Four Letter Nerd

American Horror Story Review: Massacres and Matinees

Alright, so last week I didn’t put out anything on the much anticipated season opener of American Horror Story, mostly because I was packing for a vacation, but hey, it’s not like we’re getting paid for this (yet). So we’ll begin with episode 2 Massacres and Matinees.

(Warning: If you don’t expect to see a spoiler from this point forward I don’t know what you are expecting to read. So if you don’t mind, or you’ve already watched the episode feel free to read along.)


First, let me say that I’ve really enjoyed the extended episodes this season. While it does worry me that maybe they will unveil too much too fast just from having so much in each episode, it’s nice to stop the DVR and realize you have a whole extra 30 minutes left after you’ve been watching for an hour. Anytime I’ve watched American Horror Story in the past it always felt like it moved quickly, so this actually works in their favor to slow stuff down, but hell there has been a ton of movement already. So let’s break it down by character or groups to help digest what has gone on so far.


Dandy and Twisty- The name Dandy  is enough reason  to hate him. This little titty baby is already on a Goffrey, from Game of Thrones, level. His bitching, whining, baby bottle drinking and sweater wearing has you wanting to strip him of his place in the world and see him choke on a purple poison, but alas two episodes in and he’s already diving deeper into dick-hood. We find Dandy and his mother anxiously awaiting their dinner to be served, only to have Dandy turn his nose in disgust once it arrives. After several sips of his baby bottle snifter of Cognac, Dandy expresses his boredom with the life that he currently leads and expresses his desire to go join the Freak Show down the road. After the argument turns sour, Mother and Dandy go their separate ways. Dandy makes his way to the freak show camp and pleads his case with Jimmy (The lobster boy) to join the show. After Jimmy seemingly puts him in his place Dandy goes back home. In an attempt to gain back Dandy’s love, his mother does what she’s always done, and tries to spoil him with gifts. This time though, she finds the horrifying Twisty the Clown on the side of the road and brought him home for Dandy. The scene with Dandy and Twisty in the same room was nerve racking. Twisty’s silence and subtle movement really have you intrigued as you don’t know if he’s about to pull out his juggling pins for a show, or pull out a knife to rip a victims spleen out. (side note: I love the imagery that Twisty brings. I’ll explain more on him later)  When the playtime turns sour due to Dandy looking through Twisty’s back of trick and causing him to flee,  we watched Dandy’s horned tip hair style follow the sinister Twisty back to the woods. They end up becoming great friends with a new bond.


Del Toledo(The Strong Man) & Three Breasted Lady- Coming to us hot off a murder in Chicago, and the shield, is Del Toledo, the Strong Man, played by Michael Chiklis and his three breasted wife played by Angela Basset. Out on the lamb, these two arrive to the Elsa Mar’s Freak Show in an attempt hide from the law. When they arrive, they seem to be willing to do whatever is neccesary to join the crew just to be able to hide from the lime light. Though to me, this seems like a dumb plot. If a strong man was on the run for murdering a customer of the previous show he was a part of  one would think that maybe being another strong man in another freak show would be a bad idea.

Strong Man hiding as a Strong man, sounds like a bad idea. But that's none of my business.

Strong Man hiding as a Strong man, sounds like a bad idea. But that’s none of my business.

Anyway, they jump right into the show, Del Toledo taking on the role of security/bark caller/ production manager, and his wife jumping in as piano player and another featured act. Del Toledo immediately starts forcing things to be done how he sees fit. With the police still looking for the mass killer (Twisty the Clown) a new curfew has been enforced causing everyone to be home after dark. Toledo has the bright idea of running a matinee show to help keep customers coming, ,and even though Ms. Mars is extremely opposed to the idea Toledo makes fliers and puts them out anyway. Jimmy (Lobster Boy) is very much not a fan of Toledo and they have several run ins with each other through out the show. Jimmy doesn’t know that Toledo is his actual father (at least it seems that way from a flash back shown of him trying to put Jimmy out of his memory as a baby), so you can expect a big blow up at some point when this is revealed. Toledo’s anger becomes a problem early as he beats the crap out of Jimmy outside the local diner for trying to take fellow performers out to lunch in public.


Another Side note: The theme of this episode, and what may be of the whole season, is the repeating message of “Just give me a chance”. In this week’s episode we see this message  from the following characters: Dandy when asking to join the freak show, and again when he shows his loyalty to Twisty. We see it from Twisty when he returns to his hide out to provide gifts to his hostages. Del Toledo when he approaches Elsa Mars about joining the show and basically a give me anything mentality. Jimmy when he takes his friends to the diner and expects that the general public should accept them as people too and not freaks. The twins with their new found talent of a singing duo.  It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out through out the season.


Jimmy and the Gang of Misfits- We find Jimmy the Lobster Boy, played by my wife’s favorite guy Evan Peters, is starting to feel the guilt of killing the detective from the first episode. At the end of the dinner hall table in what seems to be a celebration of the murder of the police officer, the chants of his friends saying “we killed the cop” or something like that, he snaps telling everyone to shut up. Trying to clean up the mess that he made, Jimmy, the amazon woman, and the guy with the little arms go to the place where they buried him and dig the pieces of his body back up. They make a plan to burn them to get rid of the evidence. In what you can tell is an obvious foreshadowing of a downfall, the amazon woman finds the detectives badge and tells Jimmy to do something else with it, because it won’t burn. Like an idiot, he stuffs the badge into his pocket, and all I could think was “that’s not going to end well”. Later on Jimmy will take his coworkers out to lunch in an attempt to feel like normal people. The lunch ends abruptly as people at the establishment make as scene asking him and his friends to leave. As Jimmy puts up a fight about staying to be served like a normal person, Del Toledo comes in and puts his foot down forcing everyone to leave. He does this by dragging Jimmy outside and man handling him. Jimmy also does not like Toledo for simple reason of he’s taking over as the man of the house, where that has been Jimmy’s role for so long. Trying to get rid of Toledo he devises a poorly executed plan of calling the police and leaving an anonymous tip that Toledo is the cop killer. He plants the badge of the detective in Toledo’s trailer, but Toledo sees this happen and moves it to the little guy Meeps tent. He’s the one that bites the heads off animals. When the police arrive, they find the badge in Meep’s and off he goes to jail. Further sealing how much we are probably not going to like the Strong Man being a part of this group.


Meep- He dies in jail. Pour one out for your homie.


The Twins and Elsa Mars- Being the headlining act that the Siamese Twins (play by Sara Paulson) are, Elsa Mars (played by the amazing Jessica Lange) doesn’t want to add anymore fuel fire and give the twins more attention. As we know at this point Elsa really puts on the show to bring a crowd in and watch her at the end. She is kind of a sad existence of a human being. She has a show filled with people that society says are weird or lesser, and protrays herself through them as a “star”. When the twins discover that Dot can actually hold a tune and Bette can harmonize perfectly, a new star is born. After their first matinee and the positive crowd response the twins recieve, Elsa pays the twins a visit while they sleep and plays Bette’s jealous heart strings convincing her that her sister doesn’t deserve the spotlight. She leaves Bette with a knife and a decision to make… to kill her sister or not. It also brings back the image of the first episode when Dot stabbed Bette after killing their mother. Will she doe it? Previews from the next episode suggest she does, and a surgery to remove her other half will take place. I guess we will see?


So what do you think happens next?


What do you like the most so far?



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Cody Russell

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