This show is so frustrating that I want to put IT in a box and saw it in half. I was trying to remember how this season got started while I was watching last night’s penultimate episode, and I literally could not remember. I think there was a clown? Whatever. I can’t make myself care about any of this anymore. Ryan Murphy has driven me from anger to complete apathy, but I’ll write about this anyway, because goddammit, I finish what I start. (Also, I can make fun of it.)
Pluses, or, At Least It Looked Cool
-This was a TOTAL gross-out episode, which was at once a giant bummer and also kind of cool. Murphy is STILL good at unforgettable images, and this hour was chock-full of them – Maggie’s guts plopping out of the magician’s box, Jimmy’s stumps, and Denis O’Meep, which was for sure the best one. Plus four stumps, because this season really has an inordinate amount of stumps.
-That opening chase to catch Denis (whose character name I have honestly just forgotten at this point) was also pretty fun. I don’t know where The Gummer has been hiding for the past 25 episodes, but her face tat game is still on point. And by on point I mean TERRIFYING. Plus 500 points for the first genuinely creepy image on this show since Twisty.
-Danny Huston came back this week! Hello, Danny Huston! You still have a funny accent and you’re still obsessed with Jessica Lange’s character – you haven’t changed a bit, my friend. He was mostly useless (and I’ll get to that later), but we did find out from his (useless) flashbacks that Dr. Hans Gruper is responsible for Elsa’s stumpiness. I took a few minutes to laugh to myself that this guy’s name is basically Hans Gruber, but then I remembered- hey! That’s the Nazi who cut off Chloe Sevigny’s legs in Asylum – you know, the farmer from Babe! Plus 5,000 points for a decent season-to-season connection.
-Even though they COMPLETELY wasted his time (and it’s not like it’s the first time- remember when Golden Globe winner Matt Bomer was on this show for all of ten naked seconds?!), Neil Patrick Harris had an extremely delightful distraction-arc that he played so well I temporarily forgot that I hate everything about this season. I had kind of a great time watching him totally lose his marbles – that is, saw Maggie and then “murder” Marjorie – but the clincher was his dramatic confession to the police that he murdered a DOLL. Great stuff. Plus 1,000 points for NPH being a spectacularly good sport.
Minuses, or, Is This Over Yet?!?
-Honestly, this show is a logistical nightmare, and I have a million stupid questions because the stupid plot isn’t distracting enough to suspend my disbelief anymore. How did Italian Danny Huston even find Elsa when his whole plot point is that he couldn’t find her? Why did she sell the show to Dandy, besides revenge? How did THEY get in touch? If the show legally belonged to Crazy Chester, could she even do that?! Speaking of Crazy Chester, is he also going to be like, “Oh, and I also sawed a girl in half FOR REAL” when he’s done with his doll murder confession? Are the police going to ask any follow up questions?? Isn’t somebody eventually going to wonder where Maggie is?? Why am I asking myself these questions??!?!? Minus 2,000 points- one for each logistical nightmare.
-And speaking of Maggie – a whole bunch of people either died or got mutilated in this episode and I could not have cared LESS about any of it. If Freak Show has done a good job at anything, they did a great job of making all the characters so stupid and shallow that I didn’t give a flying fuck about anybody. Was I supposed to care that Jimmy picked his lobster hands after all? Was I actually supposed to give a shit about Maggie either? It definitely didn’t seem like it – her death scene was SO BIG and then IMMEDIATELY the freaks are completely over it and don’t discuss it again. Wait, really?! Angela Bassett gets in a good line about how they just need to “steal her jewelry and bury the bitch,” but she also says Maggie “had it coming,” which, did she? Yes, she was working with Meep O’Hare, but she ended up turning on him and doing all of them a solid. I hate this show. Minus 8,000 points for lack of anything development.
-WHY DID WE GET A FIVE MINUTE FLASHBACK FOR DANNY “PINOCCHIO” HUSTON WHEN WE HAVE LITERALLY NEVER HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT AMAZON EVE THIS SHOW IS LITERALLY MAKING ME DEAD INSIDE MINUS EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD FOREVER AND EVER
-Wait, we have ANOTHER storyline about everyone ganging up to kill Jessica Lange? Is it Coven already? Minus 3,000 points for recycling your OWN idea AND doing it poorly, Murphy.
Next week we’re done with this. Thank GOD. Super sized post next week with a wrap up for the entire mess. I mean, season.