The main issue I have with American Horror Story is the inability to tie up loose ends in a timely fashion. Freak Show might have discovered the magic formula with “Show Stoppers”: with one episode left, they just decided to kill everybody and the results were encouraging. Let’s go…..
-Stanley rolls up to the freak show, where the freaks are partyin’ and celebrating Elsa’s sale to Chester, and she asks him to leave so she can be alone with the group. Really, she just wants him to be gone so they can be alone with Stanley, and they give all kinds of hints that they’re gon’ kill him. Eve in particular looks like she wants to kill him so bad, she might say fuck the plan and just get it in. They bring out a present for Stanley, and it turns out to be the head of the morbidity museum curator, who was murdered by Desiree and distracted by Maggie, who tells him that she snitched on their plan. Stanley starts coppin’ pleas, talkin’ about how great Hollywood will be, but that doesn’t stop him from going on the knife-throwing wheel and he eventually gets a knife in the leg as he tries to run away. But while he is escaping, he does manage to yell out, “she killed Ethel!”, so hold on to that. He scurries and scurries, but eventually gets trapped under a bus and surrounded by the freaks, and nothing good is about to happen for him.
-Elsa tells Jimmy she is gon’ take care of him since his mother is dead (and there has to be a little guilt involved), and Dell is dead because he tried to harm the freaks. Jimmy is furious and yells that he has no hands and can’t take a piss, which might be his best line of the series so far. Elsa also says she tracked down the doctor that worked on her legs and Maggie is gon’ clean his stumps, which he isn’t a fan of, but he really doesn’t have a choice. Then they try to have a moment, Maggie says she hates hurting Jimmy and she loves him, and Jimmy isn’t havin’ it at all, basically telling her to leave the show. I just can’t buy it from these two. They’re trying, I guess.
-The doctor, Massimo Dolcefino, shows up at the big top and he is played by Danny Huston, also known as the Axeman from Coven. They have a big, long hug and show more emotion in 15 seconds than Jimmy and Maggie have over like, eight episodes.
-The twins have decided they love the sex and want it all the time, and Chester is like, yeah, I’m in, but the doll has to be there, which is going to wear thin eventually, right? Right. So the twins ask if Marjorie can be put away, they cut to human Marjorie (Jamie Brewer) and yeah, it’s a bit off-putting. But I mean, I don’t think he had to throw her on the floor. That isn’t gon’ work out well for anyone, and Marjorie isn’t happy about the new changes in the relationship. Chester thinks that the twins are going to cure him of everything before Marjorie calls him a murderer, and we flash back to the death of his wife and her girlfriend, which we learn was really done by Chester. I was kinda caught off-guard because, well, Marjorie is a fucking doll and as she points out, incapable of murder. But two things: one, I really don’t put a whole lot of thinking in American Horror Story and two, come on, is a killer doll REALLY outside of the realm of possibility on this show? HAVE YOU SEEN THE OPENING CREDITS? Anyway, Marjorie puts it in Chester’s head that the twins have to go.
-The freaks are sitting around, looking at old pictures of Ethel and they’re tryna figure out their next course of action with Elsa selling the freak show. Finally, one of the third-tier freaks pipes up like, “so we’re not gon’ talk about what Stanley said, with the Elsa and the murder and the Ethel?”. They kick around a few ideas, and come to the conclusion that Ethel wouldn’t have killed herself, and they aim to kill Elsa.
-The twins are talking about Chester, the sex and the doll, and then Dandy enters their room with a dossier or some shit. He tells them that his mother has died and it was sudden and awful, but he left out the little part about him murdering her and having bath time in her blood. He says that he comes in friendship, although he would have loved to marry them, and he wants to offer them protection because he has some new information on Chester, because that doesn’t sound creepy at all. The twins aren’t hearing it and tell him to get out, but Dandy does leave the dossier with them.
-Elsa takes Massimo to Jimmy to talk about new hands, and Jimmy wants hooks, but Elsa shows him her wooden legs and is like, they’ve worked out well for me. Then Elsa and Massimo have a little exchange in which she talks about how much she trusts him and would have married him for saving her, but he replies that he loved her too much, so much that he went on a Kill Bill-esque revenge hunt on the dudes that cut off her legs and killed every last one of them. So he was found by heir leader, who was…….the crazy doctor from Asylum. We know he doesn’t play around, and he hooked up jumper cables to Massimo’s, um, junk, because I’m tryna keep it classy. He managed to escape, but he has no humanity left because of the war and having jumper cables attached to his nuts (so much for classy), and he leaves. Jimmy is sittin’ there like, so, how these hands? But again, one scene between Elsa and Massimo destroys everything Jimmy and Maggie have ever done. Take notes, kids.
-Chester is in the big top, explaining to everyone how the show will go with him in charge. The twins have read the dossier, so they obviously know something is up with Chester now and they say they don’t want to be his assistant anymore, and he is like, well, the new trick in the show is that I’m sawing you in half, so suck it up. Maggie, being the worst psychic ever, volunteers to take their place in the box, but Chester is seeing his wife and then her girlfriend. The freaks are kinda sitting around watching this like, ummmmmmm……should we stop him? Then Chester is all in makeup and costume, preparing to do this trick and I have no idea why he is in all the makeup, but whatever makes him comfortable. He puts shackles on her feet and it’s right around this time that Maggie is like, yo, I can’t move my legs, bruh, while he is going on about his wife and going to the war for her, and she says he should have died over there. Again, not one of the freaks has stepped up to help Maggie. Then Chester starts seeing Marjorie in the box and Maggie is like, YOOOOOO I’M IN HERE, BRUH. But Chester gets to sawing, and holy shit, we just watched Maggie get sawed in half and this season of American Horror Story has been saved. Shit is getting a “B” at the very least now.
-Marjorie is partyin’, just pointing and laughing while the rest of the freaks are like, what in the hell? Chester is stumbling around, disoriented and pulls apart the box to spill Maggie’s guts onto the floor, and he says he can put her back together, but that shit ain’t happening. Marjorie continues to laugh and Chester blames it all on her before running off. Desiree says that Maggie had it coming, and that they should rob her of her jewelry and bury her because, well, it’s practical. Chester follows Marjorie back to their room and she wants to leave, but he stabs her as well, like, multiple times.
-Cut to a flashback of Jimmy’s early days at the freak show and he is throwing up before a performance with Ethel, who encourages him, and then we’re in the present as Eve is telling him that Maggie is dead and Elsa is next. At this point, Jimmy is like, whatever, man. He has lost his mom, his dad that he never knew, he didn’t get the twins, he has been accused of killing like, nine women (Whatever happened to that anyway? They broke son outta jail and that’s it? Anyway…), I assume he has given up on big girl and now the closest thing he has left to a mother is going to die, too. And I still don’t feel sorry for him. But he is about to get some new hands, though, so that’s cool.
-The twins roll up on Elsa and find out the truth about her legs. They warn her that the freaks are coming for her because of what she did to Ethel, and Elsa is like, they wouldn’t kill me and the twins are like, do you wanna test that theory? Elsa realizes that she doesn’t want to at all. Meanwhile, the freaks are gathering up to do this and Desiree screams Ethel’s name and drinks all of the booze, then smashes a bottle and leads the way. I want Desiree to make inspirational speeches as I’m getting ready to do stuff.
-The freaks find Elsa’s tent empty, with only a record playing, because she has gotten the fuck outta dodge. After the commercial break, we return to Elsa sitting in a car where she is met by Dandy, who gives her an envelope and a bunch of money. I need to know what is in the envelope.
-Chester walks into the police station, covered in blood and confesses to the murder of Marjorie, which the cops are like, that’s a doll…..but whose blood is that all over your shit? So they’ll figure out that is Maggie’s blood, and he is done. Nice little arc for Neil Patrick Harris, but did we expect anything less than greatness from him?
-The freak show looks like a hurricane came through town, and ironically, Dandy pulls up to announce that he is taking inventory because he owns everything and everyone now. He is looking around, checking shit out and he hears a noise. He walks behind the stage in the big top to find Stanley, in a coop, with no arms, legs or tongue and dressed up like Meep. That’s some good revenge right there. Dandy is full of delight at seeing this because, well, he’s fucking Dandy.
-Massimo shows Jimmy his new clawhands, even though I would have asked for fingers now, but I guess he is used to claws. What they should have done was took Stanley’s hands and given them to Jimmy on some Frankenstein shit, but what do I know?
Quite the body count in this episode of Freak Show, sort of similar to Coven‘s penultimate episode, “Go To Hell”. If we get some sort of Freak Olympics like we did in Coven‘s finale, I might throw my laptop out of the window. If I had to guess, I’d expect Freak Show‘s finale to be Dandy-heavy with a 68% chance of him dying. The twins gotta go too, because we already saw their body in the museum, but with the curator dead now, is that still even a thing? Please, Freak Show, end the streak of terrible American Horror Story finales. We’re all counting on you.