Although this season of American Horror Story has been far from scary, it has at least succeeded in making death actually mean something (Coven struggled with keeping its characters dead last season). Blood Bath signified the demise of two pivotal characters, although a case could be made that only one of them was a wise choice.
First off, I”m glad that Ethel is gone because Kathy Bates turned in a tremendously grating performance this season with her irritating accent and that God-awful beard. Her death scene was actually kind of fantastic, with a heated exchange with her mistress that culminated with Elsa hurling a dagger into the bearded-lady’s forehead. Again, none of this was scary in the slightest, but at least we’re down one annoying character. That should count for something no?
However, I am furious that Gloria is dead. Maybe it makes sense from a thematic perspective, but Frances Conroy performance as Dandy’s twisted mother was probably the highlight of the year. She imbued every single with one of her scenes with the perfect dose of warmth and nuttiness. Is Dandy just going to become a full-on villain now? Will Gabourey Sidibe save the day? Am I interested in the slightest?
On the plus side, the writers finally gave Angela Bassett something to do. It was awesome to watch her lead an all-women hate squad against Penny’s sadistic father. After eight aimless episodes, I’m just glad to see this incredible actress dig her teeth into some enjoyable material. Maybe she can butt heads with Elsa now and we can have some actual conflict this year?
– Loved the flashbacks to Dandy’s childhood.
– Highlight: Elsa setting up the fake accident scene with whatshisname. The decapitated head was a nice touch.
– Gloria’s squash story: priceless.
– Esla seducing the fat woman (whom she later calls Ima Wiggles) was also amusing. Her pimping her bosom to Jimmy however made me cringe.
– The sight of Dandy bathing in Gloria’s blood didn’t really shock me. This show has done much worse.
Dandy: Do you think I’m sick, Mother?
Gloria: Of course not. You’re spirited.
Desiree: No, no, no. There is no God. You proof enough of that.
Certainly better than the last few outings, but Freak Show still feels like it’s on an aimless path. I’m ready for season five.