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TV Recap: American Horror Story - Freakshow Ep 4 - Edward Mordrake

american horror story

@lcfremont recaps AHS with Twisty's Halloween moment, Wes Bentley being perfect and what's in Denis O'Hare's pants?

Ooh, I can just feel when Mr. Denis O'Hare is about to show up and that is the only thing that has me excited about the latest episode of AHS:Freak Show. As he tries to sell a baby Sasquatch, or rather a fetal goat with a cat's jaw attached, he is enticed to travel to Jupiter, Florida in hopes of returning with an authentic freakish specimen for the American Morbidity Museum. Oh Stanley, what is your backstory and how on earth did you end up with Ms. Esmerelda? 

An adorable child who's afraid of clowns? I'm sure Twisty isn't going to be randomly standing at the edge of hedges like Michael Myers; that would be too easy and obvious. Whoopsies. Seriously, this opening bit with Twisty is just a reimagining of Halloween. I'm aware that most people disagree with my sentiment that Twisty is not scary, but the fact that they have to keep putting him in already successful scary setups says a lot. Even Dandy was subjected to a Michael Myers rouse as he put his clown mask on and walked through his house like a madman.

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Halloween film camparison photo


My heart broke for Ethel Darling crying because she was being treated with respect. You just know that she rarely, if ever, got to experience genuine human kindness in her life. Perhaps this is what informs her son's unending desire for acceptance.

Apparently only Dot, Bette and I didn't know that freaks don't perform on Halloween on account of Edward Mordrake. It was fun to see Mordrake's history shown in an old-timey silent film style and Wes Bentley really does have a face that lends itself beautifully to the visual gag. Loved the smiling demon face hanging under that noose, too. Very eerie.

Oh Patti LaBelle, dressed up as Woody Wooodpecker and doing the laugh; at least they didn't make her suffer the humility of doing what Dandy tells her to. Only Ms. LaBelle would taunt a homicidal clown like that and get away with it. Dandy, Dandy, Dandy, you are so incredibly annoying. When will you die?

So, if Bette and Dot share their dreams, how is Dot not aware of Bette and Elsa potentially conspiring against her? Oh yeah, and totally don't see how Bette and Dot mirror the legend of Edward Mordrake. I'm sure that nothing will come of all of this.

I suppose because Esmerelda hears Elsa's future in that crystal ball of hers, that is why it's not at all strange that a Lana Del Ray song was used this episode. As someone who sits firmly on the fence regarding the use of contemporary music, this particular number didn't do much for me. Surely an era appropriate, similarly chilling sounding song could have ushered in Mr. Mordrake. Seems as though there should be some sort of loophole for the freaks performing; Elsa is the one who wanted to perform on Halloween and she is not a freak. However, Mr. Mordrake is a necessity if we are to keep the body count up; Twisty can't be taking care of all of the killing.

Wes Bentley bewitched me the moment I saw American Beauty, so as far as I'm concerned, he can do no wrong. Hey, at least someone's accent isn't distracting. The demon face requiring you to sing for your supper, if you will, was a nice way to learn about Ethel's history. Young Ethel really was the bee's knees until that awful self hating Del got his hands on her. What a truly sad sight to see her giving birth to Jimmy as a sideshow act. Del has got to go; he is an ugly, ugly human being and is definitely undeserving of Ms. Angela Bassett.

The episode ended with a "to be continued" and this was especially confusing and anti climactic. Was there a cliffhanger moment that I completely missed? Truly, the ending of this episode was no more nail biting than any other. Was this just a desperate ploy for a two part Halloween episode? Allegedly, someone will die on the Halloween episode, but that's not really a surprise it it? AHS is consistently not delivering on suspense and the narratives that were set up in this episode all seem to have a finite end. Ethel has less than a year to live, Stan and Esmerelda are simply pulling a long con in order to obtain a specimen, Mordrake will be returned to where he came from and Dot has already failed miserably at separating herself from Bette. Where, exactly, is the suspense? Perhaps it's this; if there will be a musical number every week, how long do we have to wait for Ms. LaBelle to unleash her vocal talents? Well, it will still be interesting to see who gets to travel back with Mr. Mordrake and whether or not Twisty shares the same spirit of sharing that Dandy seems to.

Sidenotes: The strongman has fallen in love with a bearded woman and a woman equipped with a penis. Hmm....what is the secret being held in all of this? I just don't know if I will ever figure it out.

Esmerelda and Jimmy Darling? Real life couples on television are not interesting.Yawn.

What is the surprise hidden within Mr. O'Hare's pants?

Lisa Fremont

Follow @lcfremont on twitter

Images: provided by author & whatculture.com 

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