In the latest episode of FX’s American Horror Story: Freak Show, Ethel (Kathy Bates) begins to grow suspicious of Elsa (Jessica Lange), due to the disappearances around the freak show. Meanwhile, Gloria (Frances Conroy) attempts to curb Dandy’s (Finn Wittrock) lust for blood.
The show opens with Gloria speaking with a psychiatrist. She expresses her concerns for Dandy, but insists he cannot be sent to an asylum. She also speaks about Dandy’s bizarre, murderous behavior, as a child. The doctor questions Gloria about recent incidents, which she brushes off.
Meanwhile, Jimmy (Evan Peters) and Dell Toledo (Michael Chiklis) scour the woods in search of Ma Petite. Jimmy discovers her clothing, which Dell explains away, as an animal taking her. Elsa Mars is distraught at the discovery. Elsa and Ethel share a friendly chat, before Ethel accuses Elsa of putting on an act. Elsa smacks Ethel and denies the allegations. She suggests Ethel is simply blinded by whiskey. Ethel admits to listening in to the conversation between Stanley (Denis O’Hare) and Elsa, in which Stanley suggests a mercy killing, which rose Ethel’s suspicions. Elsa admits to wanting the Tattler twins (Sarah Paulson) gone, but denies harming anyone. When she tries to leave, Ethel pulls out a gun and fires at Elsa, but misses.
Elsa begins discussing an old soldier friend, Massimo Dolcefino (Danny Huston). Massimo was responsible for making Elsa a pair of prosthetic legs. The doctor helped Elsa remember she was beautiful regardless. Afterwards, Ethel holds Elsa at gun point. While pretending to make them a drink, Elsa slings a knife at Ethel, which kills her.
When the show returns, Maggie (Emma Roberts) breaks down and tells Jimmy that she witnessed Ethel killing herself, in a vehicle crash. Jimmy learns that his mother was sick. The show flashes back and shows Stanley and Elsa planning and setting up Ethel’s suicide. Jimmy comforts Elsa, who is pretending to be hysterical.
Gloria has brought Dandy a present. When she enters his room, she finds Regina Ross (Gabourey Sidibe). Gloria tells her that her mother went to buy squash. Regina agrees to wait for her mother’s return. Jimmy and the freaks have a funeral for Ethel. After a speech from Desiree (Angela Bassett), the women agree to revenge Penny (Grace Gummer). Meanwhile, Dandy visits a psychiatrist and speaks like a total mental case. Afterwards, he confronts his mother and says she is never going back. Regina continues questioning about her mother, before threatening to go to the police. Dandy tells his mother he’ll go back for an entire month, if she kills Regina. Dandy plugs in their Christmas tree.
Meanwhile, Elsa visits a fitness center and speaks with Barbara. She discovers Barbara has been sent to the facility, in order to lose weight, but Barbara doesn’t want to. Meanwhile, Penny and the girls prepare to avenge the crimes against Penny. The women break in and kidnap Penny’s father. At the same time, Elsa confronts Jimmy about his drinking. She reveals she wasn’t at the funeral, because she was in Miami recruiting Barbara.
When the show returns, the woman have Penny’s father in Dell’s caravan stripped to his undies. Desiree harasses him, before Penny helps them pour tar all over his body. They then begin to feather him. Maggie rushes in and tries to convince them to stop. Desiree suggests Maggie doesn’t know what it is like, since she is normal. Maggie suggests the women still have chances, but they won’t, if they follow through with their plans. Penny allows her father to live, but tells him to stay away.
Dandy blames his condition on his mother. Dandy refuses to go to Europe with his mother. Dandy threatens to kill himself. Instead, he turns the gun on Gloria and kills her. Maggie tells Jimmy to honor his mother, by taking care of business at the carnival, so they can leave. The pair argue, before Jimmy tells Maggie to go have a beautiful life with someone else. Afterwards, Jimmy cries in Barbara’s chest. Dandy bathes in his mother’s blood.
This was a progressive episode, which saw the death of two major characters, Gloria and Ethel. The characters are beginning to grow mad. Desiree and the women are starting to revolt, while Dandy finally unchained himself from his mother. At the same time, Jimmy continues growing closer to his father, while sinking into despair. This was a fun episode that pushed the season closer to a conclusion. The episode deserves an 8.5 out of 10.