So who else had nightmares after watching last night’s premiere of American Horror Story: Freak Show? Talk about a terrifying, but brilliant hour and a half of television. Whoa! I felt like I was holding my breath throughout the entire episode and if I wasn’t afraid of clowns before (which I was), I certainly am now!
Let’s start with a homicidal clown that makes Pennywise look like Grandma Clown from The Big Apple Circus. Those poor teenagers were just trying to make a little whoopie when a bloody, half-masked clown disrupted their efforts by killing the boyfriend, brutally. The girlfriend tries to run away, but it turns out the clown captures her and keeps her locked inside a makeshift cage in an incredibly creepy school bus. Alongside the poor girl is an 8-year-old boy who the clown has recently orphaned.
Meanwhile, in one creepy-ass hospital we meet Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange) who has come to the aid of the twins, Bette and Dot Tattler (Sarah Paulson), who happen to share a body. They are at the forefront of a murder investigation and the victim is their own mother. Turns out the old lady was keeping them hidden from the rest of the world and Bette couldn’t take it anymore, so she killed stabbed her clean in the neck. Elsa runs a circus freak show and is desperately trying to keep her property and enlists the girls to be her new main attraction. Of course, by “enlisting” I mean she blackmails the twins into joining her freak show. Elsa figures out that it was Bette who killed her mother and that Dot was guilty too because she didn’t stop her sister. To add further to chaos, Dot stabbed her sister while she slept, as punishment. Talk about family drama.
In the meantime, we meet the mysterious crab boy, Jimmy Darling (Evan Peters) who uses his crap hands to please the ladies, secretly, of course. He desperately wants to fit in and hates being called a “freak,” which we find out when a snooping police office comes calling and loses his life after using that one word, “freak.” Turns out those crab hands can be used for more than just pleasure.
It becomes clear that Elsa is looking for more than just a successful circus, she is looking for her moment in the sun again as she imagines herself shining in the spotlight performing for rich lady, Gloria Mott (Frances Conroy) and her incredibly spoiled son, Dandy Mott (Finn Wittrock). By the end of the performance Gloria and Dandy are convinced that they need the twins for themselves and offer to pay $15,000 for them, an offer that is swiftly turned down by all of the so-called “freaks.” However, I doubt this is the last we’ll see of the Motts.
In the end, we learn that Elsa’s desperation for fame isn’t her only secret, as she removes the prosthetic legs from her knees and it’s revealed she is missing everything from the knee down. Who didn’t see that coming!?
I suppose if I had to sum up this episode into one sentence I would say: Fear all clowns and don’t judge a freak by their deformity.
American Horror Story: Freak Show airs Wednesday at 10/9c on FX Network. Watch full episodes on FXNetwork.com.