American Horror Story: Freak Show – Ep.2: Massacres And Matinees (SPOILERS)
So, this is late. It’s because my DVR decided to become possessed, and taped something that just simply vanished. I literally looked at the record light as I was on the Gamersledge podcast, and then the next morning when I went to find it, the episode wasn’t there. Like, what the serious FUCK? Luckily, FX airs a repeat of the previous week’s episode before the new one, so I was able to watch two of them together.
So, we’ll start with Massacres And Matinees, where we see Dell Toledo and his hermaphrodite wife, Desiree, come to the show. Turns out that he has a seriously bad temper, and a past with Ethel. A past that includes him being Jimmy’s father. Too bad they REALLY got off on the wrong foot. If it weren’t for Twisty and Dandy, I’d say that Dell was the scariest on the show, but he’s scary in a very different way – in that way that closed-minded, hot-tempered men are scary. It’s their way or the highway, and it doesn’t matter who gets hurt in the process. Like turning the head around on a gay boy in Chicago trying to ‘cure’ himself with Desiree and her three boobies and ding-a-ling. So, they really have no choice but to come to Jupiter, since the carnie world is a small one, and world travels fast.
The Freak Show can only have matinees, according to Dell, who kind of takes over. The town is dead because of the murders, but the toy store is staying open. One of the men working there gets some coffee, and finds that his boss has gone missing while he was briefly out. There’s some WICKED toys in that store that would be worth a fortune nowadays. There’s a wind-up robot walking across the floor, and I totally want it because I love that old-school robot look. Just… when you give it to me, I’ll take it minus the streaks of blood it’s trailing behind it, thanks. The employee follows the blood trail, not even seeing Twisty hiding in plain sight behind him among statue clowns. EWWWWW. The boss’s head is on a shelf, and it appears that the hapless employee is going to have the same fate.
Jimmy’s still on his kick of getting the carnies out of the big top, and goes to the local diner. All of the patrons are freaked out. I get a kick out of the mother who says ‘please leave, you’re upsetting my daughter’, about a kid who doesn’t necessarily look THAT freaked out. True, I’m not an expert (or a fan) of children, but I’ve seen kids who look way more upset. She looked more curious, and it was the *mother* who was upset, and was using her daughter as a scapegoat. Nice being ‘normal’ there, Mother Of The Year. Jimmy makes a scene, and then a bigger scene is made by Dell as he’s posting posters for the matinee shows. Dell doesn’t like that Jimmy is giving everyone a free show (and they can’t have night shows because of the curfew), and he winds up beating him pretty severely outside the diner for all to see. Irony much?
Speaking of the normal-looking people acting like total shitheads, Dandy. He’s the second scariest dude on this show, next to Twisty. We see even more of his spoiled brat-ness at home, and how he drinks cognac out of a crystal baby bottle. He also gets ‘bored’, which is code for ‘sociopathic’ and cruel to animals. His maid turns out to be Patti LaBelle, and she’s awesome. She doesn’t put up with Dandy’s shit, and she knows that he’s too chicken to move on his threats against her (at least right now). His mother makes excuses for him, and he storms off. He wants to be an actor, so he wants to join the Freak Show. Jimmy says hell no, and that he’d give anything to be Dandy (you really wouldn’t, Jimmy. You have your own problems, but Dandy shouldn’t be anyone’s aspiration in life). Dandy says that he knows all of the Cole Porter songs, which is hilarious, but he’s still turned away.
To cheer Dandy up, his mother Gloria winds up just picking up some random clown she found on the side of the road as a present. A: People are not gifts to give anybody, not even a spoiled brat. B: Especially if it’s a clown C: ESPECIALLY if it’s Twisty The Clown. Like, HOW THE FUCK did Gloria let that thing in her car? I hate all clowns, but I mean – COME ON – if you were going to let one clown in your car, it would not be THAT clown. But, Twisty comes and doesn’t even kill her. He meets Dandy in an elaborate toy room with mini croquet, a puppet stage, a giant toy box, and other things. Dandy puts on a lame-ass puppet show, which doesn’t seem to impress Twisty much. He then wants the clown to entertain him, and starts getting lippy. HOW ARE YOU NOT PEEING YOUR PANTS IN A CORNER RIGHT NOW? FUCK! While Twisty’s going through the toybox, Dandy looks in his juggling pin bag, and is horrified by something in there that’s causing the big bloodstain on the bottom. So, Twisty knocks Dandy on the back of the head and just leaves. Too bad he didn’t kill Dandy, because now that saddle-shoe wearing baby is following him.
Back to the tents – Jimmy wants Dell out. Fair enough. The dude did punch his face in. Elsa thinks it’s okay for now since they did sell tickets, but then Jimmy shows her the poster, and she’s billed way on the bottom in small font. “He must be dealt with.” You don’t piss off Germans. So, the matinee with Elsa not being the star goes off really well. Meep the Geek gets some stage time, and the twins turn out to have talent – at least Dot does. Bette, the one who WANTED to be a star, can’t carry a tune with a bucket, but Dot sings Fiona Apple’s ‘Criminal’ really well, and it causes the men in the audience to fawn over her. She only really cares about Jimmy fawning over her, though. Bette’s humiliated, though. Because nobody loved her, and she was just dead weight that couldn’t even leave the spotlight.
The plan to get Dell out of the Freak Show was supposed to go off without a hitch – too bad the tables were turned. The cops show up to the Freak Show asking about the dead cop, and Elsa and Jimmy play dumb, but there was an ‘anonymous’ tip about Dell’s past and violent temper, and the police checked with Chicago. They search his trailer where the police badge SHOULD have been, but it’s not there. Dell can barely contain himself as Elsa and Jimmy’s plan falls apart, and the blame is placed on poor Meep. I thought it would be on Jimmy, but this is so much crueler. Meep’s simpleminded and just a child, so he’s terrified as the cops drag him off. Dell silently stares down Jimmy as if to say ‘this is what happens when you fuck with me’. Awesome parenting.
Twisty goes to his trailer, and gives his prisoners the robot from the toy store. When they’re less than impressed, he pulls out the head of the toy store employee. The girl from the picnic uses that chance to stab Twisty with a nail in a board. Her and the boy run. Too bad she runs right into Dandy, and thinks that because he looks normal, he’ll help her. Too bad. He picks her up and brings her back to Twisty, who caught the boy. Dandy admonishes Twisty for his captive skills, and says that they’ll have to fix that. Man, this is a match made in Hell. Especially when as the two prisoners were escaping, the mask fell off of Twisty’s mouth, and it’s a burnt… maw. As if Twisty couldn’t get anymore horrifying. Sheesh.
So, Meep is taken to the prison, and he’s put in the cell with hardened men, and they think that he’s the one doing it all, and the cops don’t seem to really give a shit if he did. Poor Meep is absolutely terrified, and the next morning, the cops come back, and just chuck a sack down on the ground like its garbage, but it’s Meep’s dead body. We cut to credits with Jimmy screaming. God, I think that was the most horrific thing to me in this episode – how the cops knew that Meep couldn’t have been doing all these things, and even SAID IT THEMSELVES before they threw him to the wolves, but they just didn’t care. He was a physically and emotionally stunted child, and was brutally murdered for something he couldn’t have even comprehended. I don’t approve of biting the heads off live animals for entertainment, but Jesus, it hit me right in the feels. 🙁 There were a LOT of hands dirty in Meep’s fate (Jimmy, Dell, the cops, the prisoners, society), and none of them were Meep’s.