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Home TV Series American Horror Story: Freak Show/ Episode 3 “Edward Mordrake (Part 1)” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

American Horror Story: Freak Show/ Episode 3 “Edward Mordrake (Part 1)” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

by Amari
Published: Last Updated on


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As Halloween comes around, a lot of the freaks take off their mask more so than put one on.

Review (with Spoilers)

Emma Roberts finally pops up, with Denis O’Hare in tow, and Dandy commits to being Twisty’s assistant. Meanwhile, down at the Freak Show, there increasingly seems to be internal drama which surely will cause problems in the future. Leading you to wonder: between Roberts and O’Hare’s characters, Dandy and Twisty, as well as internal strife, how long may the freak show survive?

Topic 1: Twisty’s Assistant – Dandy & Dora


With Dandy finding a new friend in Twisty, and thinking of himself as Twisty’s new assistant, he creates his own clown costume and seemingly is ready to make Dora his first victim. Thing is, as Dora sees it, Dandy ain’t nothing and he ain’t gonna kill nothing. Well, besides some helpless animals. Either way, she is watching him and seemingly is ready to quit.


I’m not fully sure what Dora’s role is going to be in the season, but if she is the one who ends up helping the cops bust Twisty that would be something. However, I fear that more than anything Dandy may find a way for Twisty to kill her before anything like that happens.

Leading me to wonder: why is Twisty letting Dandy get so close to him and his captives? For never mind Dandy is annoying as hell, but also he is someone Twisty hit over the head for being nosey. So why not either kill him or put him in the cage with the others?

Topic 2: The New Girl in Town – Maggie (Emma Roberts) and Stanley (Denis O’Hare)


Maggie and Stanley, two people who sell counterfeit abnormal bodies, or body parts, find themselves heading to the Freak Show in order perhaps find parts to sell. Maggie heads in first, as a fortune teller, and quickly it seems her and Jimmy are destined for something which likely will be trouble.


While having someone prey on the freaks is certainly an interesting angle, I must admit neither Stanley nor Maggie seem like a big enough threat to make either become worrisome. In fact, Maggie already seems like she may end up falling for Jimmy, and then getting into something with Bette and Dot, so it leaves Stanley by himself. And, as of now, all Stanley has going for him is he seems like an opportunist. So, outside of kidnapping and murdering the smaller freaks, I’m unsure what he could do.

Topic 3:  Edward Mondrake – Ethel, Elsa, and Edward Mondrake (Wes Bentley)


Alongside Maggie and Stanley, a man named Edward Mondrake comes to the freak show. However, his coming to the freak show isn’t the same as Stanley and Maggie. No, he comes due to an old carney curse Ethel tells us about. One in which a man named Edward, who was born with two faces [1], murders one of his fellow freaks if their freak show performs on Halloween.

Which, for years, Elsa’s freak show did not. However, being that Maggie has put it into Elsa’s mind that she should perform for someone is coming, and with her trying to take the spotlight back from Better & Dot, she decides to never mind carney legends and have the show go on as planned. Thus leading to, in dress rehearsal, Edward appearing before her, and then Ethel.

Now, when he appears before Ethel she seems ready to die, but it seems despite all the guilt and horrible things Ethel has done in her life, mostly due to Dell, she is to be spared. Leaving you to wonder who will be Edward’s victim?


Something I’m wondering about the Edward situation is how does he choose his victims? For, as of now, it seems he is drawn to those with either evil intentions or guilt. Hence the Ethel draw for her guilt over making Jimmy’s birth a freak show haunts her, as well as other things she did, or almost did, let Dell get away with.

As for Elsa’s newfound vigor for performing, thanks to Maggie’s fake fortune telling skills, I must admit her song this episode was far better than what was presented in episode one. However, with her being much more casual with how she sees the freaks, I wonder if Jimmy may ever to do something to her? Much less the other freaks.

Lastly, when it comes to Dell, the more we see the more I can’t wait for Jimmy to learn that is his father. Especially when he learns all Dell did to Ethel.

Before I end this overview/ review, let me say I’m not fond of how diminished Angela Bassett seems this season. For while Kathy Bates still has a somewhat meaty role, Bassett’s role pales in comparison to what she had last season. And I don’t know if later on she may gain prominence, or if this is what we should expect, but either way thus far I feel disappointed. For truly, no matter what anyone says, her challenging Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates is what made Coven such a good season.

Things To Note

  1. Think Professor Quirrell of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  2. Dot seemingly, as Elsa warned, is ready to breakout and stop sharing a body. She even talks about saving the money and getting the surgery even if it means one of them dying.

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