Oct 29, 2014, 10:00p.m. (EST), FX
This episode played out as a love letter that turned into Twisty the Clown’s eulogy. Twisty, it seems, has come and gone from the show. And he was given an amazing send off.
Twisty will probably be the most missed character on television this season because of the fear he gave to the audience. But the creators didn’t want us to morn his death because of the fear he brought us, but rather for a very layered character we don’t usually get to see within the horror genre. What this episode was really about was flipping perceptions of what the audience thought of Twisty by presenting his ‘freak’ story to us. In doing this, I was able to sympathize rather than fear him. This is extremely refreshing because usually the killers are single layered and only evil. But, the creators of this brilliant show gave a very human story of bullying and love to the killer character. Thus, bringing much more to a character that could easily have been one sided and had no motive for what he did. To all the horror filmmakers out there take a note from this episode, everyone has motive for their actions…even killers.
The ending ties in perfectly with keeping with the theme of flipping perceptions of characters. Near the end though it’s not the audience whose viewpoints need to change about the characters, but the residents living in Jupiter with the ‘freaks’. The scene where the town come to the freak show to thank Jimmy tied the theme of everyone being more than they appear to be on the outside skillfully to the rest of the episode. I thought it translated to our world today. We constantly judge people by their outer appearance rather than who they are on the inside, just as the townspeople of Jupiter do to the ‘freaks’. American Horror Story always connects normal everyday problems into a show that is anything but normal.
Take away the strong script and theme of this episode and you get the richest of acting from the actors. From Jessica Lange’s then and now performance to the genuine fear in Evan Peters’ eyes when he believes he will die and then to Finn Wittrock who once again knocks the crazy out of every character with his portrayal of Dandy. Also we finally got to see what John Carroll Lynch is capable of when the mask comes off of Twisty. And he did not disappoint. Having him in the flashback scenes talking and having to incorporate more than just the eyes into his character was intriguing to watch. There are few actors that are able to make me empathize with the ruffian character but Lynch made me feel sorry for Twisty near his end. Lynch gave such an amazing performance of who Twisty used to be, who he is now and the ignorance the character had in understanding his ‘killer’ actions were wrong. I couldn’t help myself but show compassion towards him.
A minor issue I had with this episode was the opening. I understand why Edward Mordrake and what he was searching for was important in this episode but I think too much time was spent on it. If they spent less time on the backstory of Elsa and maybe a litter more on the minor ‘freaks’ it would’ve been more compelling. Especially when the ending was extremely strong and foreshadowed what we can expect now that the character we thought what the main villain is gone. The ending made my heart race more than Twisty ever did. When I looked at Twisty I thought he was evil, but when I look at Dandy I don’t (once again the theme of appearance vs personality).When he killed his maid by slitting her throat all I could think was that he had been raised by her, yet didn’t blink once through the scene. That is way more frightening then a killer clown that was secluded and stole children from their neglectful parents. What made a chill go down my spine was the menacing smile in Dandy’s eyes after it happened. I wonder what Dandy is going to do to avenge the death of his good-pal Twisty?
This is the best episode since the season opener. What its lacking is the amazing shots that were given in the opener; but the strong story and acting are there to make up for the unique shots that were gift wrapped to the audience in episode one. I was thoroughly pleased with this episode and how its going to be change the plot for the rest of the season. The plot line that we have seen over the past three weeks has been very redundant and I was getting bored of it. I am happy to say that things are about to get tremendously interesting.
We may all think our dreams are safe at night now that Twisty is gone, but we still need to fear Dandy. The closing scene of this episode will make anyone sleep with one eye open.