The “Curtain Call” has come down on Freak Show, and not with a bang unfortunately, but with a whimper. Even though this finale did not come close to the other American Horror Story spectacular endings, there were some good moments, so let’s get started.
After hanging a new banner featuring Dandy’s new singing act, he’s upset they’ve not sold any tickets. After calling Eve an ugly cow and telling the gang he wants new freaks, Eve slugs Dandy in the eye. Paul spits, then quits, while Dandy just sits…but you can see something brewing in his shocked eyes.
Elsa arrives at the World Broadcasting Network to see the big guy, Mr. Gable (not Clark) but doesn’t have an appointment. Nor did she yesterday, or the day before. Elsa waits and thirty cigarettes later, learns that Mr. Gable snuck out the back to avoid her. Elsa slaps the secretary after she is told to get a new act because Dietrich did it better. A struggle ensues causing Mr. Beck, head of casting – and a communist – to come out and save Elsa.
Dandy is in his tent putting on his makeup. It’s showtime! Dandy grabs his golden gun and walks around killing the freaks one-by-one. So long Sealboy. Goodbye Tattoo-girl. Later Half-lady. From her trailer, Desiree hears the gunshots and hides in her closet. Amazon Eve picks up an ax, but after a struggle with Dandy, is shot in her leg and head. Adios Eve. But thanks to Eve, Dandy is unsuccessful in locating Desiree. He moves on and at last we see Bette and Dot who are tied up and gagged. Dandy tells them, quite nicely and un-psychotically, to come with him.
Jimmy walks up to the campgrounds and grabs some food with his new lobster claws before noticing the blood. He calls out for Elsa, but she’s gone and no one answers him. Jimmy finds the trail of bodies under the big tent, drops to his knees and screams, “Nooo!” Desiree finds him and they hug it out.
Over at psycho-manor, Dot and Bette are all dressed up in white, getting married to Dandy. Well, Bette is getting married, Dot is just a third wheel. The twins tell Dandy that they’ve hired a French trained cook to prepare their meal and toast their new husband. He’s so excited to have freak babies! Suddenly things become a little foggy for Dandy. He’s been drugged, the French cook is Desiree and the butler is Jimmy. Dandy grabs a knife to stab Desiree, but Dot shoots him in the shoulder with his golden gun. The twins are outside, then back inside, before Dandy passes out. (Honestly, this part made no sense and I thought it was an editing error.)
When Dandy wakes, he’s chained in the escape tank made famous by Harry Houdini. Dandy will finally be the star of the show. As he begs for his life, Desiree tells Dandy he’s the biggest freak of all. They pour the water, take a front row seat, eat some popcorn and watch him drown. Sayonara, Dandy!
Flash-forward to Hollywood 1960. Elsa Mars has three Emmy’s, three hit albums, is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – and she’s miserable. Elsa married the casting director Michael Beck and learns that she is contractually obligated to do three holiday shows. (I don’t know what’s up with the number 3.) The network wants a Halloween show, but of course, this is a big no-no in the freak world. Elsa declines.
At Elsa’s Hollywood home, Massimo appears in her backyard. She is happy to see him and wants to run away to Rome together, but this is not to be. Stricken with lung cancer, Massimo has only one month to live. He came to bid Adieu.
Elsa’s husband arrives with the president of WBN, Mr. Gable, to tell her that Hedda Hopper has an 8mm film of her legs being cut off. Additionally, Hedda hired a sleuth who found out Elsa used to run a freak show. Gable tells her that all the freaks were found dead in a mass grave. Due to the morals clause in her contract, she is fired. Buh-bye! Elsa says, wait. She concedes to perform on Halloween.
At the studio, Elsa is singing David Bowie’s “Heroes” (very badly I might add). Walking by a storefront, a happy Desiree and Malcolm-Jamal Warner (what was the point in his being on the show?) with kids stop to watch for a sec. Cut to Jimmy and a pregnant Dot and Bette watching the show from home. Jimmy kisses Dot while Bette reads a magazine. She turns off the TV.
The green familiar mist of Edward Mordrake appears and he’s with our old pal, Twisty. The day of reckoning has come. Elsa stops singing and says, “Take me now.” Twisty tells her it will only hurt for a moment. Mordrake stabs her through the chest and Elsa collapses on stage. Mordrake informs Elsa that her place is not with them. When Elsa comes to, she is back at the freak show. Ma Petite is there. Ethel is there. Eve is there. And believe it or not, they’re all happy to see her. The gallon of blue eye shadow is placed on her eyes. When asked if she has to pay for her sins, Elsa’s told: Stars never have to pay for their sins. (Sad but true.) It’s a full house, the audience gives Elsa a standing ovation, and just as she’s about to sing, the show ends. Auf Wiedersehen!
Things to Ponder:
- If Elsa is in big tent purgatory, how can she then go drunk driving one night and kill a little girl, prompting her to become a nun?
- What happened to Stanley? Is he just clucking around, never to be heard from again?
- It’s rumored that this is Jessica Lange’s last season on AHS, but I really wanted a bigger, more tragic ending. I’m not sure Elsa deserved the happy ending she got.
- And finally, I’m still rooting for one more season of AHS. Rumor is that it has something to do with Area 51 and the aliens that were in Asylum. Let’s hope so!
I am so lucky to combine blogging with my guilty pleasure of watching reality TV. I read all the comments and respond to most. Feel free to reach out to me. If you like fiction, I have two published novels: Three Days in Purgatory and A Reason to Run.