After a hiatus, we pick up in American Horror Story: Freak Show with Gloria visiting her shrink where she lies, tense, smoking a cigarette while talking about Dandy’s evil antics as a child. She shares that he had killed animals and his only friend growing up vanished and was never found, triggering instant concern for his mental state. The therapist asks if any recent occurrence brought these memories on and while flashing to Dandy murdering the maid Dora she takes a puff and says “a mothers intuition.” The search for Ma Petite has begun with everyone assisting trying to discover our tiny beloved friend, when her torn up dress is found they claim it must have been an animal attack.
Elsa finds out and she is immediately devastated, emotionally crumbling, much like the fans of the show. Ethel questions Elsa’s grief and tries to say she faked her emotions, resulting in Elsa defending herself, along with her love for Ma Petite. Ethel shoots Elsa in the leg while she walks away and is shocked to see her prosthetic legs. We see where we last left off in her flashback with Elsa being carried to the help of a doctor and prop maker who seemingly fell for her while designing new legs for Elsa. Though she opens up about her past Ethel still feels that she can no longer trust Elsa, deciding to kill her for the sake of the others before ending her own life. Elsa pleas for a final toast and then makes her way toward the cart with the liquor and silver, before pulling out a blade and throwing it right into her eye, killing Ethel on the spot.
Jimmy later shows up to the troupe and finds everyone gathered with a tearful Maggie saying she found Ethel in an off-road car wreck. We then find out that Stanley was a part of the cover up, and that he and Elsa staged her demise. Elsa shows her acting abilities, being overly distraught and comforted by Jimmy, the son of the victim. Regina, the daughter of Dora, arrives to the Mott’s and Gloria continues to provide false stories of her mother’s whereabouts, but she continues her persistence and says she’ll wait it out, suspecting something is wrong.
A late night funeral is held for Ethel, where a majority of the group gathers to offer grief and condolence. The women show admiration for Ethel’s strength without a man in a sexist world. Newcomer Penny agrees and says she was altered for just rebelling against her father. The women decide they will make him pay for his actions because she’s now one of their very own. Gloria’s therapist arranges a trick meeting with Dandy that he believed to be an IQ test. He shows his sick minded ways when he ponders an old story about eating flesh for power or bathing in blood, a bad sign most certainly. Dandy makes a deal with his mother to continue seeing his therapist if she kills Regina before he is caught for his killing, and says he will take her down with him.
Elsa is now seeking a new position in the freak show and finds a woman named Barbara whose weight is something those around her have unfortunately mocked. She explains that there is a place she can go where every bit of her can be celebrated, and takes a bite of a Baby Ruth bar to help create temptation. Elsa later finds a drunken Jimmy and hopes to snap him out of his grief, trying to remind him of how much she raised him as well as the other women in the Freak Show. Elsa introduces Jimmy to Barbara and even suggest she could potentially offer support like his mother, which he finds to be a mad idea.
Penny and the others real in to her house and kidnap her disturbed father, and tie him up in one if their trailers. Penny begins the payback by putting tar all over him and covering him in feathers. Maggie hears the screams and try’s to talk the women out of killing him to remember their humanity, and shows perseverance when they argue back, changing Penny’s mind to let her despicable father keep his life.
Gloria hears that her therapist fears for her safety so she refuses his assistance anymore, finding a distraught Dandy who feels she doesn’t care for him before blaming her for his mother’s incestuous relationship that led to his birth. Gloria realizes she has no options at this point, and goes to grab her gun to end his life. By the time she realizes it’s gone he is holding it to his temple. Gloria begs for him not to kill himself so he agrees and proceeds to shoot his mother instead, killing the only person he had left.
We see Jimmy, still grief stricken and overly intoxicated, arguing with Maggie about his current depression state and alone embracing Barbara where he decides to take comfort, just like Elsa suggested. The final scene shows Dandy doing just as the title of the episode suggests and disrobes to enter his “Blood Bath”, taking him one step further down the path of insanity.
Aedan’s Final Thoughts
-Ethel snapping was an indication of her demise.
-I get the feeling Penny’s father will make a return in some capacity.
-Someone pull Jimmy from his drunken stupor please? #HelpJimmy
-Really upset over the death of Gloria, I LOVE Frances Conroy in every AHS role she plays.