‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ episode 3 review: Denis O’Hare hunts freaks

American Horror StoryLast time on “American Horror Story: Freak Show” we saw the strong man stroll into town with his wife and take over Elsa’s freak show. No one was happy with this, especially Lobster boy who tried to frame him for the murder of the detective. This of course blew up in his face when the strong man caught on and Meep ended up meeting his tragic death. Ready to see what happens this week?

Stanley: Been waiting for an appearance from Denis O’Hare? Tonight we met Stanley, a con artist that is looking for a quick way to make a buck. When he learns that a museum of oddities is willing to pay thousands of dollars for just the liver of Siamese twins he heads out to Elsa’s freak show to cash in.

The bearded lady: She has learned that she has cirrhosis of the liver and only has between six months to a year to live. She starts drinking and lashing out at Jimmy, but really she just doesn’t know how to deal with the news. Ethel asks the strongman if he ever loved her and he said no, but he admits that he could’ve been a better dad. She asks him to never, ever tell Jimmy the truth about him being his father, but in the same breath tells him that she’s dying asking him to keep an eye on him once she’s gone.

Maggie Esmeralda:  We also had the arrival of Esmeralda, a fortune teller that wants to join the Freak Show. Even though she is a complete fraud, she has a way to find out information about people before giving them their fortune. It’s enough to convince Elsa that she’s the real deal and she is offered a place at the freak show (Bette is not happy since Jimmy has taken a liking to Esmeralda and she is still crushing on him). So who is she really? She’s working for Stanley, and scoping out the freak show. She tells him about Bette and Dot and she starts to get worried that this is going to a dark place she’s not willing to go.

Bette and Dot: Bette wants to save her money and find a doctor that will separate them, but if that happens one twin will die and the other will go on to have “happiness”. Bette feels that she has a better chance at a happy life and plans to do away with Dot as soon as she can. Bette tries to push Elsa around, saying that she is the headlining act and wants to discuss salary – she threatens to take the twins to the  swamp and leave them there.

Dandy Mott: With Halloween upon us, Dandy wants to be… a clown (shocker!)! Twisty has become a mentor to him, but when push comes to shove Dandy finds he doesn’t have it in him to actually kill anyone.

Edward Mordrake: The Freak show doesn’t perform on Halloween because of Edward. He had a second face on the back of his head that told him to do things and even tried to kill it, but it didn’t work leaving him in the asylum until he eventually escaped and ended up at a freak show. One Halloween night he snapped and murdered everyone in the troop and then hung himself.  If any freak performs on Halloween, Edward shows up and takes the freak back to hell with him. What a ghost story!

Elsa decides to “practice” on Halloween despite the Edward Mordrake story and Ethel meets Edward in her trailer. She tells him her deepest darkest secrets, including the fact that she let Dell talk her into selling tickets to the birth of Jimmy and offered people to hold the baby for money. She tells Edward that she deserves to go to hell with him, but he decides that she’s not the one he’s going to take.

While there was the introduction to a lot of new characters tonight, it was interesting to learn more about the relationship between Ethel and the strongman. We were happy to see Denis O’Hare, but he wasn’t in tonight’s episode nearly enough. Episode grade: B-

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