“American Horror Story: Freak Show”: Tupperware Party Massacre

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Oh, American Horror Story. You giveth, and then you wasteth our time with an episode that can only be described as an absolute mess… and I’m not even talking about the swimming pool full of dead housewives!

Let’s dig in.

Maggie (Emma Roberts) tells Dandy’s (Finn Wittrock) fortune – she can recognize his voice, almost. He says he hurt someone badly, and the person who usually helps… well let’s talk about something else, shall we? She looks into her crystal ball and sees his house. Like a real psychic! An Avon lady visits, and Dandy lets her in. She’s in pink. He kills her with a candlestick and decapitates her and sews her head onto Gloria’s (Frances Conroy) body. It’s his own set of twins! Somebody get this kid an Etsy account.

He calls her his savior and gives her a Benjamin. She goes to take it and he grabs her hand, telling her it would be a shame to waste the powers inside of her. He leaves.

Jimmy (Evan Peters) spoonfeeds Irma pudding as the others look on. He’s still “stinking drunk,” according to Eve (Erika Erwin). Jimmy hears Dandy – who is thisclose to wearing a Christmas elf outfit – whistling, and he runs after him. Paul (Mat Fraser) tries to pull him aside as he accuses Dandy of being the man in the clown mask and tries to hit him, but he falls. Dandy tells him that he will have revenge on him for taking the twins away – he needs to suffer, and Dandy will destroy him and everything he loves. Toodles! He struts off.

Elsa (Jessica Lange) and Stanley (Denis O’Hare) visit zee twins (Sarahs Paulson) in a hotel room. They ask where Ethel is, and are told that a mob is hunting freaks. They tell her that the mob tore Ethel’s head off, and they have two heads to lose. They found a note in Ethel’s wagon telling where the twins are. Dot is suspicious, but Elsa says that Doctor Bologna or whatever the hell his name is is coming down to separate them.

Desiree (Angela Bassett) and Maggie are interrupted by a dapper black man (Malcolm-Jamal Motherfucking Warner,  yo) who is looking for Desiree – Maggie tries to protect her, but Desiree sends her away. She tells Angus T. Jefferson (the T is for “Theeoooooooo!”) that he should get a hold of himself. Desiree tells Maggie to keep her mouth shut about Angus. They stumble upon Jimmy banging Ima, and when Maggie says that he’s drunk, Maggie shrieks that he’ll put it in anyone. There are lots of fat jokes. Jimmy throws up. Good God this is nasty.

Ladies at a Tupperware party talk about how one of them gave her husband a BJ and got a new stove. They have drunk Jimmy in the other room but he can’t find their hoo-has, and he sees Ethel (Kathy Bates) parked in front of the pink aluminum Christmas tree. He apologizes to her for being born. The ladies ask how Ethel stored leftovers in her day. Ha! She shames Jimmy for wasting their family line, just another drunk. “Oh Ethel, you’re a delight!” The ladies kick Jimmy out. Well that’s the last time they’ll ever bring in just any lobster-handed carny hustler to finger-bang them all! Deviled egg? The doorbell rings, and it’s Dandy. He says his car broke down and asks to use her phone to call the auto club.  Whoopsies…

A car drives to a lonely shack. Stanley and Elsa are bringing the twins there. The doctor is going to operate on them… there? Elsa tells Stanley, later, that she can’t murder them. She insists – in her fucking Thomas Dolby shades – that she “can’t kill her monsters.” Stanley says he made a few calls to Hollywood, spoke to Greer Garson’s dermatologist, and confirmed that if the twins are separated, they can’t harm her. Good grief this is ridiculous. The girls think they can both live after the separation, and dance all night any time they want – “with just one leg.” Bette isn’t feeling it: “It’s barbaric!” Stanley says the doctor is arriving any minute.

Sylvia’s husband comes home to find the pool filled with blood and corpses. And no dinner in the oven! Dandy brought home Tupperware containers filled with blood to put in his bath – but Regina (Gabourey Sidibe) interrupts him. He tells her that he killed her mother, but he also killed his own mother, and now he bathes in blood. Okay then. He slams and locks the door so that he can tell her what a rush it gave him. He says he’s finally happy, and she says, “Good for you – they’re not.” Lady has a point. He strips and asks her when she knew that he was destined to be “a god.” He says he has no interest in killing her – he wants her in the tub with him. She wants to leave. He lets her go: “I AM THE LAW!” Nude.

Dot and Bette chill out in their… bunker? Bette stubs out a cigarette and tells Dot that she’s not stupid – she knows that Dot’s unhappy. Bette rhapsodizes about what they have managed to work out together – shoestrings! Needlepoint! She says love is about sacrifice. Dot reminds her that Bette could never survive without her, and Bette acknowledges it. “Any man would be lucky to have you.” Bette is willing to give her life so Dot can live. They cry.

Dell (Michael Chiklis) tries to write a letter to Desi. Everyone is wearing red this week, for some reason. He then tries to write a letter to Jimmy. Okay, maybe he should switch to emails. Stanley intercepts Dell in the middle of the night, drunk, headed back to the High Noon. Stanley tells him to forget about Andy – he’s long gone. Stanley says he’s “never half-cocked” and whips it out… Dell hisses, “you’re a freak” as Stanley slaps it around like this is a Chi Chi La Rue movie. Stanley tells him it’s fun to have secrets. Um, yeah – so maybe keep that one to yourself.

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Dell continues to tearfully write, saying that he can’t go on. There’s a noose in the background, and then Ma Petite (Jyoti Amge) shows up to curse him. Wait, seriously? Ethel shows up on cue as he drags a chair to the noose. She purrs, “Some strongmin…” but he says she can’t talk him out of it. She says she’s there to watch. He says he’s a freak and he doesn’t know how they manage it. She says it’s because he keeps it inside, where it rots him. He says he doesn’t have any fight left in him. She says he’s always been weak. She tells him to “step up to that rewp and get it done.” And he… actually does it? Until Desiree cuts him down. He tells her he’s sorry.

Stanley has a hustler pretending to be Dr. Sugar (Dr. Splenda?) who can only remember to take his clothes off: “Wait, I don’t really have to cut ’em, do I?” He likes puppies. Bless. Stanley: “Now get over here and suck my cock.”

Dandy answers the door for Regina and the police. He welcomes them in and offers them an aperitif. The cop refuses. Dandy says that he’s going to get away with it because “I’ve seen the face of God in the mirror.” The cop tells him to stop talking and Dandy tells the cop to dig a hole for Regina, for one million dollars – the cop shoots her INSTANTLY. “Got a shovel?”

Okay. That happened. Ha Gabourey Sidibe, thanks for coming to work today.

The showfolk pull down Ethel’s banners, but Jimmy is upset. Even Amazon Eve can’t talk him down. He drinks his way to a trailer, where he finds the twins. He asks where they’ve been and they blab about being wrong and feeling hole. Sorry – whole. Dot realizes that she’s the one who’s not hole! They’re family and they belong together. Jimmy drools, “even fambly leaves” but Dot put his hand to her face and says she’s sorry about Ethel. “Jimmy Darling, I have loved you since the first time I set eyes on you.” She drops her dress. Jimmy’s all, “I’m not THAT drunk…” She says he’s different but special, and she wants to replace his pain with love. She cries. Bette supports Dot, but he says that it’s her body too. She says that she can give them privacy. Dot says “wife,” which is moving a little fast, no? They both kiss him. Okay, this is kinda crazy. Jimmy agrees. He bolts. The look on Dot’s face is THE WORST. He tells them that he’s in love with someone else. Maybe the one-headed chick? They leave, and Jimmy throws the bottle across the trailer.

Sirens!

They are there for Jimmy Darling, for the murders of the Tupperware Harem. Is this the same cop that’s in Dandys’ pocket now? The freaks huddle as they take Jimmy away. Is this the last stand?

Apparently.

SCENE
Notably Dead: Regina, the Jupiter Ladies Auxiliary Fingerblast Society, Dr. Splenda’s gag reflex

Notably Absent: Penny the Amazing Lizard Girl and her Daddy

Quote of the Week: “With one leg?”

Freak of the Week: Dot and Bette. It already feels like the twins are on a different show than everyone else, at this point – were it that it were so. Sarah Paulson is acting the shit out of not one, but two roles.

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Blood – 10/10

Who’s gonna clean that pool?!

Beasts – 0/10

Sign.

Buns – 10/10

I mean really.

Rating

You guys, this was just gross. Slapdash, ham-fisted and ridiculous I can live with (and have for four seasons, off and on), but when combined with the tastelessness of this episode, it’s just not fun to watch. From suburban housewives fellating carrots to projectile vomiting to Stanley playing t-ball with his schlong to a cop shooting a woman point blank in the head at the request of a madman, too much of this episode was shock for shock’s sake, and it was icky. Never before has the show felt so much like Nip/Tuck to me, and I don’t mean that as a compliment. I believe that if you frame it well and find a solid hook to hang it on, trash can become art. If not, it’s just trash.

And don’t even get me started on the disaster that was Regina’s character. Seriously, was there a point to her being around at all? What a waste of time. Also, I can’t decide if the fact that Gabourey Sidibe has been shot in the head two seasons in a row while Kathy Bates has been decapitated in both Coven and Freak Show is a sign of consistency or laziness.

I’d give it one out of five Pennywises:

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Writer-filmmaker Brian Juergens launched CampBlood.org, the world's first website devoted to horror films from a gay perspective, in 2003.