I’ve written ad nauseam about my disappointment with the finales of the American Horror Story series, so when it came time to watch “Curtain Call”, the finale for Freak Show, I expected the worst, but hoped for the best. That seemed to work, because in my opinion, we got, by far, the best AHS finale yet. Let’s go……….
-The freaks are preparing for the Dandy Show to kick off and while none of them are high on working with him, he has money and people gotta eat. But Dandy is pissed that no one is buying tickets to the show, and well, let’s just say he doesn’t take advice too well. Paul tries to tell him that this happens in the beginning, and gets called a stupid freak; Eve tries to say they’re only giving advice and gets called an ugly cow. Dandy says they’re boring and mediocre, and threatens to put horns on Penny, but Paul gets on his chivalry tip, which Dandy obviously isn’t having and pushes him. Eve says, enough of this, and punches him in the face before the freaks tell him that they’re quitting. Paul also spits in his pretentious face and they walk off. Nothing good is gon’ come outta this. Dandy doesn’t exactly take to being told “no”.
-Elsa is in Hollywood and she walks into the WBN offices, tryna get an appointment with the head of the network, but the secretary kinda shrugs her off and tells her to have a seat. She smokes cigarette after cigarette after cigarette before the secretary gets ready to leave for the day, so it’s obvious that Elsa has been given the run-around for the third day in a row. You gotta feel a little bad for Elsa, who feels foolish because her appointment apparently went out the back to avoid her, and she learns quickly that this is Hollywood, and mufuckas don’t care about your feelings. Then the secretary says that Marlene Dietrich did Elsa’s act better, to which Elsa was like, oh hell naw, and slaps fire out ol’ girl’s face. The security guard grabs her before a man comes out and breaks everything up, and Elsa is lying on the ground, crying and looking as pathetic as we’ve seen her all series. But we learn that the man that broke everything up is Michael Beck, the junior VP of casting at the network, and his real last name is Beckenbauer, so they have that German connection. He jokes that he had to change to avoid being labelled a communist, not being a Nazi. It looks like she has an in.
-Dandy is putting make-up on his face, and you just know shit is about to get crazy because he has that good and insane look in his eyes. He starts walking through the freak show, humming a tune, and when he closes his eyes to get in that zone, you know it’s about to be some shit. Paul walks up and says something about back pay, and gets a bullet in the head for his trouble, but I mean, he spat in his face, so that had to happen. Penny hears the shot and I’ve no idea how she was planning to hide behind a sheet because it’s not like Dandy can’t see her behind a white sheet, and she gets shot in the head as well. Toulouse (the midget that was feeling up on the twins a few weeks ago) gets on, as well as little legless Suzi, and he chased her all around the tent, what an asshole. He did stub his toe while chasing her, though, that was pretty good.
-Desiree hears all this and knows what’s up as Dandy shoots a couple more random freaks. Eve hears the shots and runs out to Paul, who is long past dead and shoutout to the makeup people on AHS as that bullet hole in the back of his head looks damn real. Eve grabs a hatchet while Ima (the big girl) tries to hide, but that obviously doesn’t work. Dandy finds Desiree’s trailer and searches it, but she hides in a closet and does everything in her power not to make a sound. Dandy then gets tackled by Eve and the two fight, and she is kickin’ his ass all over the place, but Dandy gets free, shoots her in the leg and then the head. He continues the search for Desiree, but eventually gives up and returns to a tent where the twins are tied to a post. In my head, I’m saying to myself that I’ll stop watching this shit if he kills the twins, shit, even one of them, but instead, he asks them to join him. That is probably worse for them.
-I do like Dandy’s fancy golden revolver, but they didn’t even try to show him reloading that shit while going on his rampage. God love American Horror Story, a show that gives almost as few fucks as The Walking Dead when it comes to the little things.
-Jimmy’s fuck ass returns to the show to see what’s up after getting his wooden claws, and we’re not gon’ talk about how the cops apparently aren’t looking for him anymore after the truck he was in was jumped by Dell and Eve, and there were cops killed; that’s old shit. He calls for Elsa, but she’s long gone. Then he is slowly realizing, because that’s how Jimmy does things, that something is amiss. He walks into the big top, and it’s just a trail of dead bodies all the way up to the stage. Jimmy closes Eve’s eyes and I’m pretty sure we’re supposed to feel bad for him, but between the wooden claws and well, Jimmy, we all start laughing. Desiree puts her hand on his shoulder and Jimmy gets freaked out before he realizes it’s her, and she starts sobbing to end the most bloody and intense 20 minutes of the season.
-We return after commercial to the wedding of the twins (well, Bette) to Dandy, which takes place in his play/bed/killing room, and they’re joined by a kid playing the flute, homegirl on the harp and a fake-ass horse, along with some other stuffed animals. Dot tells them that she’ll just leave her body while they’re consummating the marriage, but Dandy basically tells that she’ll be joining them and threatening her if she disrespects his manhood, whatever the hell that means. They’re having a toast during dinner, and Dandy starts talking excitedly about the future, but the way it’s shot, it looks like everything around Dandy is moving, and Bette is talking him up, but Dot has this “mufucka you need to die” look on her face, so the wheels start turning. He drops the glass on the floor and we’re like, “AW SHIT THEY DRUGGED HIS ASS” as his vision gets blurry, and the maid that the twins hired is Desiree, who shows off the triple breasts one final time so he’ll recognize her. He goes to attack her, but Bette shoots Dandy with a tear in her eye and his Goldeneye gun, and all he says afterwards is, “THAT’S MINE”, referring to the gun because Dandy sees everything as his….EVERYTHING. Desiree calls for the butler and we all know Jimmy is coming out, which he does as we learn the twins snuck him earlier. They tell Dandy that he is finally gon’ be the star of the show as he passes out.
-They showed a few commercials for that A Most Violent Year movie, which I didn’t even know was a thing until last week. I’m intrigued, might gotta watch that.
-Dandy wakes up in a tank, so you know this won’t end well for him. He is in the Houdini escape tank, and he still thinks he can order people around because he’s delusional. Desiree just wants to cut his balls off, but Jimmy says they’re showmen, so it has to be theatrical. He says all the killing was what God wanted him to do, and he was just fulfilling his purpose, and even better, he forgives the twins for setting him up like this. Goddamn, Dandy Mott just might be the greatest character in AHS history, no less than top three. Bette tells Dandy that she hates him as he killed all her friends, and Desiree gives a speech about how he is a bigger freak than all of them as they turn on the water. He tries to bribe them with money, then says some shit about being immortal, but Jimmy replies with some speech about freaks inheriting the earth and I don’t care about anything he says anyway. The twins, Jimmy and Desiree sit around with some popcorn as Dandy eventually drowns, while we eat popcorn and watch them on some AHS/Inception shit.
-That Jennifer Lopez movie, The Boy Next Door, dammit that looks terrible, b.
-We go to Hollywood in 1960 and we learn that Elsa has become a star in both TV and music, and she is getting a start on the Walk of Fame, and she married Michael Beck eventually. But of course, she ends up being an asshole and shits all over the product of a coffee commercial she is filming, saying “shite” three times and the coffee tastes like piss. Michael and a network executive try to talk her into doing a promotional spread on Halloween, but freaks don’t work on Halloween, word to Edward Mordrake…..so the wheels get to turning again. Then Elsa calls Michael a pussy for some reason, and again says that she doesn’t work on Halloween. We learn that Elsa regrets marrying Michael and has returned to her dominatrix roots with him, and she is going home for another engagement.
-That engagement is Axeman Massimo, who flashes back to a time when Elsa was learning to walk with her new legs. Elsa hates her new life as she is surrounded by yes men, her and Michael cheat on each other constantly, and she feels cursed. She goes back to the birthday cake that Ethel made her in 1952, when she wished to be loved, and now she wants to run away with Massimo, but he has lung cancer and is due to die in a month. Jessica Lange and Danny Huston be actin’, bruh. Everything that they’ve done from Coven to Freak Show, there is never a wasted second.
-Elsa is hammered as Michael and the head of the network (who looks startlingly like John McCain) show up to tell her that the snuff film has popped up, and Michael is pissed because Elsa lied about how she lost her legs, so he says he’s packing his things. An article is coming out about the snuff film, and not only that, a private investigator has connected Elsa to the freak show in Jupiter, where everyone is dead. Basically, her entire past has violated a morality clause in her contract, so Elsa is getting the boot. She says fuck it all, and she’ll work on Halloween because she knows what’s gon’ happen.
-Elsa steps out to do her final performance, which is “Heroes” by David Bowie, so we can assume that Ryan Murphy loves some Bowie. She is doing her thing, and we see Desiree walking by a TV on the street, and she is now married to whatever the hell Theo Huxtable’s name is, with children. Jimmy is watching it at home….with the twins, who are pregnant and all I’m wondering is, does she feed him? I mean, he has wooden claws for hands. Then Mordrake and his crew show up, along with Twisty The Clown, who looks really weird with a full mouth. Elsa stops singing and everyone in real life is looking around like, uh, what’s wrong with her, while Elsa and Mordrake hammer out the details of her death as she brought him here under a suicide mission. So he does kill her (although it looks to everyone else like she just had a heart attack), but Mordrake says she doesn’t belong with his crew.
-Instead, Elsa ends up with her freaks, including Ethel, which means we get one last chance to hear Kathy Bates’ terrible Baltimore accent, and she says the freak show always have a full house in the afterlife, so apparently, Elsa ends up winning.
And that, my friends, wraps up Freak Show, which I’m not going to put above Coven yet, but it’s coming. That was easily the best and most coherent of all the AHS finales, and the only thing that bothers me is that Elsa kinda wins, but she was still miserable enough that she wasn’t happy, so that’s okay. We all thought that she would survive and end up reuniting with Pepper in the asylum, which isn’t completely off the table just yet, depending on what they plan for Season 5 (and if Lange decides to come back). That they managed to pull everything back together throughout this deliberate mess of a season was pretty incredible, especially after watching them foul it up for three season (definitely the last two, I’ll give Murder House a pass, though).
Sure, there were some strange times here and there, but overall, Freak Show was a fun hour of TV every week because you never knew what was coming, and you knew you were getting top-tier acting from 95% of the cast (we all know who I’m talkin’ about). Shoutout to Finn Wittrock for coming out of nowhere and dominating the season, with honorable mentions to Sarah Paulson, Angela Bassett, and Ms. Lange for the final three episodes; like a true veteran, she stepped up and carried this shit in the fourth quarter. Word to Neil Patrick Harris and Malcolm Jamal-Warner for coming through and doing their thing in their cameos as well. If you’re looking to start someone out on American Horror Story, give them Freak Show, and go from there.
Super special shout to the AHS crew, Jody, Lindsay and Mel, as I told y’all, the show was only eclipsed by the company. Can’t wait for the next one!