American Horror Story: Freak Show S04 E13: Curtain Call


Last week’s episode Of “American Horror Story: Freak Show” had us all reeling with plot twists full of revenge and lunacy. It was almost like watching Congress at work. What the freaks finally did to Stanley was a brilliant tribute to Tod Browning and his film, but I never expected Maggie to die. Elsa’s on the way to Hollywood, Chester’s in jail and Dandy’s the new owner. It’s the last performance of the season and the show must go on. Your ticket for tonight comes with a warning, “He who enters is doomed.”

The Show Must Go On

Our little ringleader, Dandy, has been so pampered by the late Gloria Mott that’s he’s forgotten his manners. Oh dear! After having the freaks hang up banners all over town, Dandy is upset that there isn’t a large paying crowd waiting to enter the tent. His disrespect to the performers and his temper tantrum earns Dandy a punch in the nose from Amazon Eve before all the freaks quit en masse. Dandy is upset. He has a show to put on and he doesn’t take kindly to insurrections of any kind.


Dandy (Finn Wittrock) is crazy as a mad hatter and we knew this from the start, but we overlooked his evilness because he was funny, charming and almost childlike. His madness inherited from his father and then nurtured by his mother, Dandy had become to believe that he was immortal and above the law.

There is a spoiler in here, but most of you reading this post have most likely seen the finale. I knew Dandy was a sociopath. He was a cruel mirror image to Twisty the Clown. Sure Twisty killed people, but his madness was brought on by necessity. Twisty was a victim of circumstances beyond his control and it drove him mad. Dandy was never a victim except in his own mind. Dandy takes a stroll through his new venue and with that oh so charming smile on his face, that won our hearts and made us forget what a demon he truly was, he systematically kills all the freaks except for three.

Elsa has been showing up each day to meet the big producer of the network, Mr. Gable, who will make her famous. Used to being the big fish at the Freak Show, Elsa learns quickly that she’s nothing more than a minnow in Hollywood. Without an appointment, no one gets in to see the big boss. But all is not forsaken as a kindly Junior Vice-President of Casting and a secret Communist named Michael Beck comes to Elsa’s aid. David Burtka, who is married to Neil Patrick Harris, played the role of Beck, husband and manager to the big star of the Elsa Mars Show.


Elsa has everything she ever wanted. She has her own television show, three albums out, but she’s still not happy and she’s making her husband’s life just as unbearable. She refuses the network’s demand that she do the required Halloween Show. The last thing Elsa needs is Edward Mordrake (Wes Bentley) showing up to collect her soul, but when her good friend Massimo (Danny Huston) tells her he is dying from cancer. Elsa’s world begins to crumble.

The news that Hedda Hopper, the Queen of Gossip, had not only discovered the movie showing how Elsa lost her legs, but she also knows about the Freak show and is going to plaster the news all over her column had Elsa rethinking her Halloween show.


Revenge is best served over a bottle of chilled champagne. Jimmy returns to the Freak Show to find all his friends dead except for Desiree (Angela Bassett). She tells Jimmy that Dandy has taken the twins. He has. Dandy is getting married to Bette and Dot. The bride, although forced into the marriage, looks beautiful. Dandy the handsome groom has a minister, flowers and music to make this a day to remember.


Dandy does love the girls, but only if he gets his way. The ceremony done and, before they retire for the night, the newly married couple enjoys a champagne brunch which is served up by the French maid.  Dandy wants children. Maybe a three headed daughter. He wants lots of baby freaks to do his own freak show. He never gets the chance to consummate the wedding.

Desiree the French maid and Jimmy give Dandy a chance to be the star of the show via Houdini style. We watch Dandy as he fights for his last breath of air, thinking until the very end, that he was immortal. He was not. Now, hell has to deal with him.

Jessica Lange

How would it end for Elsa? This would be the last season for Jessica Lange. She might make guest appearances on season five, but that’s it. So how would they end the show for Elsa? I was afraid that Jessica Lange’s character would go down in a bloody mess. A star like Jessica deserved better. She deserved a star’s ending. She got it.


As Elsa performs on Halloween, we see that Desiree is married and has children. She is happy. Jimmy is married to the very pregnant Bette and Dot and they are happy. Elsa’s Halloween performance has her singing David Bowie’s “Heroes.” Mordrake arrives with his other souls, including Twisty, and takes Elsa’s life, but he doesn’t add her to his troupe.

In death, the freaks find the happiness denied to them while alive. Elsa is welcomed back with open arms. Everyone is there including Ethel and Ma Petite. All is forgiven and Elsa spends Eternal life as the “Star of the Show” This was the only fitting way to say goodbye to Jessica Lange. The show won’t be the same without her.

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