American Horror Story: “Edward Mordrake, Part 2” Review

I have to say that after the previous installment of American Horror Story‘s two-part episode, my hopes were low coming into part 2 of “Edward Mordrake.”


I am pleased that this week’s episode shattered my sullied expectations, a feat that I not only attribute to the return to broadcast-length episodes (finally), but to a great script written by Jennifer Salt. Unlike its lackluster predecessor, “Edward Mordrake, Part 2” delivers a simple yet effective episode that delves deep into its characters without overstaying its welcome.

The episode opens on a continuation from last week: the summoned spirit of a convenient-plot device Edward Mordrake visiting the tents of various “freaks” to learn of their troubled pasts. He finally gets to Elsa, and for a moment I was sure that they were going to kill Jessica Lange’s character off (a first given that she is one of the few AHS players to survive every season thus far). From here we learn of Elsa’s past, her time as a German dominatrix and the story of how she lost her legs (hint: drugs, chainsaws, terrible men, and snuff films). But before Mordrake can claim her soul, he hears music, and is off to…

Twisty the Clown. Arguably the most fascinating character of Freak Show, John Carroll Lynch’s Twisty has primarily been responsible for providing the “horror” of American Horror Story: Freak Show. I figured a few weeks back that there was something more to the killer clown than meets the eye. Taking the idea of the “sad clown” and turning it up to the AHS extreme, Twisty was the love of children until a jealous rumor spread amongst the carnival circuit that that love was “reciprocated.” Misunderstood and rejected, Twisty botches his own suicide (hence the mask), living the rest of his life in a vain attempt to win back the love of the children. Because of some underlying brain damage from being dropped as a baby, Twisty doesn’t feel remorse for his well-intentioned actions, and thus is whisked away by Mordrake.

There's a new Twisty in town.

There’s a new Twisty in town.

And this is where I really have to applaud Freak Show. Killing off Twisty so early in the game is both unexpected and essential, and I’m glad they did it instead of dragging out Twisty’s existence to the point that he’s boring. We also receive some conclusion to the animosity brewing between the “freaks” and the “normal” townsfolk as they come to the carnival to express their gratitude to Jimmy and the others for saving their children and ridding the town of the evil clown. However, the real evil is still out there, and with the image of Dandy donning Twisty’s mask and slashing the throat of his maid, Freak Show perpetuates itself into the next bloody chapter.


  • No musical number this week, though we’ll probably get two next week to make up for it…
  • Twisty tracing a bloody smile through the gauze covering his fresh wounds wins best visual of the episode and will haunt my dreams forever.
  • Poor Dora…

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