American Horror Story Season 4 Episode 8 – TV Review
Gloria. Dot. Esmerelda.
Well, you can scratch Gloria off that list, because that’s not wine Dandy’s bathing in up there.
TL;DR Dandy kills Gloria because American Horror Story couldn’t bear having anyone actually care about this show anymore; Elsa kills Ethel after Ethel tries to kill Elsa; Grace’s dad gets tarred and feathered; Jimmy descends into alcoholism (cheers!); Elsa hires a fat lady for the freak show.
I can hear the labouredly-breathing sighs of the fat activists already.
So to follow on from last episode, Dell manages to sucessfully pass off Ma Petite’s disappearance as an animal attack (is this show set in Mystic Falls?). Elsa absolutely falls apart over it. Unluckily, Ethel chooses the wrong time to let her skepticism overwhelm her, and pulls a gun on Elsa because she suspects she killed her (overhearing Elsa and Stanley discuss murdering the Paulsons didn’t help). Elsa puts a throwing knife in her eye first, and she, Stanley, and Esmerelda fake Ethel’s death as a vehicular/hanging/decaptiation suicide. Jimmy responds to his mother’s death by getting drunk, fighting with Esmerelda, and turning his attentions on Barbara, the fat lady Elsa recruits this episode. Meanwhile, Desiree, Grace, Amazon Eve, and Torso Lady form a female avengers team. The Birds of Prey go after Grace’s dad. They tar and feather him, but Esmerelda stops them from castrating and killing him. Fucking buzzkill. And Gabourey turns up at Gloria and Dandy’s house looking for her mum. Tensions betwen Dandy and Gloria are exacerbated by her attempts to have him see a shrink, which leads to Dandy shooting Gloria in the head and bathing in her blood.
I’m not sure if that millisecond glimpse of his bare bum is really worth the killing of the only decent character left (sorry, Dot and Esmerelda. But you know what you are).
Really, I’m only keeping up with American Horror Story in hope that there will be some improvement or shocks.
Ethel and Gloria both die this episode, so that’s something, I suppose.
But I’m still struggling to care what happens to any of these people at all.
Why I hate this episode:
It’s all up to Dot and Esmerelda now. God help us.
Dandy’s decision to kill Gloria is so arbitrary, too. I can’t imagine that in all the years of his life, her sending him to see a shrink is the worst thing (in his opinion, at least) she’s ever done to him. If he was really so flippant about ending his mother’s life, surely he would have done it sooner.
Shortly before he kills her, he offers to shoot himself, instead. Goddamn, if only.
Out of all the people to survive the episode, Gabourey is one. Just kill her, Dandy. Stop dragging it out.
Danny Huston slums his cameo as the doctor who made Elsa’s prosthetic legs back in the day. Although, the Axeman was so persistent and annoying, so I don’t think I would have appreciated him being an important character, either. I’m unpleasable, btw.
Ethel didn’t know Elsa had wooden legs. Fucking really? You’ve spent most of your adult life around this woman, and you never picked that up? What?
T-Rex attends Ethel’s funeral, standing up and everything. So I guess he’s fine now?
The Birds of Prey are a desperate attempt to inject some kind of action into this show, and it just feels bizarre. I don’t see how Ethel’s suicide (which Desiree is satisfied to believe was to expediate her death over succumbing to her illness) is some kind of feminist call to arms for Desiree. “My friend killed herself. Let’s go lynch a man!”
Oh, and Esmerelda is still on Jimmy about how they need to get things sorted so they can go soon. Just fucking go now!
But it’s not all bad:
Esmerelda proves herself virtuous, despite her procrastination. She hears Grace’s dad’s screams, and convinces Grace and the Birds of Prey not to kill him. Because being a murderer isn’t good for your emotions, and going to jail kind of sucks, too. Natch.
Desiree plays the “STFU whitey” card on her, but Esmerelda stands firm. Hey, she’s doing all she can to keep this absymal show afloat.
Dandy offers Gloria a deal (prior to killing her): he’ll agree to continue seeing the shrink, but only if Gloria herself murders Gabourey. It’s a shame American Horror Story didn’t want to see that one through.
Elsa’s self-defence murder of Ethel is pretty badass. Ethel intends to commit a murder/suicide, and Elsa requests to be allowed one last drink. Then she throws a fucking throwing knife into Ethel’s eye.
Stanley’s idea for the coverup is suitable grisly: they rig a car to crash into a tree, while simultaneously wrapping a chain around Ethel’s neck that’s tied to another tree, so she both crashes and is decapitated. Esmerelda plays the fake witness (presumably under duress from Stanley), and the freaks eat that shit up.
Dandy blames Gloria for his existence because she married his father purely for money, despite him being her second cousin. Her own family line had become destitute, so she put aside their blood (and her already knowing he was a psychopath) to secure herself a luxurious life. Oh, Gloria. You cheeky devil.
The Birds of Prey may not have killed Grace’s dad, but getting covered in boiling tar is bound to leave a scar. It’s what he deserves.
Oh, and massive points to Dell for successfully fooling the freaks into accepting Ma Petite’s disappearance as an animal attack, just by leaving her dress in the woods. Lindy Chamberlain and the vampires of Mysic Falls would be proud.