This week’s episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show saw Dandy dive even further into pools of insanity and bloodbaths, while life at the freak show became even more complicated for its inhabitants. “Tupperware Party Massacre” marks even more the rise of the formidable villains–Dandy and Stanley–and the downfall of our once-and-(maybe)-future hero, Jimmy. (Warning—spoilers below)
In the cold open, Dandy sits with Maggie, who is gazing into a crystal ball. Dandy wants to know if he’s going to get caught, and Maggie is charged with the task of reading his future to find out. In the crystal ball, we see the Mott home. There’s a knock on the door, and Dandy opens it to find an Avon lady standing on his doorstep.
And it’s no coincidence that she’s almost a mirror image of Gloria. That is further underscored when Dandy kills her and uses her head, sewn onto his mother’s body, to create a grotesquely Freudian copy of the Tattler sisters. It isn’t immediately clear whether Maggie sees what we see in the crystal ball, but either way, she assures Dandy that his–ahem–“indiscretions” won’t be found out.
Before leaving the freak show, Dandy encounters Jimmy, who is drunk and has been feeding/flirting with Ima. Jimmy assures Dandy that he knows who he is, knows he was the other clown. But our “hero” is beginning to get a bit irritating in his self-loathing, and there’s a certain sort of glee in Dandy’s promise to make Jimmy’s life miserable, to maybe even end it. Jimmy isn’t being a very good hero.
Later, Jimmy visits his Tupperware club ladies. He’s too drunk, though, and he keeps “missing.” He sees the ghost of Ethel and weeps into her lap—but it’s really one of the club ladies. He runs from the home, but it isn’t long before Dandy shows up to take his place. Only Dandy isn’t interested in pleasuring the Tupperware club. He’s more interested in killing them.
And kill them he does. The violence happens off-screen, but somehow that makes the moment that we see what happened even more chilling. The hostess’s husband returns home, complaining about where the ladies of the club are parked and that they’re still home. But everything is eerily quiet, and those weird 1950’s congealed salads are still out on the table. Cue husband finding the bodies of the Tupperware club in the pool, the water crimson.
Speaking of crimson water…A bit later on, Regina visits Dandy at his home. Dandy is very open about what he’s done, admitting to killing Gloria, Dora, and the ladies at the Tupperware club. He pours blood into his tub and disrobes. He offers Regina the chance to join him, but she refuses.
When she comes back with a detective, Dandy doesn’t seem bothered in the least. He openly admits what he’s done. As he’s told Regina, he’s above the law. He is the law. Etc., etc. And in a lovely, swift moment, Dandy offers the detective $1 million in cash if he’ll look the other way, and the detective shoots Regina in the head. Exit Gabourey Sidibe.
The Tattler Sisters
Dot and Bette finally have the chance to have their surgery–or at least they think they do. Ethel’s note for Jimmy reveals where she stashed the Tattler twins, and Stanley and Elsa go to find them and bring them back. They assure Dot and Bette that they’ll be able to have their surgery if they come back and that the surgery will keep them safe from the (made-up) mob of townspeople who are hunting freaks.
While Dot and Bette are waiting for their surgery, they discuss their life together. Bette, as usual, has a far rosier view of their situation than Dot. Bette is willing to give her life so that her sister can live normally, but she sees their conjoinment as a gift, while Dot sees it as a burden.
But Dot’s heart grew three sizes that day. After Bette expresses her love for her sister and willingness to die for her, Dot realizes that she cannot go through with the surgery. Cue the appearance of the twins at the freak show and their arrival in Jimmy’s trailer. Jimmy is drunk when he arrives, and he’s confused by the twins’ appearance and Dot’s declaration of love. I am too, a bit, as they’ve barely spent any time together this season. Be that as it may, Jimmy turns down the twins, telling them he’s in love with someone else.
Desiree, Dell, and Stanley
Desiree has a beau, and it’s Malcom-Jamal Warner. He shows up at the freak show, but she quickly reminds him that he shouldn’t do such things. I’ve a feeling we’ll be seeing him more, that there’s a coming conflict.
Dell is on his way to the bar where he used to meet his lover. He looks rough, drunk and strung out from the loss of his lover and the killing of Ma Petite. Stanley catches him before he leaves, and the two share a really awkward moment of passing double entendres back and forth. There’s menace underlying Stanley’s conversation, though—he can’t afford for Dell to come clean about what he’s done.
Back in his trailer, Dell is visited by Ethel’s ghost. She convinces him that killing himself would be the wisest course of action. He pens a note and gets ready to hang himself. This is perhaps one of the most poignant iterations of the underlying themes of the show this season. It’s Dell’s lust for men that drives him to the brink of suicide. It isn’t how he’s treated either of his wives or his son; it isn’t that he killed Ma Petite. It’s that liking men makes him feel like a freak.
But Desiree shows up to save Dell from himself.
And the police show up to arrest Jimmy for the murder of the Tupperware club. It looks like we’ll see more about that next week.
Episode Grade: B+. There were some really strong moments in this episode, but it felt a bit disconnected at times, and Jimmy is beginning to be insufferable.