American Horror Story Season 4 Episode 6 – TV Review
Elsa teaches us this episode that the best way to regain the trust of your doubting flock is to string your main critic up and throw a knife into his gut, then purposely and obviously neglect to call medical attention and wait for him to die.
That oughtta restore their faith in you, baby.
TL;DR T-Rex runs afoul of Elsa; gets a knife in the gut; Stanley decides he wants to take Jimmy as his prize now that the Paulsons are missing, much to Esmerelda’s horror; Dandy finds the Paulsons a bit of a handful because Dot is alarmed at being sold into slavery to a weirdo (how capricious of her!); and it’s Elsa’s birthday week.
T-Rex guy is the surprise focal character of this episode. It turns out that Elsa bangs him occasionally, but isn’t super nice about it. He is also in love with Grace Gummer, who is back home and living with her overbearing father. T-Rex happens to bump into Dandy in town, and realises Elsa has sold the Paulsons, who she had been claiming had simply run away, to Gloria and Dandy. Elsa goes into full meltdown mode and forces T-Rex to participate in a knife-throwing sideshow, which she purposely flubs so he gets hurt. This, somehow, doesn’t cause an utter breakdown of trust, and the episode ends before we get to see how the freaks will really react. Meanwhile, Stanley is upset that the Paulsons have disappeared. He wants to kill Jimmy, now, but Esmerelda desperately suggests they put the short lady in a jar, instead. She almost goes through with it, but chickens out. She tries to get Jimmy to run away with her, but Stanley is on her case. Meanwhile, Dandy has fallen in live with the Paulsons, much to Gloria’s suspicion. Dot is an understandably skeptical bitch (Bette is a fucking airhead dipshit. No shocks there), and Dandy loses his shit and is now the angel of death or something. The episode ends as Jimmy shows up on their doorstep, searching for the twins.
I know I haven’t been paying the best attention to American Horror Story this season, but isn’t Jimmy aware that Dandy is a psycho killer and former sidekick to Twisty? Why on Earth would he go into that house alone?
Also, Gloria needs to just fucking murder her son. Come on, honey.
Why I hate this episode:
For reals, Gloria. You need to murder your son. How much more proof do you need that he is an endless hindrance to you? Given how easily he blows up at someone he says he loves, Gloria should be worried for her own safety.
I’m starting to wonder exactly how Elsa managed to foster her freak show family as solidly as she did. This episode shows she is wildly out of touch with how to react to them when they doubt her. As mentioned, her solution to their rumour of the Paulsons is to basically murder T-Rex in front of everybody. Even Ethel, her most stalwart supporter, makes it clear that she is mostly aware that Elsa sold the Paulsons, but is choosing to remain in denial until she has absolute proof.
Elsa’s evil is then prominently displayed when it becomes clear that she hasn’t called a doctor for T-Rex’s gut stabbing. All the other freaks are apparently huddled around him, hoping he gets better. Or, like, you know, any one of you could call a doctor, instead? Or drive T-Rex to the hospital? Just a thought.
Bette is a ridiculous idiot. I wish Stanley’s fantasy of her dying off had come true.
Oh, and Dandy breaks into Dot’s diary. Rude.
But it’s not all bad:
Dandy has Gloria read a passage out loud, and Dot accurately describes Dandy as boring. I lol’d.
Elsa is unhinged and explosive, yes, but her midnight meltdown is utterly glorious. Who else would call up all her “family,” accuse them all of being reprehensible, and then demand one of them be put on a spinning wheel for a knife throwing demonstration? And Jessica Lange makes it seem almost plausible. Bravo.
And who doesn’t love a mucked up knife throwing act? That’s what the people watch for.
When Esmerelda makes her suggestion of taking the short woman to Stanley, we are treated to a visualisation of the whole, amazingly cruel act. They put her in a jar and Stanley drowns her in formaldehyde as Esmerelda blankly watches on. It’s enchantingly evil.
Esmerelda almost goes through with the plan later, but chickens out. Thank goodness. For a moment I thought she’d done it, and was both impressed and enraged. Her later attempt to skip town with Jimmy shows that maybe she will properly resist Stanley.
For his part, Stanley is onto Esmerelda’s softness, and now has her under duress to complete the plan to kill Jimmy. Not if Dandy gets to him first, Stanley.
Dandy turns down a gift of condoms from Gloria, because he doesn’t want to have sex with the Paulsons. The dude has now turned down a double blowjob machine and the spunky Matt Bomer. What do you want, then?
As part of Elsa’s birthday week celebrations, she has the freaks form a line and give her gifts while she sits on a throne. That’s fairly normal, isn’t it?
Dot has a fantasy where she survives a separation surgery that kills Bette, and then Jimmy runs into her and is impressed. One can hope.
Dot also notes that she intends to suffer Dandy’s affections if it means she can squeeze the money necessary for such a surgery out of him. Points for pragmatism.
Gloria gets best line of the episode when Jimmy comes to their door and claims he’s a friend of Dandy’s: “My son has no friends.” Ya burnt, Dandy.
Oh, and Ethel promises that if Elsa is discovered to have been responsible for the Paulsons’ disappearance, then she’ll kill her with her own two hands. I believe her.