“American Horror Story: Freak Show” recap (4.9): Let’s Stay Together

on

Unpopular opinion: Dandy Mott is this season’s greatest triumph and Elsa Mars is its greatest disappointment. Prior to this episode I would have said that Twisty and the Twins held the top and bottom honors, respectively, but Twisty’s reign of terror was short-lived, whereas Dandy has evolved into a well-articulated, cohesive villain. And before to this week, the Twins were essentially a missed opportunity, with two equally tepid personalities. But this week showed them come into their own, and the writing finally let Sarah Paulson stretch her wings (if not her neck).  Elsa, meanwhile, has remained a fame-obsessed, sloppily drawn caricature, and even Jessica Lange’s presence reminds me of a family’s fine china: a relic they are proud to possess but too afraid of breaking to actually use.

This week, Dandy arrives at the conclusion that as a rich, handsome, white man, he can get away with literally anything. Every door is opened to him. Everyone treats him with trust and respect the second they see his wallet and/or cravat.  And Dandy is an expert on using the patriarchy to his advantage. As mad as Dandy is, you’ll notice he only targets victims who fall below him on the social ladder: homosexuals, freaks, women, and people of color. Given our current headlines, I can’t think of a more perfect time to explore the horrific limits of that kind of power. Best of all, his entitlement and coddled upbringing him give him a childish sincerity that is always compelling, and stops just short of being endearing. Case in point: the episode opens with Dandy, paranoid that his exploits are finally catching up to him, going to Esmeralda the Fortune Teller.

ahs9.1 I SEE AN EMMY NOMINATION BUT…WAIT, SORRY THAT’S FOR TATIANA MASLANY.

Essy reassures him that his whiteness and facial symmetry will protect him from all repercussions, which comes as quite a relief, because Dandy has been on a hell of a murder spree lately. (“Spree” has always seemed like such an exuberant word to pair up with “murder,” but in Dandy’s case it seems appropriate.) His most recent victim was the Avon lady, whose head he used to make a Dot and Bette tribute puppet.

ahs9.2COSPLAY IDEA ALERT.

Outside Esmeralda’s tent, Jimmy Darling is neck deep in a bender and in Ima, the new Fat Lady. When he sees Dandy, he confronts him about the still-missing twins and Dandy’s murderous ways. Dandy solemnly informs Jimmy that he must destroy him, and looks at him like a cat already mourning a mouse it suspects will die too quickly. Still drunk, Jimmy next totters to his day job of getting housewives off with his lobster claws. Unfortunately, he’s got a bad case of whiskey fingers and can’t even manage to get that right. The minute he stumbles off, Dandy strolls up to the door doing his best matinee idol, and is welcomed in by the ladies, whose ovaries are seriously blue and would probably let in Twisty as long as he had a boner. Dandy massacres them all, collects a little blood, and returns home for his daily bath. Before he can take the plunge, Gabourey Sidibe marches in.

Gabourey: NO MORE MISS NICE GIRL, DANDY. GIVE ME MY MOTHER AND GET ME THE FUCK OUT OF FLORIDA.
Dandy: Oh, I killed your mother.
Gabourey: Is…is that her blood all over your stuffed animals?
Dandy: No, silly. That’s my mother. Might be a little Avon lady mixed in too.
Gabourey: I’m going to the police.
Dandy: LOL good luck with that.

True to her word, Gabourey next shows up with a bona fide officer of the law in tow.

ahs9.3EXCUSE ME, SIR, BUT ARE THERE EVEN LESBIANS ON THIS SHOW?

ahs9.4STAY CALM. STAY CALM.

Right away, you know this cop is a dick when he doubts Gabourey’s story, and his eyes widen even further when Dandy tells of his vast fortune. He offers the cop a million dollars cash to get rid of Gabourey, and without hesitating, Officer Dickhead blows a hole in her head. Which: what a fucking waste of a fine actor. Now that he has the law on his side, Dandy moves to destroy Jimmy for robbing him of the twins.

More you may like