‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ Recap: Elsa and Ethel Face Off; Dandy Takes A ‘Blood Bath’
American Horror Story: Freak Show, “Blood Bath” began with Gloria (Frances Conroy), reclining on a couch, speaking to a psychiatrist about Dandy while smoking a cigarette. Flashbacks show Dandy (Finn Wittrock) killing animals and tormenting, and possibly killing, other children as a child. The doctor insists that she convince Dandy to undergo psychoanalysis. She denies any new incidents, saying the resurfaced concern is merely a mother’s intuition.
‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ Recap
In the woods near the freak show, Jimmy (Evan Peters), Dell (Michael Chiklis) and Amazon Eve (Erika Ervin) and others search for Ma Petite (Jyoti Amge). Eventually, they stumble upon Ma Petite’s dress. They return to the freak show and show the dress to Elsa (Jessica Lange), who begins to sob. Ethel (Kathy Bates), finding it hard to believe Elsa’s emotions, glances at her skeptically. Back at Elsa’s tent, Ethel, with the benefit of some liquid courage, accuses Elsa of faking her emotions. “How dare you,” Elsa hisses. “She was my most precious one.”
Ethel then brings up Elsa’s chat with Richard (Denis O’Hare) about mercy killing Dot and Bette (Sarah Paulson). Elsa maintains that she’d never kill them, admitting that she did want to be rid of them – but would never stoop to murder. Unconvinced, Ethel fires a shot at Elsa’s legs, not knowing that they’re prosthetics. A flashback then shows Elsa on the operating table following an amputation by a doctor (Danny Huston), who promises to give her realistic looking prosthetic legs. Ethel is shocked by the revelation – but it still hell-bent on killing Elsa. Before she can pull the trigger, Elsa puts a knife through her eye.
When Jimmy gets back to the tent, Maggie (Emma Roberts) is sobbing. She found Ethel dead in a car crash and believes that she killed herself. Del and Desiree (Angela Bassett) tell Jimmy that Ethel was sick and didn’t have much time left to live. When the group heads out to the crime scene, they find Ethel’s body and severed head. Elsa sells her grave distress – even though she had teamed up with Richard to stage the suicide scene.
At Ethel’s funeral, Jimmy weeps, talking about how his mother was a woman of culture, who loved Emily Dickinson. Both Del and Maggie seek to comfort him and then take him for a drink. Desiree calls Ethel her friend and remains behind at the grave with Amazon Eve and a pair of others. “Look what my daddy did to me when I tried to live my own life,” said Penny (Grace Gummer). Together, the group of four decides to not let men run their lives anymore and that they’re going to take care of Penny’s dad.
At the Mott residence, Dandy is speaking to Regina (Gabourey Sidibe), who wants to know where Dora is. Dandy has told Regina that Gloria was the last person to see Dora. Gloria covers for herself, claiming that Dora had just gone out to get squash at a faraway town. Regina says she’ll wait for her mother’s return. Somehow, Gloria gets Dandy to go to the psychoanalysis. During his Rorschach test, Dandy thinks everything looks like some kind of murder scene. “Do you think it’s possible to take someone’s power by eating their flesh?” asks Dandy. “Or do you think you can do it by simply bathing in their blood?”
When Dandy gets home, he flips out on his mother. But, he says he’ll go back to the doctor if Gloria kills Regina, who is still waiting for her mother. Later, Gloria tries to book a trip out of town for her and Dandy – who was born of incest – to escape, but he overhears her talking about his mental imbalance. In the end, he shoots her dead.
At a women’s hospital, Elsa goes to see an overweight debutante named Barbara, who was sent there by her mother who wants her to lose weight. Barbara has no desire to slim down and Elsa doesn’t want her to either. She wants her to be the freak show’s resident “fat lady.” When Elsa returns to the freak show, she finds Jimmy drinking away his sorrows and introduces him to Barbara, whom she’s renamed Ima Wiggles.
After leaving a pot of ominous looking soup to boil, the women head to Penny’s family home. They come at him from all angles and carry him out of the home. They take him back to Desiree’s trailer, where they very literally tar and feather him. Maggie walks in to try to convince Penny and the rest to stop before they kill him. It works and they decide to set him free.
After saving Penny’s dad, Maggie tries to get Jimmy to stop drinking. She encourages him to be a leader and tries to get him to eat something. Instead of taking her comforts, he tries to push her away and holds on tight to his booze. Jimmy then breaks down and seeks comfort from Barbara.
“Blood Bath” ends with Dandy taking a bath in his mother’s blood.
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