The title of the most episode of "American Horror Story: Freak Show" should tell you two things. One, all those nice ladies who were disappointed by how drunk and uncoordinated Jimmy was at their Tupperware party will meet a grisly end by the time the credits roll. Two, all pretense of subtlety or nuance has gone out the window.
So Fresh, So Clean
The episode kicks off with Dandy (Finn Wittrock) hitting up Maggie Esmeralda (Emma Roberts) for a peek into her crystal ball. There's something different about Dandy; for one thing, he's crying less. He seems so much more alive and charming since he killed his mother and bathed in her blood. When Maggie looks into her crystal ball, we see flashbacks to Dandy doing some fairly grotesque things with corpses, but it's not clear if Maggie sees the same thing. In the beginning of the season, it seemed like perhaps Maggie did have a touch of the sixth sense, but if she saw any of Dandy's gruesome hijinks, she doesn't let on. Whatever mumbo jumbo she tells him seems to kick her psychosis into main gear, because he's legitimately convinced he is a god, he is above the law, he is the law, and he will do whatever he want. If that means killing a whole bunch of housewives at their Tupperware party, then using those handy plastic containers to bring home fresh blood to bathe in, yes, he will do that! If that means dropping trou and inviting Regina (Gabourey Sidibe) to take a blood bath with him, just for kicks, he'll do that too! Frankly, it's a nice change from all the tantrums.
Speaking of hijinks, Jimmy Darling (Evan Peters) is having a fine time feeding his new girlfriend Ima (Chrissy Metz) - you remember, the woman that Elsa recruited in the last episode? So, yeah, looks like Jimmy's got a new hobby. He's still interested in beating the snot out of Dandy, so they have a little tussle, insofar as anyone can tussle with a drunken, besotted Jimmy Darling. "I'm going to destroy you and everything you love!" Dandy snarls. So much 'tude, Dandy.
Not too much later, Desiree (Angela Bassett) and Maggie stumble upon Jimmy and Ima having some private time, at which point Maggie informs Ima, "You could be a pillow, a donut, a sock," right before Jimmy drunkenly barfs on the floor. So, things are going well for them.
As it turns out, the twins are totally fine! After Ethel (Kathy Bates) overheard Elsa (Jessica Lange) and Stanley (Denis O'Hare) chatting about killing them, Ethel hid them away in a hotel. Except now Elsa and Stanley show up with promises of that magical surgery and life as normal women, etc. etc. but in the meantime, before the fancy doctor shows up, they just have to hang out in this awful shack in the middle of nowhere, okay? Okay.
Later, Dell (Michael Chiklis) and Stanley have an encounter that's, shall we say, quite revealing. There have been a few hints about Stanley's special talent, and although he can't quite reveal it on television, what's alluded to is impressive. (Hint: It's in his pants.)
Dell tries to hang himself right after their rendez-vous, so that went well too. The ghost of Ma Petite shows up, then Ethel decides to hang out and watch until Dell does the deed. She also gives him a righteous lecture about being a coward and then sticks around to watch him die. "We wear our shame on the outside. It's just who we are," Ethel tells him. "You wear your shame on the inside." Just as Dell is about to shuffle off this mortal coil, Desiree cuts him down.
In a love shack across town, that group of Tupperware ladies are hanging out and gossiping and taking turns visiting Jimmy in the back room. Unfortunately, Jimmy is too drunk to really be of any use. He does have a vision of Ethel in the living room, who lectures him on his dumb drunken behavior; he cries into her lap until he realizes he's actually crying on the lap of one of the Tupperware ladies. So awkward. Just after he leaves, Dandy knocks on the door. Can he use their telephone? By which he means, he'd like to come in and murder everyone and leave their bodies floating in the pool. (See above re: Tupperware.)
Back in the Tattlers' love shack, Dot and Bette (Sarah Paulson) are having a deep discussion about being separated. Bette is still blonde, but she's back to being the youg naïf we met in the first episode; love is sacrifice, and being her sister is a gift, and she'll get the surgery because Dot wants it. Everyone's just assuming that either of the twins will survive a barbaric surgery like this, but let's just go with it.
The most confounding scene in this episode, and there were many, is when Bette and Dot show up in Jimmy's trailer in some sort of golden nightie and offer themselves up to him. Rather, Dot offers herself up and Bette agrees - she can just, like, close her eyes and disappear if they need some privacy, you know? They're offering Jimmy all the love and kindness he so obviously is seeking, but he declines. Is this a hallucination too? We'll never know.
That whole thing about Dandy inviting Regina to take a (platonic) blood bath with him for old times' sake backfired. After Dandy admits to all the murders, including the murders of both of their mothers, she brings a detective back to investigate. Dandy explains how rich he is and how he'll give the detective $1 million to kill Regina, and the detective does it on the spot.
Guess who's framed for the murders of all the Tupperware ladies? The police roll up to the carnival right after Jimmy's encounter with the twins and haul him off to the slammer.
The special effects for Dot and Bette suddenly look much better, even when it's a full-on shot of them and their extra-wide torso or back. It's nice to get a break from those artfully angled shots that would only show one head at a time. Watching Dot and Bette converse in this way shows how much effort Sarah Paulson put into each performance.
What's the story with Desiree's dapper paramour, Angus T. Jefferson?
Gabourey Sidibe's character in "AHS: Coven" also died by gunshot to the face.
"AHS: Coven" also featured plenty of bloody bathing rituals, courtesy of Madame Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates).