It was a dandy time on this week’s episode of Freak Show, and after a two-week break for the Thanksgiving holidays, we were treated to 2 ½ murders, so let’s get started with the fun!
Gloria is on a couch, smoking and kvetching to her psychiatrist about the anxiety she feels over Dandy. She doesn’t want to commit him, though the doc does. A flashback is shown of the dead family cat and the gardener’s missing son – all signs pointing to young Dandy. Gloria lies to the never-seen, only-heard psychiatrist that Dandy has not been involved in any recent incidents.
The freaks go searching for Ma Petite. Dell points Jimmy in a certain direction and lo and behold, Jimmy screams, however, we are not shown what he sees. They return with the remains in a box to show Elsa. She is devastated by what she sees, even though once again, we aren’t shown it. Dell suggests a coyote must have gotten Ma Petite since her bones are gone. But we know, Stanley specifically requested an in-tact body, so no telling what boneless animal Elsa was looking at in that box.
Ethel brings Elsa some turtle soup. Ethel has been drinking and probably mixed an extra poisonous ingredient into the soup, but will Elsa eat it? Ethel accuses Elsa not really caring about Ma Petite, and only caring about losing the spotlight. Elsa slaps Ethel. The two get into it some more. Ethel accuses Elsa of getting rid of the twins. Elsa admits that she may have wanted to get rid of the twins, but she never hurt anyone. She simply put the twins on a bus for Tampa because that is a fate worse than death.
Say what? Elsa got rid of the twins, yet again? Where did this come from? Last we heard Bette was thrilled with her new blonde hair and Dot was looking forward to 50% of the ticket sales.
Moving on, Ethel shoots Elsa…in her wooden leg. Elsa tries to calm the situation by telling Elsa, in a black-and-white flashback, about the wonderful doctor who made her beautiful again with her wooden legs, sort of like Geppetto giving life to Pinocchio. Ethel is ready to pull the trigger, but Elsa asks for a final shot of Schnapps. Ethel is intrigued because they’ve never had a drink together. Unfortunately for Ethel, she should have denied this last request. Next to the bottle, Elsa picks up a knife and like Paul on the bull’s-eye wheel, Elsa throws the knife right in Ethel’s bull’s-eye.
Dell brings Jimmy to a crying Maggie who tells him that she was minding her own business picking flowers for Ma Petite’s funeral when out of no where a car crashes into a tree. she heard a car crash. Jimmy and the other freaks run out to the field and find Ethel without her head. The impact apparently was so strong her head popped off. Maggie suggests suicide. Jimmy doesn’t believe it, but the freaks buy it because they knew Ethel was very sick.
Elsa drops to her knees and does a horrible acting job of showing her grief. We are shown another flashback of Stanley helping Elsa create the illusion of a car wreck involving Ethel. When Elsa tells Stanley that she killed Ethel to protect her freaky children, he calls horse shit on that and tells Elsa she did it to protect herself. He tells her that one day she’ll earn an Oscar. (More like one day she’ll earn another Emmy.)
Dandy is in his brightly lit playroom with Dora’s daughter Regina (played by Gabourey Sidibe) who is there to see her mother Dora, the dead maid. Gloria arrives with a stack of gifts and tells Regina that’s she’s just missed Dora. She’s off to buy squash because good squash is so hard to find in Jupiter. That’s okay, Regina will wait.
The funeral for Ethel is very difficult for Jimmy. He cries in Maggie’s arms as the casket is lowered into the ground. Elsa is noticeably absent. Dell suggests they all go get a drink. Desiree, Penny, Amazon Eve, and Legless Suzi give a proper eulogy that is a tribute to women who have had to put up with a no-good man. They are referring to Penny’s father.
Dandy is having a session with the psychiatrist and taking a blotter test. With each card he describes a gruesome, dissected body. The doctor requests to see Dandy twice a week. Back at sicko-manner, Dandy asks mommy-dearest if she thinks he’s sick. Gloria says no, he’s just spirited. Regina walks in and demands to know where her mother is. Gloria tells her that Dora will be back the following day. If she’s not, Regina warns, she’s going to the police. After Regina leaves, Dandy tells his mother that he will only go to the doctor twice a week if she kills Regina. That way, if he goes to the electric chair, his mother will be sitting on his lap.
Elsa is recruiting at a “spa” in Miami. She comes across a very fat young woman named Barbara who comes from money and a family that’s embarrassed by her enormous size. Elsa promises to take her to a place that will celebrate every pound of her.
As Desi, Suzi, and Eve prepare to go to battle with Penny’s dad, Penny tells them it isn’t their fight. The women tell Penny she is family – and family takes care of family. The four sneak into the house where Penny’s dad is getting ready for bed. He hears a thud and grabs the shotgun under the bed. He is confronted by Penny as Desi comes from behind and whacks him over the head, knocking him out.
Back at the campgrounds, Elsa knocks the beer bottle out of Jimmy’s hand and tells him to snap out of it. He had many mothers that raised him. She introduces him to Barbara and announces her new stage name as Ima Wiggles. Elsa suggests that Jimmy find comfort in Ima’s large breasts. He stumbles off disgusted.
Over at Desi’s trailer, Penny’s dad is awake and tied to a chair. The women prepare the hot tar and cut open pillows for a good old fashioned tar and feathering. Then they plan to cut off his dick, kill him and dump him in the river. He begs for his life. Penny stops the women from pouring the tar, but only so she can join in the fun. Maggie hears the man’s screams, runs in, and stops Desi before she cuts him up. Maggie implores that Penny not do this because it will change her forever. (Maggie obviously has experience with this, though we wouldn’t know because they won’t tell us what’s up between Stanley and her.) Penny proclaims herself to be Lizard-Girl and tells her father that he can live, but only if he leaves them alone. Otherwise she will kill him. Girl power!
Gloria is on the phone with her psychiatrist telling him that she’s booked passage on the Queen Mary and his services are no longer needed. The doc tells her that Dandy needs to be committed, but Gloria is only committed to protecting her sick son. Dandy enters the room and tells his mother that it’s her fault he’s damaged goods. If she hadn’t married her second cousin for money, a man who apparently was known to hurt little girls, then he wouldn’t be this way. Ah, the risks of inbreeding.
Dandy pulls out a golden gun and places it to his head. Gloria pleads with him not to do it, she simply can’t go on without him. To which Dandy says, okay, and shoots his mother in the head. The episode ends with Dandy bathing in his mother’s blood, officially earning him the creepiest guy currently on TV award.
Things to Ponder:
Is there any chance that Dandy and Bloody Face (Asylum) are blood-relatives?
How come someone heard Penny’s dad screaming, but no one heard the two gunshots with Ethel and Elsa?
Why wasn’t Regina’s character written for the Fat Lady? She is just as big and it would have been so interesting so see Dandy pushed over the edge when he learned that Regina was asked to join the very same Freak Show that rejected him.
And finally, I miss Dot and Bette! They are the heart of the show and should be in every episode.