On This weeks episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show, the second episode titled “Massacres and Matinees” begins with the troupe being interrupted by a radio broadcast of the four unsolved murders and missing child (Twisty is to blame) and to confirm that a detective remains missing as well, the cop the group killed in last week’s episode.
The police arrive promptly to the location, where they are directed to Elsa. They inform her of a town curfew, and she masterfully deflects the officers’ insinuations regarding the missing detective by accusing him of being drunk. The officers leave but decide to make an attempt at intimidation and inform the cast that they’ll be seeing each other again. We are then shown a store where a young man beckons for his employer in the empty, ominous room, and finds a toy robot leaving a blood trail in its path. As he follows with caution, we see Twisty posed against a wall like a mannequin and the employee doesn’t notice the dirt covered clown with the menacing smile. The boy finds the severed head of the store owner right before twisty ruthlessly stabs him, through the throat, claiming yet another victim life.
At the Mott household, Dandy and Gloria sit opposite each other at a large table for two, with Dandy grimacing at his mother making his boredom known. The fabulous Patti Labelle appears as their maid, with her distaste for Dandy instantly apparent. He continues to come off as a man-child, grabbing his cognac in a glass version of a baby bottle (too entertaining.) We see his outlook on the world as he dismisses women as “smelly cows” and children as “more boring than anything,” the tale of the Mott house truly is an entity of its own.
A couple arrive to join the troupe as the strongman Dell and a dolled up woman named Desiree, (Michael Chiklis and Angela Bassett, respectively) we catch a peek of the two from three weeks back, in Chicago where Bassett slept with a man, leading Dell to twist his head almost completely around (strongman indeed); she then gets topless revealing three breasts, each covered in a bedazzled tassel and admits to being a hermaphrodite explaining, “three titties, proper girl parts, and a ding-a ling.” When Elsa asks what that makes Dell, he responds saying “the happiest man on earth.” Well played sir. The two decide to take whatever they can get when they admit that it’s been a little difficult to find work anymore for circus-folk. Ethel and Dell’s past is revealed with Jimmy being their child, unbeknownst to Jimmy, and springs his news on his new residency to Ethel.
While out, Gloria notices Twisty casually walking down the street and when she catches up, she asks if he’ll do private parties for children, (Twisty perks up) but seriously, what is it with the people of Jupiter and frightening clowns?! Dandy actually heads back to the freak show to try and befriend Jimmy, before asking to join feeling like it’s the perfect place for someone like him, who only wants to fit in. He actually begs to join, but Jimmy then dismisses him and says he’d love a life like his and tells him to go home and enjoy it. Dandy takes the news badly and slams his head into a steering wheel over and over like that of an obviously unstable person. He arrives home to a surprise from his mother, and she introduces him to Twisty, leaving her son in a toy filled room with the murderous clown.
Bette attempts to perform for Elsa, and the girl can’t find a pitch to save her life. After Desiree suggests the twins shooting ping pong balls in an… unconventional way…Dot decides to give singing a go, and reveals her performance-worthy voice that captures Jimmy and worries Elsa. Dandy plays with puppets on a stage with the audience of Twisty, having a one sided conversation; but the two have some odd connection. After Twisty bashes Dandy in the head for touching his juggling tools, Dandy follows him with intrigue towards who he views as his only possible friend at this point.
Jimmy brings in the members of the carnival to a local diner where they just want to have a decent meal, and to prove a point about acceptance, (as if we couldn’t love him more..) When Dell arrives and see’s his idea, he gives Jimmy a bit of a beating in front of everyone at his attempt and trying to make himself come of as a leader.
The blonde teenage girl and young boy captured by Twisty earlier have now worked together and found a way to escape; but unfortunately the timing doesn’t work well and he arrives back to the bus trap, and he sits inside the locked cage across for them, offering a toy to the young boy from his toy store murders. (For a psychotic clown killer this falls into the realm of a nice gesture?) then pulls out a severed head again which is let with less than a positive reaction, receiving a spiked plank to the head by the girl. As they dart out of the bus, Twisty takes a minute to adjust his mask and fix the enormous and disgusting gaping hole where a jaw should be located. Not a lovely sight.
When the girl gets a good distance away (and ditches the child) Dandy finds her, and as a bartering chip towards Twisty, helps him force both back into his entrapment. Elsa now shows a change of heart about Dell the strongman, hoping to have an ally like him in these dangerous times. The show opens to a fairly decent crowd, and Dot sings Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” to a joyful audience. Bette shows sorrows when only taking backup vocals, watching her sister get the star treatment she hoped for. During the song, Dot also can’t seem to take her eyes off of Jimmy and Elsa isn’t looking to happy about the attention received even though generally good for the carnival itself.
The cops show up the next day with a warrant searching for evidence in the cops murder, and we find out he planned on pinning the detectives badge in his trailer, which he relocated getting Meep (little chicken-head-eater) arrested. Meep cowers in a jail cell as the other inmates corner him prepared to do horrid things, thinking he was doing Twisty’s work as well. Elsa appears to Bette while she sleeps, and reassures her of her star potential and warns her that her sister is jealous, attempting to cause a divide. Bette for a moment debates on stabbing her, and hesitates; of which Dot seems to have been quite aware. Jimmy gets drunk and has a heart to heart with his mother Ethel and wants to confess killing the officer to make it right, but it’s too late as Jimmy leaves to correct the issue, the body of Meep is discarded outside the carnival. When Jimmy realizes what has occurred, it sends him into an emotional rage that most likely will only bubble up further as the season goes on.
Aedan’s Final Thoughts
-Enjoying Dot’s vocal slayage
-Dell and Jimmy will clearly be having issues throughout the season (Team Jimmy)
-Dandy and Gloria are both scene stealers
-Twisty earns his name as the disturbed Clown claims additional victims
-Elsa is starting to lose it over the possibility of not being in the spotlight