So far in the AHS series we lived in the Murder House, we escaped the Asylum, and then we protected the Coven. Now we are entering the Freak Show. The opening scene starts off with Dot Tattler’s face askew & off center to the far right of the screen as if hiding something from the viewer. Even though I saw spoiler photos of what was to come, I still tilted my head to the left to keep my equilibrium balanced. Dot has a serious look of apprehension on her face, and she is full of despair & angst about entering the gates of Hell also known as The Freak Show.
It’s 1952 in Jupiter Florida and the milkman makes a delivery to the Tattler farmhouse to find Eudora Tattler murdered in her kitchen. He hears bumps upstairs and instead of running for the exit he arms himself with a rolling pin to investigate & finds the most horrific discovery. Still shielding the find from the viewer, we get reactions of nurses retching in the hallway at the sight of their newest female patient. The doctor studies the patient’s X-ray to determine she has 3 kidneys, 4 lungs, 2 hearts, a shared circulatory system, a compact mirror, 2 lipsticks, some head bands, and a joint Netflix account.
Well here comes Jessica Lange as Elsa Mars struttin’ her gams down the hospital corridor in sexy seamed stockings carrying an oversized bag with an evil jester embroidered on it while wearing a Cruella De Vil style long haired fur capelet & matching hat. Is that thing made out of Afghan Hound hair? She is looking fabulously noir-ish but her style looks more 1940’s than 1950’s; and she’s busting her signature moves with cigarettes again this season. I can watch Lange fondle cigarettes all day. #SurgeonGeneralWarning.
She approaches Penny, a candy striper with a rebellious streak, played by Grace Gummer and daughter of Meryl Streep. Elsa is trying to charm her way into the room to see the new patient who is “extraordinary”. Time for me to enable my close caption because I can’t understand a damn word Elsa is saying. OMG even my close caption spelled out some gibberish for her first few sentences. I know this is sacrilegious, and I’m about to dodge a lightning strike, but Lange can’t do accents like Streep. Why is she so out breath & whispering? Someone give her some oxygen. I’m gonna have a problem with this spotty German accent. #SprichEnglisch .
Elsa scammed her way into a candy stripers uniform and straight to the hospital room. Here the director took liberty with a long drawn out & suspenseful reveal as we see an unrecognizable silhouette behind the curtains surrounding the bed. Elsa is stunned & mumbles in German at the sight of the conjoined twins. Both heads actually look pretty and not grotesque or disfigured, and each has their own obvious distinct personality, and they also can hear each other’s thoughts. Lefty is giggly & friendly, and Dot is guarded & suspicious.
Dot thinks that Elsa is a psycho pervert for asking if anyone has tasted their “cherry pie” since they only have one serving of pie to offer. Since they are virgins Elsa quizzes them about masturbation. Bette aka Lefty shares that she is the horny one, but Dot doesn’t like it when she touches their #PIEGINA. Bette tells Elsa that she suspects that Dot secretly likes it causing Dot to bark “shut your disgusting mouth you slut” and orders Elsa to leave their room. Bette attempts to wave goodbye until her sister shoots her wave down with an angry glare.
A random pair of young lovers are making out & getting ready for sexy times in the field by the lake. When the boyfriend goes to the car to retrieve something, Twisty the creepiest clown ever created causally stomps his way through field towards the girl. He’s got that heavy breathing thing going on under his mask. Doesn’t that remind you of the heavy breathing that we hear under Mike Meyers mask from Friday 13th? Twisty’s look is way beyond weird and way too extra. Is his mask made from a couple of layers of severed skin for his head & mouth? I wish I had some vodka and a Xanax laced joint with some laughing gas to get me through this clown scene. Don’t judge me because my coulrophobia is real. Even his lame flower trick made me jump.
Twisty briefly performs with some props before bludgeoning them both with bowling pins. When the girl awakes, Twisty is maniacally stabbing her boyfriend repeatedly with a pair of scissors. She tries to run away but the scene cuts out as Twisty starts awkwardly chasing after her. #LawdHaMercy . I was rather surprised that the first introduction of Twisty to the audience happened outside in broad daylight.
Fraulein Elsa is in the local diner, and she is cutting out a review of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1950 British crime film “Stage Fright” co-starring Marlene Dietrich for her scrap book. It seems odd that a 1950 movie would have a review in a 1952 paper. Anyway Elsa is very vocal to the waitress about her criticism of Dietrich, and I suspect she is jealous & envious of her fame & career. #SingleGermanFemale.
Elsa notices one of her freaks Jimmy Darling flirting with a waitress. His biker leather jacket & hat makes me nostalgic for Marlon Brando, the original leather daddy back when he was hot. Elsa is pissed at Jimmy for being out in public even though he has his lobster claw hands covered up in what looks like leather oven mitts. She reminds him that she has given him & his mother Ethel “The Bearded Woman” a home, and if he leaves or jeopardizes the Freak Show they will end up indigent in an asylum. We learn in a flashback that the landlord gave Elsa notice to vacate the property because she hasn’t been paying on time, plus the landlord’s wife is upset by the presence of the freaks. Well it seems Elsa convinced him to stay for one more month after she invited him to share some schnapps with a star in her tent. As Elsa leaves the diner she tells the waitress that “stars never pay”, and walks out on her tab. #Delusional
There’s a good old-fashioned Tupperware party going on inside a classic mid-century home. The women are very lady like in their bright hues of pastel dresses. As they pass around the deviled eggs & Jell-O they lament about their unsatisfactory sex lives at home. The hostess has a party treat for the ladies in the bedroom, and it’s Jimmy Darling with his thick juicy deformed digits doing double duty as an underground sex service business, G-Spots-R-Us. I hope he hand sanitizes in between tricks.
The police are on their way to the hospital to question the twins about their mother’s murder. Elsa quizzes them about what happened, but doesn’t believe their story of events which is identical to the plot from the 1944 film “Gaslight”. It’s becoming obvious that Elsa is consumed with movie trivia and uses it as her guiding light. We learn that twins had wounds that were inflicted 2 days after their mother’s murder. Elsa warns them to get their stories straight before the ‘coppers’ show up.
OMFG it’s Twisty again. I just can’t deal with the way he stealthily just appears out of nowhere. He’s lurking in the dark hallways of the Bachman house. After he murdered Mr. Bachman, he hovered over Mrs. Bachman in her bed and stabbed her to death, then kidnapped their 8 year old son Corey.
Twisty’s hideaway is a junked out school bus camouflaged with overgrowth from the woods. The inside is in a state of squalor & decay. Also there’s a makeshift cage with compartments for each prisoner; the young boy Corey Bachman & Bonnie, the girl from the lover’s field. Bonnie tries to sweet talk Twisty with some reverse psychology but all he does is wheeze & chuckle as he taunts them by insanely shaking a toy rattle at them. Just got a close-up and I will say that Ryan Murphy has succeeded in creating the most terrifying clown of all time. He’s alternating from doing clown tricks to terrorizing them with intense fits of rage as they scream with fear. Animal balloons have never before been this scary.
How in the heck did the twins sneak out of the hospital and get home? Who doesn’t notice an extra head? #PlotHoles. They’re packing with plans to run away. Elsa finds them & interrupts their packing and warns them that detectives are looking for them because they are suspects for murder. Elsa grills them to get an admission of killing their mother, and reminds them about Sparky the electric chair. If one is convicted with a death sentence, they both die.
It turns out that Bette stabbed their mother to death after a life time of repression & hiding from the public. Bette begged her mother to allow her/them to go to the movies in ‘glorious Technicolor’, but the mother angrily refused & reminded the twins that after being discovered they had to flee their last home in Alabama. Then a couple of days later Dot stabbed Bette out of guilt for what happened to their mother. Elsa wants to save them because they have nowhere to go for refuge from the police & they would never be able to take care of themselves. Of course Elsa makes them think they need her to survive, but really it is Elsa that needs them more to save her & her business. Now we see the other half of the opening scene, but this time from Bette’s perspective. Unlike her sister Dot, Bette is eager & optimistic about her new found freedom & future as they enter the gates of the Freak Show.
Bette writes in her diary that she is beyond delighted with her new life of glorious freedom away from darkness. She loves living inside a star’s palace surrounded by silk & glamour as we see the inside of Elsa’s private quarters decorated with over the top Baroque style furnishings & a massive chandelier. I guess she is so enchanted with the inside that she blocked out that she is living in a field under a circus tent.
Conversely Dot’s diary entry is more morbid because she is disgusting being surrounded by a ‘cesspool of depravity’ as we see Meep the Geek bite the head off of a live a chicken with bloody gory joy. The twins meet Jimmy, and Bette is charmed by his flirtatious hustling ways. Gurl you better get some Purell for his hands. Dot refers to Ethel Darling as Sasquatch in her diary. She is not a fan of the Bearded Lady because she is Elsa’s right hand & henchwoman. Ethel reminds Dot that she should be grateful to Elsa for a home and a new chance at life. Ethel explains how Elsa saved her from the drunk tank in jail, and reunited her with her son Jimmy. She put her on the stage where she belongs. Ethel tells them now it’s their turn to be big stars, but Dot doesn’t want to be anyone’s trained monkey. Ethel emphasizes “that this place is as good as it gets for folks like us.”
Jimmy shares his concern with Elsa that she is advertising the Siamese Twins for her show while the police are still looking for them. Elsa has already thought up an alibi for them and is not worried. After all she survived the ‘Stasi’ which is formally called Ministerium für Staatssicherheit or the Minsitry of Security. #Clue. My favorite part of this scene is that we got to see PEPPER the pinhead from AHS season 2 Asylum. She makes me smile even though I have no idea what a pinhead is, but that is how I always see her character referred as. I am excited for the season to progress to get more background about her.
Apparently Penny the candy striper from the hospital accepted Elsa’s earlier invitation to the visit the Freak Show. She’s wearing a nightie and looks like she’s been rode hard and put away wet while she yells at Elsa because she was “drugged & ravaged” while threatening to expose Elsa & her troupe of freaks. But it looks like Elsa has a side business in porn peddling & extortion because she shows Penny a homemade XXX movie starring Penny high on opium as the main attraction in a freaky orgy. And I do mean SUPER FREAKY yeah! #RickJames. It’s not clear to me if Penny voluntarily smoked the opium and was out of her mind when engaging in sex with the freaks, or whether Elsa had her drugged to lower her defenses. Either way Elsa has it on film to compel her to not talk to the police, as she tells her “You loved it.”
Later that night a police detectives show’s up and finds the twins thanks to Elsa’s advertising. Jimmy tries to prevent the twins from being arrested for murder, but when the detective refers to them as freaks he angrily slashed the man’s throat. The twins tell Jimmy “you saved us” and then he tells them “now you are going to save us.”
The Freak Show is about to start for the only 2 paying customers, Gloria Mott a very rich well to do snob & her spoiled hard to please son Dandy who probably has ADD. I’m getting a Norman Bates vibe from Dandy. He is wide eyed and fixated on the freaks at the show, especially at the debut of the Siamese Twins.
Elsa’s hits center stage in a tailored Marlene Dietrich inspired powder blue suit & tie and begins to sing David Bowie’s “Life on Mars”. GAWD I can’t believe I’m going to the say this but if I squint my eyes Elsa looks like a geriatric version of Madonna wearing tons of crazy old lady smudged blue shadow. #ExpressYourself. Fraulein Elsa is basking in the warmth of the spot light and giving it her all as her band of freaks play instruments & dance around her in a dazzling rainstorm of glitter & confetti; an ending that is almost worthy of a Baz Luhrmann musical. Did you all see the quick scene of Elsa in a head wrap & clownish ruffled collar watching herself while performing? What does that mean? Someone please explain that to me below in comments. When she finished singing Elsa looked stunned and confused as if she just returned from an outer body experience as she gasped for breath when the spot light turned off.
Weirdo Dandy is so fascinated with the Tattler twins that his mother offers to buy them for $15,000 but Dot is the one who rejects the idea which pleases Elsa. She tells the twins that after just one night in the spotlight they’ve acquired the bug for performing, “You are one of us” she proudly announces. Elsa basically tells Gloria that her troupe is like family and will not be sold. I live for some Gloria shade as she says the only freakish thing about the show was Elsa’s singing.
Forward to later and Elsa is lounging on her chaise and smoking something. She confesses to Ethel that she did not bring the twins to save the Freak Show, she brought the twins for own personal motives. Elsa craves to be seen, to be noticed, to be a star; and she needs the twins’ to bring in an audience to coat tail ride on to satisfy her delusions & ego. Ethel leaves and Elsa cranks up the record player to reveal what is under her nightgown. Both her legs are amputated at the knee….. Oh and Twisty the Clown is zoned out on the merry-go-round on the Freak Show grounds… The End
OK freaktards I am tired but I have plenty more of my own personal commentary but I will be posting my thoughts down below in comments. You also can stalk me on twitter @Urethra_F