American Horror Story Recap: “Edward Mordrake Part 1” [Episode 3]

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The American Morbidity Museum is a place where they embrace and celebrate people who are different. Dr. Mansfield and Ms. Rothschild are there to submit a specimen for a price. Unfortunately, the specimen is a fraud, just like they are. The curator tells them if they were to bring in something authentic, she won’t ask questions. She recommends visiting a freak show. The liver from the infamous conjoined twins Chang and Eng fetched $5K. The couple make plans to go to Florida.

It’s Halloween and the kiddos in nearby West Palm Beach are dressed up and going door to door collecting candy a little earlier this year since there’s a curfew. Poor princess Jesse is scared of clowns. So nice that big brother was sensitive to this and has dressed-up as a clown. Jesse sees Twisty the Killer Clown hiding by the shrubbery. She tries to tell her mom about him, but mom doesn’t listen.

Ethel is visiting the doctor for her stomach pain. She has tested positive of cirrhosis of the liver. With sincere compassion, the doctor tells Ethel that she has six to twelve months to live. He recommends she not touch a drop of alcohol or the time will be even less. He places his hand on hers. Ethel cries because he’s the first doctor to ever treat her with respect.

Back at the campgrounds things are getting wild under the big top. Jimmy walks in and is depressed that he can’t protect anyone. Dot yells at the other freaks for being disrespectful to Meep’s memory. She wants them to dedicate tonight’s show to him. But there will be no show on Halloween, for the superstition of Edward Mordrake is too terrifying.

Edward Mordrake was an aristocrat from the mid 1800’s who was a scholar, a poet, and a musician. And, oh yeah, he had another face on the back of his head. It whispered bad things to him incessantly. He tried to kill it many times, but never succeeded. His family eventually committed him, but Edward escaped and joined a freak show. One Halloween night, Edward murdered everyone in the troupe, then hanged himself. Legend has it that if you perform on Halloween, it will summon the spirit of Edward Mordrake and he will kill again.

With a drink in her hand, Ethel tells everyone the story’s true. It happened one night when she was with Barnum and the Human Cannonball was found hanged. Jimmy says enough and slams the bottle of alcohol down. Ethel tells Jimmy he’s free to go now, since they have Dell the Strongman to protect them.

Dandy’s mom, Gloria, has the dining room decorated with pumpkins and the maid dressed up as Woody Woodpecker. When Dandy enters he is very upset over the costume his mother has picked out for him. He doesn’t want to be Howdy Doody, and starts breaking things.  Mommy-Gloria runs off to the store to buy him something else, but he starts creating his own costume.

We are in the nightmare of Bette/dream come true of Dot. The twins are about to be separated by a doctor with a bone-saw. When they wake up, Bette references the last time Dot tried to kill her it wasn’t in their dreams. Dot says she’s the star and not afraid to do what it takes and go it alone. As soon as she makes enough money, Dot plans to find a doctor and get the surgery. Bye-bye Bette.

Elsa is in her tent smoking a peace pipe when Jimmy introduces the pretty girl who arrived by yellow cab looking for a job as a fortune teller. Elsa is skeptical. The girl begins to tell Elsa her future – by looking around the room for clues – then looking into a crystal ball. She says Elsa has suffered a grave injustice in the past due to greed and jealousy. But not to worry because an elegant, refined man will be arriving soon to make her a star. The fortune teller is hired!

Three-Boob Desiree is ready to get this party started with Dell the Strongman in their trailer. He’s lifting weights and doesn’t want to drink. He wants some lovin’. Desiree strokes his…ego, faster and faster, but Dell loses his…concentration. With all the weight lifting, the blood is going to all the wrong places. Desiree has heard it all before and tells Dell that she can get more satisfaction with a door knob. (Ouch!) Dell pushes her against the wall and demands respect. Desiree tells him to get his hand off her or he will never see her again. Fear flashes in Dell’s eyes.

Ethel is drinking in the field when Dell clomps by. She makes a crack about triple-tits and asks if he had trouble getting it up. Ethel wants to know if Dell loved her when they conceived little Jimmy. He says no, but admits he could have been a better father. Ethel tells Dell she’s dying and asks that he be decent for once and give Jimmy some guidance, but to never tell Jimmy he’s his father.

Back at Sicko-Manor, Dandy has made himself a new costume – a clown. He grabs a butter knife and walks into the kitchen threatening the maid. She is not amused or afraid. The maid dares Dandy to kill her. He holds up the butter knife, but still can’t go through with it. The maid tells Dandy that if she finds another dead animal she will call the police. He stomps off.

We learn the fortune teller’s name is Esmeralda when she calls the fake doctor at the motel to tell him she can’t go through with this. The freaks are freaking her out. Dot and Bette are the target for the fake doc. If a liver of conjoined twins is worth $5K, just think what a whole body will bring. But first, the fake doctor wants Viking lover-boy to play with his sword. Who’s the freak?

Back at princess Jesse’s house, the moms are having martinis. They don’t see a shadow pass by as they discuss their dislike of kids on sugar. Big brother tells Jesse that he will give her candy back if she calls him Master Mike and does his chores for a week. He notices a change in his sister’s face, turns and screams at the sight of Twisty. The moms put down their martinis and run to the room. When they ask Jesse where Master Mike is, she says, “The clown took him” and points to an open window.

At the big tent, Dot and Bette want to practice since they are the headliners now, but Elsa tells the two-headed freaks to leave the stage, she’s the star. Elsa yells for the others to play music. As she breaks into song, a green fog flows into the tent. Edward Mordrake walks up. At the end of her song Elsa bows, but when she looks up, he’s gone. The green fog has entered Ethel’s tent. Edward appears and apologizes for scaring her. He explains that she must answer his questions truthfully or else. He wants to know about her deep pain and shame. Ethel tells of how she and Dell were penniless and pregnant. Dell arranged for people to watch her freak birth; two bits to hold the little monster. Ethel says she is ready to be taken. Edward whispers, nonsense, and is gone, leaving Ethel alive and well for now, moving on to someone else.

Dandy arrives at the school bus for Trick or Treat with the captives. He tries to stab them with his butter knife, but misses. He gets a longer stick, ties the knife to the end, but before he can stab them, hears Twisty walk up. He’s dragging Master Mike to the bus to join the others. Tune in next week for part 2 of Halloween night.


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