13th Nov2014

‘American Horror Story: Freakshow – Episode 4’ 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


The concluding part of the Edward Mordrake two parter see Edward and the demon on the back of his head move around the carnival to the other freaks in search of someone to take back to his own demonic freak show. He ends up in the tent of Elsa itself, and after hearing her darkness prepares himself to take her back. However, he hears the sound of someone playing music and the demon decides that’s where they’ll find their prize.

Meanwhile, Maggie and Jimmy are heading back to the camp when the Jimmy’s bike runs out of fuel. Hiding in nearby bushes to after they hear screams, they see Twisty chasing an escaping Bonnie. After Bonnie gets knocked out and taken away, Jimmy runs after them to see if he can help with Maggie reluctantly bringing up the read. However, Dandy sneaks up behind them and knocks them out, taking them to the other prisoners just in time for his and Twisty’s show.

Wes Bentley really gets to come into his own as Mordrake much more in this episode, and we see a much wider range of emotion and morality from the character. Whereas with Ethel he was mostly pitying her and her story, we see his joy at the more innocent members of the freak show, his frustration at slow stories and disappointment when they don’t match expectation, and finally anger and hatred towards Elsa as she begs to let go as she’s ‘not one of them,…just their minder’. Lange is also brilliant in her role in their conversation, but that’s nothing we didn’t already know.

The burgeoning love triangle with Bette/Dot fawning over Jimmy, who is stuck in the mutual attraction phase with Maggie is getting teased more, and Dandy’s further descent is just gripping to watch. We also get the backstory for Paul and Suzi as they’re interrogated by Mordrake, although to me that mostly served as filler to pad out Mordrake’s character a bit more. Sure, it’s nice to know, but both stories are fairy expected. Around the half hour mark though. We get probably the best backstory of them all, but you’ll have to watch that for yourself.

In all honesty I literally ended this episode clapping in both excitement and admiration after spending a few minutes absolutely gutted for reasons I’ll explain next week (spoilers!). Needless to say, I was thoroughly impressed as always with this episode, and absolutely cannot wait for episode 5, nor the appearance of Neil Patrick Harris at the end of the season.

***** 5/5


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