Thursday, December 04, 2014

Recap/Review: American Horror Story: Freak Show - Blood Bath

Tis the season to be murderous as two more characters meet their death in this episode and another gets pretty close to it.

Written by Ryan Murphy
Directed by Bradley Buecker

World Without You: I'm going to be controversial here - I am glad that Dandy murdered Gloria in this episode. As much as I love Frances Conroy, Gloria has largely been a willful idiot, enabling her son's murderous antics and even in this episode when she had the perfect chance to stop him and actually admit to Regina what really happened to Dora, she chose not to and ended up being killed by her increasingly unstable son. The last scene where Dandy slipped into an actual bath of blood (his mother's I assume) only made the episode a little too literal.

A Knife To The Eye: However unlike Gloria, whose death didn't move me, Ethel's certainly did. For a tiny moment I nearly felt sorry for Elsa but the moment she put a knife into Ethel's eye and then used Stanley to forge the most implausible suicide seen on this show, that quickly disappeared. I wasn't expecting Ethel to make it out of this season alive but I was hoping she was going to at least make it until nearer the finale before being bumped off altogether. It's a shame we lost her because I absolutely loved seeing Ethel tearing Elsa into strips and it's an even bigger shame that aside from shooting a wooden leg that Ethel didn't get to kill Elsa either. The accent may have been dodgy as hell but unlike Elsa, at least Ethel genuinely cared about her fellow freaks. I am going to miss her.

Sister Act: Probably the best thing about this episode was having Penny, Desiree, Legless Suzy and Amazon Eve band together to kidnap and tar and feather Penny's awful father. While there are plenty of characters deserving of horrible fates (Dell, Stanley, Elsa, Dandy etc), I could sort of see what Maggie was trying to accomplish when she persuaded the girls not to murder Penny's father but at the same time, considering her own antics with Stanley, it's a bit rich coming from her. I liked Desiree's speech about not wanting to be trampled on and it's nice to see the ladies band together in the wake of both Ma Petite and Ethel's deaths. It's a shame though that Bette and Dot weren't part of the plot but their absence didn't really deter matters though.

New Recruits: With both Ethel and Ma Petite (and too much screentime of Elsa's awful OTT crying), Elsa went and recruited a fat lady named Barbara, renamed Ima Wiggles (the hell?) and even suggested that Jimmy could take some comfort from her, which he kind of did at the end of the episode. Elsa might on some level care about her freaks but she cares about herself more and even in flashbacks we learned that she was initially envious of Ma Petite being a hit with audiences and even Jimmy and Stanley had a go at her desperation and self interest in this episode without getting knifed for it. As for Barbara, she seems harmless but if I were her, I'd get the hell out of that camp and fast.

The Coyotes Got Her: Keeping with Ma Petite (and still wanting to wish all kinds of horrible deaths on both Dell and Stanley), I'm still glad that everyone banded together to look for her and I even liked the idea of Ethel thinking Elsa had something to do with it (considering Elsa's admission about wanting rid of Bette and Dot), even if the latter's grief for Ma Petite was actually genuine. I thought Dell would've had more focus in this episode but seemingly not though at least he seemed sympathetic towards Jimmy over Ethel's death. As for Jimmy's lashing out and drinking - those scenes were worthy of the fast forward button along with the boring melodrama/lack of chemistry he has with Maggie. Oh and did anyone spot Danny Huston as the surgeon during the Elsa flashbacks as well?

Next week, Dandy admit that he's a murderer to Regina and the twins may be seperated after all.

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