Wednesday nights just got a little less freaky as American Horror Story: Freak Show had it’s final curtain call this week. The last heart-wrenching episode was possibly one of the best season finales I’ve ever seen and with the reincarnation-istic nature of the AHS series it also felt like a series finale, though season 5 will be rolling around this fall. With all the emotion and heartbreaking deaths (and a few not so heartbreaking) in Wednesday’s episode I want to take a fond look back at one hell of a season in Jupiter, Florida.
Freak Show didn’t pull any punches and this season shocked me more than few times. As a hardboiled horror fanatic, that’s something I don’t experience very often anymore. Bravo, American Horror Story. AHS has benefited from the lack of chronological storytelling structure of traditional TV seasons and Freak Show is no exception. With this season’s fresh start, show creator Ryan Murphy (Niptuck, Glee….yes the same man who created Glee) made up for the nonsense that was season 3: Coven. Gone are the modern witches, bitching and grousing their way through 2013’s catfight-of-a-season and in their place we were given a dark look into the past of American freak shows, which were so prevalent in the early 1900’s. As they say, the show must go on and with the promise of a fresh start in the next season you knew that virtually no character was safe.
Freak-master Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange) lead a hell of a season as she walked the fine line between loving her “monsters” (as she affectionately calls them) and exploiting the living shit out of them. In Elsa’s absence all hell broke loose and that’s putting it mildly considering she sold the show to a slaughterhouse walking on two feet. Dandy (Finn Wittrock) went from serving to fill the void Twisty the Clown left very early in the season to fully taking charge of AHS’s psycho factor. Dandy was the bad buy you loved to hate. I once again must acknowledge the acting skill displayed by Wittrock as he plays this eccentric, coddled sociopath so convincingly.
The respective happy endings for Bette and Dot (Sarah Paulson) and Jimmy (Evan Peters) as well as Desiree Dupree (Angela Bassett) were a satisfying “happily ever after” for such a dark and twisted story arch. The acting talent on display this season was top notch and it was sweet to see the deceased cast getting their own ‘ever after.’ Ethel’s speech there at the end was a great way to end on a high note. There were too many cast members to acknowledge here but I especially loved Paul the Illustrated Seal (Mat Fraser) Amazon Eve (Erika Ervin) and Pepper (Naomi Grossman); the eclectic cast showed a talent and chemistry that speaks for itself.
On a final note, bringing the show back around to Halloween for the finale felt right. My favorite episode was the 2-parter from October revolving heavily around Twisty the Clown (John Carroll Lynch) and sideshow ghost Edward Mordrake (Wes Bentley). Both were frightening as well as tragic and their cameo in the finale was the perfect touch to wrap things up. Twisty was a man a few words but I’m glad he got his say in the end. I’m sad that the Freak Show has come to an end but I can’t wait to see what’s in store for season 5. I’ve also got a few other seasons to watch through now as Freak Show directly tied into season 2: Asylum. I’m interested to see Pepper’s final fate.