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American Horror Story: Freak Show - S4E8 - Blood Bath

Previously on AHS: Freak Show, ‘A Test of Strength’

Even though I was up late last Wednesday prepping for Thanksgiving, AHS took the week off so I was left with Food Network reruns and MTV. So I’m hoping my socks are knocked right off this week.

We start off with Gloria at the therapist, smoking a cigarette and trying to defend her whack-a-do son. She refuses to have him committed, which makes her just as crazy as he is. She talks about how Dandy killed not just a cat, but a young boy, when he was a child and doc says she needs to bring Dandy in. Pretty sure this one is beyond couch time, sir, but you have a go at it. Doc asks if there were any recent issues and Gloria claims it’s just “mother’s intuition.” Yeah, no, I’m pretty sure her intuition meter is broken.

The freaks are out searching for Ma Petite and that scumbag Del has the nerve to act like he’s concerned. God, I want to kill him. The dog starts barking (was this dog always around?) and Jimmy starts screaming. I guess they found the body. Though I thought it was given to the morbidity museum, so I’m not sure.

Turns out there is no body. It’s just her tattered and blood-stained dress. They assume a coyote or animal took her – bones and all. Which, really, what wild beast eats anything that cleanly?

Ethel goes to visit Elsa, and she notices that Ethel is three sheets to the wind. Poor woman is swaying on her feet. She’s got no apologies for her inebriation. Elsa cancels Christmas in honor of Ma Petite and Ethel accuses her of having something to do with Ma Petite’s death. That earns her a wicked slap across the face, but Ethel isn’t deterred. Elsa flips her tray table over and tells Ethel she’s had enough of her shit. Ethel doesn’t back down. As Elsa leaves the room, Ethel shoots her in the leg. Her wooden leg. I guess Ethel wasn’t going for a kill shot, she just wanted to piss her off.

Elsa tells the story of her wooden legs to garner pity or camaraderie and asks Ethel to put the gun away. She says no. She’s gonna kill her anyway. But then why’d you aim for her calf and not, oh, I don’t know, her head? Her chest? An artery? Ethel aims to shoot but Elsa convinces her to have one last shot “for the road.” And she takes her shot. Shoots a dagger right into Ethel’s eye. Ouch

The gang is gathered round while Maggie is sobbing. She tells Jimmy she found his mom out in the woods in a car wreck. He thinks it was an accident, Maggie thinks it was suicide. They all break the news of her illness to Jimmy and then Elsa demands to see the body. Somehow, though the car has merely tapped the tree, it caused her head to fall off. Maggie and Richard share a look implying they had something to do with it. Which they did. They helped Elsa disguise the murder with the “suicide.” They wrapped some chains around Ethel’s neck and tied it to one tree and then drove the car directly into another one. Her head whipped off and flew right out the back window. Clever, actually. It hides Elsa’s bad deed and keeps her head “in tact” for the museum I’m sure they’re bound to send it to. Her bearded face was really all they needed. Elsa puts on the dramatic display of the century and Jimmy comforts her. Elsa is despicable, but she is damn good at it.

Back at the Mott house, Gloria comes home with a stack of presents for Dandy but he’s got exciting news Regina, Dora’s daughter (Gabourey Sidibe), has come for a visit. Ooooh, child, you got some explaining to do. Gloria whips up a story about Dora going to buy squash. Some elusive, far-off squash that could take days to acquire. Regina ain’t buying it and says she’ll just wait for her mom to come back. Good luck, girl. You’re in the house of crazy now.

The gang is burying Ethel and Jimmy gives a weepy eulogy. Maggie takes him into her arms and I suddenly want to stab her, too. All these two-faced people on this show, it’s overwhelming. All the guys (and Maggie) head back to the camp to “have a drink” but Desiree and the other women stay behind. Desiree gives a rousing girl power speech and they all vow to make Candy Striper’s father pay for what he’d done to her and they toss some dirt on Ethel’s casket.

Dandy is at the therapist doing some ink blot testing. Big surprise: they’re all slaughtered humans. He thinks he’s there for an IQ test. Doc says he’ll need to see him a few times a week to truly determine it. Now, I don’t have a PhD or anything, but based on those ink blots, I’m gonna just take a guess and say the boy is cray-cray, no further analysis needed. Dandy confirms my suspicions by asking if it’s possible to take someone’s power by eating their flesh or if bathing in their blood would suffice. Doc, run for your life. While you still have one.

Back at home, Dandy is not pleased with the doc and knows his mother lied to him. Gloria says he’s not sick, he’s “spirited.” Regina calls shenanigans and says if her mom isn’t home the next night, she’s going to the police. Mmmm, no, I think she’s going to die. She’s a tough chick, but tough ain’t got nothing on Dandy’s level of crazy. Dandy agrees to go back to the doc if Gloria will kill Regina. It is going to be entertaining as hell to watch her try.

Elsa is strolling through town and stumbles across a very large woman strapped to some sort of machine that looks like it should be used to shake paint cans. Elsa unstraps her and then seductively devours a candy bar to lure the girl back to the freak show.

The ladies of the freak show (minus Elsa, the twins and Maggie) gather up some “supplies” to go take down Candy Striper’s dad. Candy Striper tries to go alone, but the ladies won’t hear of it. They’re all going on the manhunt.

The torso lady climbs into an open window and lets the ladies into the front door. Daddy is upstairs undressing and grabs his rifle when he hears a noise come from downstairs. Overreact much? The ladies have him surrounded like a pack of velociraptors. Desiree knocks him out and Evie hoists him onto her shoulders.

When Elsa returns to the circus, Jimmy is drinking his grief away and she will have none of it. She brings in Barbara – her excuse for missing Ethel’s funeral was because she was busy “scouting”, like all truly bereaved people do. She sits the girl down and tells her to eat – which I don’t think she needed instruction on; girl is absolutely enormous. Jimmy says it won’t be enough; the show is over. Elsa points out Barbara’s “ample bosom” and tells Jimmy he can take comfort in it. Jimmy gives her the best “WTF” look I’ve ever seen and storms out.

The ladies have Candy Striper’s Daddy stripped to his undies and tied to a chair. Desiree holds a knife to his throat while the others tar and feather him. Candy Striper takes the honors of pouring the scalding tar all over him and he starts screaming, alerting Maggie who comes running. She bursts in just in time to stop them from chopping off Daddy’s penis. She convinces Candy Striper to spare him, but Candy Striper makes it clear that if he ever comes around again she won’t be so gracious.

Gloria tells the doc they’re heading to Europe on a one way boat. Doc says Dandy needs to be locked up. Gloria says they won’t be needing his services any longer. Dandy comes in and blames her for his crazy. Gloria calls him the love of her life and touches him inappropriately. Dandy apologizes for causing her so much pain and lifts a gun to his temple. Gloria pleads with him not to do it. She couldn’t go on if he killed himself. So he says “okay” and shoots her right in the head (see Ethel: that’s where you aim to kill someone, not their calf!). Well, I did not see that coming.

Come morning and Jimmy is still drunk. And Maggie is not pleased. But Jimmy ain’t taking none of her nagging. She tries to snatch his alcohol from him so he basically breaks up with her and she scampers off crying. Barbara is still at the table eating and Jimmy is thinking that ample bosom isn’t so bad anymore. Those enormous breasts do look comfy.

To close the episode we get an ass shot of Dandy before he steps into a tub of blood. His mother’s, I assume. Gross.

I’m feeling mixed emotions for this episode. While it was filled with “action” I feel like most of it was gratuitous. Deaths for shock value rather than true plot development. Everything is intertwined, but there are too many storylines and they’re all too thin. I want some of them to take hold and thicken so we can have some focus. Maybe then the show will have that “meaty” feeling I think it’s lacking.

Previews for next week show Dandy really going off the deep end and, I may regret saying this, but I’m looking forward to that. Until next week…

About Maya Maldonado (43 Articles)
Maya Maldanado is the author of the Lust (The Immortal Shadows Trilogy).

3 Comments on American Horror Story: Freak Show - S4E8 - Blood Bath

  1. This was a crazy episode of Freak Show. Here are a few comments I HOPE to hear read on the podcast.
    1. Elsa ? You madam are a mutha fucka. Smart enough to kill Ethel, and make it look like a suicide, but dumb enough to still believe in the dream of Hollywood. I thought Elsa was actually on to something when she helped put together the suicide narrative. Even the fake tears were good. Much better than that bullshit Maggie from Walking Dead did. That?s right Nina, I brought that shit up in the Freak Show feedback! I woke up like this!!! Anyway, that ole fake ass crying and carrying on was classic ?I ain?t shit? behavior. We?ve all seen that before. The person who didn?t do shit for the dead person, or who was an ass to them, or in this case killed them is the main one to fall out and make scene over their death. Elsa was that person. She did that ?WHY LORD? WHY?!?!?!?! NOT ETHEL! TAKE ME! TAKE ME!? shit and all those dummies fell for it. She gotta go, and Jimmy needs to take her out.
    2. Jimmy ? By my count, Jimmy has to avenge the deaths of 3 people now. His mother, Meep, and Lil Shorty Rock. Do work, Jimmy. Also, get the fuck away from Del.
    3. Del - Fuck you
    4. Dandy ? This dude is annoying. He?s crazy as fuck, but annoying more than anything else. I?ve said it before, but I found Twisty to be scary, but I?ve always been more annoyed by Dandy. It?s crazy that he was trying to turn his mother into a killer. I was also buggin when he mentioned that his dad was her cousin. I was really hoping he was gonna off himself, but I knew better. That said, it was still a bit of a shock to see him kill his mother. Then the crazy shit really happened when this mutha fucka?s pasty white ass was on my screen, and he was soaking in her blood. I didn?t need to see all that. If they are gonna do that to me, I need to see Angela Bassett?s ass before the season ends.
    5. Ethel ? She was the Oberon of this episode. Stop talking so damn much when you have the drop on someone. Finish the job, then talk that shit!

  2. This episode was ok. Tired of all these character deaths this week. Every show is killing somebody off.

    For once Elsa was innocent of the charges. She didn’t kill Ma Petite. But then she killed poor Ethel anyway. Wasn’t expecting that at all. And I really wasn’t expecting the elaborate “suicide” set up. They sure put a lot of thought into that sucker. But seriously Elsa. Weren’t you laying it on a little thick when they found Ethel. And she had the nerve to not even show up for the funeral. Smh.

    Dell is a piece of shit who needs to die a horrible, painful death.

    Loved the revenge on candy striper’s dad. Reminded me of the 1930s movie Freaks. I really loved all the women teaming up to get him too. But really Maggie. Really!? You were gonna kill Ma Petite. You’re plotting with Stanley to ship people to that museum. But you object to them getting revenge for a wrong done to one of them. At least they weren’t doing it for money. Just sit your tired ass down Maggie!

    I was shocked by Gloria’s death but not surprised. She’s been knowing her crazy ass son was crazy!! A little boy disappears & you do nothing! Wtf! And then that fool had the nerve to bathe in her blood. That’s so wrong on so many levels. I just hope Regina (I think that’s Gabby S’s character’s name) can survive this mess. And you know I was feeling some kind of way when little boy Dandy cut off one of young Regina’s ponytails! Boy! Don’t you ever touch a black woman’s hair without her permission!

    Wasn’t a very satisfying episode for me. The people I want dead never get their comeuppance. Smh. Can’t wait to hear the podcast tho!

  3. Regina sounds like she is reading lines from a high school play.

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