TV Recap: AHS: Freak Show, ‘Curtain Call’

American Horror Story: Freak Show Poster

The American Horror Story: Freak Show Finale – Curtain Call

While American Horror Story: Freak Show may not be the scariest or even the best out of American Horror Story’s four season run thus far; I think it is safe to say that it is the bloodiest. With tonight being the season finale, it is not unreasonable to go into it expecting nothing less than a bloodbath. What you may not expect is just how quickly it will come.

Dandy (Finn Wittrock) flexes his muscles against the freaks when his new act doesn’t sell any tickets, blaming the freaks for being boring. While that approach may have worked in his wealthy world, the world of the freak show is entirely different and the freaks do not take well to it. After attacking him, spitting in his face and quitting, the freaks involved, and anyone who steps in his path, are taken out one by one by Dandy’s unforgiving nature.

Photo Credit: Sam Lothridge/FX
Photo Credit: Sam Lothridge/FX

Jimmy (Evan Peters) returns to the Freak Show to find that everyone has been killed except Desiree (Angela Bassett) who narrowly escaped Dandy’s wrath thanks to a distraction by another freak. Together with the Tattler Twins (Sarah Paulson), a plot is concocted to pay Dandy back for all of the horrible things he has done, including a wedding and funeral.

While all of this is going down, Elsa (Jessica Lange) is finding success in Hollywood. She is the “Queen of Friday Night” with her own variety show, married to the Junior Vice President of Casting (David Burtka), has won several Emmy’s and earned herself a star on the Walk of Fame. Despite all of this and all of the love for her, Elsa has found herself lonelier than ever.

As it tends to happen, when it rains on Elsa, it really pours. The one person she ever truly loved, Massimo (Danny Huston), alerts Elsa to his terminal disease just as she asks him to run away with her. The studio finds out about Elsa’s pornographic past and her connection to the Freak Show and tells Elsa that the freaks are all dead. With nothing left to live for, Elsa decides to put on a final performance on Halloween night, which we have learned in the past is a big no-no for freaks, bringing Edward Mordrake (Wes Bentley) and Twisty (John Carroll Lynch) back for one final appearance.

For a show that started out so strong with the killer clown, the ending was a bit weak. The show should’ve ended darker, in my opinion. Everything worked out for everyone in the end. Jimmy, Bette and Dot and Desiree deserved their happy endings but did Elsa? She did some really terrible things to a lot of good people, which certainly should have secured her an ending much like Dandy’s and yet, she gets away with everything like she did in life. I would’ve loved to see her get exactly what she deserved, just like Fiona did in Coven.

Jessica Lange in American Horror Story: Freak Show.
Photo Credit: Michele K. Short/FX

In comparison to the other seasons, this finale was the weakest with the strongest start. I wish the episode had carried along with the momentum of the first thirty minutes, but unfortunately, it falls flat at the end. I had hoped for a bit more for Dandy. He came up with some awfully creative ways to murder people so it would have been great to see some of that creativity thrown back at him. His end just wasn’t violent enough for all of the evil he put out. And I cannot forget to mention that there were a few loose ends that were never tied up. What ever happened to Dandy’s paid man? After the Twins married Dandy and he died, did they inherit his money? I hope the sole purpose of the marriage was not just to trick Dandy because they could’ve gotten him without going through all of that trouble.

There is talk of reinventing American Horror Story for the fifth season. While I did enjoy Freak Show, I hope they do consider changing things and giving Season 5 a bit more Twisty and Dandy type craziness and a bit less of the drama. They need to find their way back to the horror of it all, something that was even missing in Coven. With Jessica Lange bowing out, Sarah Paulson will have to take the lead, which is something I am actually looking forward to. Lange’s characters all seemed to be the same person over and over while Paulson got to play a new person each time. I think, out of everyone, she has what it takes to usher in the changes needed. I suppose we will find out in about nine months with the premier of Season 5. Until then, we will have to settle for Netflix reruns marathon style to curb our American Horror Story withdrawals.

Rating: 8/10

=========================================================================================================Ann Ann Hale is the horror editor for and a senior contributing writer, reviewing horror movies and television shows. She is also the American Correspondent for and writer for Ann attended East Carolina University, majoring in English Literature. She is a collector of Halloween (the film) memorabilia and is a self-admitted opinionated horror nerd. You can follow her, her collection and her cat, Edward Kittyhands on Twitter and Instagram @Scarletjupiter

Just a giant nerd in love with horror, 80's action flicks, Star Wars and Harry Potter. Hit me up on Twitter or Instagram @scarletjupiter to talk horror or just to browse the horror collection.