THE PREMIERE OF AMERICAN HORROR STORY FREAKSHOW
In this weeks blog post I want to talk about and analyze the debut episode of Freakshow and then go on to offer my opinions on why I believe that this season of American Horror Story will be the best out of all the iterations that have occurred thus far. Before I go any further, however, I want to give the all important....
and let anyone know that this blog post will contain spoilers about the first episode of the show. So if you have any desire to watch the episode and haven't got around to it yet, because let's be real being busy is a syndrome at the Park School, please click off this blog now. For those of you brave enough to stay with the blog post don't say I didn't warn and let us enter the big top of this twisted, freakish season of American Horror Story.
SYNOPSIS OF THE EPISODE
In the sleepy little hamlet of Jupiter Florida, a milkman arrives at the Tattler residence to deliver the mornings shipment of milk. He enters the house after seeing his previous delivery of milk soured on the front stoop and upon entering he finds the houses owner, Eudora Tattler, dead and when he hears a noise upstairs, he discovers an injured pair of conjoined twins names Bette and Dot.
The twins are rushed to the hospital and upon their arrival they shock and sicken many of the employees. Elsa Mars, an owner of a traveling circus, appears claiming to be looking for a sick aunt that is in the hospital
She asks a candy stripper on duty named Penny about the discovery of the twins that was mentioned in the local newspaper and invites Penny to come to her show. After distracting Penny, Elsa sneaks into the secure ward were Bette and Dot are being held to find out about them for herself. Elsa explains to the twins that she tried to meet them in there house but had to come to the hospital instead because they were longer there but never the less she still wanted to see them. Throughout the conversation that Else hold with the twins, it is apparent that they can communicate without speaking. Bette, the naive, optimistic head, takes an immediate liking to Elsa and what she can offer them, whereas Dot, the cynical, depressed head, despises Elsa, throwing her out of their room.
On the outskirts of Jupiter, a couple picnics on Lake Okeechobee and begin to have make out. The girl, Bonnie, wants to have sex while the boy, Troy, goes get a gift out of their car. Twisty, a clown with a frightening visage appears suddenly and knocks the couple unconscious before stabbing Troy repeatedly in the chest with scissors.
Terrified, Bonnie attempts flee the scene but is chased after by Twisty. Later, Twisty murders a family in their house and kidnaps their son, hiding both the son and Bonnie in an abandoned bus in the middle of the woods. He comes to the bus and tries to entertain the two of them but only ends up scaring them.
Elsa is eating diner at a local dinner when she notices one of her freaks, Jimmy Darling flirting with a waitress. Jimmy tells Elsa that they shows days are numbered and that he wants to find meaningful existence outside of the confinement of the carnival. Later, Jimmy attends a tupperware party where the housewives convince a curious young party goer to enter the room with him. Jimmy is revealed to have severe syndactyly and uses his deformity to masturbate the woman.
Elsa returns to the twins in the hospital and tells them to explain their mother's murder to her again. The twins begin to explain that a man broke into their house but Bette conflates details from the movie Gaslight into their story and Elsa quickly catches onto the lie. She demands that the twins get their facts straight before the cops come to find them for questioning. Scared, the twins break out of the hospital and try to run away but before they can, Elsa confronts the two of them one final time. Under pressure, the twins tell Elsa what really happened, which was that Mrs. Tattler kept the girls locked in the house and Bette couldn't take it any more and stabbed her to death. Two days later, Dot stabbed Bette out of her guilt for not being able to stop the murder.
Because they have no other options, the twins accept Elsa's offer of a home at the carnival. Bette writes in her diary that she is happy to be outside of the confines of her house for the first time and that she is entranced by Elsa. Dot, however, is extremely grossed out by the environment of the carnival and the carnies, specifically Meep, a mute who bites the head off of live animals, and Ethel, a bearded lady and Jimmy's mother, and she wishes that she could go back to security of their farm.
Ethel describes to the twins how Elsa saved her life, rescuing her from the drunk tank and reuniting her with Jimmy. Dot is smitten with Jimmy but does not like Ethel, flatly refusing to perform in the show. Ethel reminds the twins that there is no better life for them.
Later on, Ethel speaks with Jimmy about the money that he earned masturbating the women at the tupperware party. He expresses his desire to leave the show to Ethel and she tells him that he would never be accepted by the outside world. Later on that evening, a detective arrives to the carnival to arrest the twins for the murder of their mother. The other carnies come to the defense of the twins and in a fit of rage over being called freaks, Jimmy slits the detectives throat with a straight razor. Jimmy then leads a procession of freaks into the forest by the carnival where he rants about no longer accepting the way they are treated by the society around them. After he finishes his rant, the freaks surround the dead body and dismember it as Twisty the clown watches them.
Penny (who was kidnapped and drugged with opium for several days) emerges into Elsa's tent and tells her that she wants to go home. Elsa plays her a video that shows her engaging in an orgy with the freak, effectively buying her silence about what has transpired under the big top. A wealthy socialite Gloria, and her stunted son Dandy arrive at the carnival and buy all the seats for the freaks show, convincing Elsa that the twins are going to be the carnivals savior.
The show gets under way as Ethel provides and introduction and shows off the freaks while Elsa performs Life on Mars. Dandy is completely fascinated with the freaks, especially Bette and Dot and offers to buy them for 15,000 dollars. The twins flatly refuse stating that they have found a home at the carnival. Before Gloria and Dandy leave, Gloria insults Elsa's singing abilities leaving Elsa completely devastated.
Later on, Elsa admits to Ethel that the reason that she brought the twins to the carnival is to draw crowds in so that she gain acclaim and glory as a performer. Ethel agrees with Elsa that she has the potential to be a great star. Ethel leaves and as Elsa prepares for bed we see that as she undresses that she is completely legless below the knees and instead has to rely on prosthetic legs to walk.
MY OPINIONS OF THE SHOW AND ITS FUTUREI had so, so, so many opinions of this episode and the future of the series. Firstly, the cinematography and the way that this episode was shot reminded me of a Douglas Sirk movie and also Twisty reminded me of a heightened version of Pennywise the clown from It. Also the way that the story was told really gave me chills and goose bumps and made me excited to see where the show was going to head. Granted, I did feel that Elsa's interaction with the twins could have been cut down slightly in favor of showing other things but I really did love the episode. As someone who is a die hard fan it is nice to see that American Horror Story is returning to it asylum like mode of story telling and horror.
Much to Mr. Ryan Murphy's and Brad Falchuck's credits the series has been given new life and energy as the thrills and horror abounds in the fourth season of the show.