American Horror Story S04E12 Recap: Show Stoppers

It's a rainy evening as Stanley arrives at the Freakshow. Inside there is much celebrating. Elsa rises for a toast. She bids her children farewell and toasts the new owner, Chester. She hopes that he will cherish her monsters. Chester's dream has come true, and he hope Elsa will enjoy Hollywood. She dismisses him, so that she can be alone with her troupe. She raises a drink to Stanley, who she is also thankful for, for giving her her new career. The freaks talk about an old painting, that sounds remarkedly like his own story. As the thunder rumbles, Stanley wants to leave, but Maggie tells him to sit down, he deserves the present. They bring forth the box, and and its the head of the curator. After Maggie passed out when she saw Jimmy's hands the curator at the freak museum brought her and Desiree to her office, where Maggie woke up. Desiree stabbed the woman from behind. Stanley knows the jig is up, and he's surrounded. He tries to appeal to Elsa. He's giving her her dream of Hollywood, but she's afraid its all a dream. The freaks place him upon the wheel, and spin it as they toss knives at him. Stanley does know people in Hollywood, but Elsa points out that he's brought death to her troupe. He's pulled from the wheel and stabbed. All of the freaks pull out their knives, and Elsa gives Stanley a head start before the freaks hunt him down. Into the pouring rain Stanley goes, but they catch up to him beneath a trailer. There's no escape.

Isolated in the barn in the field, Elsa talks with Jimmy as he recovers. Jimmy is distraught over the death of his father, but Elsa points out that she heard Dell confess with her own ears. Jimmy doesn't have any forgiveness for Maggie, but Elsa knows the body count would have been much higher had she not confessed what she knows. His mother is no longer there to care for him, and she has someone coming that will help with his handlessness, but he has to heal first, and for that he must allow Maggie to help him. Elsa leaves him in Maggie's hands. Maggie tends to his bandages. It's painful for him, and for her too. Maggie loves him, that part was true, and she still wants to start over. But Jimmy doesn't. Maggie plans to make things right for him and for the rest of the freaks. Jimmy warns her to leave before he gets new hands.

Elsa does a dry run of the show, but things aren't going well. A man arrives. It's Massimo the same who built Elsa's legs. Elsa comes off the stage to greet him, its been a long time, and Elsa pulls him in for a warm hug, happy that he came.

Marjorie isn't happy that Chester put her on the floor while he had sex with the twins. Chester is finally happy, but Marjorie thinks that they're using him because he's the boss. Chester hopes that the twins will cure him of everything that is wrong with him, but Marjorie calls him a murderer. He blames the deaths of his wife and her lover on Marjorie, but she's just a doll. He remembers killing them. She tells him that he doesn't need the twins, he has her. The twins have to go.

The freaks look through old pictures. Penny finds one of a young Ethel, and they toast to her. Everyone wonders if Elsa will stick around now that her dreams have been dashed. One points out that Stanley said that Elsa killed Ethel. Paul knows Ethel wouldn't have killed herself, she wasn't a coward. He decides that there is only one way to secure their futures, they must eliminate Elsa.

The twins give eachothers kudos on Chester as they brush their hair before bed. They're really quite pleased with themselves. Dandy arrives without notice, and he has something he has to show them. Dandy claims that he has soften with the death of his mother. Bette informs him that they've met a man. Dandy has heard, and he seems genuinely sorry to have lost his chance with the girls. Still, he hired a detective to find out what he can about Chester, and he's uncovered plenty, calling him a sicko. He gives the girls the file he has on Chester, and Dot tells him to leave, disgusted with him.

Elsa comes to check on Jimmy. He's sick. Elsa prepares an injection to fight off the infection as Massimo introduces himself. He claims that he will make him whole, and functional. Jimmy doesn't want to be like those who come back from war with hooks. Elsa is a genius, and he will give him more than hooks. She pulls down her stockings and shows him her wooden leg. Without Massimo she would have died, there would have been no freak show, Ethel would have died in a drunk tank. She would have married Massimo, but he disappeared. The men who took Elsa's legs were not normal men, they had a leader, Dr. Madrid. Massimo taught her to walk, to dance. Massimo couldn't look at her and what they did to him, so he hunted them all down, until he got to the leader. He wanted to kill the leader last, he wanted to kill him slow, but the man shot him, and captured him. He was tortured for a long time, before he was released. He looked for Elsa and found her, but he stayed away. His body survived the torture, but his soul was extinguished. He can no longer love.

Chester chats with the troupe. The twins look at Chester in a different light. Dot wants to wait until they have proof before they move forward. Chester gives everyone their places on the schedule, but Bette pipes up that they no longer want to be his assistant. He tells them that he plans to saw the girls in half, and they definitely don't want to be any part of the act. Chester tries to put his foot down, but the twins walk out. Maggie volunteers to go into the box, offering to be a part of the act. Chester hallucinates that she's Lucy. He sends everyone else away for his run through. As Chester goes through his act Maggie changes from Alice to Lucy and back, but never as Maggie herself. At one point as he manacles Maggie's feet she even turns to Marjorie. She tells Chester that he would be nothing without her. Chester begins to saw poor Maggie in half as she screams and pleads with him to stop, but he doesn't. He saws her in two as the freaks come rushing in. He pulls apart the box, dropping her innards to the floor. The stun freaks take in the situation, as Chester tells them to relax, that its just an illusion. But there's no putting Maggie back together again. Desiree says that she had it coming, and they plan to bury her.

Chester finds Marjorie packing her things. She confused him and caused him to ruin everything. Chester loses it, and stabs Marjorie, then cries over her dead body.

1946. Ethel announce Jimmy for the stage, but he doesn't think he can go on. She gives him a pep talk. Now. Jimmy looks out the window as he watches the rain. Eve comes to him and tells him that Maggie is dead, she offers the details, but Jimmy doesn't want them. Elsa is next. Eve spots the plans for Jimmy's new hands, he'll have a chance at a normal life with them.

The twins enter Elsa's tent unannounced, and see Elsa without her legs. They've come to warn her that her monsters have been plotting to kill her. She thinks that she's their mother, but they point out that Ethel was their true mother, and she murdered her. They all know the truth. Elsa once saved the twins, and now they have saved her, they're even.

The freaks gather to exact their revenge. If Jimmy could be there with them, he would. Desiree drinks to Ethel's memory, and then they head out in the name of justice. The group heads to Elsa's tent, and finds music playing, but Elsa isn't there.

Elsa sits in her car waiting for Dandy. He claims to never be able to refuse a lady in distress. She's not in distress but in shit. He gives to her a wad of cash.

Chester heads into the police station still covered in blood with a bundle in his hands. He puts the bundle on the desk, and the officer opens it exposing Marjorie. He falls to his knees in confession that he did it, and asks for the chair.

The next morning, Dandy arrives at the Freak Show. They've been sold again, and he's come to take inventory of his investment. Paul takes him into the big top. It's always been a dream of his to be on stage, and now its coming true. Dandy sends Paul out to fetch him a lemonade, as he takes the stage. He bows to his imaginary audience. Inside he hears a noise, and goes to investigate it. Stanley has had his limbs removed, and he's in one of Meep's old costumes. Dandy looks at him with delight.

Massimo's work is complete. He shows Jimmy his new hands, and Jimmy thinks that they're perfect as he puts them on. Massimo has crafted Jimmy a new set of flippers.  


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