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TV Recap – American Horror Story: Freakshow ‘Magical Thinking’

5 min read

Whilst some of our favourite tv shows return from tedious hiatuses this week, American Horror Story: Freakshow picks up straight where it left off just before the christmas break. (Notice I didn’t include AHS as one of my favourite shows? Yeah, things have gotten that bad).

Jimmy has no money for a lawyer, so what’s a guy to do? Luckily, his old mate Stanley has an idea: why not sell his hands! “Just the left one…” he says, and Jimmy goes along with this plan without much hesitation. I mean, he doesn’t even freak out as much as he should have (nor does anyone else throughout the episode when they’re informed of the situation, for that matter). To be honest, I don’t see why Jimmy thought this was a good idea, as a guy with no hands probably has bigger problems on his mind than the fact that he can’t afford a lawyer. But that’s just my opinion. Anyway old mate Stanley isn’t exactly known for his honesty, and he has both of Jimmy’s hands cut off instead of just one. Bummer.

One of the better scenes of this episode is when Dell goes to visit Jimmy in hospital. Knowing ‘Spencer’s’ true colours, Dell stares at Jimmy in horror when he hears why Jimmy wanted his hand cut off in the first place. They talk poignantly about their family history, as Dell spoonfeeds Jimmy: “I’m almost 50 years old, and I’m feeding my son for the first time.” Police remove Jimmy from the hospital, despite his stumps, and prepare to ‘take him back to jail’ – something they make clear that isn’t going to happen. Dell and Amazon Eve team up to save Jimmy, leaving a string of police officers dead as they whisk Jimmy off into the night. Other police officers come searching for Jimmy at the freakshow camp, but he’s not stupid enough to be hiding there. We hope.

Poignant scenes with unlikable characters is like signing a death warrant; the writers only want you to care about them now because they’re probably about to die. This was exactly the case this week with strongman Dell. Maggie brings back the jar containing Ma Petite and shows the evidence to Elsa. (I want to know how she took it from the museum without them noticing… I mean really?!). Meanwhile Dell heads back to his trailer to find Desiree waiting with a gun, casually asking him if he’s killed anyone since they got there. Eventually Dell breaks down crying, detailing how he killed the gorgeous Ma Petite. And then bam! Just like that, Elsa has shot him through the head and that’s the end of Dell.

American Horror Story Freakshow Neil Patrick Harris

Most of this weeks episode was dedicated to the new character of Chester, portrayed by one Neil Patrick Harris. I’ve long been a fan of NPH and his deranged Chester really should have been included from the very start of the season. Chester first appears as a salesman selling chameleons, but he’s really at the freakshow because he dreams of being a magician. Whilst Elsa is reluctant at first, she recognises his talent for numbers and agrees to let him perform as long as he does the book keeping. Later on she also ends up selling the freakshow to Chester, which is probably one of the worst decisions she’s made all season (and there’s been a lot of them). Another part of Chester’s act is that he has a ventriloquist doll named Marjorie, who he seems to believe is real. Jamie Brewer makes a welcome return as the voice of Marjorie, and perfectly fits the creepy doll bill.

Chester’s arrival at the Freakshow seems to be going really well for him. Not only did he get an act, but he also catches the eyes of two beautiful women by the names of Bette and Dot. It’s a win win for everyone: Chester gets his magicians assistant and the twins finally find the perfect man to have sex with. We learn that Chester has a traumatic past, particuarly involving women. He returned injured from the war only to find his wife had fallen in love with another women, and had to deal with the consequences of this. Luckily Marjorie’s got his back, and she butchered his wife and her lover for him, because they wouldn’t let them join in. He has to wear Marjorie to calm him down whilst he has sex with the twins, but for their first time they don’t really care. Audiences got a view NPH’s bare buttocks, so they didn’t really care either.

But Dandy cares that the twins are having sex with another man. Yes our favourite psychopath is still about, despite only being in the past two episodes for a total of two minutes. Sigh. His policeman lackey is keeping tabs on the twins and notices their late night escapades, leaving Dandy distraught. However, Marjorie gives him the perfect chance to meet Chester, as she decides to come to life and ran around the freakshow camp. As Chester runs about yelling, Marjorie! Marjorie! (the funniest thing on the show in ages), he comes across Dandy who’s had a chat with Marjorie and knows where she’s hiding. You know things are bad when Dandy looks like the totally normal person, and once Dandy realises he’s batshit crazy he changes his tune from menancing villian to friendly and charming, letting him know where Marjorie got to. Chester finds Marjorie and it turns out she’s jealous of the twins, so Chester will just have to kill them. Will Bette and Dot finally be cut in half as they’ve teased all season? Only time will tell.

With the end drawing near we can only wonder how (unsuccessfully) AHS will tie all these tangent plotlines together, in what promises to be a lackluster final two episodes for what has been an unremarkable season.