(Sorry for the late recap!)
I mean… okay. This episode showed some real promise, which is simultaneously great and extremely irritating, because NOW IS JUST NOT THE TIME, MURPHY. You’ve got two episodes left, you just introduced a character with an entirely new storyline, and the preview for next week had Danny Huston in it. Get your shit together, man.
Pluses, or, Butts Butts Butts
-Dandy butt. NPH butt. Lots of butts. I’m not mad. Plus four butt cheeks.
-But for real, NPH was a delight. I wish he’d arrived WAY sooner, but I think I made that clear already, so I’ll just get on with it. His character, Chester the Molestor (did he have a last name?) was exactly the right brand of Murphy-crazy; in short, a war veteran with a lesbian wife, a metal plate in his head, and a murderous, talking ventriloquist dummy named Marjorie (played equally delightfully by Jamie Brewer of Murder House and Coven, who I have missed dearly since last season). He’s twitchy, and he makes me VERY uncomfortable, and it’s still unclear whether or not Marjorie is actually a magic devil doll or just a manifestation of his crazy (OR a side effect of the metal plate?!?), but what IS clear is that he definitely smashed his wife’s head in with an assist from Marjorie. He also slobbers over basically everyone at the freak show, and by the way, he does magic. Plus 1,000,000 points.
-Scott, my friend who co-runs the excellent recap blog Sunday Night Singles, pointed out that NPH skewed very Hedwig in this episode thanks to all that rouge. Plus 2,000 points for reminding us of the glory that was Hedwig, and plus 3,000 to Scott for saying that.
-We got rid of another freak this week, and even though this was the moment he decided to like, step up as a dad in a severely fucked up way, I’m not particularly going to miss Del. We’re entering the “thinning the herd” phase of AHS, and it’s fine with me that he was among the first to go. Plus 200 points.
-Esmerelda is still SO boring and awful, but her confession this week got things moving along a little bit, so plus 300 points for that.
-Jimmy in that hospital bed was VERY Asylum, so thanks for reminding me that Asylum happened and it was really fun. Wash, because it also reminded me of how little I’m enjoying Freak Show, overall.
-Wait, wait, wait! I forgot to talk about Bette and Dot’s weird sexcapades! I’m not clear on what their initial mission was besides general deflowering, but they ended up weirdly bedding Chester, and it was the first interest thing the twins have done in EVER. Plus 10,000 points.
Minuses, or, Where Is This Going?
-Every other season of AHS has built towards some sort of point or resolution – escaping from Murder House and Asylum, finding the Supreme in Coven – but I have legitimately no idea where this is going, and I really don’t think that’s a good thing. There’s no united thing here other than everyone being mad at Denis O’Hare now, which, whatever. Minus 500,000 points for the inevitable fizzle of a finale.
-Also, what is Dandy’s deal?!? I guess he sent a cop after Bette and Dot (I wasn’t completely paying attention for that part) but then he just, like, appears out of the night in a giant pimp coat at the Freak Show to threaten Jimmy? How did he GET there? Is he magic?!?!? Minus 5,000 points for this character being confusing AND useless.
-Also, as far as Jimmy as concerned, the freak show is the worst possible place to hide!! Minus 300 points for sheer stupidity.
-Jessica Lange didn’t get to do enough vamping this week except for the part where she shot Del in the head, so minus 800 points, because isn’t that, ultimately, the whole point of AHS?
I’ll have to wait for the final two episodes to make a verdict, but I’m glad NPH arrived to liven up proceedings, because at least I have that to look forward to. See you, and Danny Huston, next week!