AHS: Freak show Ep. 8 “Blood Bath” Review
By Rob Jefchak
One disturbing death wasn’t enough; now AHS: Freak show is pulling out all the stops and sending all of its characters into death, depression and depraved self-destruction like never before. Maybe it’s because I never watched this series until this season but this certainly seems like the body count is only going to climb higher at this rate. Appropriately titled, “Blood bath” deals with another character’s shocking death that sends the freak show family (especially Jimmy) into a never ending pit of despair as Elsa tries to dig up new acts and cover her already muddied tracks.
Meanwhile, Dandy and his mother’s sanities are coming apart at the seams, the Lizard girl and the other freak show females want revenge on the men who wronged them and Maggie is losing touch and hope with Jimmy. When I first saw rich momma’s boy Dandy getting giddy over seeing freaks at a two-bit carnival, I thought he wouldn’t amount to anything except a whiny cliché of a stereotype we all know and loathe…how wrong I was. Dandy is revealing his true inner devil little by little and if the episode title doesn’t paint you a clear enough picture of the kind of road he’s walking down; trust me, it will all make sense by the end.
I’m still reeling at the death in this week’s episode. Not only was this death a shocker, but it came after one of the most impressive and well delivered interactions between two characters in this season’s run; I was hooked even before the bullets and blades started flying. No sign of the two headed twins this week but in all honesty, they weren’t really needed and there was plenty going on with Ethel and Dandy to make up for it. Dandy and his mother also proved some of the best scenes in the episode.
We know they’re both crazy and messed up beyond psychological help and yet we are still surprised at just how deep the venom is that runs in their blood stained family veins. Certain events (and deaths) have run their predictable courses and others have become so erratic and off track that I don’t have a clue where or how things are all going to end; and I’m usually good with things like that so I take it as a good sign. One thing I am concerned about is the future of Jimmy. His current state of depression is absolutely justified and yet, I can’t help feeling worried that Maggie’s issue about him not being a “leader” anymore is going to be a problem.
Jimmy is the kind of guy who willingly chopped up a cop and stared his father down to stand up for what he believed in; now he seems to be falling into the same pits Elsa manipulatively put him into and it makes him seem a bit weaker than the man he once was. The result of Dandy and his mother’s relationship was not a surprise though I was surprised it took this long to reach this particular boiling point. The idea of Dandy acting out his serial killer fantasizes has been suggested since Twisty the clown, though I can’t help but question how the hell he has been getting away with all this stuff without anyone’s notice.
I know this is a period piece and there have been SOME inquiries about Dandy’s dark dealings but I have a hard time believing every single cop and citizen is this inept that they can’t notice some kind of hint that people always seem to vanish around this creepy ass rich guy. Erratic is really the best word to apply to this episode, for every action that goes on a predictable route; 3 more go sideways and leave you flabbergasted.
I can sum up this review in exactly the same way I can sum up what I perceive is to come next: I don’t know. There’s a lot of uncertainties and different ways characters and events can go now and all I can officially confirm is that I really don’t know what’s coming and for the time being…that’s a REALLY good thing if you ask me.