Tuesday, October 21, 2014

American Horror Story: Freak Show, Episode 2


Now that Freak Show had its obligatory origin opener out of the way, it's time for the established characters to start being horrible to one another. It wouldn't be American Horror Story without scheming duplicity, now would it? Let's start the show!

  • When a cute little robot is leaving cute little blood trails across a cute little toy store's floor, cutely following them should never be someone's cute first inclination. = -3pts 
  • Making a teenager kill himself by jump-scaring him onto an outstretched knife. = +6pts 
  • Now that the circus successfully turned away a police investigation, the performers celebrate by feasting and chanting, “Kill the copper!” = -2pts (Subtly isn't their strong suit.) 
  • “Should we return the body parts to his family?” is the best response to someone expressing second thoughts about the morality behind a murder. = +5pts 
  • Being so rich that Patti LaBelle serves you escargot. = +3pts 
  • As if Dandy's rich white insidiousness and Frances Conroy's rich white ignorance weren't slathered on thick enough, there's talk about the apparent killing of a girl and the definite killing of a neighborhood cat. = -4pts 
  • Strongman Michael Chiklis shows up at the circus after he caught his three-boobied hermaphrodite wife (portrayed gracefully by Angela Bassett) trying to plow another man's gay away. His response was to twist the poor guy's head backward. = -3pts (Is there a character on the show who isn't a murderer?) 
  • Rich white ignorance strikes again when Frances Conroy hires the Swamp Clown after seeing him amble down the road in broad daylight. Did we mention that he looks like this?
  • Dandy's too, well, dandy to fit in at the circus. He copes with the rejection by smashing his head against his steering wheel over and over. = +3pts 
  • Referring to Kathy Beardy Bates as “Honest Abe.” = +4pts 
  • Further solidifying Michael Chiklis as the new big bad with a flashback of him attempting to strangle wee baby Jimmy Darling. = -5pts 
  • Sharing a mental bond with your Siamese twin does not carry over singing talent. = -3ps 
  • Dandy makes nice-nice with the Swamp Clown until he roots around in the clown's bag and is promptly clubbed in the head. = +9pts 
  • Pepper gets just as worked up about the prospect of meatloaf as this score technician does. = +4pts 
  • Getting in a fist fight with a guy who has cleft hands. = -6pts 
  • American Horror Story Childcare Tip #76: Kids like severed heads even less than wind-up robots. = +3pts 
  • Freak Show's Clown with the Tear-Away Face is significantly more horrifying than Tim Burton's from Nightmare Before Christmas – and that's saying something. = +10pts 
  • Nothing mends the trust-shattering act of looking in a clown's purse quite like returning said clown's escaping victim. = +5pts 
  • Bette and Dot perform Fiona Apple's "Criminal" while clean-cut '50s teens mosh and a mustachioed dwarf crowd-surfs. = +7pts 
  • Jimmy learns a valuable lesson in making sure that he's not being tailed before hiding fake evidence. = -3pts (He's not the best decision maker, that Jimmy.) 
  • RIP Meep the Geek. Your tombstone will read, “He's not tough; he's just weird.” = -10pts
Episode Score = +15pts
Season Score = +45pts

The second episode of Freak Show carries on the American Horror Story tradition of ending episodes on a downer and allying unlikely characters together. It also established that anachronistic musical numbers are to be expected, so we're all just going have to deal with that. But when is Denis O'Hare going to show up? I guess we'll find out next week!

Score Technician: T. J. Geise

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