Getting to the halfway point of this current and it's clearly that this season might be outshining the previous year but at the same time, this wasn't exactly my favourite episode.
Written by John J. Gray
Directed by Howard Deutch
Everybody Loves Paul: Well, they certainly did in this episode as it was revealed that Paul was sleeping with both Elsa and Penny, the candy striper. The latter of whom decided to return to the camp after Elsa injured him during the wheel game. Elsa seemed somewhat miffed that she wasn't the only woman Paul was sleeping with but that had more to do with her own vanity rather than genuine feelings for him. While I'm not really that fussed about Paul and Penny's relationship (or her annoying possessive father), I did like that Paul wasn't convinced about Bette and Dot just leaving the camp and the fact that he confronted Elsa and told Jimmy where the twins were endeared him a lot to me. I think Paul might have become one of my favourite characters now.
Not Bound By Chains: To be fair to Dandy and Gloria, they're probably treating Bette and Dot somewhat better than Elsa did. Dandy himself developed a romantic affection towards the twins but while Bette seemed charmed by him, Dot found him boring and refused to indulge him when he try to get her to tell him a secret. Predictably Dandy went apeshit and kept trying to justify his murderous while Gloria spent most of the episode worrying about inbreeding. The question now remains - can Jimmy get the twins out of Dandy's clutches or will he end up hacked to bits? I'm going to assume it'll be the former.
I Just Want To Be Loved: I really want to feel sorry for Elsa and while Jessica Lange gave an Emmy worthy speech in this episode when Elsa lost her cool with her troupe, it's really impossible to sympathise with Elsa. The troupe were right to accuse her of wanting to get rid of Bette and Dot and even Paul has seen past her benevolent act (as I suspect will others, Ethel especially if that threat is anything to go by). As brilliant as Lange is to watch, Elsa is every bit as unlikeable as Constance, early Asylum Jude and Fiona. This episode more than anything made me hope that Elsa receives another housecall from Edward Mordrake pretty soon.
Butterflies & Ponies: The best thing about this episode was that Ma Petite lived and that's after this episode gave us two horrible fake outs where it looked like both Maggie and Stanley were going to kill her off. I liked that Maggie had an attack of conscience and didn't kill off Ma Petite and I'm even starting to warm to her relationship to Jimmy a tiny bit as well. As for Stanley, well he seems to be itching to kill someone off and probably will if the trailer for next week's episode is anything to go by. Oh and the less said about Elsa treating Petite like a baby, the better, though those scenes icked me out - birthday or not birthday.
Imminent Mutiny: This episode, while surprisingly not factoring in Dell and Desiree, did seem to shift the dynamics of the freak show. While Elsa might have raged on about saving her troupes from various terrible fates, the fact that she refused to answer what she did with the twins and the fact that she caused injury to Paul could end up being her undoing in the second half of the season. I like that Jimmy, Paul and Ethel are starting to see through her now.
Next week it seems like Stanley's determined to bag a freak and Dell's actions cause chaos within the camp as well.