Last week American Horror Story killed off fan favourite Ma Petite and delivered one of the more intense episodes we’ve seen so far. Freakshow continues on this rollercoaster of anticipation this week, upping the stakes for many characters.
We start off with the freaks coming to the conclusion that we already know: Ma Petite is dead. However, they believe it was due to an animal attack or something similar. As Ma Petite was Elsa’s most precious freak, she goes mad with grief over this news. Later whilst she’s mourning, Ethel goes to visit her; after the string of disappearances around the camp and conversations she’s overheard, Ethel believes that Elsa killed Ma Petite. This scene treats the audience to an acting master class from two stunning actresses, and Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates invest just the right amount of emotion without overdoing it. Ethel’s hell bent on killing Elsa and shoots her in the leg, unbeknownst to her that Elsa has wooden legs. But even Elsa’s sob story can’t sway Ethel’s murderous decision; Elsa proves she’s still got it after a knife throw gets Ethel in the eye. And with that Ethel, Elsa’s self-proclaimed adopted sister, is dead.
Stanley helps Elsa cover up the murder because ‘that’s what managers do for their Hollywood clients’… the sad thing is she believed that. Whilst Elsa does show remorse for killing Ethel, she lets Stanley make Ethel’s death look like suicide – complete with a decapitation. Maggie ‘finds’ the body and rushes to tell Jimmy, leaving the whole camp in mourning. Desiree, Penny (lizard girl) and the other women of the freak camp decide that the women freaks have been pushed around for too long and that they need revenge. They kidnap Penny’s father and cover him with tar and feathers. But instead of cutting of a particular body part and shooting him in the head as Desiree wished, Penny let him live under the condition that he never bothers her or the freaks again. I doubt she’ll have any problems with that.
Dandy’s been a bit quiet lately – perhaps that means he’s been up to mischief? Not as yet, as we see Gloria decide to take him to a psychiatrist after recent events. After realising that the psychiatrist is not testing his ‘genius IQ’, Dandy becomes rather angry because his mother believes him to be defective (although let’s be honest, his responses to the pictures were hilarious). Things also become complicated when Regina, Dora’s daughter, turns up asking where her mother is. Gloria is a terrible liar and Regina sees right through her excuses. So Dandy decides on an ultimatum: he’ll go to the psychiatrist for a month if she’ll kill Regina.
Gloria decides that the best thing to do would be to leave and go to Europe, but Dandy’s having none of that. He throws a tantrum and we learn that Dandy’s father is in fact Gloria’s second cousin, and not a nice guy (the words ‘little girls’ were uttered). Gloria states that she will always love every part of Dandy, even the madness. Which is good because then he shoots her. Once he’s gained the approval he’s craved from her, he decides to kill himself (although this seemed like a bluff to me!). Gloria can’t live without him, buuuut apparently he can live without her and bang. The episode ends with the more than a little disturbing shot of Dandy bathing in his mother’s blood – he mentioned to the psychiatrist that he thought this was a good way of absorbing another’s power. Yep, we’ll see how that goes for you buddy.
Whilst the stakes were raised with two characters being killed this week, I feel that this weeks episode was much more episodic than narrative. That is, it focused on a story for this singular episode itself rather than how it fits in the overall season. That being said, I’m sure we’ll see the fallout in what is hopefully another exciting episode of AHS next week.