02nd Dec2014

‘American Horror Story: Freakshow – Episode 5’ 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


Episode 5 of American Horror Story: Freakshow starts with Stanley fantasizing of his exhibition of stolen freaks being on display at the American Morbidity Museum, Jimmy riding his new found popularity thanks to his perceived heroics last episode, and Dandy being berated by a distressed Gloria after finding Dora’s corpse with her throat split open and him not really giving a damn. Stanley then convinces Elsa he’s a TV agent looking for talent, although she rebukes him saying that TV won’t last. However, after her performance of ‘Life on Mars’ ends with popcorn being thrown at her, she reluctantly asks for more detail.

Meanwhile, Jimmy gets rebuked by Maggie, who finds him practicing his lines and preparing to emcee the nights show. She tries to subtly warn him about Stanley and to run, but when he tries for the kiss thinking there’s something there, so turns away and he storms off. Ethel makes him go get head of security Dell (who we see later) but he only finds Desiree and her alcoholic comforts. Jimmy tries to console her after yet another argument, and one thing leading to another ends up going to the doctors with a comforting Ethel and a vaginal bleed.

This episode is so plot heavy I’ve just about described a third of the show, probably less. I can’t really discuss further Dandy stuff because of loads of spoilers, but the mother-son dynamic in this episode is fantastic and stands out; her the upper-middle class mother now forced out of her denial of her sons behaviour, helping Dandy bury the body of her former main and covering up for him however she can, and him the manipulative son who’ll at least attempt to put a positive or shocked spin on his take of events while making certain she knows he just doesn’t care. It’s brilliant and adds new dimensions to both characters.

As well as plot there’s so many shock revelations that make talking about the plot difficult. Desiree, Dell, the twins, Elsa, Stanley, Dandy, all have huge character changing moments in this episode that I could write 1,000 words on their events alone. Add that to the ever brilliant writing and visuals, fantastic acting, and the massive cliff hanger at the end and this makes for what is probably the best episode of the season to date. I just cannot get enough.

***** 5/5


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