American Horror Story Season 4 Episode 12 – TV Review
Only one episode to go. Only one episode to go. Only one episode to go.
TL;DR Esmerelda dies; NPH goes away; Elsa leaves for Hollywood (and to avoid murderous retribution from the freaks for killing Ethel); the freaks mutilate Stanley; Dandy buys the freak show; Jimmy gets prosthetic hands.
They’re utterly functionless, but at least people will still know he’s a lobster boy. Because he chose to get lobster prosthetic hands.
The plot starts off with Elsa leading the revenge charge on Stanley, Freaks style. Elsa also calls in Dotor Danny Huston to make Jimmy prosthetic hands. Jimmy is his usual, charming self, and has a whinge about how he’d rather have hooks. He’s also still super mad at Esmerelda for all her deception, despite her pledge to help make things right. Meanwhile, Desiree and the other freaks come to the realisation that Elsa must have killed Ethel, and are ready to get their lynch mob back together for the second time this episode. The Paulsons tip her off to repay their life debt, and Elsa flees town. But not before selling the freak show to Dandy (sick burn, Elsa). Before this, NPH tries to live out his dream of being a freak show-owning magician. In his psychosis (and with continued taunting from Marjorie), he performs the saw-in-half trick on Esmerelda. But he envisions her as his wife, so he locks her feet into the box, and cuts the poor dear in two. He then “murders” Marjorie by stabbing her to death, and turns himself into the police.
So glad you got written into the tail end of the season, baby. The only lasting thing you did was kill Esmerelda. I really wanted that.
Oh, wait. No I didn’t.
Esmerelda was the only character left I cared about. And her death had nothing to do with her character or plot lines. It was just arbitrarily chucked in there to get rid of her, I suppose.
We can’t have any well-meaning, non-deformed people left by the season’s end, right? That would just be obtuse. #freaksforever
Why I hate this episode:
Esmerelda’s death is further ruined by the freaks’ blasé reaction to it. They initially seem horrified to see a young woman’s body pulled apart and guts fall out, but then Desiree makes a quip about how she had it coming (to be fair, she kinda did) and nobody gives a shit. Not even our bastion of civility, T-Rex/Paul. Rude all around, you bitches.
Also, what the hell is up with everyone becoming so murder-happy this episode? If it was so “meh” to you, I wish you would have all just diced each other up in the first episode. Then we wouldn’t have had to sit through thirteen episodes of this trash.
Also, why on Earth is Desiree the leader of freak solidarity? She barely knows these people. She’s been living there for what, a couple of months? Yet she’s the leader of the “do it for Ethel” brigade when they resolve to murder Elsa. Bitch, step off. Who the fuck are you?
The freaks’ punishment to Stanley is to turn him into Meep? I thought they liked Meep?
Elsa puts Stanley on the knife-throwing wheel as what is supposedly his punishment. Then she takes him down without even wounding him. What a wasted opportunity.
Jimmy chooses to get wooden hands that look like his old hands. What a wasted opportunity.
Dandy doesn’t slaughter anyone this episode. What a wasted opportunity.
Doctor Danny Huston tells the tale of how he hunted down all the men who had harmed Elsa. The final mark, and the ringleader, was named Hans Gruber. Are you actually fucking kidding, American Horror Story? Holy shit, God didn’t make eye rolls strong enough to convey what I needed to in this moment. I mean, really?
Oh, and Danny is captured by Hans, and systematically tortured for a long time. He is only “saved” by a higher ranking SS officer who wanted his carpentry skills. The Strain already did that, AHS.
But it’s not all bad:
At least NPH’s dumbass character is gone. And it was satisfying watching him stab the shit out of Marjorie. She earned it.
It was pretty ballsy for the show to whole-plot reference Freaks. You know, the thing that they totally knocked off. But I appreciate the honesty.
Elsa has the last laugh with these shitheads by selling the freak show to Dandy. We already know that her showbiz career is a success, so I’m not worried about her. So long, suckers.
It was nice of her to fly in the love of her life (who can’t be with her because Hans’ torture destroyed his soul) just to help Jimmy with some new hands. Jimmy’s ungratefulness aside, of course.
Before the freaks attack Stanley, they present him with a gift: the morbidity museum’s curator’s head in a jar. Esmerelda feigned a fainting spell to get her off-guard, and Desiree murdered her. It was cute.
Dandy passes on his PI findings about NPH to the Paulsons. He’s a cheeky bugger.
Oh, and the Paulsons’ subsequent withdrawal from NPH’s magic act is what precipitates Esmerelda’s involvement. Which is heinous. But I’ll give them points for sucking up their bullshit long enough to repay their debt to Elsa and warn her to leave before the freaks get to her. I predict Sarah Paulson will be standing high and might at the end of this season. Just like the last two.