American Horror Story: Freak Show, “Massacres and Matinees” (4.2) - TV Review



American Horror Story: Freak Show, Season 4 Episode 2 “Massacres and Matinee”

Oct 15, 2014, 10:00p.m. (EST), FX

This second episode in Freak Show led us on a journey of each individual character that is going to be important for the rest of the season. It was slow at parts, and doesn’t even come close to being as intriguing as the first, but I was happy about the depth the characters were given and the further development of the plot as a whole.

Inside the Freak Show, we got to know that Twisty the Clown may not be the villain that will terrorize it. Instead, the Strong Man, also known as Dell, has come to wreck havoc. American Horror Story knows the world this season is set in, constantly making Dell absolutely power hungry and misogynistic. I can’t wait for Jessica Lange to put him in his place, because if it is anything that American Horror Story is consistent with, it’s the power women possess. This episode showed how close the Carnies are to one another and how they will not back down to Dell no matter the strength he has. This is a nice foreshadow to how the rest of the season is going to play out within the Freak Show itself.

Back to Twisty the Clown though. Can I just say, he is really giving Pennywise from Stephen King’s It a run for his money. Last week I said I wanted to find out about his history. I take that back. I like the way he just is who he appears to be, and the mystery and fear that accompanies not knowing. He’s terrifying. And now, he has an accomplice? What? Why are you doing this to me American Horror Story? And who is that accomplice? No other than that creepy rich dude Dandy who wanted to shack up with the Siamese Twins in the first episode.

The scenes where these two are playing in Dandy’s room are terrifying. The music, which is an extremely perfect score for the overall season, forces an unsettling feeling among its audience. Due to the music, direction and shots everyone knows that this duo is one to be horrified by. I am impatiently waiting for the next scene to come with the two of them after recapturing the children, only it doesn’t. Which is an extreme disappointment. Half way through the episode this creepy duo vanishes; this isn’t a wise move at all to take out the most compelling plot of the episode only to replace it with one that was mundane.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Lange, Paulson and especially Peters but the whole Freak Show plot as it stands now is boring. Nothing provocative has happened at all and it should because this season is labeled Freak Show. So why am I so unimpressed with the plot that surrounds the actual Freak Show? Come on writers, please give this plot of the show an interesting twist and fast! I can’t help but think to myself the entire time, ‘where is the clown? Where is that creepy Dandy who drinks liquor out of a baby bottle?’ every time I see the circus tent or field. It’s really upsetting because I do have high hopes for this show. I mean everyone should. The music, shots, acting and set design are stunning. It’s just this one little issue. The writing in these scenes just aren’t keeping me intrigued.

Overall, this episode is not as strong as the first but it is satisfying for the dedicated fans of American Horror Story. The score, acting and shots are executed perfectly but I can’t help but think that they could have been done even better if Ryan Murphy directed this episode, as he did the first. There is something about a creator of a show directing the show as well that makes it so compelling. Even though it wasn’t an episode I was tremendously happy with it’s still one that I didn’t want to turn off half way through, or at any point for that matter.

6.5 OKAY

It’s not as compelling as the first episode but it is appeasing enough to watch. This episode focuses more on the Freak Show rather than Twisty the Clown, which is why it falls flat in many scenes.

  • OKAY 6.5

About Author

I am a second year Journalism student at Ryerson University with a passion for all things TV and Film. I can never decide what my favourite TV show and films are so I will end up making a list if you ask. I also have a passion for writing and hope to one day put pen to paper and write an amazing script that people will love!