American Horror Story: Freakshow ‘Show Stoppers’ Review ‘Clean Cut’


Clean Cut

“My only sin was loving you.” -Elsa Mars

With only one episode remaining, things were bound to get messy. And they certainly did. I can easily say that last night’s episode, titled Show Stoppers, had some of the most goriest and disturbing death scenes I have ever seen on this show to date. And we got to see the return of an old character with yet another connection to Asylum.

The intro even had me surprised because I honestly didn’t expect it to be that easy but things are moving along nicely leaving the Freak Show troupe to deal with Dandy in our finale next week. I have a bad feeling things may not be ending well for Team Freak but something’s gotta give.

Now get ready for the most fucked up magical show you will ever see…

A Fate Worse Than Death

The Last SupperOur episode begins with Stanley showing up at the Freak Show for a feast in his honor and Elsa proposing a toast to the new owner of the Freak Show:

Toast of the ClownElsa’s the toast of the town, but clearly the guest of honor is a clown in his own right. And we’re not talking about Twisty. But first, Chester is congratulated on taking over the Freak Show and even Marjorie is participating in the festivities and is still the creepiest doll of life.

I Can't Wait for the Sauerkraut to LeaveJamie Brewer absolutely killed it as Marjorie even if she was mostly doing voice over work. I swear every time that damn doll opened her mouth, I was terrified. Only Marjorie can make the word Sauerkraut horrific. Chucky and the rest got nothing on this bad ass doll.

Then things get dark. Elsa announces that they are going to be having a movie night. The movie in question: Freaks, a 1932 horror film and clear inspiration for this season of AHS. Apparently the original version was too shocking to be released and no longer exists. Amazon Eve and Paul the Seal explain that the film is set in a travelling freak show. Cleopatra, a normal trapeze artist, marries a sideshow midget but is actually trying to poison him for his inheritance. She plays all the freaks for fools until she gets liquored up and reveals her true intentions. Sound familiar? Amazon Eve almost plays spoiler but this is clearly a foreshadowing of what’s to come for old douchey Stanley.

Oh, and they even brought him a gift:

Think Outside the BoxYou might be wondering what’s in the box. I’ll give you a hint…Ma Petite and Salty are smiling somewhere:

in over your headLooks like AHS has given new meaning to the phrase making one’s head swim. Looks like there will be no more showing off freaks in jars for this woman now that she has become one herself. Then we get a quick flashback regarding how this all happened and Triple Tits remains a clear favorite freak of mine:

The Gift of StabAngela Bassett had yet another outstanding performance in this episode and I can only hope that she will be back for Season 5. In terms of a Season 5 wishlist, I’d actually say that we’ve seen too much Jessica Lange and, dare I say it, Evan Peters. I think what we need heading into the new season is a fresher cast but please, if you’re listening show, Angela Bassett is a must. Otherwise, SHITTTTTTTTT!

As it turns out, Maggie is the one that revealed all of Stanley’s dirty little secrets and the freaks are not too happy so they head over to The Big Wheel and try to hit the ole 100:

The Price is RightAnyone remember those grannies that couldn’t even spin the wheel once? Well clearly Amazon Eve is not going to have that problem. Bob Barker would be proud. But before Stanley attempts to escape, he lets the rest of the freaks know that Elsa was the one responsible for Ethel’s death and then gets his running shoes on:

Run Boy RunUnfortunately it must be difficult to run with an abnormally large penis and the freaks end up catching up with ole Stanley. The results are epic:

Stanley is the new MeepJesus H. Christ. I am willing to bet this douche would have rather just been killed. Instead he is now a living, human chicken man! With the same douchey mustachio. That said, this was karma at its best with Stanley finally getting exactly what he deserved. And even though it is probably a fate worse than death, he definitely deserved it for his involvement in Ma Petite’s death and for being a complete and utter douche.

I will say this though, I did not expect this to happen so soon in the episode. It was quite the surprise but it was also inevitable and things are moving right along to set up the finale.

Gepetto’s Workshop

Meanwhile, Jimmy is told about his father Dell’s death and gets extremely upset that they killed his father but too bad for him because Dell murdered Ma Petite and Elsa was having none of it. They have a bit of a shouting match, but in the end Elsa explains that she has invited an old friend to make him some new hands. Obviously, she is referring to the man who gave her new legs back in Nazi Germany after her snuff film accident. Yup, that sentence just happened. Maggie is left to attend to Jimmy and, well, no more high fives for Jimbo:

Fist BumpAt least he can still fist bump! Jimmy warns Maggie to get the hell out of dodge before he gets his new hands. He’s not too happy with her at this point and she might want to take his advice, just sayin’. You’ve been warned Maggie.

As it turns out, Massimo Dolcefino, the man responsible for creating Elsa’s new legs, ends up showing up at the Freak Show. It was a great moment when they’re reunited and clearly Elsa has nothing but love for this guy. Awww…

Keep Calm and Hug MeFor whatever reason, this storyline provided a lot of emotion and I’ve enjoyed it. There’s something about getting your legs cut off in a snuff film only to have them reattached by a genuine and sincere sweetheart that takes my breath away.

Of course, the real reveal was something that I predicted a while back and I was freakin’ thrilled to finally see this happen. More on that in a second.

First though, Geppetto aka Massimo goes to Jimmy to make his new hands. Jimmy would prefer hooks, as would I, but Massimo explains that Jimmy can choose his own appearance and functionality which turns out being an important point.

Mister GeppettoIn a sad tale, Elsa reveals that she herself has wooden legs made by Massimo. Oddly enough, her and Pinocchio have a lot in common as they both seem to enjoy lying. At least Elsa’s legs don’t grow every time she tells a lie though.

Pinocchio and ElsaReally, who would have thought AHS would get some of their inspiration from Pinocchio! Walt Disney would be proud.

But then we get the twist I have been waiting for. We head back to Nazi Germany where Massimo is fully convinced he wants to hunt down the fuckers that cut off Elsa’s legs. And look who shows up for the party:

Dr. Motherfucken Arden

A young Dr. Arden who apparently still has an obsession with torture and cutting off people’s legs. Everyone remember Shelley from Asylum? Well apparently those snuff film tendencies never went away for our good doc.

Torture...Its what I got.So Massimo wasn’t able to kill Dr. Arden but we all know what fate awaits him. I called this early on in the season when we found out about Elsa’s back story and I’m thrilled that this connection was made. We also find out why Elsa and Massimo didn’t end up together, the main reason being the torture he went through. This quote sums it up best, because he did love Elsa…”My body survived the torture. But I’m like Pinocchio, I have no humanity left in me anymore. I have no soul, I cannot love.”

Speaking of wooden dolls…

You’re A Doll

Meanwhile, Chester and the Twins are still getting it on. Now, I’ve heard of demon sex before (LOL, don’t even ask, just know this story has nothing to do with me and dates back to my University days), but this just takes the urinal cake:

...because sex is better with two heads and a doll watchingHonestly, I don’t think too many of us could handle that doll watching. That said, I recently read an article about a dude with two penises and somehow I think that they are more of a soul mate for the Tattler Twins than ole Chester the Molester. Of course, Marjorie gets thrown on the floor because who isn’t going to request that which leads to a chain of events so disturbing I may have nightmares for life.

First, however, it’s revealed by Marjorie that Chester is actually bat shit crazy and committed the murders himself. I was very disappointed with this outcome because I was kinda hoping the doll was possessed or something, but nope…Chester is in fact a nut job.

Hammer TimeEveryone break out parachute pants cus it’s HAMMER TIME! Only this time, Chester’s the one doing the hammering. So now that we know he is crazy, bad things are clearly coming our way. Chester is obviously insane and doesn’t want Marjorie to “leave him” but as we know now, Marjorie is a fucking doll so this is all in his head.

Back in the Tattler tent, Dandy is clearly not stupid. He has a plan and it all gets started with Bette and Dot. He arrives with the info he collected on Chester and leaves it with them knowing full well they are going to check it out.

The X FilesSure enough, they do and decide they are not going anywhere near Chester’s magic box.

We'd rather be in Ima's box.Which brings us to one of the most gruesome scenes in American Horror Story history. With the Tattler’s rejecting Chester, Maggie decides to volunteer. Clearly she didn’t read her own fortune on this one. And she probably should have realized something was up when Chester said “Get in the box, Lucy!” He also puts handcuffs around her feet…yikes.

SawThis gives a whole new, literal meaning to the Saw movies, doesn’t it? And the question we have to ask ourselves is will Maggie survive?

Get your fortune...now half price.Nope, she didn’t. And holy fuck that was the most disturbing thing ever, especially when they opened the box at the end. Chester is completely loony toons and tries to put her back together but without the witches from Coven, this just is not a possibility. Chester has gone cuckoo for cocoa puffs.

Of course, none of the freaks seem to sad about this, especially Triple Tits who tells everyone to steal her jewelry and ‘bury the bitch’. Classic Des.

So Chester goes back to his tent where Marjorie tells him she is leaving and Chester loses it once again only this time on a wooden doll. He proceeds to take the doll to the police station and confess to his crimes which are in fact no crime at all because it was just a doll he stabbed. WTF show…

I'm going to prison, aren't I?

Nope.I’m really not even sure where this leaves Chester although he did saw Maggie in half so maybe they should be locking this guy up. Will he be back for the Finale next week? I have no idea but clearly he is no longer in charge of the Freak Show.

The Dandy Man

Obviously, Dandy’s plan worked like a charm and it appears that Chester is out of the picture. And luckily for Elsa, the Twins find her and reveal that her very own freaks are planning some revenge of their own after finding out the truth about Ethel.

Elsa is a very lucky woman. Bette and Dot are grateful to her for changing their lives and it’s the only reason they come to her and let her know about the plot to kill her.

You need to GTFOElsa has no clue where to go, but she is pretty crafty and she’ll figure it out. As we all know, Elsa will survive and end up in Hollywood as was already revealed. I just hope to God that this is explained in the season finale.

Elsa is informed just in the nick of time too because the freaks are ready to go but not before drinks!

Chug Chug ChugI’m not sure why Des couldn’t just pick up a meat cleaver like Amazon Eve. Regardless, the freaks head to Elsa’s tent only to find it empty because Elsa took the twins advice and got the fuck out. And even though she had no clue what she was going to do, she figured it out by meeting up with The Dandy Man:

Cash MoneySo Elsa sells the Freak Show to Dandy for some cash money, probably to get her to Hollywood so she can become the star she has always dreamed of. And Dandy, well, he has big plans for the Jupiter Freak Show and it will all unwind in the finale next week!

It's ShowtimeQuestions galore: Will Dandy end up killing all the freaks? Or will the freaks end up being his downfall? What will happen to the Twins? How will Elsa gain fame in Hollywood? And will Chester the Molester be back? Oh and what will Jimmy’s role be now that he has his brand spankin’ new wooden hands:

Lobster WoodIt looks like he never wanted normal hands after all. Keeping the claws was a great end and makes sense with the entire Darling story, especially considering Jimmy has lost his entire family over the course of the season. It’s almost like getting a tattoo to keep the memories of your lost loved ones close. Good on Jimmy!

With only one episode left, all I know is that Triple Tits and Amazon Eve better make it out alive. Let the games begin!

The Verdict

EPISODE SCORE: 9 / 10  For the penultimate episode, I was expecting more but to be honest, what happened to Stanley and Maggie was beyond fucked up and Elsa’s entire story was both powerful and emotional. The freaks basically turned Stanley into a new version of Meep and Maggie’s death was just shocking in every way. Neil Patrick Harris has been a great addition to the show but the question we have to ask ourselves is whether he will even be back in the finale because I’m pretty sure you can’t go to prison for stabbing a wooden doll.

Elsa’s story still remained my favorite with a HUGE reveal that Dr. Arden from Asylum was one of the bad dudes who chopped off her legs (and the soundtrack was phenomenal as usual). Third times a charm with Pepper, Sister Mary Eunice and now Dr. Arden becoming a part of the mix. And can’t forget about Dandy becoming the new owner of the Freak Show! But after watching this episode and the new Asylum connection, I can only wonder how Murder House and Coven connect to these stories as well. My guess is that we may have to wait until next season for that unless something big is planned for the finale. I will say this though…Elsa Mars is going to Hollywood where I am 100% sure the Murder House is located. Hmmmm…..;)

Is it really over already? Get ready for next week’s Curtain Call by checking out the preview below. It’s going to be a dandy.

One Freak To Rule Them All

With only one episode left, all will be revealed next week! I am very curious to see who obtained the most votes and can claim to be the greatest freak of all! So keep voting, only one more week to go before we can crown a fan favorite!

Step Right Up

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2 responses

  1. You can actually view the 1932 movie FREAKS on you tube, but the version I found was in French with English subtitles. You will definitely see a lot of the same characters. Also, awesome commentary Mikey, and I love Angela Bassett, but clearly she was not a major player this season and so I’m not sure why Des is a favorite freak of yours since there were others who really outdid themselves….Amazon Eve, Pepper, Dot/Bette…Anyway, thanks again for the commentary.

    1. I love Amazon Eve as well! I’ve just always been an Angela Bassett fan ever since she played Laveau last season. She was totally underused this season so I’m hoping they bring her back in a bigger role in Season 5. And thanks for the compliments and for letting me know about Freaks, I wouldn’t mind checkin’ it out at some point! 🙂

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