Well, GODDAMN. THIS is what I’ve been waiting for all season. I know I was kind of bitching in my first three recaps about how this was all moving so slowly and why am I bored by the campiest piece of nonsense on TV but, my friends, I see the light now. I see how much careful, laborious set-up there was – and for what? For stabbings, butt injuries and leg stumps. God bless your fucked up brain, Ryan Murphy. I forgive you for Glee. (Well. Almost. Let’s not get carried away.)
Pluses, or, “Toots”
–One million points for when Evan Peters called Emma Robert “toots” and she just kept her face in that sexy baby pout she always does. I don’t know why that made me laugh so hard, but it just did.
-And, since I really went overboard with my first point giveaway of the recap… TWO MILLION POINTS for all those BACKSTORIES. I looooove backstories and literally every character on this show has been begging for one since the beginning. 5,000 points each for Legless Suzi and Paul the Illustrated Seal, both of whom I love (and both of whom are SEVERELY badass in real life – do yourself a favor and Google Rose Siggins and Mat Fraser). Their backstories were standard freak fodder, but were still horribly sad – Suzi was an orphan who stabbed a guy for tap-dancing, which I think is as good of a reason as any to stab someone, and Paul couldn’t bring himself to tattoo his face because it’s the only non-freakish part of him. 10,000 points to Twisty’s terrible, horrifying past, which we’ll talk about more in a minute.
-Most importantly – and this needs its own bullet point too – 50,000 points and 100,000 Emmys for Elsa’s fucking lunatic backstory, which I can guarantee not a single person saw coming. Edward Mordrake, aka the Exposition Fairy, gets her story out of her, and I thought shit was crazy enough when they started showing that totally fucked up 1930’s Weimar Republic sex club. (Weimar Republic Sex Club! Band name! Called it!) Like, how can they even show this stuff on TV?! This is WAY more depraved than anything I’ve seen on HBO! There’s a lady pissing in a bowl in a weird sexual way, for fuck’s sake! Anyway. Elsa made her living as a dominatrix, because of COURSE she did (Jessica Lange does not play simple prostitutes), who enticed her johns the normal way – making them sit on spike covered toilets. You know. The ushjz. I didn’t fully understand this business about “Ze Watchers,” but apparently Ze Pervs made some movies with her and then just fucking cut her legs off with a CHAINSAW because snuff film and all of this is SO flat out ridiculous but I wasn’t thinking about that because I was screaming too hard. (That was a horribly gorgeous horror scene.) But like…. WHAT?!? The answer is SNUFF FILM?!? How could that EVER be an answer in any kind of universe?!? This is legitimately better than when the twist in Orphan was “secret dwarf hooker,” and that set an EXTREMELY high bar for weird/dumb twists. Yes. Yes to this show. I am so sorry I ever doubted you.
-Let’s talk about Twisty, though. Let’s talk about poor Twisty. I’ve been frustrated with his apparent lack of motivation this season, and while his backstory was a lot simpler and WAY less wackadoo than Elsa’s, it was way more affecting. Twisty was once a normal clown, but wasn’t the brightest balloon in the bunch, and a group of “dwarves” (Secret Dwarf Hookers?!?) spread a rumor that he was diddling the kids – although, like Frank Reynolds after him, he most certainly did not diddle the kids. (Frank actually looks weirdly like twisty at the Always Sunny beauty pageant. CONNECTIONS?!) Anyway, driven to suicide by his rejection, Twisty blew half his face off but kept on kicking, which explains That Mouth Thing (which had a really big part in this episode because Ryan Murphy hates me), and which also explains exactly why he killed who he killed, and why he spared who he spared. The toy store owner was mean to him: dead. He needed a babysitter, Bonnie, for “the kids,” so her boyfriend: dead. He didn’t want kids to have to do chores, so the little boy’s parents: dead. But as for Gloria and Dandy: they showed interest in him. They ignored his creepy face (because they’re both morons) and invited him in to play, which is all he ever wanted. He ended up being Exposition Fairy’s Freak of Choice, which means he got his mouth back and everything is solved and now Lobsterblaster is a hero for saving the town and he can definitely Get It with Emma Roberts. But seriously – this story was shockingly touching and sad, which I did NOT see coming for this character. 100 Emmys to you, John Carroll Lynch. Gone so soon, but goddamn, did you bring it.
Minuses, or, Exposition Fairies
-Yes, I loved the backstories, but minus 500 points for the stupid way they did it. Why does Edward Mordrake’s Voldemort head give a flying fuck about your “saddest story?” He’s supposed to just be a snarling lunatic murderface. I kept expecting him to be like, “Oooh! Now tell me your most EMBARRASSING MOMENT! Also, did your mom buy any Fruit-Rollups??”
-Also, minus 1,000 points for not getting other backstories! If they WERE going to use that stupid device, we could at least hear from Evie and the World’s Smallest Lady. (They are ALSO both fascinating. Add them to your Freak Show Google Queue, which is a thing now.) Plus, Pepper! PEPPER! She’s a CROSSOVER character, and now that Sister Mary Eunice is confirmed to come back, why was this whole episode not about Pepper?! (Fine, I get why THIS one wasn’t. But next week, please.)
–It’s a wash for killing the Big Bad so quickly, honestly. I wouldn’t have wanted Twisty to stick around after knowing how sad he really was, but the fact that now we’ll have to move to the “freak show tearing itself apart from the inside” storyline doesn’t feel satisfying to me yet. We’ll see.
-Emma Roberts: still useless, and this episode didn’t have nearly enough of Denis O’Hare’s Mutant Schlong. Minus 2,000 points.
That’s all for this week, which I think we can all agree was a doozy. I don’t know WHERE we’ll go from here, but once AHS picks up, it doesn’t rest for long. The one thing we CAN rule out is minotaur fucking – been there, done that. See you next week!