Last Wednesday’s episode of AHS: Freakshow taught us about inner strength. The star of the episode was Dell, the strongest man in the world, who has come undone, now that he can’t seem to find the man he’s in love with. We all know that Dandy took Dell’s love and chopped him up real good. (And for no reason at all) Dell is not taking this young man’s absence lightly. He sits at the gay bar, night after night, waiting for him to show up and even ends up smashing glass over the bartenders head, after a smart remark.
Unlucky for Dell, Stanley can’t get enough of male entertainment and witnesses the whole thing at their favorite hangout. This becomes Stanley’s leverage. It’s not easy dealing with a man who has super strength, so blackmail is easy when he has a secret that is just that deep. Dell doesn’t want anyone to know that he’s different. (How is this even a problem when he’s in a freak show?) In exchange for secrecy, Stanley will have Dell do his dirty work and kill one of the freaks for him.
Jimmy has finally come to save the siamese twins, Dot and Bette, who are sitting in the lap of luxury, dressed like a two-headed Alice in wonderland, eating a banana split. Dandy makes the error of mentioning that he was there when the kids were freed and the killer clown caught, in an attempt at taking credit for saving everyone. Dandy is delusional and doesn’t realize that Jimmy has now put together that Dandy was the other clown. Jimmy asks the girls to leave with him. (NOW!) And as naive as Bette is, she agrees to go, because as Dot reminds her, she knows that there is something terribly wrong with Dandy.
This weeks performance came from Jimmy, who sang his interpretation of Nirvana’s “Come as you are.” Elsa looked as jealous as she was when she heard Dot sing. She needs to put down her quest for stardom through singing and think up some other way to get into showbiz. Maybe acting? She’s a great liar. How many times will she be booed before she realizes that audiences aren’t too fond of her vocal talent?
Jimmy confronts Elsa for selling the twins to the psycho family he saved them from. It looked like there was going to be a mutiny within the freaks, but Dot and Bette save Elsa’s hide, by pretending that they had some say in going away. This episode is not only about strength, it’s also about blackmail. In exchange for not uncovering Elsa’s deceitful ways, Bette and Dot have a list of demands, that include: a dye job and a percentage of sales.
That night, Dell decides who his freak victim would be and is very unwise in his selection. Why would amazon Eve be his first choice? She is huge, with as much strength, as she has height. Amazon Eve fights back and is able to tell the others that she was assaulted. Jimmy takes it upon himself to speak with Dell, as his mother has decided that they will take matters into their own hands by killing Dell.
Jimmy’s mother, Ethel, the bearded lady, also accompanies Desiree to see the only doctor that has ever cared for them. His office is closed and one of his daughters tells them that he broke his own hands and then shot himself. We all know that Dell broke his hands, after hearing that his wife would have a surgery to make her as average a woman as possible. And being that Dell has more interest in men, this was not something that he was too happy about. The doctor’s daughter blames the “freaks” for his suicide. It’s very hard to believe that this long lost daughter would even know that this was related to his interaction with freaks. Especially, since Ethel is the only freak he treated for many years and I believe their encounters were very low key. Not a believable plot development.
Jimmy and Dell head to a bar to discuss matters. Dell lies and Jimmy gets drunk. Dell picks up a brick, hoping to have Jimmy as his freak specimen for Stanley. But Jimmy reveals that he always knew that Dell was his father. After many years of working with carney folk he had investigated his whereabouts and family history. Dell’s family, including his father, were lobster-handed folk. Jimmy had inherited the gene. There’s no way that Dell can go along with killing his own son now, especially that Jimmy reveals that he has always wanted that missing father figure in his life. They return to the camp drunk and Dell tucks Jimmy into bed to the words, “Goodnight Dad.” Jimmy just saved his own life.
However, Ma Petite isn’t so lucky, and I’m pissed. Dell sneaks into Ma Petite’s room and gives her a brand new purple dress to wear. Dell remarks that she looks like a little princess. He picks her up and squeezes her, eventually snapping her neck. Last week’s episode showed a quick look at what killing her might look like. And unfortunately, her sweet disposition and small stature, made her the easiest target. We are fast tracked to the museum of oddities and Ma Petite is unveiled in a liquid filled glass jar. If this was the only casualty, I could forgive the writers for taking Ma Petit so early. But in all honesty, the reenactment of her dying in past episodes and the constant exploitation of her innocence, made the scene lose its shock value. The disappointment is doubled because she was a beloved character and her exit was cheap. Now Stanley finally has his freak specimen. Will Stanley stop now that he finally has a victim?
After Stanley’s dinner with Elsa, I’m not so sure he is going to settle for just one. He suggests to Elsa that the twins should have a mercy killing, because life is so hard for the two and it would only be right. (Sure!) Ethel overhears the entire conversation. Will she alert the others of Stanley’s state of mind? And although Elsa responds uncomfortably to the suggestion, is she considering having the twins killed? She is being blackmailed by them. Elsa even writes a letter to Dot, after noticing that all she asked for was money, when her sister requested material things. Elsa wants to know Dot’s reason for wanting only money. What exactly will she do it with it? As everyone knows, she wants to have the separation surgery. I don’t know how she thinks that the surgery is even possible when they share organs and she would be left with one leg and arm. In any case, Elsa is looking into the surgery. Will this be the lure that leads the twins out of Elsa’s life?
Another interesting part of this episode involves Paul’s love from last week. I didn’t notice who she was because she seemed so plain jane, but Paul’s girlfriend is Penny the candy striper. She seemed more edgy when we first met her, prior to her orgy with the freaks. Penny returns home to proclaim her love for Paul, but her father has a bizarre way of punishing her for wanting to be with a freak. He drugs her and has a specialized tattoo artist, tattoo her entire face and split her tongue. I get the idea. If you want to be with the freaks, might as well look like one. But to your own daughter? What if she decided that her love for Paul was a mere infatuation that went out of control? Would she then return to her household as an obedient child with a forked tongue and tattooed face? I don’t see the logic in his decision. But I can see that Penny’s father is suppose to embody the hate that the carney folk were exposed to.
Who is next to go and what secrets will be revealed? Do you have any suggestions?
Image Source: FX Networks