Man, this show is sure fond of massacres. I wish I could scoop up all the good bits of this episode and keep them fresh in the fridge, ready to reheat when things get stale. I don’t think I have enough Tupperware to clean up this mess. This episode was all loose ends and random occurrences, and I am desperately hoping we get somewhere (anywhere) before the winter break.
We open this week with our beloved Dandy (Finn Wittrock) paying our far less likable Esmerelda (Emma Roberts) a visit. Oh, Dandy, I’d hardly classify your antics as “misadventures,”and Esmerelda, you do know him! Remember that time you were almost sawed in half? That’s one failed murder I can’t quite forgive Dandy for…
And of course, Dandy’s got it out for Jimmy (Evan Peters), but I don’t think Dandy’s got to put in the effort. Jimmy’s in mourning over his mother and perpetually drunk off his ass. Don’t you want more of a challenge, Dandy?
Finn Wittrock has completely stolen this show for me. His delivery of every line is so spot on I’m not entirely convinced he’s acting. Maybe Dandy is real, and we’re all in a lot of trouble. Dandy’s nonchalance and totally immersion in this delusion of himself as a god is utterly captivating. Show writer Ryan Murphy promised us a dash of Psycho this season, and Dandy has gone full on Norman Bates. I knew there would be a Gloria (Francis Conroy) puppet from the previews, but Dandy, you’ve outdone yourself! One murdered Avon lady later, some creative sewing, a little patchwork, and you’ve got a fully articulated effigy of your beloved twins. Probably not the most romantic gesture.
Speaking of Bette and Dot (Sarah Paulson), Elsa (Jessica Lange) has discovered where our late bearded lady shipped them off. And she’s brought Stanley (Dennis O’Hare) along with her. I’m getting a little bored of Stanley’s insistence on murder. If you’re so into it, just shoot Elsa and kill the twins yourself. Why are you jumping through so many hoops, Stanley? You only care about the payday, so guilting Elsa and using her corrupt moral compass will only get you so far.
Stanley plies the twins with promises that Dr. Sugar, renowned for separating the Brody twins, will be coming to their rescue. One slice down the middle and viola! Two separate women. A life of freedom. But you know Bette isn’t an idiot, right? They can’t be independent with half a body. Naturally, the selfish and star-eyed Bette wants to give her life to her sister. And Dot doesn’t want Bette dead.
Really? Does anyone else recall the vivid murder dreams we were treated to earlier this season?
It seems Desiree (Angela Bassett) has a new beau! Here’s one thread I’ll bite: Who is this Angus T. Jefferson (Malcolm-Jamal Warner), and how did Desiree hook him? Desiree’s probably the only freak to be okay this week. Jimmy is still drinking and hooking up with anyone willing. I want to feel bad for him, but I don’t. I know you’re mourning, dude, but come on. Plus, you’re a total jerk. Put your pants back on.
Given Stanley’s recent round of blackmail against Dell (Michael Chiklis), “Put Your Pants Back On”might as well be Freak Show’s tagline. Looks like Stanley is a freak too, but there are some things I just don’t want to know. I understand where Dell is coming from with his suicide attempt, but it still fell short for me emotionally. Ethel (Kathy Bates), of course, delivers the best line of the episode from beyond the grave. Because she’s Kathy Bates.
“We wear our shame on the outside. You carry your shame on the inside. It eats away at ya, till there’s nothing left but the rot.”
I love the twist on the strong man’s line of “step right up,” provoking Dell to do as much and place a noose around his neck. Desiree gets there in time to save him. Okay, then.
Annnnnd, back to Dandy. A swimming pool of housewives later, Dandy has enough blood hygienically stored in vacuum-sealed containers to take as many baths as he desires! Regina (Gabourey Sidibe) returns to the scene of the crime to find a very naked Dandy preparing for his ritual. Dandy enthusiastically declares that he murdered Regina’s mother, as well as his own, and plans to continue on his road to greatness.
Regina, listen to me. Get out of the house and do not come back. Dandy thinks you’re his only friend, so he doesn’t want to murder you. Just. Run.
Regina, why didn’t you listen to me! I thought you were smarter than this! Weren’t you paying attention last week?
Horror Rule No. 12: When you know your childhood “friend” is a serial killer, avoid contact at all costs. Never go back to the house, do not write, do not pass go, do not collect $200.
Unless you’re an extremely easily swayed cop, then shoot the witness and collect a cool million.
And once you’ve acquired said cop to abet your murders, pin the pool of housewives on the local freak that stole the love (loves?) of your life. I wish Dandy had continued his monologues on how to be a good serial killer.
Jimmy’s off to the clink. Let’s hope he sobers up, yeah?
I am holding out hope because next week looks promising. I hope they leave us for winter break with questions and heartbreak. I’m sure there will be plenty of bodies.
Meghan Harker grew up in a small, awkwardly-named town in Georgia. She attended Brenau University, where she earned her BA in English and a minor in Graphic Design; she also attended the University of Cambridge, England, where she didn't quite master the perfect Oxbridge accent. She's an avid reader, writer, and fire spinner. She's currently working her first novel, a paranormal thriller. Visit her blog at ExquisitelyOdd.com.
Read all posts by Meghan Harker for Criminal Element.