OK, so where were we now. With American Horror Story being off for two weeks with the holidays and then the last episode before the hiatus focusing almost solely on Pepper, it’s been a month now since we revisited these storylines. Last night’s “Magical Thinking” saw the glorious introduction of Neil Patrick Harris’ character as “Chester,” who shows up as a chameleon salesman (OMG, DO YOU THINK THAT’S A METAPHOR?) who also turns out to be a magician and a ventriloquist — who also turns out to be the new owner of the freak show. Sure!
As uneven as this season has been, Neil Patrick Harris is a freaky delight so far. And although I’ve seen creepier uses of the ventriloquist dummy trope before (most notably in The Twilight Zone and season one of Buffy), it’s also great to have the fantastic Jamie Brewer back (a.k.a. Marjorie/Addie/Nan). I’ll even give them a pass that the trailer for this episode was once again totally misleading as no one actually got sawed in half. (Yet.)
Let’s dig in.
Not His Hands!
They really did it. I really didn’t think the show had it in it to permanently disfigure its main protagonist and fan favorite actor, but Jimmy was duped into cutting off both of his hands by Stanley — who originally claimed that he was only going to take one. Never trust a guy who wants to cut off your hands! It will not end well.
F*ck It, Let’s Kill Some More Cops
To rescue Jimmy, why not off some more cops because remember how well that turned out for them before? On a related note, if anyone was wondering what a crowbar can do to a man’s face, enjoy! I guess between finally feeding his injured son for the first time and then rescuing him (with Eve, which was an unusual pairing given the fact that he tried to murder her before), Del kinda sorta got some redemption. And even though the murder of the two cops is going to rain fire and brimstone down upon the freak camp (it kind of already has?) I guess at least Jimmy is temporarily a free man.
Ahhhhh! My Eyes! They Got NPH Butt In Them!
The sexual awakening of Bette and Dot is not something I wanted to think about, but here we are. Now that they’ve made diary-burning peace with one another, the twins have one mission: to get laid! Let me get something straight, though: Toulouse got the shaft because because he licked Bette, but the guy who was having a heated discussion with his inanimate puppet was apparently cherry popping material? IT’S BECAUSE HE WAS A MIDGET, WASN’T IT? Bette and Dot have like, really, really bad taste in men.
You See, It Was The Dummy That Killed Those Ladies
Chester says that Marjorie is his best friend but friends don’t kill friend’s lesbian wives and their lesbian lovers. It’s revealed that during the war Chester’s wife shacked up with the wife of another soldier — and then when he came back it was just like Three’s Company if Janet and Chrissy were gay and Jack watched them have sex while holding a creepy puppet. Wait, that happened once, didn’t it? Man, the ’70s were so weird.
Seriously, This Guy Makes Even Dandy Look Sane
Dandy Mott is predictably not happy about this Chester dude stepping in on his territory, so he has the cop on his payroll do some investigating and finds out about Chester’s sordid past. If the guy who likes to dress up like a clown, take baths in blood, and once made a two-headed puppet out of his mother’s corpse thinks you’re crazy, that’s bad. Not sure what Dandy’s angle is by delightfully messing with Chester’s head, but I wholeheartedly approve. Neil Patrick Harris is nailing the insanity and his eye twitch game is STRONG. Will Dandy even be the one to rescue the twins from their impending sawing in half?
Annnnd, There Goes Del
It was inevitable that Del was going to eventually eat it. His character was equal parts evil and cowardly, and after his slight redemption with Jimmy it was obvious that he wasn’t going to survive the episode. But while Del actually killed Ma Petite, the bigger evil here is still Stanley. Shouldn’t they have killed the brains behind the operation first? Although Stanley has also got something on Elsa, the death of Ethel. These last couple of episodes should be quite the chess match.