American Horror Story: Freak Show/ Episode 2 “Massacres and Matinees” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)


As Jimmy seeks normalcy for the freaks, Dell tries to take control of the freaks and the freak show.

Review (with Spoilers)

Thank the heavens for Angela Bassett and Michael Chiklis. For between the storyline of the Mott family, as well as Jimmy being the leader of the freaks, this season was looking horrible. However, with Chiklis character Dell having some secrets, a temper, and plans for the freak show, which don’t include Elsa as the headliner, this season may not end up as good as Coven, but it should be better than Asylum.

Topic 1: The Adventures of Dandy & Twisty – Dandy, Twisty the Clown, and Gloria


With Dandy bored with the life Gloria provides, and with his dreams of being on stage crushed by Jimmy, he finds himself paired with Twisty. How? Well, his mother finds Twisty on the side of the road and, despite how utterly filthy Twisty looks, she hires him to play with her son. Though, what Twisty likely didn’t expect, it seems Dandy may go from his employer to his assistant.


At first, I was thinking that perhaps Twisty was an alter ego of Dandy in some way because Gloria made it seem Dandy may have murdered, or done unbecoming things, in the past. However, once we saw the two men in the same room it seemed that theory had to be thrown out the window. But I must say, this alternative of having Dandy help Twisty keep those two kids in cages, and help with who knows what else, makes me hope there is some sort of long term plan here. If just because, as of now, Dandy doesn’t really seem like he has much of a place here. That is, unless Twisty puts him in the cage with the kids and this leads to Gloria doing whatever it takes to find her son.

Topic 2: Meet Dell & Desiree – Dell (Michael Chiklis), Desiree (Angela Bassett), Elsa, Jimmy and Ethel


After murdering someone for sleeping with his intersex wife, Desiree, Dell decides to come to the Freak Show to start anew. Issue is, ex-wife Ethel is there, as well as Dell’s son Jimmy who he tried to kill. But with Elsa not knowing Dell’s background, or the drama he would bring to her camp, she looks at Dell simply as a man who can provide a secure environment. Unfortunately for her though, Dell plans on being more than just that. He decides to install a matinee performance, rearrange things with the show, and have Bette and Dot be true headlines as Elsa is in the back somewhere. Something which really becomes an issue for with Dot performing, and the crowd getting into her performance, Elsa becomes quite jealous.

So, to correct her mistake of hiring Dell, she first tries to frame him for the death of the cop that was killed. Then, to try to turn Bette against Dot, she starts making it seem Dot has always been jealous of her and is trying to ruin her dreams, amongst other nonsense.


Why in the world wasn’t Dell and Desiree put in episode one, I don’t know. For the way I see it, Dandy and Gloria should have been introduced this episode and Dell and Desiree the first. Also, if I had my way, series regular Frances Conroy would have been the chief of police’s wife or something. Especially since, in episode one, it seemed it was the women more than anyone uncomfortable with the freak show. Hell, as another alternative, she could have been Twisty’s mother.

Refocusing on the topic at hand though, I am very interested to see how Elsa, Ethel, and Jimmy will try to rid themselves of Dell. Especially since he seems to actually have a plan which could bring them money, as opposed to Elsa’s plan which seems solely based on using the freaks to bring people in so that she has an audience for her big number.

Topic 3: Meep – Jimmy & Elsa


As mentioned, Elsa tries to frame Dell, with Jimmy’s help, in order to get rid of him. However, being that Dell isn’t an idiot, he decides to plant the dead officer’s badge in Meep’s trailer. Thus leading to Meep being arrested and, before the end of the episode, killed.


One thing I find awfully weird about this show is how Jimmy often complains about being called a freak, and yet when Elsa calls them all “her monsters” there isn’t much of a peep. I mean, in episode 1 it seemed maybe Jimmy wanted to get away because of the way Elsa acts, but now it seems no one takes any issue with what Elsa says, or the fact she is using them, because she has provided some sort of safe environment. Albeit one in which she doesn’t freak out like Jimmy does when one of her “monsters” are taken away, much less does she adamantly defend Meep or seek to get him out of jail.

Making it seem, as Dell pushes to be the spokesperson for the freak show, and control the freaks, likely Elsa’s power may wane. For who knows how long the freaks may solely look to Elsa when it seems Dell has their interest a bit more in mind. Even if he seems to want to limit their wandering to the camp.

Things To Note

We see Patti Labelle in the episode as Dora, Gloria and Dandy’s maid/ cook. Who, as you would expect, is a sassy Black woman just like Bassett’s character.

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