18th Dec2014

‘American Horror Story: Freakshow – Episode 8′ Review

by Nicky Johnson

Stars: Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Frances Conroy, Michael Chiklis, Denis O’Hare, Even Peters, Emma Roberts, Minn Wittrock, John Carroll Lunch, Patti Labelle | Created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk

american-horror-story-freakshow-poster

This episode turns American Horror Story into American Murder Mystery Story, but in a brilliant way.

After noticing the disappearance of Ma Petite, the freaks search for her in the surrounding woods. They find a box with the dress that she was wearing tattered. Jimmy and a guilt stricken Dell (who we know from the last episode killed her) were the ones to tell Elsa, who immediately became grief stricken. However, Ethel is not convinced and drunkenly confronts Elsa with a gun, and the two close friends let all their darkness unfold.

Elsewhere, Desiree rounds up Penny, Amazon Eve, and Legless Suzi in order to take revenge upon the oppressive men in their lives, starting with Penny’s dad. Other at the Mott household, Gloria gets Dandy tested by a psychiatrist whilst Dora’s daughter Regina makes a surprise visit to try and see her mum. Knowing that Regina isn’t buying any of his mum’s lies and wanting to get out of seeing his shrink, Dandy gives makes Gloria a deal-he’ll keep going to the psychiatrist, but only if Gloria kills Regina.

This episode brings the season back to its earlier greatness. I miss Twisty, but we see more of Dandy’s Patrick Bateman in this episode, and there’s no real dull moments. Internal conflict is a great for character development and Elsa, Ethel, and Dell have it in bucket loads. Gloria’s resignation with Dandy shows a different side to her, and even the small amount of time we see Dandy in his glory is enough to slate my addiction (for now).

The last few episodes have been building up more and more mystery and tensions in the camp, as well as pushing the women of the camp closer and closer together, and it’s finally starting to pay off. I will always campaign for more Dandy, but I will settle for the Ethel-Elsa confrontation, it’s brilliantly written and executed (although I’m sure Ethel drops her accent here and there) and definitely leads to the biggest shock yet, but that shock kind of peters out pretty quickly and is barely there by the end of the episode. Earlier in the show that wouldn’t matter, because they’d just through something else at you, but now it’s as if they know they have you hooked and can get away with that.

Strangely, I’m okay with this, but only because I actually trust these writers not to go too far on the wrong side of ‘boring’ for more than 5 minutes. Kind of.

Oh, also we get an 800 pound addition to the freaks. Still waiting on a variant of the Elephant Man, though.

****½  4.5/5

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