Tonight we finally got to watch the first episode of the fourth season of the always horrifically creepy miniseries American Horror Story. This season, entitled FREAK SHOW, takes place in Jupiter, Florida in the year 1952, where Elsa Mars, played by Jessica Lange, has brought the very last of the Freak Shows. This Freak Show full of curiosities just so happens to come to town at the same time a dark serial killer begins a killing spree in quiet Jupiter.
We are first introduced to conjoined twins, Bette and Dot, who will become the main attraction in Elsa’s dying Freak Show this season. They’ve been hidden away by their mother for their entire lives on a farm in Jupiter. In the very first scene, which is a great introduction to the horror of this season, we watch as a milkman stumbles upon the murdered body of their mother and then finds Bette and Dot injured upstairs. The twins are immediately brought to a hospital where we learn that though they have two hearts and four lungs, they’ve only got one bladder and one circulatory system (thanks to Elsa, we later learn that they also only have one reproduction system as well). When Elsa talks to the twins, we get to see how different Bette and Dot truly are. Dot is a naively optimistic dreamer while Bette is a more cynical realist. Bette and Dot couldn’t be more different. We also find out that they can communicate with one another through their thoughts!
Though the beginning is slow as we are introduced to Elsa and Bette and Dot, later when we are given a look into the rest of the members of the freak show everything gets more interesting. Ethel Darling, the Bearded Lady who is played by Kathy Bates, is Elsa’s right-hand woman who takes care of the technical aspects of keeping the show running and keeping the Freaks in line. Jimmy Darling, played by Evan Peters, is a charming boy with deformed lobster hands who just wants to live a normal life. He takes care of and acts as a leader to the rest of the Freaks. We also see Pepper, who you may remember from AHS: Asylum; Meep, a dwarf who bites the heads off of animals; the smallest woman in the world; a transgendered woman; and many many more. Toward the end of the episode we also met Dandy Mott, played by Finn Wittrock, and his mother Gloria Mott, played by Frances Conroy, who are rich and both freaks in their own ways. Dandy is a spoiled grown man who is given everything he desires by his pushover mother.
Our villain of the season, Twisty the Clown, was also introduced in the beginning of tonight’s episode, and I have to say he is by far the scariest thing we’ve ever seen on any of the four seasons of American Horror Story. He’s also a serial killer. We watch him brutally stab three people to death and see that he takes a teenage girl and a young boy hostage in cages in his lair, which is a van that was abandoned somewhere out in the woods. The scariest scene of this episode, for me, consisted of Twisty trying to entertain the two young kidnapped kids with toys and clown tricks. When the children are still terrified and screaming, he completely loses it. I can already tell that there is going to be a great story to go along with our villain, and I am sure that there will be much more for us to learn about this creepy clown throughout the rest of the season.
‘Monsters Among Us,’ though slow at some points, definitely made up for it with some dreadfully scary horror scenes. There were quite a few surprising moments and secrets that were revealed, including a big one about Elsa. Tonight’s episode was definitely used to introduce us to the new characters and see where the show will be going this year, and I am very excited to see what else there is to come! My favorite part of this year’s Freak Show incarnation of American Horror Story is that I can already tell it is going to consist of a lot of good horror and an endless list of interesting characters!
American Horror Story: Freak Show airs Wednesdays at 10|9c on FX.
Photos courtesy of FX.