With Halloween over, American Horror Story: Freak Show brings us back to normalcy – whatever that is.
I had a couple issues with my internet when watching “Pink Cupcakes,” but unless I missed anything vital in the few seconds I lost here and there, Freak Show‘s latest episode left me feeling confused. I can’t say I’m totally satisfied with this week’s installment, but I don’t really feel disappointed either. Things happen (messed up things, of course), but with the return to the slower pace that I praised at the top of the season, I’m conflicted over what my analytical brain says in opposition to the more animalistic pleasures part two of “Edward Mordrake” offered up.
A hefty portion of “Pink Cupcakes” focuses on Stanley, conspirator with Maggie and the mastermind behind the plot to sell the human abnormalities to the esteemed American Morbidity Museum. Posing as a talent scout with promises to Bette and Dot about the grandeur of television – or as Elsa describes, the “death of art and civilization” (hey, now) – Stanley attempts to poison the conjoined twins with cupcakes of death. The sisters are watching their figure so it doesn’t work, but we do get the “what-if” of the scenario, seeing it play out in effed up AHS fashion.
Meanwhile, after an unfortunate incident regarding impaired judgement (thanks, alcohol…) and rejection (thanks, alcohol!), our three-breasted friend Desiree is whisked off to the hospital to discover that she is not, in fact, a hermaphrodite. She’s a full-blown woman! Some science that I’m no expert on explains away Desiree’s extra breast and what others have perceived as her “ding-a-ling” (Desiree’s word, not mine) as an extra-large lady-part (I swear, the sentences I construct when writing these reviews…). Dell, whom we discover is gay (as if his relationships weren’t any indication), being the possessive hothead that he is pays a visit to Desiree’s doctor to ensure that the extra-large lady-part won’t be removed. A few broken fingers later, I’m sure that won’t be an issue.
The last main plot that “Pink Cupcakes” addresses is the aftermath of Dandy’s interaction with the maid. Upon finding Dora’s body, Dandy’s mother knows immediately he did it, but instead of being normal and being all like “WTF,” she is all like “WTF-let-me-help-you-express-yourself-because-that’s-what’s-best-for-you.” And while Gloria makes an awkward phone call to Dora’s daughter, Dandy trudges his way back from a fresh kill: Dell’s love from the local gay bar. Kudos to Freak Show for making Dandy the least apt killer. It is borderline humorous what his victim survives through before joining Dora in whatever hell AHS will probably visit in a later season.
And I think I know what I’m feeling now: content. American Horror Story is not usually one for striking a perfect balance between characters and carnage, but I do believe that “Pink Cupcakes” succeeds in that impossible challenge. The drawback is that it’s a mostly forgettable episode that is clearly setting up dominoes to topple over later in the season. However, I remain optimistic that now that Freak Show has found a working formula, it will stick with it. Who knows? When the season finale draws close and most of our favorite characters are dead, wouldn’t it be spectacular to actually care?
- “Modern Mutations” reminds me of that Body World exhibit I visited at the science museum that one time.
- Tonight’s winning visual: Elsa reflected in all of those mirrors when she decides to give television a try.
- Okay, let’s be real, even if I knew those cupcakes were death, I’d still eat them – just look at them!
- Ugh, David Bowie musical number again. I also booed.