AHS: Freak Show Recap: He Came, He Sawed, He Conquered

American Horror Story Neil Patrick Harris

Armed with devilish charm, some leftover Hedwig lipstick and a ventriloquist’s dummy that just happened to be a dead ringer for American Horror Story semi-regular Jamie Brewer, Neil Patrick Harris made his eagerly anticipated debut in this week’s Freak Show.

And, before you could say abracadabra, not only had his magician character, Chester, taken the reins from Elsa (who still thought she was Hollywood-bound), he’d defrocked the Tattler Twins. But wait, there’s gore… er, more.

UNDERHANDED TACTICS | As “Magical Thinking” began, we flashed back two days to Stanley suggesting to Jimmy that he cut off just his left flipper to pay for a good lawyer, lest he meet the same fate behind bars that Meep did. Of course, as soon as the con artist had helped the freak feign illness (so as to get him sprung from prison and transferred to the hospital), he hacked off both of the lobster boy’s hands. When Dell found out from Jimmy what Stanley had done, the strong man blabbed to Elsa, Amazon Eve and Legless Suzi, and in spite of the strong woman’s past altercation with her male counterpart, she offered to help him rescue the now-helpless inmate during his transfer back to prison. (An effort that resulted in the murders of two cops.) Later, as the hour came to a close, Desiree and Maggie revealed to Elsa that Dell had smothered Ma Petite – they even produced the poor thing’s body as proof! – and Fraulein Mars put a bullet through his brain.

DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE | Both brunette again and committed to one another and the freak show, the Tattlers noticed their fellow performers’ dedication to absolute pleasure and decided that they were past due to lose their virginity. But to whom? Enter handsome chameleon salesman and wannabe magician Chester. The siblings were smitten at first sight; Elsa, not so much. She had little interest in his tricks and even less in his ventriloquist’s dummy, Marjorie (who, if only in Chester’s head, had a mind of her own). What did impress her, however, were the newbie’s math skills. If he’d help with the bookkeeping, he could stick around and warm up the crowd, she said, setting him off sobbing in gratitude.

In no time, Chester had sweet-talked Bette and Dot into being his assistants (not his “victim”) during his sawing-a-lady-in-half illusion. Afterward, the Tattlers, certain that he reciprocated their feelings, threw themselves at him. Though the injured war veteran suffered from flashbacks of himself and Marjorie watching as his wife had sex with her girlfriend – and needed the puppet in order to perform! – he did manage to rise to the occasion and deflower the girls.

THE GREEN-EYED MONSTER | Creepy as all that was, it was just the tip of the iceberg. While Elsa was selling Chester the freak show, Dandy was being informed by his detective that he had a new rival for the twins’ affections – a rival who’d brutally murdered his spouse and her lover (though, in his mind, Marjorie did the deed). Once Dandy recovered from his crying jag, he took swift and decisive action, approaching Chester and telling him that Marjorie had run away because of his tryst with the twins. When he found his dummy, the freak show’s new owner agreed to her demand for top billing. Unfortunately, there was one other thing that she wanted him to do: saw the Tattlers in half.

OK, your turn. What did you think of the episode? Is Marjorie the scariest doll since Annabelle, or what? Hit the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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10 Comments
  1. Joey says:

    I have a feeling my friend will immediately watch it tomorrow when I text the following: “So you missed NPH butt last night.”

  2. Kait says:

    It was good. Jamie Brewer (I think that’s her name IIRC) was great and NPH was phenomenal as expected. Plot-wise with the Tattlers I almost feel like I missed an episode but I know I didn’t because of what was happening with Jimmy. Was missing Angela Basset until she popped up at the end and as usual, ahem, killed it.

    Does anyone know the name of the actress that played the woman that wasn’t the wife? She looked familiar but I can’t place it. SVU maybe? Or is she the girl from the mermaid shampoo commercials?

    • Lo says:

      She’s definitely the mermaid Herbal Essences shampoo girl.

      • Kait says:

        I thought so, wasn’t sure if it was just similar looks or not. I missed most of what she said being distracted trying to figure out where I recognized her from.

    • Joey says:

      Actually she played a prostitute in an episode of SVU, where the prostitution ring was wrapped up with terrorists. Eames from Criminal Intent was a guest star in that episode.

      • Kait says:

        Yes! I found the imdb page (didn’t realize it had an ‘episode > cast’ option for basically extras)
        Her name is Angela Sarafyan, she was an escort(?) in the episode that Finn goes undercover as the cab driver and a different agency comes in like NOPE sorry terrorism/drugs comes before these poor women

        • Joey says:

          Yup you were right. I knew she looked familiar when I saw her, too, but I hadn’t made the connection to that SVU episode!

  3. CountryQueen says:

    I found it dizzying to look at the twins straight on. I don’t think we’ve ever had that straight of a look before. My poor brain was having a hard time. Excellent though to see them finally this way, as Neil saw not only Bette and Dot, but his wife and her girlfriend.

    My big question – is Chester the one who saws their head off for Stanley?! We saw their heads, and thought it was a dream, but what if it was the future? We also saw Jimmy’s hands under glass before he actually cut them off, so now I am extremely worried for the girls!

    I guess they were defrocked, but they were really deflowered. Gotta say, I kinda loved Bette’s “ow, ow, ow.”

    I think it would be great if Marjorie was actually alive. I know she must be in his head, but that would be unexpected, right?

    Dell did make himself more likeable, but I kept telling myself, “he killed Ma Petite! Don’t be fooled.” Too little too late, but at least he got to feed his son. I do feel sorry for Jimmy. Both parents gone, no hands. Will Maggie stick around for him?

    I did love Dandy last night too. All creepy, funny wanting to hear more about Chester.

  4. Shroom says:

    Not that I don’t enjoy the show, but there’s no real horror in this show since AHS: Coven. This season has had even less. I still like the show for the performances – but I don’t think it lives up to being a Horror show.

  5. debra says:

    Good show, is it me or does Neil look a little more frail these days?