freaks for the museum.  As Stanley moves to pack, his male pornos fall out of his suitcase.  Maggie reminds him that if there’s one thing the people of Jupiter hate more than freaks, it’s “poofs.”  As Stanley picks them up, she tells him that since she has to live with them, she wants more of the cut.  He’s proud of his girl…though he doesn’t say yes to the deal.

At the Mott residence, Gloria searches for Nora.  Her coffee isn’t being made.  Dandy comes down the stairs as his mother starts to scream.  He says someone must have broken into their house, but Gloria knows that he did it. And now she has to clean it all up.  She sends him to his room as he offers to help, and as he walks away, he smiles.

Stanley finds Elsa in her tent.  He charms her, but she says it’s a full house and she must prepare.  He says he’s from Hollywood, and she thinks that he’s from a studio.  To her chagrin, he says he is from a television studio.  But Elsa isn’t interested in television.  Stanley doesn’t relent.  He tells her that she could be in every house in America, but even then she doesn’t like it.  Her face, next to shampoo commercials?  Nein.  Movies are the window to the soul.  She would never participate in the “death of art and civilization.”

Jimmy is outside practicing his lines.  Now that he’s famous, he has a “story” and he has to practice.  As he juggles, Maggie sneaks up behind him.  He says it has been a while since there was a full house.  She offers to read his palm.  She sees a shadow man who is coming to tell him things, make him promises.  She tells Jimmy to go North to New York, to leave the show.  He wants to kiss her, but she doesn’t let him.  She says his future is bright but she’s not in it.  He never should have believed that he’d have a chance with a girl like her.

Ethel can’t find Dell.  It’s a full house and their barker is gone.  She sends Jimmy to find him.  Jimmy goes to the trailer but he isn’t there.  Desiree is there and she has been drinking.  She says that Dell made her feel special, but he’s gone now.  She pours another drink, but Jimmy stays there with her.  Even the whole town is there to see him, he says Meep was the real hero.  He says that killing someone took everything out of him.  As he breaks down crying, Desiree comforts him.  He leans in and kisses her, and she begs him to make her feel something.  Suddenly, though, as Jimmy goes into Third Base, his fingers come away bloody.  She screams.  He takes her from the trailer, with blood running down her thighs.  The other freaks come out to help, but they need to go on stage, so Ethel grabs Desiree and Jimmy goes to fill in for Dell.

Jimmy introduces Elsa, who is back in her powder blue outfit.  As she takes the stage and starts singing, the crowd tunes her out completely.  She falls apart as people start getting up to leave, and throwing popcorn at her.  Jimmy pulls her off the stage while Stanley smiles in triumph.  After the show, Elsa is in her tent.  She has called for Stanley, who comes to see her.  Elsa is ready to know more about the television deal.

Ethel has brought Desiree to her doctor.  She’s helping her into a gown and Desiree is nervous because she has never been to a doctor before.  Desiree wants Ethel to stay there.  The doctor asks if Desiree bleeds once a month, but she doesn’t.  Maybe a few times a year.  The doctor does an exam and asks where she was born.  She says she was born in Philadelphia and the midwife said that she was a boy.  However, the doctor completes his exam and says that the midwife was wrong.  Desiree is 100% woman.  Her ding-a-ling isn’t a penis at all—it’s an enlarged clitoris and he can remove it if she wants.  He says her body was producing an excess of estrogen and it got confused.  As for the bleeding, she had been pregnant and miscarried.  The fetus had been about 12 weeks along.  Ethel’s face darkens.  Desiree is rapt at the idea of having a baby with Dell.

Gloria calls to the workers in her back yard.  She is planting narcissus and needs a deep hole for them.  The gardener says that narcissus need 18 inches, but she says they’re from Holland and they need 12 feet.  Dandy watches from beside her, looking thrilled.  Later on, they plant the bulbs and Dandy offers that the flowers will serve as a reminder that Nora didn’t die in vain.  Gloria continues that Dandy suffers from an affliction of the affluent.  Cousins married cousins to protect the estates and this was bound to happen at some point.  Dandy says it’s because he needs to express himself, which is why he wanted to be an actor.  He certainly doesn’t want to end up like his father, swinging from a Japanese maple tree.  Gloria says they will find another way to go, since it’s 1952 and you can’t kill random vagrants anymore because people are missed.

Elsa is in her dressing room listening to Bowie again.  “Vain.”  Very a propos.  She’s putting on her best makeup.  Ma Petite must paint her nails perfectly.  She’s taking publicity photos for her new TV show.  But when Elsa goes out to the parking lot, Stanley is driving away with the Tattler Twins.  She looks disgusted.

However…Stanley is back at the Museum with the curator.  He unveils his prize…and it’s the decapitated Tattler Twins.  The curator asks how they expired, because Bette looks more decomposed than her sister.  Stanley flashes back to a picnic he shared with the girls.  He pulls a napkin away from a plate bearing two pink cupcakes.  Bette looks thrilled, but Dot isn’t so sure of him.  Stanley says they’re celebrating the girls’ bright future.  Bette asks if he baked the cupcakes…and we see that he did, but he added drugs to them.  Dot wants to know details.  How would they learn enough songs for a whole hour?  While Stanley talks to Dot, Bette starts to foam at the mouth.  Stanley tells the curator that it was pneumonia.  Later, Stanley sits at the twins’ bedside and watches as Dot cries because Bette is dead.  She’s practically decomposing while Dot is vibrant and alive.  But she’s in pain.  He offers her another cupcake, but she says they need to go to the hospital.  Stanley smothers Dot.

But then we return to the picnic.  Bette wants a cupcake, but Dot tells her that if they’re going to be on television, they need to watch their figure.  So…are they dead?  I’m not so sure….

Dandy is in his playroom, and he’s working out in his underwear.  He says he was meant to be in films.  He oils his body up and practices his faces in the mirror.  He sees himself as the perfect man.  He says he’s the future of greatness.  The clown showed him the way.  Now the future starts tonight.

Dandy goes into a gay bar.  He bumps into Dell, who is bringing drinks to a young man, Andy, played by Matt Bomer.  He says that the kid’s art is really good, and someone offered to take him to LA.  Dell gets possessive and says that Andy belongs to him.  Dell says that this is hard for him because he’s trying to figure out who he is.  Andy says that Dell must be hiding from something.  Dell grabs Andy’s hand and says that he wants to put Andy up in a better home so he doesn’t need to be in the dank bar.  He says that the pain he feels knowing that Andy is with other men is driving him nuts.  There’s nothing worse than loving someone you can’t have, Dell says.  Andy says that the bar is his office.  When he’s there he is at work.  Dell doesn’t like hearing that, so he leaves.  Andy lights up a cigarette and sighs.  That’s when Dandy walks up.  He asks what Dandy would like.  Dandy smiles to hear it’s $20 to take him home.

Bette tells Dot that it’s the chance of a lifetime.  As they discuss the tv deal, Elsa walks in and says she agrees with Bette on this one.  It’s a huge opportunity.  She says that Stanley has asked her to go as well, that Stanley has asked Elsa to mentor them.  Bette wonders if Elsa will be a guest on the Tattler Sister Hour.  Elsa says that she has arranged for a seamstress to do a private fitting for them the next day.  Dot suspects that Elsa is up to something, but Bette doesn’t care.  She wants a new hat.

Dell returns to the trailer to find Desiree waiting for him with her bags packs.  She tells him the news about being able to have children, she also says that Ethel came clean and told her that the lobster hand-trait came from Dell’s father, so he had the freak blood all along.  She wants to have babies.  He doesn’t believe that anyone would ever go for a three breasted man, but she says that it’s all cosmetic, and after a surgery she will be a normal woman.  She storms out of the trailer.  She’s going to stay with Ethel.

Dandy leads Andy to Twisty’s old trailer.  He tells him it belonged to a friend of his.  Andy steels himself for the experience, but then Dandy says he isn’t a “fruit.”  Andy says that he doesn’t think he paid a hundred dollars just to talk.  Dandy suggests that they strip down and then face each other.  When Andy gets to three, he turns to see Dandy in his tightie whities wearing Twisty’s mask.  Dandy lunges at Andy and stabs him repeatedly.  Dandy basks in being covered in blood, but Andy isn’t dead.  He stabs him again, and then he gets to work.  Rule one of being a good serial killer is getting rid of the body.  He cuts Andy’s arm off and then tosses it into a tub of acid.  Once Andy’s arm is gone, Andy comes back to life.  Dandy tells him that he’s making him feel bad. Andy begs Dandy to kill him.  Dandy happily complies.

Gloria is on the phone with Regina, Nora’s daughter.  She’s in New York learning to be a secretary.  She’s concerned because she hasn’t heard from her mother.  Gloria says that Nora is very busy and won’t be able to call until after the holidays.  Before Regina can interrupt, Gloria asks what Regina thought of playing with Dandy as a child.  She recalls him biting his nannies, but she can’t remember Gloria being around very much.  Gloria said that he had been sick once and was calling for her but she didn’t know how to care for him, so she sent in the nanny, and after that he never called for her again.  Regina is getting uncomfortable, so she tells Gloria to have Nora call as soon as possible.  Dandy walks up behind her.  “Mother,” he says.  He’s in his underwear, and he’s covered in blood.  She gasps.

Elsa is driving on the outskirts of Jupiter.  The Tattler Twins are in the back of the car.  Bette says that she thought they were going to town.  Elsa says she has a better idea.

The doctor tells Dell that he’s sorry for his loss, and that miscarriages are always difficult.  Dell wants to know more about the doctor and his credentials.  He moved down from the North to be closer to his family.  Dell grabs him and says that he isn’t going to touch his wife.  He breaks the doctor’s fingers and says that if he goes to the police or tells Desiree what happened, then Dell will go after his grandchildren.

There’s someone at Gloria’s door.  It’s Elsa.  Elsa says she has something that Gloria might want….

And that is it for tonight’s episode!  Raise your hand if you thought Bette and Dot really were dead!  I did.  And while I wasn’t exactly shocked by the revelation that Desiree is really a woman, I was shocked that Dell is dabbling in men…and that he attacked the doctor.  I’m also bummed that Andy is gone so soon.  He looked interested, and he could have been an interesting foil between Dell, Dandy and Stanley (and Stanley’s giant penis).

What did you think of tonight’s episode?  Leave your comments below!

Big News About AHS Freakshow’s Twisty the Clown!

(Spoiler Alert!)


Twisty the Clown isn’t done yet!  Ryan Murphy confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that fan favorite Twisty the Clown isn’t done yet, even though he vowed that this season, once you die, you die.

When Twisty became Edward Mordrake’s victim in the second half of last week’s two-part episode, Twitter was ablaze with #RIPTwisty hashtags.  Once his tragic history was revealed, fans became even more attached to the psychopath clown, mainly because his story was a true tragedy.

Ryan Murphy said that he loves John Carroll Lynch’s performance (he saw several Twisty the Clowns on Halloween) and wants him to return.  And return, he will!

Read the entire article here!

Poor Twisty the Clown (Spoilers for AHS S4E4)

A few weeks ago I wrote that Twisty Clown was more than meets the eye.  While some AHS fans were almost (or wanted to be) sympathetic to Madame LaLaurie last season, Twisty has captivated audiences since his debut.  Here at the same time is a character who is childlike in one moment and horrifically brutal in the next.

In Edward Moredrake Pt. 2 we get to see the man behind the clown.  Social media was aflutter with fans who wept as they listened to his story.  While it’s undeniable that he killed people, it’s also easy to see how it all came about.  He was “simple” and gentle until some mean people did mean things to him.  He loved children but the dwarves taunted him and made him flee the circus that he so loved.  He wanted to make toys but he was shunned.  He lived in a time when being different–in any form–was not accepted by society, and this was particularly difficult for people with special needs.  When he said he was so stupid he couldn’t even kill himself, my heart broke for him.  Hell, even Edward Mordrake’s demon familiar wept for him.  Twisty wanted to create a happy place for the kids, but he didn’t understand that he was hurting them.

Twisty was the ultimate tragic character.  He garnered sympathy from fans who caught a glimpse of his pain early on. He was not a brutal killer.  He was a misunderstood soul who was alone in the world, desperate for some human connection.  Dandy is the one we must fear. Dandy is sick.

I hope Twisty finds happiness and peace with Edward Mordrake and his coterie of lost souls.  He deserves peace.

(For the record, I still can’t believe they killed Twisty so early in the season, but I can see why they had to…)

Lily Rabe, Neil Patrick Harris to Join AHS Freakshow

EW is reporting that AHS veteran Lily Rabe will reprise her role as Sister Mary Eunice from Season 2’s Asylum.  Her appearance will intersect with Pepper’s backstory and how she ends up in Briarcliff. She will be seen in the 10th episode winter cliffhanger.

Also joining the Freakshow are Neil Patrick Harris and husband David Burtka, who will appear separately.

See the complete article here:

American Horror Story Freakshow Recap S4E4: Edward Mordrake Part 2

American Horror Story Freak Show, S4E4: Edward Mordrake Pt. 2

Original Airdate: October 29, 2014

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


Happy Halloween (early), boys and girls!

Let me say that Wes Bentley makes a wonderful two-headed ghost.  He’s as delightful as Papa Legba was in Coven.

It’s night at the Freakshow and the fog is moving in.  It’s a green fog, and it’s headed for Legless Suzi’s tent.  Edward Mordrake wakes her up from her bed by tossing her across the room.  He pays a visit to Paul, and to Salty and Pepper as well.  He’s looking to add another freak to his unhappy number.  In order to pass his test, his potential victims must answer his questions.  Suzi admits that she committed a sin.  Her legs were amputated when she was two, and then her parents abandoned her.  She ended up on the street.  At Edward’s urging, she confesses that she stabbed someone in the leg because she was jealous of his legs.  He died.   Paul was born, and that was his crime.  He was at home in the dark, watching movies.  He couldn’t make a living the way he is, so he decided to become the monster everyone wanted him to be.  He tattooed himself all over, but he avoided his face because he likes how he looks.  He didn’t want to sully his handsome face.  Can you imagine, he asks, what he would look like on a regular body?  Edward and his familiar listen to their stories.  Neither are his intended victims, and Salty and Pepper are too innocent for what he has in mind.

Edward goes to Elsa’s tent.  She has been expecting him.  She chides him for running off after her number.  Perhaps, she says, he must have needed a moment to collect himself after seeing her talent.  Elsa has done herself up for the moment, thinking him to be her salvation.  She needs a new arranger to develop a more modern nightclub act.  When Edward doesn’t respond, she thinks it’s because he is overwhelmed by her talent.  He laughs and says that he’s speechless because of her presumption.  She banishes him from her room, thinking it all a prank.  He shows both of his faces and his ghostly minions pin her to the bed and pull off her legs.  It’s sad, he remarks, that the “zookeeper” pretends to be normal, when in fact she’s worse than her charges.  As he strokes his thumb along her jaw, he says that it’s time for her to tell him her secrets.

Jimmy and Maggie ride along a dark country road.  The bike stops and Jimmy thinks that they ran out of gas.  She thinks he’s making it up.  He says they need to get off the road because of the curfew.  She says that she still isn’t sure about him.  Jimmy feels the same about her, really.  He doesn’t just trust her because she’s a pretty face, especially not because of the way the “normal” people in town treat him.  A car’s headlights interrupts their chat.  They duck into the bushes.

Mike and the Jane talk while poor Tommy slumbers fitfully from lack of food.  He asks if they’re going to make it out alive, and Jane says they will.  They all will.  Twisty doesn’t feed them, she says, he just makes them watch his “clown stuff.”  Her hands are tied behind her back so she asks Mike to untie her feet.  They can hear Twisty approaching, so they return to the way they were sitting.  When he comes in, he bows to them.  While he’s bending to pick something up, she rushes him and runs out the door.

Back on the road, Jimmy is about to start walking again when they hear screaming.  Suddenly Jane emerges from the bushes, but she is quickly subdued by Twisty, who picks her up and walks back into the woods.  Jimmy makes to follow them, to see if he can help her.

Edward has returned Elsa’s legs to her.  She thanks him sincerely for them, as she prefers to he “upright” when entertaining gentlemen.  But Edward isn’t a gentleman anymore.  His familiar wants her dark secrets.

Weimar Republic, 1932.

Elsa says that it was a sexual playground.  Men took out their frustration at the German defeat with their cocks, she says.  In private clubs, men paid to do all kinds of things to all kinds of people.  Elsa was a Dominatrix  of sorts.  She was paid royally to humiliate men and put them in submissive situations.  She never allowed them to touch her.  We watch as she puts a collar on a man and leads him around like a puppy, then she forces him to use the toilet, but instead of standing, he must sit on a toilet rimmed with nails.  As he sits, he thanks her for the pain.  In the background there are people watching.  She says they were the Watchers, and they paid the most money of all.  Edward is intrigued by the story, but this has nothing to do with her pain.  He wants to hear about her legs.  Elsa takes a deep breath.

Jimmy is hot on Twisty’s trail.  He tells Maggie to stay put, but of course she doesn’t listen.  Jimmy goes on top of a tree so he can peer into the trailer.  He sees the missing kids and tells Maggie that they’ve found the killer.  He’s a maniac, Maggie says.  Ironically, he’s not the one they need to worry about.  Dandy hits them both on the back of the head.  He pulls off his clown mask and smiles.  Now it’s time for Halloween to begin, he exclaims.

Hotel Olympia, Brandenburg, 1932

Elsa’s Watchers paid her to make movies.  They said that she made men “ejaculate gold.”  In the most intent movie, she was dressed in black leather and told to quote the line “am I ready for my close up?”  They drug her, and while they roll cameras, they cut her legs off with a chainsaw.  “Snuff films,” she says they called them.  They told her she was the lucky one.  They left her to die.  Her soldier boy saved her life.  He’d fallen in love with her and saved her, which she’ll never forgive him for.  The movie went all over Europe, and she was a star.  But her career was over.  She had no legs.  They had been so beautiful.  Edward’s familiar whispers and says that she’s the one.  She’s ready, she says.  She wants to be taken.  She screams and begs for him to kill her, but he never drops the knife.  He hears music.

Out in the woods, Dandy is putting on a show for Tommy, Jane, Mike and Jimmy.  Maggie is in a box about to be sawed in half.  Dandy introduces Twisty as his assistant, and Twisty claps in the most childlike way.  As Dandy prepares to make the cut, Jimmy frees himself (so much for Dandy’s knot-tying), knocks out Dandy and rescues Maggie.  He tells everyone to run while Twisty is distracted by his own attempts to make everyone laugh.  Twisty manages to capture Jimmy and drag him into the trailer.  That’s when the green fog seeps in.  It’s Edward Mordrake, and he wants to see a show.  Twisty’s eyes grow large.

Dandy screams at the departing audience.  Maggie tells Jane to go to the road and follow it, then she gives Dandy something to chase.  When he can’t catch her, he says she ruined his Halloween and he hates her.  He hates her, he hates her, he hates her.  Yes.  He hates her.

Edward asks Twisty again to talk to him.  He tells him to take off the mask, and Twisty slowly complies, revealing a hideously deformed face.  Edward wants him to focus his mind and tell him story.  Suddenly, Twisty’s voice returns.  It was 1943 and he was the Westchester special children’s clown.  He loved making the children laugh, but he hated the freaks.  The freaks were mean to him because he was simple.  As the freaks watched, they plotted to stop him.  Later that night, they lure Twisty outside and tease him that he was dropped on his head.  They tell him that the children say that he does things to him, and that the police are coming to take him away.  He ran away.  Edward hands him a handkerchief to wipe his tears.  Word had spread along the Carny circuit so he couldn’t get work as a circus clown, so he went home to Jupiter but his mother had died.  So he set out to make toys from garbage, turning it into gold like Rumplestiltskin.  But when he went to the toy store, the owner, Mr. Haney, didn’t want his toys made from garbage.  The little boy in the shop was afraid of him.  Mr. Haney threatens to call the police when Twisty throws a tantrum, and so he flees.  Dejected, Twisty returns to the trailer and puts a shotgun in his mouth.  He says he’s so dumb he can’t even kill himself.  With a piece of gauze around the gaping wound where his mouth once was, he has the idea to draw a face on the bandage.  Next we are at the Freakshow, where Jimmy is barking for people to come see the human oddities on display.  Twisty is there making balloons animals, but Twisty isn’t part of the show and you’ll have to pay Jimmy for a balloon.  Edward immediately senses the inequality and injustice done to him.  Twisty continues by saying that he saved his children from the freaks.  We flash to see Twisty killing Tommy’s parents, and killing Jane’s boyfriend.  He did it to give them happiness in his own twisted way.  Edward hears his familiar talking.  Twisty’s story has made the demon weep, which means he is the one.  Twisty doesn’t understand what Edward is talking about. Edward stabs him repeatedly in the chest.  The other ghosts gather around until Edward extends an invitation for Twisty to join them.  Twisty’s ghost stands up, and his face is back to normal.  In a weird way, Edward has granted freedom to this tortured and misunderstood soul.  Jimmy watches the whole thing in wonder, seeing the ghosts exiting the scene.

Dandy walks up and sees Twisty’s dead body.  He starts to get mad…but then he takes Twisty’s mask and puts it on.  His eyes go wild with excitement.  Sirens blare in the distance, so he runs off.  Jimmy sighs in relief.

Maggie sits in the back of a police car and smokes a cigarette.  The cops are gathered around the scene and they want to know if Maggie or Jimmy saw the other man in the clown mask.  The detective is congratulating Jimmy on being a hero, but Jimmy says that he isn’t a hero, that the real hero was Meep, and the police are going to pay for what they did.  The detective’s face falls when he realizes what could happen.

Jimmy and Maggie ride up to the breakfast tent the next morning.  Elsa wants to know where they were.  There’s a curfew, after all.  Jimmy says the curfew has been lifted, and Maggie says that Jimmy saved the day, caught the killer and rescued the kids.  She runs off the pee (try holding it for five miles on a bike) but she doesn’t hesitate to give Jimmy a kiss.  Elsa says that they had a visitor last night.  Jimmy knows who it was-Edward Mordrake.  But he tells Elsa that he claimed his victim.  Before they can say anything else, cars start pulling up outside the Freakshow.  Elsa thinks they are being run out of town…but instead they find the whole town assembled to meet Jimmy, the hero who saved them.  One man wants to shake his hand, and seeing them coming together in this moment is a huge turning point for everyone.  A little girl offers browning to Jimmy, then she sees Desiree and asks if she’s a real lady.  Her mom chastises her, but Desiree smiles and says she is, “and then some.”  Elsa sees the opportunity to invite everyone to a command performance tonight.  Jimmy looks at Dot, but beyond her is Maggie.  Dell steps out of his trailer and sees the crowd.

Elsa tells everyone that the show is sold out.  She tells Dot and Bette that she’s made a change to the show.  They think they’re warming up for her now, but they’re actually warming up for Salty and Pepper.  Bette is outraged, as is Dot, but a stranger interrupts them.  It’s Stanley, the con man with a thirteen inch ding-a-ling.  He’s a talent scout from Hollywood and he’s there to see the show. Elsa says she’s sure that they can find a seat for him.  This might be the man she has been waiting for.

Nora is setting the table when Dandy walks in wearing Twisty’s face mask.  She tells him to take the tray to his sick mother.  She taunts him, and Dandy cuts her neck open. As she bleeds out, he pulls off the mask and stares.  At first he looks horrified, but then a smile forms on his lips and he starts to laugh.

Twisty may be gone, but Dandy the Clown is rising.

Well, that was a huge episode tonight.  And honestly, for the first time in the history of AHS, I truly feel sorry for Twisty.  He was a sad, misunderstood character hiding a pain that most people wouldn’t be able to understand.  Hopefully we’ll get to see him again.

What did you think of tonight’s episode?  Be sure to leave comments below!


American Horror Story Freak Show Recap S4E3: Edward Mordrake Pt. 1

American Horror Story Freak Show, S4E3: Edward Mordrake Pt. 1

Original Airdate: October 22, 2014

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


I’m going to go ahead and say that Dandy and Twisty are the Violet and Tate of Season 4.  If you don’t know who Violet and Tate are, you need to go back and watch Season 1.

Tonight’s episode is the first part of the two-part Halloween episodes.  These two episodes are so super-exclusive that the producers didn’t send out screeners for the media.  So…without further ado, may I present Edward Mordrake.

There is a docent talking about the fascination that people have with different physical mutations.  She is at the American Morbidity Museum.  The docent sees two people and goes to greet them.  Welcome to Denis O’Hare as Stanley and Emma Roberts as Maggie Esmeralda.  But today these two are Doctor Rothschild and his astute assistant, come to present a baby Sasquatch to the Museum.  The docent fetches the curator, who calls this duo out as frauds and says the baby Sasquatch is nothing more than a goat fetus with a cat jaw sewn in.  They called Dr. Rothschild’s contacts at Harvard and he’s bogus.  The curator storms away, but the docent remains and says that her museum is in trouble unless they get some new specimens.  Stanley’s ears perk at the sound of that, and he asks where they typically get their specimens.  She says that they have come from all over, but it used to be the case that freak shows would call when one of their own passed away.  They only have a few freak shows left-Coney Island and South Florida. Stanley inquires about the conjoined liver in a jar.  It belonged to Chang and Eng, and it’s worth $5,000.  Coney Island is a bit cold this time of year.  Hmm…

It’s Halloween in West Palm Beach and the kids are all out during the daytime trick or treating.  A nice and colorful clown walks by.  The moms wait while the little angel goes to the door.  Her brother dressed as a clown to terrify her.  The moms note that there are more kids out because the Jupiter kids are in Palm Beach because of the curfew.  The little angel turns and sees a dirty clown behind the bushes.  It’s our friend Twisty.  He’s all over the place, apparently.

Ethel heads to see Dr. Myron Bonham.  Her stomach is tender and she guesses that the biopsy she had done was positive.  He reveals that she tested positive for cirrhosis of the liver.  Even though she hasn’t had a drink since Jimmy was 18, the doctor says that it could have been there a while.  He feels bad that she has had a hard life and has seen the worst in human nature.  He gives her six months to a year to live.  “Well, shit,” she says.  He apologizes and advises her not to eat meat or drink.  Ethel starts crying, but it’s because he’s the first doctor who has ever treated her with respect.  Her life could have been different had she seen him sooner.

Back at the main tent, there is an apple bobbing contest.  It’s mayhem.  Jimmy comes in and Dot wonders where he has been.  He has been digging a grave for Meep.  Dot screams for them all to stop and be respectful to his memory.  They should dedicate the show to him.  The performers tell the twins that they don’t perform on Halloween.  It’s an old superstition dating back to the mid-1800s, and based around the legend of Edward Mordrake.  Ethel comes in and pours herself a drink.  She explains that he was an aristocrat with tons of titles, but he had been different.

We flash back to the 1800s.  Edward Mordrake, played by Wes Bentley, was a scholar, poet, and incomparable musician.  “What was wrong with him?” Bette asks.  He had a face on the back of his head that spoke to him all the time.  It said evil things to him.  He tried to kill it but it wouldn’t die.  He ended up going mute, and his family sent him to the crazy house.  While there, he wrote poetry and finished an opera.  One night Edward escaped the asylum and ended up at the local freak show.  He was hailed as the handsome prince, but when he took a bow he’d scare the audience with his alter ego.  Edward wasn’t happy, though, and then one Halloween night he went and killed the entire troupe of freaks before hanging himself.  His alter ego was smiling even unto death.

Bette wants to know if they aren’t performing out of respect, but that’s not it at all.  It’s fear.  It is said that if you perform on Halloween he will appear and kill a member of the group.  Once he’s appeared you can’t get his voice out of your head.  Jimmy thinks it’s all bunk and doesn’t want to scare the twins.  Ethel swears it’s true.  Back in 1932 when she was with Barnum, they made them perform and the Human Cannonball was found hanging in his trailer.

Ethel finishes her story and then tosses back another drink. Jimmy wants to know why she’s drinking so much after swearing off the alcohol.  She tells him that she’s back on the drinking wagon.  He asks if Dell’s presence has caused this, but she tells Jimmy that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and that with Dell around it means that Jimmy can finally leave.  She knows he has been dying to leave.  Jimmy stares in shock at her as she walks away.

Gloria Mott calls for Nora to help her. There is a huge Halloween feast being prepared, complete with a black cat cake.  It’s almost sundown.  Nora doesn’t want to be a bird.  In fact, she is dressed as Woody Woodpecker because that’s Dandy’s favorite cartoon.  Gloria orders her to do the famous laugh, which she does.  (Seeing Patti LaBelle do Woody Woodpecker is shocking!!)  Dandy enters, looking chipper after his nap.  He goes straight for the snacks.  He’s ready to go out to terrorize the neighborhood.  Gloria informs him that there is no trick or treating because of the curfew.  Dandy thought the curfew was just for poor people.  She presents him with his costume.  Howdy Doody.  Dandy screams in a rage and throws the brightly colored costume to the floor.  He shatters a few crystal bowls as well.  Gloria rushes out to buy him a better costume.  Dandy orders Nora to clean the mess, but Nora isn’t afraid of Dandy and says she only works for his mother.

Upstairs, Dandy takes a pair of scissors to the red fabric.  He looks a bit like Michelle Pfeiffer from Batman Returns as he works.  He’s making his own costume.  A clown.

Jimmy and the gang gather to celebrate Meep and his life.  A small wooden coffin lies at the bottom of a big hole.  He loved Halloween and used to toss a chicken head into the kids’ bags.  He was a better man than any of the people who came to their shows.  The group says goodbye to their friend and they toss in some meat and take a drink from Paul’s flask to celebrate him.

As soon as they finish, a taxi pulls up.  Jimmy tells the woman that there’s no show today, but she’s there looking for a job.  Her name is Mystic Esmeralda.

There are bright lights.  Bette and Dot are on an operating table and a doctor and nurse bustle around preparing for surgery.  Dot is peaceful while Bette looks terrified.  Dot says that there is a man who loves her and wants to have babies with her, bit that means Bette has to go.  The plan, according to the doctor, is to use the new bone saw to separate Bette from Dot’s body.  They give ether to Bette and the doctor starts to make the cut.  He gets splattered with blood.  That’s when Bette wakes up and tells Dot to wake up as well.  Dot had been in the middle of the best dream, she says.  Bette reminds her that the dream wasn’t so nice for her.  She can’t understand why her sister would want to do something that like to her, given that it would mean certain death for one of them.   Bette calls Dot mean, but she still loves her, even though she has already tried to kill her.  Dot vows to save her money and find a doctor who will do the surgery.

Elsa is in her tent smoking opium.  She tells Jimmy that most fortune tellers are fake, but he says she isn’t a gypsy.  Esmeralda walks in and says her gift chose her.  Elsa asks for her fortune.  Esmeralda quickly glances at the clues around the room, then she settles in front of her crystal ball and tells Elsa to open her mind.  Esmeralda tells Elsa that she was wronged.  There was a woman who is receiving much applause from her performance.  Marlena? Marlena Dietrich stole her career, Elsa says.  Esmeralda says that the future shows that she is singing and the crowd is going crazy for her.  There is a man in the wings, an impresario who helps her reach new heights.  She’s about to say more, but Esmeralda collapses to the ground.  “You’re hired!” Elsa cries.

Dell is lifting weights when Desiree walks into the trailer’s living room, dressed in a cute black and white dress.  It’s a French maid costume.  She takes a drink and says that he did well, moving in and taking over.  He kisses her while she grabs his manhood and gives him a hand job.  However, his manhood has other plans.  He goes soft and she complains that it’s always something.  She can’t take this anymore.  Apparently the ED is a bigger problem for the couple.  Desiree says she can be happier with a doorknob…which sends Dell into a mad rage.  He throws her up against the wall and says that he deserves her respect. Desiree doesn’t back down, though, and she says that she doesn’t have to put up with him, either.  She storms off, leaving Dell alone with a look on his face that suggests that he knows how close he is to losing everything.

Ethel is sitting outside drinking when Dell stomps past the trailer.  She asks if he’s having trouble with “triple tits.”  He doesn’t like that nickname for his wife.  Ethel offers him some of her hooch.  She says she has been meaning to talk to him.  She needs a favor.  He laughs, which makes her ask if he had trouble “getting it up.”  She wonders if he was ever happy with her.  Dell tries to be tough, but clearly he has feelings for Ethel.  He listens as she tells him that he can never tell Jimmy that he is his father, but she asks him to be a good role model for him.  He needs guidance now that he has one foot in the freak show and one foot outside in the other world.  Dell wonders why she’s being so sentimental, and why she needs his help given that Jimmy always listens to her.  Ethel reveals that she’s dying, which hits Dell hard.   He says that he woke up wondering what it would be like to have been there while Jimmy was growing up.  He asks what Jimmy used to be for Halloween.  Ethel says he was always the same thing: a soldier.

Amazon Eve returns to her trailer.  Ma Petite jumps out of a pumpkin and scares the crap out of her.  This might be the last moment of levity we get to see…

It’s Halloween Night.

Dandy is in his costume.  All we can see is what he sees through the eye holes in his clown mask.  He chooses a knife and goes into the dining room where Nora is cleaning up.  We get to see his brightly colored clown costume.  Dandy is wearing a plastic mask and he holds the knife up.  Nora laughs and challenges him to hurt her.  She says she raised him and knows what he is—and isn’t—capable of.  She says she told his mother about the animal parts.  What she really wants to know is whether Dandy had anything to do with the murders.  When he can’t kill her, she laughs and said that she knew he didn’t have it in him.  He rips the mask off and screams how much he hates her.  After he storms out, Nora mutters that she hates him more.

Esmeralda calls home to Stanley.  She’s at a payphone and Jimmy is waiting for her on his bike.  She says she’s in, but she’s surrounded by freaks.  She can’t take it anymore.  She tells Stanley about running into the twins.  Dot sees Jimmy with Esmeralda and asks why she’s there.  Customers aren’t allowed in their living quarters.  Jimmy introduces her as their new spiritualist.  Esmeralda offers them a free reading, to which Dot replies that readings probably aren’t the only things she gives away for free.  Stanley doesn’t care about any of that.  He needs to know how big of a jar he needs for their body.  And how many arms and legs do they have?  Esmeralda didn’t sign on for murder.  Stanley assures her that he will take care of everything. That’s when a police car pulls up and Esmeralda has to go.  The police officer tells Jimmy and Esmeralda about the curfew, but Jimmy points out that they have ten minutes.  The officer thinks Esmeralda should stay away from people like Jimmy, but Jimmy reminds him about what they did to Meep.  Esmeralda calms the men down and they get on Jimmy’s bike and ride away.

Stanley, in the meantime, is watching the naked Viking in his hotel room.  He says the naked Viking is missing a sword.  He invites him to take his pants off.  It turns out that Stanley has a thirteen inch sword…

The moms in Palm Beach are drinking while they wait for Halloween to be over.  The little angel is in bed playing with her dolls.  Her brother comes in, having stolen her candy.  He taunts her and tells her that he’ll give it back provided that she calls him Master Mike and does his chores for a week.  She’s not listening.  She’s watching Twisty approach behind him.  Twisty puts a finger to his mouth to keep her quiet.  Mike sees his sister’s terrified look.  When he turns around, he screams.  The moms come rushing in and ask where her brother is.  “The clown took him,” she says, pointing out the window.

Bette and Dot chide Paul and Eve for being superstitious about doing a rehearsal on Halloween.  Elsa walks in and says that she’s willing to take the risk because the mystic says that an important man is coming to help her career and she needs to be ready.  Dot says Elsa can rehearse when they’re done, because they’re the headliners now.  Elsa threatens to take them out to the swamps.  She is a professional and has been performing for decades, and they are nothing but freaks.  Dot and Bette storm away from the stage.  Elsa calls upon Paul and Eve to play for her so she can practice.

The music comes up and Elsa starts singing Lana Del Rey’s “Gods and Monsters.”  As she sings, the band gets into the song.  So does Edward Mordrake, who rises from the great beyond to wreak havoc on the freak show. Elsa sees him and beckons to him, thinking him to be her salvation.  She takes a bow…but he has disappeared.  She looks around in terror.

Night has fallen at the freak show.  Ethel is in her trailer and she starts to hear voices.  She looks around and sees nothing, but then she looks again and sees the ghost of a woman whose throat has been cut open.  A green fog is rising from the doorway.  When she turns back again, Edward Mordrake is there.  He apologizes for scaring her, but he blames his alter ego.  Edward argues with his violent familiar.  Ethel tells him that she didn’t summon him and she doesn’t want to die, but Edward says he can’t grant a reprieve.  She has been chosen to join their group of freaks.  He says there are questions that must be asked, and his familiar will know if she lies.  He notes that she wasn’t always in such a bad way.  Edward wants to hear the story of Ethel’s fall.  She says it’s true, that she has fallen more than once.  She used to have an act where she was surrounded by pretty girls and the audience loved her.  She had Dell with her, and he became her manager.  He gave her advice and told her that she shouldn’t go for laughs, but should perform the classics.  That didn’t work out so well, and this time she was the joke.  Edward’s familiar says that he knows that she has a darker pain.  He asks what happened when they returned to the stage.  Ethel said they were poor and she was carrying Jimmy at the time.  She couldn’t perform like that, so instead Dell made a show of her giving birth.  Dell grabbed the newborn and tried to get money from people who wanted to hold him.  She’s upset that Jimmy had been exploited from the start.

Edward thanks her for sharing her pain.  When Ethel looks up, she sees the ghosts of the other freaks that have died.  Ethel says she’s ready to go.  Edward listens and hears his familiar say “Not the one.”  It looks like Ethel has earned a reprieve.

Back at Twisty’s van, the boy and girl hear a noise.  It’s Dandy, and he’s singing the trick or treat song.  He has candy for them, which he holds out in his hand.  When they grab for it, he calls trick and tries to stab them.  He pokes at the duo with a stick, but then he hears Twisty arriving.  Dandy goes outside to see Twisty dragging poor Mike.  “More fun!” Dandy exclaims with glee.

To be continued….