In the past, American Horror Story has been a show I loved to hate. I’ve watched most of the past three seasons with a hand covering my eyes, not out of fright but embarrassment at the poor storytelling on display. So it ‘s kind of disconcerting to say that I am actually enjoying this season. The characterizations have been mostly consistent, the number of plotlines is manageable, and the pacing has been a slow burn, rather than a premature ejaculation of gore. That being said, it’s still early in the season, and I will never trust a Ryan Murphy joint with my whole heart because I am not that much of an idiot.
When we last met, Edward Mordrake and his demon face were scouring the freak show for a new edition to their coterie, Emma Roberts was posing as a fortune teller until she could stuff a freak in a jar of formaldehyde and sell him/her to “science,” and Dandy and Twisty added another captive to their collection.
This week, Mordrake resumes his hunt for America’s Next Top Freak, with a great deal more tact and sanity than Tyra Banks. First he talks to the legless lady, who confesses to stabbing and accidentally killing a tap dancer, because she was annoyed he kept constantly showing off his gams. Mordrake and his demon face apparently don’t like tap dancers much either, because they don’t consider this a serious enough sin to take the legless lady to hell.
Still in search of a “pure freak,” the definition of which seems to change a great deal over the course of the episode, Mordrake wanders into Elsa’s tent. Elsa assumes he is a manager sent by the universe to propel her to stardom.
Mordrake is highly annoyed that Elsa is so self-obsessed that she won’t regard him with an appropriate degree of terror, so he orders his ghost freaks to remove her prosthetic legs.