American Horror Story Freak Show: ‘Curtain Call’ Review

We Can Be Heroes

We Can Be Heroes, Just for one day

“You may look like a motion picture dream boat…but you are the biggest freak of them all!” -Desiree Dupree

I’m simply speechless. Last night truly was a curtain call for one of American Horror Story’s main actors and I still don’t know how to feel about it all. The season finale of Freak Show, appropriately titled Curtain Call, was the final act for many of our freaks but also the final act for a mainstay of the anthology series and she will definitely be missed even if I have argued in the past that it’s time for this show to move on with a fresh start.

The finale was also bittersweet for me because it didn’t have the bat shit crazy appeal that we are so used to from the Murder House, Asylum and even Coven days. This was more of a sending off and I was a bit disappointed we also didn’t get any more connections to previous seasons. That said, the finale still had its moments, especially Jessica Lange’s performance of another David Bowie classic. I’ve included the video to the Lange cover as well as one of my fave covers by The Wallflowers so check ’em out and let’s get freaky while we find out who made it out of the Freak Show alive.

The End of the Line

Highway to HellOur episode begins with Ima Wiggles, Seal Boy, Lizard Girl and Amazon Eve putting up Dandy’s new promotional banner. They talk about their new owner and Lizard Girl suggests getting the hell out of Dandy’s act but Seal Boy gives her a reality check…”there’s nowhere to go, our world is dying sweetheart.” And he’s certainly right about that.

Dandy is getting ready for his grand opening but seems to be having the same difficulties with the lighting guy for the millionth trillionth time:

I need the Magenta lightThe freaks come back and inform Dandy that they haven’t sold any tickets yet having only put up the banner 30 minutes ago. So Dandy goes off the wall as per usual and blames the freaks who just can’t take it anymore leading to Amazon Eve going all Xena Warrior Princess on Dandy:

Xena Warrior PrincessYup, if Amazon Eve had her own series I would watch the shit out of it and so would you. Easily one of the highlights of the season, Erika Ervin had a breakout performance and is definitely a fan favorite. I’d love to see her back next season in a new role.

Of course, the freaks should probably not have pissed off Dandy. Calling him boring…not a good idea. Quitting his Freak Show before opening night…another terrible idea. He’s a loose cannon and, well, loose cannon’s tend to go off when disturbed.

Freak Labor Movement

Horrible BossesLook at how upset Dandy is…awwww muffin! Needless to say, he’s a horrible boss so the freaks probably did the right thing, however sticking around for absolutely no good reason was a really dumb idea. Bad day to be a seal…or a lizard…or a fat woman…or an amazon…or Legless Suzy.


Dandy has clearly lost it at this point and we get yet another gruesome scene that only American Horror Story could produce. After getting all dressed up, it’s time for Dandy’s big performance. And the rest of the freaks will be joining him. First up, time for some good ole fashioned Canadian seal clubbin’:

Warranty void if seal is broken.Why you would even ask about your pay after insulting and humiliating Dandy is beyond me. All of the freaks should have got the FUCK out of Jupiter immediately but they stuck around for some odd reason.

Lizard Girl is next up…of course, hiding behind a sheet is probably not a good hiding spot for Hide and Seek.

I just did the laundry!Lizard Girl is now a Lounge Lizard. A dead lounge lizard. Two down, many more to go and clearly this is not a fair fight. Dandy walks into one of the tents and shoots our french midget dude (I still don’t know his name) directly between the eyes:

Freaks in Short SupplyDandy really got dressed up nicely for this. Also, did anyone else find it disturbingly creepy that he was humming along to some tune while he was doing this. Reminded me of the shooting scene from Season 1 with Tate which is still hard to watch.

Next up…Legless Suzy and I’m afraid she is not going to be able to run very far, what with no legs and all. Someone give her a skateboard! But first, Dandy realizes the dangers of aiming while walking (the ’50s version of texting while walking):

Dandy vs PoleOUCH! And ya, admit it, you’ve done this and it hurt like a bitch! Still, with no legs, where was Suzy going?

No Skateboard ZoneAhh, no skateboard zone. She didn’t have a chance. Total freak death count is up to four! Des hears all the commotion and goes into Hide and Seek mode, but unlike Lizard Girl, she actually comes up with a pretty decent hiding spot. Amazon Eve, however, runs into the middle of it all after another freak bites the dust.

The Final Report: Freak Show MassacreAt this point, I’ve lost count of how many freaks have died and next up is Ima Wiggles, who unfortunately was not explored enough this season. I think she would have made for an interesting character but for whatever reason, the writers didn’t bother to do much of anything with her. Now…

Ima Dead.Obviously she wasn’t running anywhere! Or hiding. Then Amazon Eve goes all Xena again but an ax vs. a gun can only end one way. And I was soooo angry after this:

NoooooooHow dare you show! How dare you kill off one of my favorite characters. I was visibly upset when this happened. I love you Amazon Eve, please come back next Season. You are already missed. 🙁

Of course, the show must go on and Dandy, who can’t seem to find Des due to her amazeballs hiding spot, kidnaps the Twins instead. And Lobster Boy, probably off drunk somewhere, finally comes home to find this:

Freakiest Graveyard EverThis was the hardest pill to swallow this season. When Des and Jimmy reunited in tears, it brought a lot of emotion. We invested a lot of time in these characters even though most of them had minor roles, and to see them all killed off in a matter of minutes was tough. Especially my girl Amazon Eve. R.I.P. Freaks, you will be missed.

Dolphins Can Swim

It’s true, dolphins can swim. But Dandy cannot. And boy oh boy revenge is a dish best served with champagne. The twins play house with Dandy but it was all an act, possibly because he murdered every single one of their friends. Apparently, the Tattler Twins, Des and Lobster Boy hatched up a plan and it was beyond great, especially after watching the massacre we had to witness. But first, the fix which involved a wedding with stuffed animals as guests.

Animal CrackersObvs they’re serving animal crackers for dinner! Also, I want that stuffed Giraffe and Zebra!

So later at dinner, Dandy’s bubbly is drugged by the new maid who just so happens to be Triple Tits who’s lookin’ mighty fine in her new maid outfit! SHITTTTTTTTTTT! So Dandy ends up falling for the Twins due to his obsession with them and it ends up being his downfall. I suppose we should have saw this coming but I was quite surprised with how easy it ended up being.

Jimmy, the Twins and Des throw Dandy in Houdini’s famous escape tank and things are not looking so good for our villain. That’ll show him for killing my favorite Amazon! And Bette shares a similar feeling as she goes off on Dandy for taking her friends from her!

I hate you, i hate you, i hate youDesiree’s speech to Dandy was phenomenal as well. I’ve always been a huge Angela Bassett fan and her performance was once again stellar. It is simply unfortunate that she was so underused this season, especially considering she had THREE boobs. Mr. Murphy, if you’re listening, please make sure she returns for Season 5 because she is sensational.

Sink or SwimAll around, this was a great scene. We got to see Dandy finally get what he deserved. I mean, the guy did murder like over 20 people so I’m definitely glad he didn’t survive. There was no way he was getting out of that box alive. But maybe this was another foreshadowing for next season given that once again there was a reference to Harry Houdini. Come on, MAGIC!

Des, Jimmy and the Twins take a seat and enjoy the show and it really was fine and dandy!

Get ya popcorn ready

That boy is a star.

Walk of Fame

Elsa’s already hightailed it to Hollywood and she’s looking for a job immediately. Apparently persistence pays off. Also, not sure if this is a clue for next season or not, but there was a close-up of Elsa’s bag. Yes, it looks like it’s the Freak Show entrance but maybe it has some other significance. Thoughts?

A raging clue?Either way, it was still a pretty cool detail regarding Elsa’s past and her love for all the freaks. With the exception of Ethel due to the fact that she murdered her. So Elsa is rejected by the receptionist but that doesn’t stop her from waiting. And many cigarettes later, everyone is heading home so Elsa confronts the receptionist and she is none to happy about having to wait all day for nothing. Good thing she did though, because I believe I may have found a big time hint regarding next season. Remember the newspaper article way back in the premiere about Alfred Hitchcock’s Stage Fright? I’m starting to think this is a bigger clue than we imagined because the receptionist says to Elsa “Marlene did it better”, which of course led to this:

Elsa bitch slaps HollywoodThe greatest bitch slap I have ever seen! But a little info about Marlene…she just so happens to have starred in Hitchcock’s Stage Fright which is a connection I can’t ignore. If this is a clue then I have a feeling we’re heading to Broadway next season which is right up Ryan Murphy’s alley. Who knows…maybe the cast of Glee will show up only to be murdered off one by one? Let’s hope.

So while Elsa is being arrested for bitch slapping Hollywood, her future husband Michael Beck (played by David Burtka) breaks it up and ends up making her a star.

By the time we get back to this story, we flash forward to 1960 where Elsa is now famous and fabulous but she also has developed some celebrity attitude. She refuses to perform a Halloween special for obvious reasons and apparently Michael Beck, her new husband, is also her bitch.

Whipping BoyElsa tells the chickie’s there is no way in hell she is doing a Halloween show and off she goes to meet her old crush. I don’t know why, I just love this story. There is really nothing to it but I find it deeply emotional how Elsa is madly in love with Massimo for saving her and yet he can’t love her back. It’s so tragically powerful.

Labor of LoveThey have a conversation about what Massimo has been up to since Elsa ran off and it may either put all of those Operation Top Hat rumors to rest for good or it’s a major clue for next season’s setting.

Massimo explains to Elsa that he left Florida and headed for some location (I tried so hard to figure out what he said but I couldn’t so if anyone knows, this might be a clue for next season) where he built villages so they could blow them up with their “atomic bombs.” Operation Top Hat, anyone?

Elsa explains to Massimo that she is cursed in that she had all of her dreams ripped away and now she is cursed by having them all come true. Deep shit right there. But Elsa just wants to be loved at the end of the day and being famous is clearly not the answer. She begs Massimo to run away with her but once again, she is rejected by the only man that has ever loved her. He explains he’s going to die, probably from working on those villages. It’s such a sad story and makes my heart hurt 🙁

After all of this, Elsa is visited by her husband and the head of the network, Mr. Gable, and they pretty much have bad news for her. A gossip reporter, Hedda Hopper, got wind of some of her old videos from her snuff film days. She also hired an amateur sleuth to retrace Elsa’s steps which obvs led to Jupiter where she ran her Cabinet of Curiosities. Theories about this particular sleuth: it was Lana Winters from Asylum. This makes sense too since Lana didn’t enter the Asylum until 1964, and it would also have provided her with some info about Pepper who is now at Briarcliff. Something to think about surely.

Gables also informs her that they found all of the freaks in a mass grave. They were all dead and Elsa looked devastated. It was pretty clear that she did, in fact, love them all.

I loved my freaksAnd upon hearing that all of her former performers met an untimely end and that her career in Hollywood is pretty much over, Elsa decides to perform on Halloween. And we all know what that means…

Just For One Day

Halloween night and easily one of my favorite scenes/performances of the entire season. Elsa gets on stage and David Bowie’s Heroes begins and I literally lose my shit.

You're our hero.And in case you didn’t already know, Jessica Lange is not returning next season and that was made pretty obvious from a tweet by Ryan Murphy after the finale (which has been reproduced below, so check it out). It was her final appearance last night and boy, did she ever go out with a bang. Happy endings all around which was much needed after all of the death during the first twenty minutes.

As the music plays, we see Desiree and she looks stunningly happy:

Everything we got a home is just fine.And it appears she has a new hubby who treats her like gold. She also has two kids, which is huge because I’m pretty sure the good ole doctor told her she couldn’t have kids earlier in the season.

Next up, we see what Jimmy, Bette and Dot are up to:

Double the happy endingAnother awesomely adorable scene with a pregnant Bette/Dot. And hell, even though this made no sense after Jimmy rejected them originally, sometimes it takes an event like a freak show massacre to bring people together. Who am I to argue with love? This is freakishly beautiful.

And then we get the big return as the green smoke pours out and the special effects guy is confused because the green mist isn’t suppose to start until the goblins. MORDRAKE and TWISTY make their return FINALLY and I couldn’t be any more thrilled.

We're BaaaaackAnd this ending may also provide a connection to Coven as well. Remember Papa Legba? Well it seems like Mordrake and Co. have a similar effect on the people they visit. Mordrake knows full well that Elsa is attempting to commit suicide by performing on Halloween. She even says it herself…”I am the biggest freak of all.”

Also, this guy is back!

Missed you.Who would have thought I would have missed Twisty so much. It really is too bad the guy hasn’t been with us since episode four and I think the writers missed a big opportunity here. Twisty was both terrifying and creepy as a villain and his back story was unbelievably tragic. You could tell the show suffered after he left so I’m still a little disappointed that we didn’t get more of him.

That said, Mordrake takes his next victim and its Elsa only this time, her place is not with them.

Curtain CallShe is headin’ straight to hell…or her very own version of hell? Like I said, I believe Elsa simply died here. Mordrake didn’t take her with him and his crew and instead she is living in her own version of hell. Is there a possible connection to Legba and Coven? Maybe. But I’m a sucker for a happy ending and this was definitely a happy one. Cheers to a great season, I will miss this cast of characters for sure…its definitely been a Dandy 😉

Final Farewell

A World of Possibilities

So the question on everyone’s mind after watching the Finale is where are we going next Season! We know it is taking place in the good ole U.S. of A. We also know that it will probably be in present time as that seems to be the theme (Season 1 and 3 were present time, Season 2 and 4 took place in the past).

Some theories have already suggested that because of a project called Operation Top Hat, we will be getting a glimpse of chemical and biological testing on human subjects. This would have major connections to Freak Show as well as Asylum (due to World War II) but the 1950s setting doesn’t follow the pattern we have come to expect although we could see a present day version of Operation Top Hat (maybe taking place in New Mexico). Not gonna lie, that’d be pretty epic.

Another theory that seems to have picked up steam is with respect to Alice in Wonderland. There has been a lot of Wonderland references scattered throughout this season and obviously the Mad Hatter could be what the Top Hat clue is all about (not to mention the croquet set in Dandy’s room), but I’m a little skeptical because what possible setting could this mean for Season 5? Seems a bit far fetched if you ask me.

And lastly, my theory. With the Stage Fright connection and lots of talk about magic, not to mention the fact that most magicians wear a Top Hat, I firmly believe that we’re going to some kind of theater next season and magic will be heavily involved. Ryan Murphy also loves to incorporate music into the series, so a Broadway type setting such as a haunted theater might just be in the works. There could also be major connections to Coven with this particular theme and, in my opinion, Coven is not going to be easy to connect with other seasons.

So what do you think? Where will Season 5 take place? Sound off in the comments if you have theories of your own.

The Verdict

EPISODE SCORE: 9 / 10  A fitting end to an otherwise mediocre season. Points were awarded for using David Bowie’s Heroes, which was also covered by The Wallflowers in the 90s and just so happens to be one of my favorite songs! The Freak Show massacre and Dandy’s death were all really well done as well, even if one of my faves lost her life. But what I really did not like was the final ending because this actually became more about Jessica Lange’s exit from the show rather than telling a proper story. I get it, Jessica Lange is not coming back next season as Ryan Murphy tweeted this himself:

I’m actually kind of happy she won’t be returning for next season as it is time to give some of the other amazing performers a chance to shine! That said, I still loved Lange’s performances in the first four seasons, I just wish we didn’t have to build the finale around this. Definitely looking forward to October 2015.

Lastly, now that we have reached the end of Freak Show, I will be back in April for Game of Thrones fifth season. Having read all of the books, this one is going to be GREAT (aren’t they all, haha). So stay tuned for that. In the meantime, I am going to be updating my blog with some hints as to something I am creating. An original story about teens growing up in the late ’90s, back before the Internet was a big deal and smart phones ruled the Earth with tons of pop culture references and hilarious dialogue. It’s called The Classic Moments List and I’ll be releasing it on the web very soon (it’s more like an interactive book than anything), so get ready to share your own Classic Moments.

One Freak To Rule Them All

We’ve been taking votes throughout the season and the results are finally in! And the winner is…

Ma Petite! The world’s smallest, and most adorable woman has won your affection. And close behind her were Dandy and Twisty so shame on all of you sick crazies for voting for serial murderers. Just kidding, this is American Horror Story after all. Thanks to all my loyal readers for another wonderful season of AHS and I, of course, will be reviewing AHS again in October 2015 because I simply love this series to much. May The Freak Be With You.