American Horror Story: Freak Show, Ep.3 – Edward Mordrake, Pt. 1 (SPOILERS)




Okay, trying to do some more catching up here.  This is going to be a lot shorter than my usual ones, since it’s more than a week late.  We start with two gaffers (a circus/carnie term for ‘fakes’) trying to sell a fetal sasquatch to a curiosities museum.  Turns out it’s just a fetal goat with a cat’s jaw attached.  And these gaffers are American Horror Story alumni Denis O’Hare and Emma Roberts.  When Stanley (O’Hare) hears the cost of the liver of Chang and Eng (the famous Conjoined Twins), he’s immediately out to find a real specimen, and he’s pointed towards Jupiter by the eager curator, since the museum is losing money because of that newfangled thing called television.

Ethel goes to a doctor in town, and finds out that she has cirrocis of the liver, and only has about six months to live.  She bursts into tears, but not necessarily because she’s dying – it’s because this is the first doctor who’s treated her with respect.  I gotta say, that part got me teary-eyed.  Kathy Bates is so good.  The doctor tells her not to have a drop of alcohol because it will speed up her death, but she pretty much says ‘fuck that’, and starts drinking again.

Dell seems to have some issues getting it up.  I mean, how could you NOT have a raging boner with a hermaphroditic Angela Bassett in your lap?! Or… is that just me?  Anyway, she gets pissed at him and makes fun of it, and he gets all violent.  She doesn’t cower away though, and says that if he threatens her again, she’ll leave him, and then storms out.  You go, girl!

Jimmy buries poor Meep while the other performers are horsing around.  Dot sees that Jimmy’s upset and tells them off.  She thinks they should dedicate that day’s matinee to Meep, but Ethel nixes that idea.  It’s Halloween, and there’s the legend of Edward Mordrake to consider.  Ethel drinks her whiskey like a pro and tells the sad tale of Edward Mordrake.  He was an aristocrat who was very talented in music, poetry, and other such things  Too bad he had a demonic head on the back of his own.  VOLDEMORT?!  I thought Harry killed you!!!  This demonic face on the back of Edward Mordrake’s head whispered horrible things in his head.  He couldn’t perform anywhere, so instead he would do sideshow performances.  He’d given beautiful piano recitals, and then horrify the audience by taking off his hat and turning around.  One Halloween, the head whispered to him to kill all the other sideshow performers.  So he did.  And if any carnie or freak show performs on Halloween, they summon the spirit of Edward Mordrake and his evil second face.  And when he’s summoned, he takes someone back to hell with him.

Oh hey, Emma Roberts is joining the Freak Show.  She’s pretending to be a psychic named Maggie Esmerelda (who Dot immediately hates since she’s hanging around Jimmy), and it only takes a few glances around Elsa’s tent to tell her the fortune that she wants to hear – that she’ll be a bigger star than Marlena Dietrich, whom she hates more than anything.  Ironically enough, her partner could actually earn a *real* place in the Freak Show.  During the opening credits of the show, there’s a shot of someone with a third leg where a penis should be.  When Maggie calls Stanley to tell him she wants out because the freaks freak her out, he says that everything is going according to plan and he has to get back to work.  Work involves having sex with a twink dressed as a viking.  Stanley says he needs a sword and demands that the twink takes his pants off.  When said viking removes Stanley’s pants, he’s agog, and can only say “Jesus Christ!”  Giant penis of doom, right here folks!

On the Dandy and Twisty front, all the kids from Jupiter have to trick-or-treat in West Palm Beach because of the curfew, and we follow a girl who’s terrified of clowns (and she’s totally justified in that).  Her brother dressed up as a clown to scare her, but nothing’s going to cement her courlophobia more than seeing Twisty.  Her brother ain’t got nothing on Twisty lurking behind bushes and watching her.  So, that night her brother is being a dickhead, and Twisty busts into their house (because it’s the 50’s and they never locked their doors), and takes the brother.  I still don’t get his motive to killing who he kills and why he spares others, but I’m sure it will come up.  Maybe it’s already come up, and I’m just behind!  While Twisty’s doing all the work, Dandy practices at torture, and it’s going hilariously awful.  His knife is too short, and then the stick is too short.

Oh, he’s also dressed as a clown.  His mother had Patti LaBelle make him a Howdy Doody costume, which he flipped out over.  It’s actually a more appropriate costume for him, to be honest.  Patti LaBelle also has to demeaningly dress as Woody the Woodpecker because he’s Dandy’s fave cartoon character.  God, I pity that woman for having to put up with this weird-ass family.

Back at the Freak Show, Elsa decides to perform because an ‘austere gentlemen’ is supposed to appear according to Maggie Esmerelda.  She obviously meant Stanley.  Elsa doesn’t give a shit about the legend of Edward Mordrake, and breaks into Gods And Monsters by Lana Del Ray.  I had to look that up, because I’ve never heard one of her songs before.  Until now, that is.  An austere gentleman does come, and does love the show.  Too bad it’s Edward Mordrake.  Nice going, Elsa.  Mordrake decides to visit Ethel, and the demon face wants her to confess her deepest secrets.  She does, and cue the flashback!

She had a very successful sideshow performance when she was younger.  Unfortunately, she then met Dell Toledo.  He became her manager and lover, and managed her right into the toilet.  He wanted her reading Shakespeare instead of doing her singing number with all the pretty girls, with her and her beard front and center, and stealing the show.  He then actually paid people to watch her give birth to Jimmy, then asked for 2 pence to hold the freak baby.  YIKES.  Dell’s a really bad person.  Mordrake should take him.  Ethel resigns herself to being taken and says she’s ready, but the demon face decides not to, and Mordrake disappears.  Where to?  We won’t find out until Part 2, which I KNOW VERY WELL has already aired, but I gotta get caught up!  Waaaaaaaah.