It’s hard to give a proper eulogy to American Horror Story: Freak Show, the season that managed to not only go off the rails but then lay napalm to those rails and salt the earth. Last night’s finale stayed true to the season in that nothing that happened made a whole lot of sense, but everything was more or less wrapped up in a tidy bow — assuming Chester went off to prison and was never heard of again, and everyone forgot to feed the pet Stanley until eventually he died.
On a side note, my survival ranking predictions were mostly correct, except no one could have possibly predicted what happened in the first fifteen minutes of the episode. And on that note, jumping in…
Dandy Kills EVERYONE
Well that didn’t take long. And here I thought they had actually been building some character development with Dandy Mott, and that he might really make a somewhat legitimate effort at running the freak show. LOL! After his first disagreement with the crew over ticket sales not increasing like the second they hung the banner for his new act, he bullies the staff into turning on him and then quitting. And then he methodically and calmly hunts them down and murders every single last one of them in cold blood. Bye Paul. Bye Legless Suzi. Bye Amazon Eve (who almost got the upper hand). Bye, uh, background actors whose names we never learned.
I mean … If he just wanted to kill off the freaks, he could have done that without paying Elsa $10,000 for the freak show. But what do I know, I’m not a homicidal maniac billionaire.
Bette And Dot … Marry Dandy?
The twins, or more accurately, Bette marries Dandy in a lavish ceremony attended to by his finest stuffed toys. Just beautiful. This season has had so many bullsh*t fantasy sequences and flash forwards that never happen, I had no idea what was happening here. Wait, they’re marrying Dandy? After he killed off basically everyone they knew? WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING HERE?
Oh. It Was Just A Ruse To Kill Dandy
Of course it was, because Bette and Dot were secretly plotting behind Dandy’s back with Desiree, the sole survivor of the freak show massacre and Jimmy, who was somewhere else at the time (which allowed for one final angsty Evan Peters “NOOOOOOOO” scream). I kind of wish they would have gone with Desiree’s suggestion to just cut his balls off, but instead they concocted an elaborate freak show or Bond villain death (take your pick) to drown him in an escape tank, which thankfully he didn’t know how to escape from — while everyone happily munched on popcorn like they were watching 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
RIP Dandy Mott. You were a pretty ineffective villain, but on the plus side we got to see your in your underpants one last time, which is what we’ll all miss most about Dandy Mott.
Elsa Finally Made It Big
So this was one thing I was particularly curious about with the finale — how did Elsa became a huge Hollywood celebrity? In a glossed over film reel, we learned about Elsa’s various success which came about after her prior run in with a junior vice president of casting at a Hollywood studio, who she ended up marrying despite being nearly half her age. Because that happens all the time! “Yeah, I’m really moving up in the world but what I really need to clinch fame and fortune is that crazy old German broad who’s been stalking out at the studio! That’s the ticket!” Anyway it’s 1960 and Elsa is famous now. You’re welcome.
Bette And Dot Are Having Jimmy’s Lobsterbaby
Despite the fact that not once did Jimmy ever reciprocate Dot’s affections and pined over Maggie for most of the season, and then Dot ended up getting over him anyway so they could bang Neil Patrick Harris — Bette and Dot and Jimmy are now living in domestic bliss with a little one on the way. Hey wait, aren’t all three of them still wanted for murder? HAHA NEVER MIND.
Oh, and Desiree went off and made some pretty babies with Malcolm Jamal Warner, so she got to have a happy ending too.
Everyone Lives Happily Ever After
Because this is American Horror Story, things quickly fall apart for Elsa once her husband and the head of the studio find out about her sordid past, and push her into one final Halloween performance — which she had previously refused to do. Of course Elsa knows what’s going to happen, and so do we since Ryan Murphy inexplicably spoiled the return of Edward Mordrake and Twisty back in October. No, I don’t know why he would do that either. I thought Dandy would be the one getting the business end of Twisty’s knife but once Dandy ate it, it was obvious they were coming for Elsa.
In a final act of mercy, Mordrake takes Elsa not with him and his merry band of murdered freaks, but sends her to the afterlife of her fellow performers, who are all waiting for her. (And the return of MEEP!!!!) Gee, they’re all probably pretty mad at her on account of the fact that they mostly died directly or indirectly by her hands, right? Nope, they’re all totes excited to see her and welcome her back with open arms. I admit, I was pretty annoyed by this (she should have gone to the afterlife and they all tormented her, right?) until I found out last night was also Jessica Lange’s final curtain call, so now it feels like a nice send off.
As ridiculous as this series is and as downright bad this season sometimes was, I am going to miss the Jessica Lange years of American Horror Story. Here’s hoping this shakeup gives us less to nitpick next season. But where’s the fun in that?