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'American Horror Story: Freak Show' Season 4, Episode 11: 'Magical Thinking'

Jules Zucker |
January 8, 2015 | 1:56 a.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Chester (Neil Patrick Harris) makes some magic (FX).
Chester (Neil Patrick Harris) makes some magic (FX).

This week's episode has all the makings of an "AHS: Freak Show" classic, namely dismemberment and point-blank execution. Neil Patrick Harris made a guest appearance, so I imagine a lot of "How I Met Your Mother" fans saw some things they can't unsee.

We pick up where we left off before the break – Stanley (Denis O'Hare) is convincing a falsely accused Jimmy (Evan Peters) to sell his hand, just one, to pay for a lawyer. Lobster boy eventually agrees and next thing he knows he's chained to a hospital bed with two stumps where his claws once were. R.I.P. root vegetable hands.

Meanwhile, Bette and Dot (Sarah Paulson) don't seem too worried that the former apple of their eyes is rotting in a cell. No, instead they focus on sisterhood, burning their diaries and plotting how to lose their joint virginity, because apparently,  "sex is the top priority." Oh!

READ MORE: 'American Horror Story: Freak Show' Season 4 Episode 10: 'Orphans'

The answer to their prayers comes in the form of Chester (Harris), chameleon salesman/magician slash ventriloquist. I'm not kidding. He pleads with Elsa (Jessica Lange) to give him a spot in the show, and she agrees to give him an opening act if he does some book-keeping for her.

Some backstory on Chester: he was injured at Normandy while fighting in WWII, and ever since he's been playing house with a ventriloquist doll named Marjorie. Who's in charge here? It's not who you'd think. To complicate things further, Chester's wife found a female lover while he was at war, so he's feeling like a bit of a third wheel.

Meanwhile, Dell (Michael Chiklis) visits Jimmy in jail and tells him how left out he felt in his youth as the only family member without lobster claws. A "freak for being normal", as stumpy Jimmy so eloquently puts it. Dell and Amazon Eve (Erika Ervin) hatch a plan to set Jimmy free, a plan that involves intercepting Jimmy on his way back to jail and murdering two cops. Dell, always the pacifist.

Chester lays it on thick with the Tattler sisters, even asking them to be the assistants in his magic show. His piece de resistance: the whole "saw a body in half in a box" trick. Bette and Dot are convinced he's the one – they put the moves on him. He's initially freaked out and his ears start ringing, but when he brings puppet Marjorie into the works, he loosens up a bit. Cue Neil Patrick Harris' butt, exit Bette and Dot's virginity.

Dandy (Finn Wittrock) isn't happy. He's hired his new policeman lackey to keep tabs on the Tattlers, and photos surface of the twins with their new beau. He sends the crooked cop to "tear the place apart", and he himself snatches Marjorie from her case and confronts Chester. He knows what Chester did – he murdered his wife and her new lover, and he's been on the run ever since! But did Chester do it, or was it his conniving and malicious doll? Always the question. And now, Marjorie has a new demand for poor tortured Chester: saw the twins in half during his next magic show.

READ MORE: 'American Horror Story: Freak Show' Season 4 Episode 9: 'Tupperware Party Massacre' 

Dell pays a visit to Desiree (Angela Bassett) in her trailer, or should I say to Desiree and a shiny metal gun. In a flurry of quick shots, Maggie (Emma Roberts) shows Elsa Ma Petite (Jyoti Amge) in her jar, and Desiree calls Dell out for the beloved freak's murder. Dell breaks down and tearfully confesses, but he doesn't say much before he gets a bullet in the back of the head. Elsa emerges from the shadows, gun still hot. That was "all she needed to hear."

There are only two episodes left, and things are showing no signs of slowing down. Will the twins finally be separated, but not in the direction they wanted? When will Elsa stop killing off her employees? Remember the simple days, when Twisty the Clown was all we had to worry about?

Reach Staff Reporter Jules Zucker here. Follow her on Twitter here.



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