By David Oliver
If you thought the “AHS: Freak Show” premiere was twisted, you clearly weren’t ready for this week’s installment. A bunch of gorey twists propelled this season into a whole new realm of crazy for TV’s arguably craziest show. Curtains, up:
The detective’s murder only brings up more questions surrounding an already questionable bunch of freaks. Elsa tries to defend them: “My monsters cherish their privacy.” But the cops are in over their heads – Twisty the clown has already claimed his next victim, leaving his head on a shelf of a toy store in a creepy sequence involving a creepy robot doll leaving a trail of blood. Extra creepy factor: Twisty blending in with the fake clowns in the store, a cool illusion for the audience.
Meanwhile, poor Dandy just wants to be a thespian and is incredibly bored of his privileged life (he goes to see Jimmy and wants to prove he can join the freak show), so Gloria naturally decides to provide him with some entertainment by bringing home a clown she found wandering the street – none other than Twisty himself. Their maid tells Gloria she thinks Dandy killed a local cat – and it’s apparently something Dandy is capable of when bored.
We meet Dell and Desiree (who kills it with “please tell me this is a rest stop”) this week, who wish to bring some life back into the freak show. Dell is a strongman, while Desiree is a three-breasted hermaphrodite. But that’s not all: Dell is Ethel’s estranged ex and Jimmy’s father. Dell has quite a temper. We discover in flashbacks he snaps the neck of a man he catches Desiree sleeping with, as well as when he threatens to hurt Jimmy as a baby. He beats Jimmy up later in the episode after Jimmy tries to have the freaks assimilate into society at a local diner.
Bette and Dot need more than just to be oogled and oggled at – the two need a talent that Desiree and Elsa try to bring out. Bette is a terrible singer, but Dot takes the mic at Jimmy’s encouragement and proves her prowess. Kudos to Sarah Paulson, who yet again steals the show. Elsa later manipulates Bette into thinking Dot is out to steal her spotlight, Elsa jealous of the attention herself.
Twisty escapes Dandy’s only to almost lose his caged people after they try to escape. But Dandy decides to help out Twisty and carries the girl back to Twisty’s lair. More importantly: we see what’s under Twisty’s fake teeth, and it’s a gross, mangled mouth. Eeeek.
The detectives return and vow to find proof the detective was murdered there and discover his badge – one that Jimmy tried to frame Dell with, only to be outsmarted by him and ultimately costing one of the freaks, Meep, a night in jail. Jimmy tells Ethel he has to tell the truth (she doesn’t know what he did), but before he gets the chance, the cops drop off a dead, obviously tortured Meep, throwing him out of the car in a body bag. What an awful way these people were treated – a scary glimpse into how people who are different have it much harder in this world. But more reason to keep watching to see what’s going to happen next, especially since the annual Halloween two-parter is coming up.
Side note: Kathy Bates’s accent is atrocious, whatever it’s trying to be.