American Horror Story: Freak Show S04 E11: Magical Thinking


Holy Body Parts! The last episode of “American Horror Story: Freak Show” was a shocker. If Stanley keeps adding to his specimen collection at the museum, we’re going to run out of freaks for the sideshow. Elsa is packing for Hollywood, and we meet Chester the new owner/ magician of the wackiest sideshow in town. Take a ticket and step inside. Your life is up for grabs.


“Lend me a hand,” has taken on a whole new meaning as we watch the dastardly Stanley trying his best to convince Jimmy to give up his hands for a get-out-of-jail card. After swallowing some potion, Jimmy finds himself at the county hospital sans his hands. Damn! I’m guessing his services will no longer be needed at the next Tupperware party.


I was kind of hoping that it wasn’t Jimmy’s hands in that specimen bottle on the last episode, but no such luck. The good news is that Dell is standing by his son. I don’t like Dell. He’s a bully and he killed Ma Petite. Snapped her like a twig, but Jimmy has to eat and Del is willing to care for his son. It was interesting to learn about Dell’s childhood. He was the normal one in a family of lobster men; a freak because he was normal. Dell and Amazon Eva make plans to rescue Jimmy from the cops.


We waited with bated breath for the appearance of the newest member of “Freak Show.” I love the talented Neil Patrick Harris, but I did wonder if he would be able to easily fit in with a top star cast that has, on the whole, been together for four seasons. Neil Patrick Harris did not let us down. Harris plays his Chester with a welcomed skill, making us sympathize with Chester even when we see the first glint of madness is his eyes. Harris plays his character as a victim of circumstances beyond his control and we are left in awe.


Chester is an injured war veteran; Normandy Beach and metal plate where his skull was. Chester shows up one day at the freak show to sell his reptiles. He’s a chameleon salesman but Elsa has had her share of snakes in the grass and is not interested. No worries, Chester comes with a bag of tricks. He does magic. Although Elsa is not impressed with Chester’s Chinese Linking Links, she is interested in his bookkeeping skills. Chester gets the job of sideshow magician/bookkeeper and since Elsa is leaving for Hollywood, he not only gets to buy the business, but his Marjorie will get Elsa’s tent. Elsa’s facial expression when Chester tells her of his plans is priceless. Jessica Lange rocks!


While the other performers quietly observe Chester’s strange relationship to his dummy, Marjorie, played by the delightful Jamie Brewer, twins Dot and Bette have fallen hard for the mannerly and charming young man. Chester is just as taken with our twins, but, not everyone is happy. Did you forget about Dandy? In his sick mind, the twins are his. He hires a detective to investigate Chester’s past and spy on the girls. Dandy, who is madder than a March hare, thinks that Chester is crazy.

The Twins

The girls have become more at peace with the world and with their condition. They are happy and they are waiting for the perfect man to take their virginity. While I had originally thought it would be Jimmy, in the end, Chester was a better choice. Chester has made them feel beautiful. He has included them in his act as his beautiful assistants. And they have enabled Chester to enjoy their bed without the company of Marjorie.


There were so many plots within this episode; a spider’s web of loose ends. Dandy is crazy, but he is also cunning. Knowing Chester’s dark secret and what really happened to his wife and her BFF, Dandy kidnaps Marjorie only to later return her to Chester. Marjorie has a message. Marjorie wants the twins dead.


Dell has hidden Jimmy from the cops who are now tearing the freak show apart searching for the handless boy, but the time to pay the piper is here. Maggie reveals the truth about Ma Petite’s disappearance to Elsa. While Desiree gets Dell to admit his crime, Elsa takes the law into her own hand. She shoots Dell.


Like I said, I was excited about Neil Patrick Harris joining the “American Horror Story” family. He is a very talented young man. Did you know that he does his own magic tricks? Yep, Harris learned the art of magic from his grandfather. It’s going to be one hell of a magic show watching Harris as Chester share the spotlight with Wittrock’s Dandy. Two class acts, but who will survive? Who do you want to survive? Hard choices, right?  Harris’ husband, David Burtka will be appearing in the final episode. I’ve truly enjoyed “Freak Show” and I’m not looking for this season to end. It’s been a wild ride on the dark side that leaves the viewers, breathless and wanting more. See you next week, my little lot lice.


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