American Horror Story Freak Show Episode 11 “Magical Thinking”: My Unsolicited Review

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WARNING: CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS. 

Allow me to preface this review by pointing out that Matt Bomer guest starred in one episode of AHS and stripped down to his undies. Now, Neil Patrick Harris is here and he bares his butt for the camera. If this is the effect Ryan Murphy has on out gay actors who guest star on AHS, may I please nominate Luke Evans and Ricky Martin for future episodes? Ok, on to the recap!

On the previous episode of AHS, Jimmy had been arrested for one of Dandy’s murder sprees, and we learned that his lobster hands had been amputated by Stanley. This episode picked right up from there. Inducing sickness in Jimmy with some sort of non-fatal poison, Stanley managed to hijack Jimmy from prison and, although he assures Jimmy that only one of his hands would be needed to afford “a good lawyer”, Jimmy wakes up in hospital to find both his arms ending in bloody, bandaged stumps.

The relationship between Jimmy and Dell progresses, and seems to even reach an all-time high, with Dell confiding in Jimmy about his painful childhood as a freak among freaks, while he spoon-feeds Jimmy his dinner. When Jimmy is about to be transported back to prison, Dell – on Elsa’s orders – goes to rescue him together with Amazon Eve, and he kills two police officers in the process, though he, himself, sustains a bullet wound.

The main attraction of this episode was, undoubtedly, Chester (Neil Patrick Harris), who is a travelling salesman/magic aficionado who quickly becomes the object of desire of the twins (who, by the way, are on a relentless mission to lose their virginity). Neil Patrick Harris delivered an awesome – if incredibly creepy – performance as Chester and, at this point, I’m torn between feeling sorry for him, and being wary of him. Though he has the ability to be extremely charming, the guy is a definite psycho, and has an unnatural obsession with his puppet, Marjorie (voiced and played by Jamie Brewer, which was all kinds of HELL YEAH AWESOME!), who somehow appears as a real, living girl to his twisted, deranged eyes. Add this to the fact that Elsa decides to sell him the freakshow, and we’ve got a delicious recipe for disaster!

When the twins decide that Chester will be the one to be their first lover, the encounter with them invokes within him memories of his ex-wife and female lover, who fell in love while he was at war. The flashbacks to his married days were all kinds of bizarre, and we later learn that his wife and her girlfriend were murdered in the house. Of course, to any sane mind, Chester is the culprit. However, since the flashbacks belong to him, we see that Marjorie (the girl, not the puppet) was the murderer, and this just makes things even more confusing. Hell, after the whole Edward Mordrake ghost crap, I’m not putting anything past this season.

Dandy made a reappearance this episode (YES!!), after his dirty cop employee revealed to him that the twins had become intimate with Chester. Everything about Dandy screams batshit crazy, but there is no denying that he loved those twins, and the news leaves him heartbroken.

The episode rounded off with Desiree confronting Dell at gunpoint about his involvement with Ma Petite’s death. Though he tries to deny it at first, he finally confesses to strangling her to death and those remain his final words as Elsa – never one to miss a target – put a bullet through his head from behind him.

I’m admittedly sad to see Dell go. His story arc was a really good one, and he was perhaps one of the most complex characters this season. However, I’m super excited to next week’s episode (again with the bipolar effects of this season) because now that Elsa knows about Stanley’s true identity and true intentions, her vengeance is no doubt going to be a bitch!

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