American Horror Story: Freak Show –
Pink Cupcakes (4×05)
Synopsis: Stanley shows up at the big top with promises of fame and grandeur, but he’s going to have to deal with an intense rivalry between Elsa and the Twins before he can get what he really wants – the body of a freak. Dell reveals a dark secret while Desiree learns that she might be more of a woman than originally thought. And of course, there’s Dandy who’s trying to hone his craft in the darkest of ways – and bringing everyone else down with him.
Another week has gone by and one of the big name guest stars of this season, Matt Bomer, made his brief appearance. After the high of last week I’m feeling pretty good this time around, although a lot of the twists this week didn’t seem to have any standing power and seemed to be more singular incidents than story driven moments. But twists there were, and let’s get to discussing them!
Stanley has high hopes for the circus – and not in the way that you would think. Stanley (Denis O’Hare) is after one thing and one thing only – money. As he fantasizes of how he’ll gain status and fame for bringing the Museum the whole exhibit, Maggie snaps him back to reality by reminding him that they need to get the bodies first. While she still doesn’t want to be associated with murder, she instead demands an extra 5% for having to live with the freaks.
Still, her conscious won’t let her leave the freaks on their own, and she tries to convince Jimmy that he needs to run away and leave because a man will be coming into his life that will bring danger. Poor Jimmy, he leans in for a kiss but she steps back, telling him that she can see into his future and that it doesn’t involved her, leading him to lament that he should have known that he’d never have a chance with a girl like her.
As the show is about to start, he’s sent to go and find Dell who has been missing for awhile, and instead finds a drunk Desiree reminiscing on her past show life with him and crying over how he’s left. Jimmy and her cry with each other before they start to fool around – that is, until they discover Desiree bleeding profusely down there and rush her to the doctor that helped Ethel.
In the first major shock of the episode, we learn that Desiree is actually one hundred percent female (her “ding-a-ling” was in fact just an enlarged clitoris) and that she had just suffered from a miscarriage. Off screen she expresses excitement at the thought of being able to be a mother and have a child, but when she learns from Ethel that Dell’s father had lobster hands, she pieces everything together and prepares to leave the freak show, and most importantly – Dell.
Dell himself has been holed up for a few days with a male prostitute (Matt Bomer’s guest spot) that he keeps promising to leave Desiree for, but Andy isn’t having any of it and just lets him keep talking about how much he means to him. When Dell drops the “L” word though, Andy lets him know that he isn’t about to fall for his schemes and that he needs to leave. Dell returns home to discover that Desiree is going to get the surgery offered to her by the doctor so that she could be more comfortable in her own skin, and his anger from earlier in the evening snowballs into that and he decides to take matters into his own hands – and the doctors. Dell was a violent man, but hearing him talk about how he holds all of his pain inside and then seeing him absolutely attack the doctor without emotion was dark.
Dandy though has been left to his own devices ever since his mother walked in to the dining room only to discover Dora’s body. Dandy immediately runs in with a rehearsed, “Someone has broken in!” which even his own mother doesn’t believe, and in return she sends him to his room for the whole day. She orders the gardeners to dig a space twelve feet deep for her narcissus (clever, aren’t you Ryan?) and Dandy and her bury Dora, where Dandy performs a lovely speech on how her death wasn’t useless since she would help give life to the flowers as she decomposes. Gloria admits that his father was the same as he was (whether that means murderer or psychotic wasn’t made clear) and that it should have been expected after generations of inbreeding to protect the money.
Yawn to that excuse though, let’s face it, Dandy’s insane. When Dell leaves Andy at the bar, Dandy swoops in and brings him to Twisty’s bus, since that’s where the clown gave him a purpose. His purpose? To be the perfect serial killer.
I won’t get anymore into it than, “Thank you Ryan Murphy for the topless Matt Bomer and Finn Wittrock, but no thank you to what unfolded after that,” because let’s just leave it at, “Andy has a strong will to live even after multiple stab wounds.” This entire scene was hyper violence to another level and transitioning to Dandy standing behind his mother naked and covered in blood brought it even further.
The highlight for me of the Dandy focus was that Regina (Gabourey Sidibe, my queen) called the Mott’s to find out why her mother, the recently passed Dora, missed their weekly chat the other day. Gloria breaks down on the phone and tells Regina to never call until her mother does which should be in a month or more and Regina basically tells Gloria that she’s really uncomfortable hearing her whine about how she was a horrid mother and that her mom better call her.
I’m expecting Regina to come down and get some good ol’ fashioned revenge for her momma.
But while all this was happening Elsa was finding reality crashing in around her. After a horrendous outcome at the show- she was booed off the stage and had food thrown at her- she calls Stanley to her tent to accept his offer of an hour long variety show that he’s trying to pitch. She originally turned down his offer almost immediately since she didn’t want to contribute to the death of art, but when she realized that this was her last shot at fame, she had to take it.
The problem though? He’s trying to woo the twins at the same time.
After Elsa prepares for their private photo shoot (set to David Bowie’s “Fame” which once again was just so off but at least it was his actual song?) she sees Stanley drive off with the twins and begins to slowly crack. She won’t let anyone take her shot at glory away from her.
And while Stanley tries to get the girls to eat his pink cupcakes, they narrowly avoid death by Dot’s refusal to partake since they needed to watch their figure, we see how desperate he is. His fantasy about their death and his explanation for it to the museum’s caretaker was absolutely chilling and honestly really messed me up. Seeing Dot lay on the bed while Bette was dying slowly next to her and screaming for her to wake up messed me up on a whole bunch of levels. Will Stanley’s fantasies come true? Will he make his money?
Well… not if Elsa can help it, since she just dropped the girls off at the Mott’s in an effort to take them out of the spotlight.
What did you all think? Will the twins escape from Dandy, who must be excited to finally have them? Will Dell pay for his horrific treatment of Desiree and the doctor? And will the others finally start to realize that Elsa is absolutely losing it? Let’s hope they keep the ball rolling with the quick storytelling and interesting character developments!