American Horror Story Freak Show S02E02 Recap: Massacres and Matinees

The sun rises over the quiet freak show. The crew is already sitting at breakfast. Jimmy turns the news on the radio. The town is on lockdown after the recent murders, and kidnapping. Most people are choosing to stay in doors. Even a detective is missing, and the police are out for blood. A pair of detectives arrive with questions. Jimmy sends them to see Elsa. The detectives are free to look around with an escort. Elsa tells them that they can see the monsters if they buy a ticket to the show, but there won’t be a show, they’re about to impose a curfew. Dot and Bette arrive, and the detectives remark about their missing hospital patient, but they were no longer ill, so there was no reason to stay. They had given their statement to the missing detective whom they say reeked of booze, and he concluded that their mother’s death matched the others.

Mr. Henley’s shop worker returns, and finds the shop quiet, and seemingly empty. Mr. Henley doesn’t answer his calls. Maybe he shouldn’t have opened today. A small windup robot motors towards him, leaving a bloody trail as he continues to look for his boss. He passes a trio of life sized clowns, one of them the killer clown, but he doesn’t notice as he investigates the blood trail, that leads up the shelves and to the severed head of his boss. As he comes face to face with the head the clown stabs him from behind.

The freaks aren’t letting the police visit dampen their mood, none except Jimmy who’s further on edge than usual. He digs up the body with the really large woman, and the man with tiny arms. He plans to burn the body and scatter the ashes. Jimmy regrets what he did, but he was protecting the twins. He thinks if people just got to know them, they’d see that they’re just regular people, like everyone else.

The crazy mom and son who tried to buy the twins sit at a tense dinner. The son plays with the tines of his fork all the way at the far end of the table. The mother rings for dinner. He’s upset that snails are served, even though that’s what he asked for. He goes to take a drink from his crystal baby bottle, rising to fill it with cognac. He’s utterly bored and in a temper. He hates the girls that his mother keeps trying to set him up with, refuses to think about children, and wants to run off to be a thespian. Sound like he may have even committed a few crimes that a police officer his mother dated in high school covered up for him. He runs off in a mood. The maid tells her that she found fur and teeth behind the shed again, neighbors have been out looking for their cat. Mother just thinks her dear Dandy is just bored and cannot possibly be the person out there hacking up people. Gloria is right, her son is just a creeper and not the deranged clown.

At the Freak Show, Ethel goes out to check on the twins, trying to get them to go practice their act. A familiar face arrives, and Ethel is not pleased by the blast from her past. Wendell “Dell” Toledo and his lovely wife Desiree have arrived. The pair were performers at another show that Dell wasn’t pleased with. Their talents wasted with Desiree opening for an unworthy act. The truth. In Chicago, Desiree was using her healing touch with a young man, while his friends sat outside of the tent waiting. He never thought he’d be able to have sex with an actual woman. Just as she was getting him to the finish line, Dell arrived and snapped the guy’s neck. Desiree tells Elsa that there’s no murder if there’s no body, and no one will come to the swamp looking for them. Desiree shows off her freak, three tits and both sets of parts. She’s a hermaphrodite, but they’re not getting banner treatment. Elsa tells them that the position in her show has already been filled, and since business is slow they aren’t taking on any others, that they can’t afford a couple as renowned as them. Dell is willing to sign any contract that they’re given. The world of carney folks is small, and they don’t forget. She asks to see his hands. They’re strong, and she could use some strength.

Gloria is out looking for her Dandy. She finds the clown walking down the road. He is so creeptastic, but she doesn’t see that. She wants to hire him. Her son has been down, and she thinks he’s just what Dandy needs for a pick me up. That is one twisted family. The clown is wearing parts of someone else’s face!

In the big tent. Dandy is back, he has a thing for the twins Jimmy thinks. But for Dandy it isn’t about the twins. Its about him. He wants to run off and join the circus, but Jimmy tells him that it isn’t everything he dreams of. Dandy won’t be deterred, he begs to be among his kindred souls. Jimmy would do anything to be able to touch a girl without scaring her, to go home to Dandy’s pretty little mansion on the hill and be normal. Dandy doesn’t take the rejection well, banging his head on his steering well.

Gloria sits for another exotic meal when Dandy returns home. He’s still in a bit of a fit. She takes him upstairs to show him his surprise, and he looks at the clown with awe, mesmerized by him.

Ethel the bearded lady watches the Strong Man’s trailer, as Desiree emerges. She heads to the showers, and Ethel heads to the trailer. She’s not rolling out the welcome mat for him. She wants him to stay away from her Jimmy. He pretends to have no knowledge of Jimmy, his son that he tried to kill as a baby. Ethel saved his tiny life with her large shotgun, threatening to kill Dell. She doesn’t want him to say anything, or touch Jimmy, or the freaks will tear him apart. He didn’t come for Jimmy, or her. He’s married to a real lady now. But he wouldn’t know a real lady she says. Dell informs her that he’s the new boss, and she should be nicer. Security has been lax, and they needed a barker, so Elsa put him in charge. Ethel can’t believe her ears, and Dell isn’t nearly as hard as he plays.

Bette sings an off-key song, she’s very nervous. Dot looks bored. Elsa thinks that they should find something else for them to do. Desiree thinks it’s a big deal to find them something since they’re the headliners. Bette doesn’t want to just sit there and be stared at. Desiree tells them about a girl they saw at another show that could shoot ping pong balls out of her privates. Everyone looks at her horrified, but atleast she’s throwing out options. Jimmy suggests that Dot give the singing a try, but Bette claims she has no talent. Jimmy cajoles her into singing just for him, and she sings beautifully to the dismay of Elsa. Elsa wants to be the big star, but Dot is stealing the show. Dell is impressed. He is planning on having a matinee while the curfew is in effect. But Elsa tells him that people don’t go to see freaks during the day, but at night when imaginations and fears come out to play. The day time is for kiddie shows. Dell isn’t pleased, and Desiree suggests caution. Jimmy tries to get him to go outside, and Dell nearly snaps. The curtain will go up tomorrow at 3pm.

Dandy gives his new clown a puppet show, but neither are entertained. He likes real puppets like the clown does, and he’s had a horrible day. He tells the clown to amuse him, sure his mother paid the clown well. Dandy takes a closer look at his new playmate. He taunts the clown to find a toy and show him what kind of clown he truly is. While the clown looks in the raised toy box, Dandy takes the opportunity to dig in his bag. That does not please the clown, and he knocks him with one of his bowling pins before taking off. Dandy stumbles to his feet, and follows him.

Jimmy returns to the diner, which brings a smile to the waitress’s face, until she sees that he’s not alone. He’s brought a handful of freaks with him. She’s not so welcoming, but Jimmy wants to be served. The freaks file in and take seats at the counter. Jimmy reminds them that manners matter. One patron leaves and another asks them if there is anywhere else that they can eat since they’re upsetting her child. Jimmy thinks she would like the show if she came down. The waitresses take the orders. Paul sees an abandoned plate, and digs in, but the waitress tells him that it isn’t his. Dell hangs signs outside, and isn’t happy to see everyone in the diner. He tells Jimmy that they eat at camp. The waitress tries to bus the plate, and Paul slaps at her hand. Dell makes a bigger show, and the Diner manager refuses them service. Dell tells the freaks that they have to leave, and Jimmy doesn’t appreciate the title. They’re people too. Dell pulls Jimmy from the diner, and proceeds to beat him up outside, as everyone else watches.

In the bus, the young woman and the little boy try to get free, but can’t get the window open. She pulls a board from the window, now armed with a weapon. She tells him to be ready as the clown returns home. Dandy is still trailing him. The clown climbs aboard the bus, and sits starring at the pair inside their cage. He shows them the robot he stole from the shop, winds it up. He rummages in his bag, and the girl uses the opportunity to hit the clown with the board. Underneath his mask smile is a twisted mouth and broken teeth. The young woman and the little boy take off running as the clown rights himself, but once off the bus they head in different directions. The girl runs into Dandy. She tells him that she needs help, that the clown is crazy. The little boy screams, the clown has caught him. Dandy drags the girl back to the clown. The clown needs to do a better job of confinement if he’s going to have any fun. Dandy just may have found his twisted soul mate.

The freaks return home and Jimmy is not happy. He barges into Elsa’s tent. Dell cannot stay, he’s putting up matinee posters even though Elsa told him not too. Elsa has reconsidered his plan, and thinks that perhaps it is a good idea with the curfew in effect. Jimmy can see that Dell is going to tear the troupe apart, but Elsa wonders if he won’t hold it together. They need a strong man to protect them. If the murderer isn’t caught soon, fingers will be pointed at the freaks, they’ll be scapegoats. Jimmy lays down the detective’s badge, and tells her that she already has a strong man protecting them. He took care of the detective who tried to take away the twins. Elsa underestimated him she says. Jimmy tells her that she also under estimated Dell, revealing where he billed Elsa, all the way on the bottom with the Geek.

Dell starts the show with the geek before announcing the twins. Dot sings Criminal with Bette singing backup. The crowd loves it. Jimmy isn’t happy with the song selection, and Elsa is very displeased about her spotlight being stolen.

The police pay the Freak Show another visit, this time with three cars. They have a search warrant for Elsa so that they can look for evidence of the Detective’s murder. They received a tip, and they search Dell’s trailer first. Dell doesn’t like Jimmy’s smug look. His plan didn’t work out so well. The cops were never going to find what they were looking for in Dell’s trailer. Dell saw Jimmy go in, and he moved it. The officers find the badge in the Geek’s trailer, and take him away as he peeps.

The detective knows that there’s no way that the Geek is the mastermind, but they figure that he knows who is. They toss him in a cell with a bunch of other inmates, and they aren’t friendly looking at all.

Elsa goes to see Bette in bed. She congratulates her on her triumph. Bette wasn’t the star, she was embarrassed, and tried to run off the stage, but Dot wouldn’t let her. Bette thought if she only had an audience she would be better. Dot wakes thinking that Bette is talking to herself, but Bette tells her that Elsa has come to congratulate them. Dot wants to just be left to sleep. Elsa feeds Bette’s ego, telling her that she is the better twin, that her sister is just stealing her spotlight, that she has become a different person, ruining her. She tells her that she must not allow it, sowing the seeds of discontent between the girls.

Jimmy drinks himself silly. Ethel wonders what is wrong, he’s always been a good kid, an example to the others. Jimmy tells Ethel that they took Meep the Geek, that it was all his fault. Ethel thinks that the police were wrong, they had no right to take Meep or rough him up. Jimmy wasn’t roughed up by the cops, but by Meep. Jimmy needs to get Meep out. He’s not tough, just weird, and Jimmy plans to confess to save him. A truck pulls up, dropping a wrapped bundle. It’s Meep’s body. Jimmy is plunged into grief for his fallen freak. The others gather around. 


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