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Television / Recaps PopWrapped | Television

'American Horror Story: Freak Show' Celebrates Halloween With An Urban Legend

Aedan Juvet | PopWrapped Author

Aedan Juvet

Senior Staff Writer
10/25/2014 7:53 pm
PopWrapped | Television
'American Horror Story: Freak Show' Celebrates Halloween With An Urban Legend | American Horror Story: Freak Show
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American Horror Story: Freak Show Courtesy of
This week, AHS is a Halloween centered episode, beginning with a tour of an oddities museum featuring many exhibits focused on people's unusual traits, which the curator claims come from freak shows. Emma Roberts and Dennis O'Hare make their debut with an attempt to sell what they claim is baby Sasquatch (just a fetal goat/cat jaw fused together) When they are turned away, one of the employees says that if the pair can find something of legitimacy, she'll pay them no questions asked, and they learn of the value of conjoined twins organs, sparking the duo's trip to Jupiter Florida. On a late afternoon, a young girl with a fear of clowns goes trick-or-treating and runs into none other than Twisty (this poor girl has my kind of luck) and is followed by the clown. Ethel goes to a doctor, where we learn that she has cirrhosis of the liver, with unchangeable damage and only a year of maximum life expectancy. Not the news you want to hear from a medical professional. The emotional moment comes from her crying at even having a doctor treat her as another human being for the first time, which is a sad realization for her. Jimmy is heartbroken over Meep's death (RIP Meep) and Dot steps up, challenging the troupe to show more compassion over it by dedicating the show in his honor, which leads Ethel to detail the legend of Edward Mordrake.
American Horror Story: Freak Show Courtesy of
Mordrake is known for the demonic face located on the back of his head, which spreads evil thoughts to his brain, causing dastardly acts. He became a famous freak show performer, but ultimately snapped, killing everyone in his carnival before hanging himself where the demon’s face remained smiling. The story stems from "carny lore" that if circus performers had a show on the night of Halloween, the man would appear to punish them. Gloria sets up an elaborate dinner to amuse her sadistic son, and when he finds his custom costume is Howdy Doody, he has a childlike meltdown that triggers Dora the maid to stand her ground, and not be a pushover like his mother. I'm calling it now, she will be his victim soon enough. Jimmy offers kinds words about Meep over his funeral and Emma Roberts' character the con artist arrives looking for a job, posing as a fortune teller named Esmeralda.
American Horror Story: Freak Show Courtesy of
Dot and Bette dream of being separated, a nightmare for Bette and a fantasy for Dot, where we establish the two have very different hopes that will serve as a pivotal moment in the future--most likely with the two being separated. "Esmeralda" meets Elsa and completely wings her psychic reading after taking in her surroundings, feeding into the pains of Elsa's past and fueling her hatred for who she believes stole her shot at fame. While she is misleading, it gives Elsa more ambition to fight for her shot in the spotlight. We see Dell and Desiree attempt to have some fun and when he can't get himself aroused she storms out, tired of what is actually a recurring issue. Dell's aggressive side surfaces again when he slams her against a wall, showing his temper knows no boundaries.
American Horror Story: Freak Show Courtesy of
Dell takes a moment to cool off, and he and Ethel have a conversation where he claims to have never loved her (he's so..ugh) and she attempts to make him promise to never inform Jimmy that he is in fact his father. She literally has to beg him to watch out for Jimmy after she's gone and, though he doesn't give a straight forward answer, he seems to soften just a bit. We see someone strolling down the stairs in a clown costume, where they hold a knife to Dora so she challenges him to do something, knowing it's Dandy, and that he can't find the nerve to kill her. Esmeralda isn't exactly enjoying life as a "freak" and receives less than a nice greeting from a skeptical dot (she's totally into Jimmy too) and makes a call to her partner (O'Hare). An officer pulls up and tells the two to leave before the town curfew, and hassles Jimmy who can't seem to catch a break! Dennis O’Hare enjoys his evening by sleeping with a younger gentleman and shows something receiving a shocked expression unseen to the viewers, though we can assume it’s related to what he’s working with in the male appendage department. The little girl from the beginning has a visitor at home from Twisty, and he sneaks up behind her ill-mannered brother. When the mother hears screams leading her to the bedroom, she finds her teary-eyed daughter explaining that the clown took him. Maybe they should have listened to this young girl with a clown radar earlier right? The troupe decides to go on with the show despite some concerns over the Mordrake legend, and a new stronger Dot seems to feel power with her new image, protesting for more money leading Elsa to fume while telling the two to sit this show out or be left in the dust. Elsa takes the stage, performing a Lana del Rey song to prove her star power and while she sings, we see a green-colored fog roll in with the mythic man Mordrake himself walking up to the freak show tent. When he arrives, Elsa and the man catch each other's stare through her performance before he vanishes. This looks like it's going to be a long Halloween night for the performers who have awoken the spirit. He shows himself to Ethel, and asks the story of her "downfall", and we see her as a performer in her glory days and without the young girls and dancers she was accustomed to, she was rejected by audiences. The demon speaks through Edward Mordrake and says there is one thing that she carries with deeper guilt, revealing she used the birth of Jimmy as an attraction known as the live birth of the "monster baby" with Dell exploiting the situation the most. He thanks her for sharing her painful memories and Ethel gets a sight as all of his past victims, so she pleads to be killed for her actions and join them, to which the demon responds "she's not the one" and once again pulls a Houdini disappearing. Dandy arrives at Twisty's hideout, to terrorize the teen girl and young boy from the previous episodes and Twisty arrives with the newly- captured boy from earlier, to add to his collection. Twisty and Dandy now seem to be an official murderous clown act of two that will wreck havoc together. Next week is the conclusion of the two-part Halloween episode, where we'll find out which performer will join the Mordrake in the afterlife with his victims. Aedan’s Final Thoughts -It was nice to see more on Ethel’s character, and her inner turmoil -Dot has found her voice, which I think could present a problem for her or Bette -Hooray for the return of Emma Roberts! -The constant harassment towards Jimmy breaks my heart -The Mott household remains perfect with horror, attitude, humor, and unusual dynamics

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