American Horror Story Season 4 Episode 5 – TV Review
Sadly, the random psycho murderer part is a bit of a turn off.
And there is no forgiveness for anyone who murders Matt Bomer.
TL;DR Dandy begins his serial killing career; Stanley (aka Mansfield, aka Richard Spencer) begins his quest to kill and stuff some freaks; Desiree finds out she’s just a chick with a huge clit; Dell turns out to be gay.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that he’s portrayed by Michael Chick-less.
So with Halloween over and Twisty dead, it’s time for the freak show to go on. Stanley, still under the guise of talent scout Richard Spencer, starts weaving his tales of stardom to Elsa (in order to distract her) and the Paulsons (in order to kill them and turn them into exhibits). He makes little progress on the murdering front (likely to the relief of a reluctant Esmerelda), but Elsa seems keen on a TV career following a bad performance on stage. Meanwhile, Jimmy gets his romantic advances turned down by Esmerelda, so he tries to bang Desiree. Desiree chooses that time to miscarry the baby she didn’t know she was carrying, and a visit to Ethel’s doctor reveals that Desiree is a biological woman with a bizarre protrusion. This news is of no comfort to Dell, who has been spending his time falling in love with Matt Bomer, a local prostitute. Dandy also turns his attentions to Bomer. But he’s more interested in stabbing and dismembering him. And Gloria spends the episode struggling with Dandy’s murder of the maid. Dandy’s psychopathy is something he has inherited from his father, and Gloria kept him around by helping him murder vagrants. Gloria plans to offer a similar service to Dandy, but at the cost of her sanity.
Oh, the things Gloria will do for her boys.
So it looks like my concern over where the season will head following Twisty’s death can be laid to rest.
Stanley is super dooper evil, bro.
And he hasn’t got a stupid clown costume. So he’s already an improvement from Twisty.
Why I hate this episode:
I’m not sure exactly which parts of the episode were Stanley’s fantasies, and which parts weren’t. Obviously, the sequence following Bette’s ingestion of the poison cupcake turns out to be false. Because we see the real version of that event, and Dot slaps it away before she gets to eat it. But did the stuff with the museum in the future happen? I’m not sure. And I really would like confirmation that he kills the Paulsons and puts them into a tank. It would get them to shut up, at least.
I’m not happy with Esmerelda’s ambivalence over Stanley’s plan. She’s all saintly and saying how she doesn’t feel right about murdering people. But it’s not like there’s a version of the “murder a freak and put them in a tank” plan that doesn’t involve murder. So is she just going to keep making her meek protestations while Stanley gets his kill on, and then pretend to feel conflicted while she cashes her cheque? Pick a side, bitch.
Elsa is so disheartened by one particularly bad performance that she’s willing to flip her deeply-held conviction over the evils of television to entertain Stanley’s suggestion. Has she never actually played a show before? It’s like her bad singing is news to her. I was under the impression that she was a seasoned, if unappreciated, performer. But one bad song and she’s ready to go to the dark side? I don’t buy it.
I’m tired of Bette’s naivete and Dot’s bitterness. Who knew it was possible for a character that has two notes to be so one-note?
Elsa has a long rant about how TV is “the death of art and civilisation.” Hand. Feed. Bite. You get it. Also, no, honey. That’s not all TV. That’s just Glee.
Jimmy is still going on about Meep. Shoosh.
In a show full of stereotypes, we now have a new one: the John who falls in love with his prostitute. Despite being well aware that they are a prostitute. Oh, Dell. You’re a mess.
Dandy buys some time with Bomer the prostitute, and even takes him alone to Twisty’s trailer. At Dandy’s suggestion, they turn their back to each other and strip down to their underwear. Yes, Dandy, too. And Dandy doesn’t even have the decency to fuck Bomer before murdering him. What a tease this show is.
Gabourey Sidibe literally phones her performance in. She’s the black maid’s worried daughter.
Oh, and Bomer takes an unusually long time to die. Dandy complains to him that the prolonged suffering makes him feel bad. Pssh, what kind of psychopath are you?
But it’s not all bad:
Bomer manages to live up until Dandy starts cutting his limbs off. The plea for death is a little melodramatic, but the gruesomeness works.
Once Elsa’s had her meltdown over the bad show, she turns her sights on the Paulsons, whom she notices Stanley is also wooing with promises of television stardom. To put this to bed, Elsa closes the episode by misleading them to believe they’re going dress shopping, but actually bringing them to Gloria’s doorstep, intent to offer that sale Gloria had demanded back in the first episode. God, she’s petty. Isn’t it fantastic?
Gloria herself manages to be this episode’s star. Her grim acceptance of her fate, being the mother and wife to murderers, manages to push through the barrier of affluent arrogance she carries so well. She’s still just a woman trying to do the best thing for her son. Which is pretty hard when your son is evil as fuck.
Her standout scene is when she receives a phone call from Gabourey, who is worried that she hasn’t spoken to her mum recently. Gloria, awkwardly and desperately, brings up her own parental failings. I wish she’d been able to find the reassurance she’d been seeking.
I’m still writing off Dandy as one-note, but at least he’s giving us something when he decides he likes to prance around near-naked. It’s enough for now.
His murder of Bomer is requisitely brutal.
I was happy for Desiree when she found out that, as a biological woman, she might be able to have babies (the miscarriage proves she can at least conceive). She dumps Dell’s neglectful butt, and moves in with Ethel for the time being. Sisters are doing it for themselves.
Best line of the episode goes to Dell, who feels the way I do about a certain blonde-haired, lobster-handed doofus: “Who gives a shit about Jimmy!?” Not me.
Matt Bomer is hot.
Stanley’s fantasy with the Paulsons is fabulous. Bette eats a poisoned cupcake, and a flash forward shows Dot crying in bed as Bette’s head decomposes next to her. I love it.
His fantasies/flash forwards to the museum show that he put T-Rex guy’s stuffed torso in a tank, and also the Paulsons from the collar bone up. Esmerelda drinks heavily to get through the presentation. I approve.
Esmerelda is aware of Stanley’s homosexuality, but seems unfazed by it. Give that girl a 1952 GLAAD award.
Dell breaks the doctor’s fingers so he won’t be able to perform any genital reduction surgery on Desiree (she wants her clit shaved down so she appears more womanly). Simple and effective.
Oh, and let’s not forget that not only is Dandy a self-proclaimed thespian, but he also knew where the gay bar was in the first place. So we shouldn’t lose hope in his sexuality just yet.