American Horror Story Season 4 Episode 8 – TV Review

American Horror Story Freak Show Blood Bath Dandy

I prefer to bathe in fruity lexia, but that’s just because I’m cheap.

You know how I said there were only three characters left that I care about?

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.

America Horror Story Freak Show Blood Bath Dell

Don’t bother, Dell. There’re no gays in Mystic Falls.

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About ijusthateeverything

Sincerity is death.

8 responses to “American Horror Story Season 4 Episode 8 – TV Review”

  1. Teylen says :

    I actually only cared about Gloria and Ethel. So the episode was quite a bummer.
    Specially as they killed both characters off in the somehow most unshocking, unbrutal, dulled way possible. I didn’t even flinch the tiniest bit.

    Regarding Ethel not noticing that Elsa got no legs,.. I smiled.
    The show obviously doesn’t give the slightest f*ck to either portray Elsas legs as missing or have Lange actually act it. Instead, after getting to legs with clearly flat feet Elsa hops around in Highheels (its wood! it doesn’t bend!) and its been obvious in the close up shots that both legs are healthy human legs.

    I know hobbyist projects that do a more convincing job.

    Same goes to the blood,.. which looked like water color instead of blood.
    I mean, you know, blood is all sticky normally. oO;
    (he’d also have to murder more then Gloria to get a bath full of blood)

    Its also stupid to have Desiree believe that Ethel offed herself after she does a long motivational speech about how Ethel was really, totally, not a tiny bit one who would have offed herself.

    I only watch it because of some strange stockholm syndrome stuff.

    Plus I hope that maybe, just maybe, they’ll give Francis Conroy a role within the main cast. Maybe even as the lead. I am kinda very bored of Lange.

  2. rockabore says :

    I agree 100% I love Jessica Lange, but this same character type (the faded old broad who delights in being sadistic) is getting stale. I love the gal and enjoy her playing these roles, but we need something with a different taste.

    I also like Maggie but for fuck sake, if only she would dump that wet drip Jimmy! I’m so sick of his shit. His whiny, angsty bullshit is not worth my time. Literally he will find anything to bitch about then do NOTHING to solve it. Dell tried to attack Amazon Eve, Dandy’s totes the Clown’s assistant, Elsa’s clearly lying about the twins/tried to kill Paul, and I probably forgot other shit he didn’t address like someone with a functioning brain would, but literally Jimmy has done nothing about these things but cry and mope. Fuck him.

    I wouldn’t have minded seeing Gabourey killed out of the show in this episode. I actually liked her as Queenie (some of the time) but here as Regina she just putters around bitchily saying, “Where is my mother? I know you’re lying and I’m going to get answers” Well then tell some authorities, bitch, because telling the people you believe killed your mom that shit is really fucking idiotic. Also get a new hairstyle because this one is unflattering and makes you look like a perfectly round circle. (It’s not nice but it’s kinda true)

    Having Gloria killed off sucks because she was so much more interesting than Dandy. For a bit I thought she was going to kill him, but I guess I should have known better. Gloria has nothing to do with the Freakshow and Dandy’s obsessed with it and its presence has transformed him into an even more brutal person than he was before it came to town and he has an ax to grind with it so it makes sense he’s not dead yet. It only sucks because Dandy himself has gotten a bit stale. The one thing I can say positive about this whole thing is with Gloria dead, Dandy won’t have anyone to flip his little bitch-switch at.

    Also I’m kind of proud of AHS for getting the resolution for the whole Penny thing out of the way. Last episode, I was like, “Really now we fucking have a random subplot fly wildly out of nowhere. Goddamn it.” It wasn’t really a great idea since Penny hasn’t been given proper character development and it all seems hella random. First she’s a candy striper, then she’s in a freak orgy, much later she and Paul are shagging, and her dad is cartoonishly evil, and he tats her up for retarded illogical reasons. None of this has done much to give me the least bit of an idea of what she’s personally like. BUT, yeah, thank God that AHS didn’t have this be a season focus thing. Having it addressed and dealt with was much appreciated. And the fact that she’s not wallowing in pity and has that one badass moment makes her a step up from Jimmy and I can’t help but like that.

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