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'American Horror Story: Freak Show' Season 4, Episode 12: 'Show Stoppers'

Jules Zucker |
January 15, 2015 | 2:13 a.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Desiree (Angela Bassett) smiles knowingly during a very special feast (FX).
Desiree (Angela Bassett) smiles knowingly during a very special feast (FX).

Only one episode left in this clown-filled roller coaster ride of a fourth season, and I have literally no idea what could possibly happen.

This episode ended multiple story arcs without really providing any closure at all, and it's dividing fans everywhere – love it? Hate it? In fact, the only one more divided than the audience is… well, we'll get to that.

The show opens to a feast – Chester (Neil Patrick Harris) is the new owner of the freak show! Congrats, congrats. But the party was really for Stanley (Denis O'Hare), who's finally been found out. They even give him a present: the museum lady's head. Aw, you shouldn't have! They spin him on the wheel of death for a while and then chase him around the grounds for sport. Before he's captured, he tells them that Elsa (Jessica Lange) is the one who murdered dearly departed Ethel (Kathy Bates). Eventually, the freaks realize Stanley must have been telling the truth, and they spend the episode plotting their old ringleader's murder.

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

Dandy (Finn Wittrock) shows up to alert the twins that Chester is more sinister than he appears, handing them a file that details the murder of Chester's wife and her lover. Dandy's actually a right gentleman in this episode, a real defender of damsels in distress. He also provides Elsa with a sneaky escape from Jupiter after the twins warn her of her impending doom. What's in it for Dandy? Oh, just ownership of the entire freak show. Dandy, you can finally be a performer! As he scans his new business, he comes across Stanley, who's been hand-crafted into the freakiest freak of them all – no arms, no legs, a fluffy sweater and a little hat. He looks kind of like a cross between Meep, a bird, and a chicken nugget. That'll show you, Stanley! Go sit in your corner.

Meanwhile, Jimmy (Evan Peters) is sulking in that sulky way you sulk when your mom and dad are dead and you have no hands. But Elsa knows a guy, so she kindly brings in the magical Massimo (Danny Huston), the doctor who crafted her wooden legs. He agrees to make Jimmy a pair of hands, even though Jimmy seems pretty psyched on getting sailor hooks.

Marjorie (Jamie Brewer) the doll isn't happy with Chester; she's sick of his affair with the Tattlers, and she says they need to go. Ever-obedient Chester tries to get them into his saw-box, but Maggie Esmerelda (Emma Roberts) volunteers instead! This was a mistake, because, you know, Chester is super mentally disturbed, and he saws the girl right in half, for real. Ta da! At this point, after all the carnage they've seen, the freaks in the audience are pretty unfazed. Desiree (Angela Bassett) even says, in a way that only Angela Bassett characters can, that she "had it comin'." Fair.

READ MORE: 'American Horro Story: Freak Show; Season 4, Episode 10: 'Orphans' 

Chester flips out, stabs the living puppet bejeezus out of Marjorie, and then brings her to the police and confesses to her murder. Take a bow, Neil Patrick Harris. But despite the hastily thrown-together explosion of Ryan Murphy absurdity that made up most of this episode, the last minute and a half may redeem it all. Massimo presents Jimmy with his new wooden hands, and Jimmy straps them on and raises for the camera a pair of…wooden root vegetable claws, identical to the real ones he had before. Quote Jimmy Darling: "They're perfect."

Self-acceptance! Themes! The departure of Elsa! The violent death of Emma Roberts and gruesome mutilation of Denis O'Hare! What else could possibly be left for the season finale of "AHS: Freak Show"?

Stay tuned.

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



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