TV Recap: American Horror Story: Freakshow Midseason
Have you been to the freak show yet? This highly-anticipated season of American Horror Story has kept viewers enthralled with real and acted human oddities. The halfway point has come and gone along with some fan-favorite characters; all of which have passed on in gruesome, horrific ways. With history coming to light and the traditional townspeople continuing to turn against the cast, AHS: Freakshow is preparing for a show-stopping finale.
Weeks have passed since Elsa Mars’ Cabinet of Curiosities arrived in Jupiter, Florida. From the moment the curtains went up the troupe has been distrusted and attacked by local residents. Tensions were further strained after a series of murders coincided with the freaks unusual schedule. Meep the Geek became the first cast casualty when he was wrongly accused of the killings and beaten to death in jail. The real culprit Twisty the Clown survived to take a few more lives.
As the killing spree continues the Curiosities are joined by strongman Dell Toledo (Michael Chikilis), his three-breasted girlfriend Desiree Dupree (Angela Bassett) and con artist/fortune teller Maggie Esmerelda (Emma Roberts). However no one seems to be a match for sadistic Twisty as he unexpectedly teams up with spoiled, maniacal Dandy Mott, a local boy with an anger management problem. Then, Halloween night, the ghost of two-faced Edward Mordrake (Wes Bentley) appears to find a new member for his ghoulish company of freaks. After listening to Twisty’s unfortunate story, Mordrake claims the clown’s soul, inadvertently removing the threat to Jupiter.
But the freak show is not safe yet. After being offered a substantial payday from a failing curiosity museum, Crystal ball-wielding Maggie Esmerelda infiltrates the cast at the request of her con artist employer Stanley. Her mission is to procure a new “exhibit” from Elsa’s show while Stanley keeps the head mistress’s eyes blinded by Hollywood promises. Several attempts at lead characters are made before sweet little Ma Petite is displayed in the jar she drowned in.
Siamese twins Bette and Dot play a large role in the first episodes but quickly take a back seat as Stanley and Maggie’s plan unfolds. When Dandy’s fun with Twisty comes to a sudden end he seeks new entertainment in the form of the unique girls. Elsa, driven by jealousy and fear, sells the twins to their new admirer to get them away from the spotlight. Despite flashes of anger from Dandy, Bette and Dot are safely collected by lobster boy Jimmy and returned to the Curiosities.
The first half of American Horror Story: Freak Show has set the stage for several plot lines. Maggie and Stanley must now find a way to unravel themselves from the freaks without raising suspicion, which will be made more difficult by the fortune teller’s romance with Jimmy. A love triangle (or far more complex shape) has also formed as Bette yearns for smitten Jimmy while Dot bats her eyelashes at Dandy. The end result may leave more than one character torn in two.
Love saw to what will surely be the downfall of the Curiosities as well. In a drunken fit Elsa puts a dagger in Paul the Illustrated Seal with most of the freak show in attendance. As his condition deteriorates so does the loyalty of the troupe, barely saved by the return of Bette and Dot. The inadvertent attack will lead to further tension in coming episodes with a possibility of more freak casualties.
Meanwhile, Dandy has been a continuous antagonist throughout Freakshow as his insanity reaches new heights. The girls gave him a happy distraction, but with them gone the unstable man-boy is ready to put his full efforts into his latest amusement: murder. Producers have also promised audiences they have not seen the end of Twisty which means a killer showdown is ahead.
American Horror Story: Freakshow is on its eighth episode and airs at 9 p.m. on FX. See you next time at the freakshow.