28th Oct2014

‘American Horror Story: Freakshow – Episode 2’ 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


This show has officially ruined other TV shows for me.

A curfew is now in effect in the little town of Jupiter after one of their detectives (i.e. the one killed by Jimmy and the others last episode) has gone missing, meaning the freak show can’t play evenings any more. Enter Dell Toledo, a strong man from New York who has history with Ethel, and his three breasted hermaphrodite wife Desiree (yup, I kept thinking of Total Recall too), who turn up to ask Elsa for a job. Initially she makes him head of security but soon realises she’s made a mistake when he organises a matinee against her permission with the surprisingly talented voice of Bette as a headliner instead of her, and conspires to get rid of them both.

Meanwhile, Dandy is acting more and more psychotic after his mother’s attempts to by Bette and Dot were rejected. Frustrated, he tries to join the freak show and embrace his stage dream only to be rejected again by Jimmy. His mother on the other hand, rejects any notion of his violent behaviour despite the maid pointing out the corpses of neighbourhood cats in the garden, and to try and cheer him up decides to get him an unusual looking clown wandering the roads…

I’ll happily admit that as soon as it clicked that Dandy and Twisty the clown were going to be interacting a lot more I was bouncing on my sofa in excitement. These two are a perfect fit together, with Dandy’s burgeoning psychotic side coming out in his speech and face being the perfect opposite to Twisty and his demented look and silent demeanour. These two are going to be fantastic together.

I usually don’t like Michael Chiklis, who plays Dell. I just find him a bit bland and typecast, and again here he is as basically a strong male character whose only really character trait is the fact that he could basically tear a car in half. However, he also has a cunning side and the conflict building between him, Elsa and Jimmy looks to be promising. Desiree though looks to be your stereotypical mid-50s ghetto black woman character, albeit with 3 breasts; could be better but still not complaining.

With the new characters, new interactions and another tense and almost heart-breaking ending, this is yet another brilliant episode in a series that just can’t seem to disappoint you, even with Michael Chiklis.

***** 5/5

Episode two of American Horror Story: Freakshow airs on FX, here in the UK, tonight at 10pm.


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