The highly anticipated premiere of American Horror Story: Freak Show finally aired last night with “Monsters Among Us” to much hype and fanfare, that — as I mentioned yesterday — ultimately paid off in the end, no matter how determined Ryan Murphy was to burn us out with endless teasers. From a cinematographic standpoint, the series is beautifully and artfully shot, and does an excellent job of capturing the era it’s set in. But who cares about that, because TERRIFYING CLOWN KILLER. And two-headed Sarah Paulson! There’s some excellent groundwork laid here making for what could above and beyond be the greatest season of this stupid ridiculous show, so let’s jump into the craziest, WTF moments from last night’s premiere.
Dumbest Milkman Ever Or Dumbest Milkman Ever?
OK, so we all know now that the clown killer wasn’t lurking in that house to make Milkman Pâté (and more on that in a bit) but the milkman obviously didn’t know that. What’s your end-game here, milkman? You find the body of a customer stabbed and brutally murdered so you’re going to go looking for the killer with a rolling pin? I think the milkman was a little over his head on this one, but fortunately it appears that he’ll live to put bottles of milk on porches again.
Can We Just Talk About Sarah Paulson’s Double Head
When it was announced that Sarah Paulson was going to be playing a two-headed woman, I was skeptical. It was going to have to be painstakingly flawless or the whole thing was just going to come off as corny. Thankfully I’m happy to report that they knocked it out of the park. Aside from the amazing special effects, Sarah Paulson’s portrayal of Bette and Dot is incredible, and details such as the split-screen POV shots and telepathy between the twins are also nice touches.
As Dot voiceovers in the start to the episode that she’s “entering the gates of hell,” I wondered how they were going to pull them into the freak show, especially as Dot was so combative to Elsa when she came to visit them in the hospital. Of course, the big reveal was that the old woman murdered in the beginning was actually the twins awful hag of a mother, and that they had killed her. Because what’s the point of a two-headed woman if she’s not going to be a murderer too? The reversal from Bette’s perspective halfway through as they jumped back to the scene of them entering the freak show, that “the future had never seemed brighter,” did a nice job of highlighting the polarizing personalities of the two women.
RIP Sex Couple You Knew Were Going To Eat It Within Five Seconds Of When They Appeared
Come on, couple about to bone on a picnic blanket in the middle of nowhere — it’s like have you even seen a horror movie before? But oh, what’s that? Just a nice clown with a terrifying face that looks like it came out of the dumpster? Nothing to be alarmed at, here. While the XX chromosome half of the couple did technically survive the episode, no good can come out of that magic school bus, where she’s being held captive with the boy whose parents Twisty also murdered. At least she’s stuck with a guy who’s really good at making balloon animals.
True story: I watched this episode earlier this week and completely forgot that the clown was played by that dude from the Drew Carey Show until like a day later. John Carroll Lynch is terrifying as Twisty the Clown, and I will never look at the doofy character actor the same way again.
Also did this scene remind anybody. . .
. . .of this? We all know Ryan Murphy isn’t opposed to a bit of creative appropriation.
Jimmy Darling’s Claw Hand Is Popular At Parties
Sex seems like it was pretty crappy for a 1950s American housewife, unless you like being climbed on top of while Dragnet’s on. I guess that’s why it’s good to have friends with DOUBLE PENETRATION DILDOS AS HANDS. That scene where Elsa shames Jimmy as he tries to pick up a girl working in a diner? Thanks, but I think it’s safe to say he does pretty well for himself.
RIP To The Detective Who Came To Threaten A Bunch Of Freaks Without Backup
A common theme I picked up on this episode were really poor decisions by people who clearly were not going to live long (or live without being completely traumatized, head nod to you, rebellious candy striper). I don’t know how busy the 1952 Jupiter, Florida Police Department was with like car jackings and drug busts and so on, but they probably could have spared one or two back-up officers to arrest a two-headed murder suspect living at a freak show with a bunch of potentially dangerous freaks.
Also I love how basically every person on this show so far is a murderer, but it doesn’t matter because, CLOWN.
About That Musical Number…
Jessica Lange’s musical number to David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” is supposedly just one of several this season, which will later feature songs by Lana Del Rey and Nirvana. It was a decent musical number even though they had her done up like Mimi from the Drew Carey Show (which makes its second mention in this recap, oddly) but I don’t know about this becoming a weekly thing. Please don’t turn this series into Glee, Ryan Murphy.
Although the musical number did serve well to giving Elsa a sympathetic backstory, who seems to have started the whole freak show as a vehicle to make herself into a star. The irony being that just like the freaks in her freak show, Elsa herself is not without physical abnormality, with the reveal that her legs are missing below the knee. I expect some kind of backstory about how she had just almost made it as a singer when some tragedy occurred, causing her to lose her legs.
Also, did anyone else think she was going to bite it in that last scene, for just a second? Killing off Jessica Lange in the first episode would have been a baller move.
Character Whose Demise I Already Look Forward To The Most
The most LOL line of the episode came courtesy of Dandy Mott, who breathlessly uttered “freaks” — previously featured in the trailer. Dandy Mott, whose name is actually Dandy Mott, is the most over-the-top caricature of a character, who could reasonably be believed to be the lovechild of Francis from Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — with some Joffrey DNA sprinkled in for good measure. In the premiere episode he literally tries to get his mother to buy Bette and Dot for him. You know, buying human beings. Like rich people do. It’s going to make me so gloriously happy when Twisty the Clown mauls the living sh*t out of this guy with his big pointy thing.