Welcome back viewers to this week’s installment of ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show – ‘Bullseye.’ I hate to say it, but the title of this episode is misleading, but not in the way you may think. Personally this episode was FAR from hitting the “bullseye” in terms of content and overall pacing that we normally are dazzled with in ‘AHS.’ Sadly, that was not the case this week. True, every season must have that filler episode, where nothing really happens but sets the stage for the next round of episodes. I was holding out hope that ‘AHS’ would skip the filler this year, seeing as they’ve been aces so far in every episode of ‘Freak Show.’ Sigh. I guess we all have to swallow this episode like a pill without water. So here we go –
Fate – Elsa seems to think all humans are governed by this idea, no matter what they do. Fate (or some may call it Destiny) is an inescapable element, that everyone will experience, no matter what choices or paths they may go down in life. That, in the end, everything will always turn out like its supposed to. One may have guessed that Elsa considers her fate to lie in the realm of super-stardom, as she polishes off her trusty knives, as she spins her wheel (aka bullseye) with various imagined members of her Freak Show strapped in as a gimmick for her upcoming television show.
From here we visit the always delightful, sunshine-and-rainbows-with-a-unicorn-in-the-backyard household of Dandy and his beloved mother Gloria. Mommy G has taken it upon herself to provide her son with some condoms (shes not like the other moms, she’s a cool mom…) in an effort to prevent an unwanted pregnancy from his “supposed” copulation with Bette and Dot. Inbreeding is apparently plagued the not-so-Brady-Bunch clan of the Motts in the past, so she’s just being responsible.Way to go, Mrs. G – you finally are getting that your son’s demon seed shouldn’t be spread around. Well done. Dandy then proclaims pure , unadulterated love for Bette and Dot and that he intends to marry them; he’d never violate them until they are properly bound by law and god. Well then…lucky them.
Back at the big tent its Elsa’s birthday week (that’s right, WEEK) and she’s being lavished with gifts from all of her beloved performers. Shout out to the ADORABLE Ma Petite (aka the put-in-your-pocket sized Indian woman…just love her) when she presents herself as a mini/bigger than we’re used to cuddle for Elsa’s present. Although Elsa is trying to force everyone to have fun, they’re all still forlorn over the ‘disappearance’ of the twins, Bette and Dot. Later that night its discovered Elsa has been having some very secret sex with the Illustrated Seal (aka Paul with the interesting finger arms). Well ring a ding ding. After their tryst, he sneaks off to see estranged Penny the Candy Striper (you’ll remember her from the drug/sex induced haze video from Ep. 1 this season) where apparently she too has been getting her rocks off with Paul, in her parent’s house no less. Get it, gurl! However its not just sex, it’s true love and Paul wants to explore more then just the physical elements of their relationship, when Penny’s dad busts in (but not before Paul has time to hide under her bed) telling her that they’re just trying to keep her safe/ from running away again. Parents.
Back in the head-space of not one but two lovely ladies, we get glimpses of Bette and Dot’s diary entries. Bette is madly in love with Dandy (because yes, of course she is) and pours her swoony heart out over her misguided and delusional sentiments for the psychopath. Naturally, Dot is hellbent on getting as far away from Dandy as possible, stating that even though they’re not technically being mistreated or held against their will, she is in fact a prisoner. Later they read a story in the paper about two Siamese baby twins that were successfully separated (via surgery) which gives Dot a purpose – collect as much money as she can from Dandy (he gives her $10 every time she laughs at one of his stupid jokes, so she should be swimming in a pile of cash in no time), for the surgery to separate herself from her sister and make her fantasy of meeting Johnny Penishands out in the great wide world come true.
In a Jupiter convenience store, we see Paul trying to buy a bottle of his true love’s favorite perfume (so sweet!) when the flustered man-child, Dandy cuts him at the counter furious that they only have one womens hairbrush and demands two. Paul wises up and suspects that the Twins are at the Mott’s, seeing as Dandy was buying up two of a bunch of lady items. Way to put two and two together there, Paul! When he goes back to camp to tell Jimmy Penishands his theory, he gets bitch-slapped (literally) by Jimmy, saying Elsa would never have let that happen. Boy are you all in for a rude awakening.
Over to Maggie and her porn-stache sporting partner, Stanley as he tries to coax her into cutting Jimmy’s ‘lobster claws’ off so they can start making some money. She protests (here comes the ‘I really have a heart of gold even though I try to be bad’ speech I predicted at the beginning of the season. Man, its tough being right all the time) by saying there’d be too much blood/cleanup/please daddy, don’t make me do it work and suggests putting Ma Petite (NO!) into a tiny jar and filling it with formaldehyde thus killing the precious tiny one. Horrible daydream of how it would go down ensues. Tears formulate. Bad vibes are felt.
Elsa gives a mini-musical number with “Precious Days” (one I’m not familiar with) as she serenades an unimpressed but “fake it till you make it” type smile on his face, Paul. She smells the perfume on him from his other lova and becomes enraged with jealousy. Which then makes her lash out about everyone talking about how the Twins mysteriously disappeared and how she was more then likely the cause. CODE BLACK. MAJOR. MELTDOWN. To gain her trust back, she demands that one of them be strapped on her spinning wheel of disaster and let her throw knives at them. Jimmy volunteers first (shocker) but Paul steps in since he was the one to originally accuse her of getting rid of the Twins. He’s strapped on and moments later receives a knife to the gut. WOW. I DID NOT SEE ONE THAT COMING. (Seriously, they should invent a font that portrays sarcasm, would be so helpful…).
While all of this is going down, Penny decides to blow the Popsicle joint other wise known as her parent’s place, and live her life of adventure and excitement with Paul. Her dad holds a shotgun on her (so loving) but can’t pull the trigger cause he’s the world’s best dad. Penny gets to camp, hears about Paul and seeks him out. Elsa is sitting by his side, no doctor on the way but to ease his pain she lets him smoke what I’m assuming is opium. Little Miss Candy Striper comes to the rescue and proclaims her undying love for him as they hold each other. Sweet scene if it weren’t for the mega b*tch that is Elsa smirking the whole damn time.
In the dead of night, Maggie tries to carry out her half-hatched plan and takes Ma Petite out of her tent to get a ‘surprise’. GULP. The scene plays out much like the one she daydreamed about earlier in the episode, but with a very different result. The Amazon Woman wakes in a panic the next morning and tells Jimmy she cant find Ma Petite anywhere, when low and behold Maggie comes waltzing up with her mentioning they were up early to catch fireflies. And the heart of gold presents itself. Vomit. Knowing that Stanley porn-stache isn’t going to be pleased with her backing out of murdering Ma Petite, she begs Johnny to run away with her. He agrees (because true love exists between virtual strangers such as themselves) but he has to take care of something first.
Meanwhile, back at the satanic version of three’s company, Dandy throws a little hissy fit in front of Bette and Dot, shattering Bette’s gooey feelings for him. Mommy G sends the girls out for a walk, because hey, this is the 1950s and walks are supposed to put out of line ladies in the right frame of mind, when she finds Dandy in the girls room crying. He read Dot’s diary and he is crushed that she’s using him for money so she can leave and get the surgery (even though they find out later that one of the baby twins that had the surgery died, but I guess she doesn’t care). Dandy then goes into Prince of Darkness mode, puts a knife into the back of his pants and sets off to raise his murder count to three (technically four I guess). Poor Dandy, feelin’ all the feels. Before he can spill a little Siamese twin blood though, Jimmy shows up on their doorstep, looking for Bette and Dot. Dandy allows him to enter, and there we end our scene.
Fate – is it unavoidable or do you control it? Would Jimmy, being the Knight in freakish shining armor always meeting his end protecting those like him or could he have avoided his impending doom by running away with Maggie right then and there? Would Paul always have gotten a mortal wound from Elsa? Or is it his fate to never be with the one he truly loves? Fate is a tricky subject and I’m a little depressed that it was wasted on this episode. Could have been so much better but I guess you can’t win em all.
So there you have it, the definition of a filler episode – nothing really worthwhile happened but it set the stage for things to come in the remaining episodes of ‘AHS.’ Let us know in the comments section below what you thought of the episode!