Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Fifteen minutes into the Freak Show season finale, roughly half the characters for whom we have developed varying degrees of attachment are dead. To tell you the truth, it’s difficult to feel much for them one way or the other because this was always going to be their fate. The sad truth of American Horror Story is that however hard it tries to be shocking, it is, in fact, woefully predictable.
At the episode’s start, it looks like we’ve come full circle this season, with a delusional narcissist headlining the freak show while everyone else smiles and plays along. The only difference now is that the marginally talented performer is now Dandy since Elsa ran off to Hollywood just ahead of a lynch mob composed of her former employees. But rising up against Elsa gave the freaks a courage they didn’t know they had, and they are a lot less inclined to take shit from the preening, pretty-boy Dandy.
So, in the spirit of collective bargaining, they knock Dandy down and spit in his face. Unfortunately, Dandy has never been particularly adept at handling adversity, so he applies some stage makeup and murders Ima, Eve, Paul, Suzi, Toulouse, and Penny. And if you knew who all those people were without having to employ Google: congratulations, you care more than I do. He shoots them summarily, like a child breaking a toy he’s bored with. It’s not even really scary, since their deaths seem like such a foregone conclusion. Despite being talented entertainers, none of them have much to offer in the “running and hiding” department. ALSO, ALSO, the scene commits one of my major annoyances and gives Dandy a magical gun which can fire infinite shots without ever being reloaded. I hate that. Anyway, the only survivors of Dandy’s rampage are Desiree, who I really would have been sad to see go, Jimmy, and the twins. Dandy packs Bette and Dot up to be his brides back at Mott Manor.
Curiously, he only ties the knot with Bette, though he lets Dot know that he expects her to submit to him sexually as well. Mercifully, before this can take place, Desiree sneaks into the manor and poisons his champagne (I wish it was his cognac pacifier but we can’t have everything). The best part is that Desiree has been posing as their French maid and Dandy hasn’t even noticed because he is so racist/clueless.
Once he’s knocked out, Desiree, Jimmy, and the twins stick Dandy in a water tank and let him try to escape. He does not succeed, but the freaks have a grand old time commenting on his attempts like a couple of recappers.