Warning: This recap contains storyline and character spoilers for the week's "Pink Cupcakes" episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show.
Just because Twisty has gone on to that big clown car in the sky, and Jimmy the Lobster Boy went from weird to worshipped on the last episode, it doesn't mean life will be all garden parties and pink cupcakes on American Horror Story: Freak Show. Well, it is those things, but the baked goods are full of poison and the narcissus bulbs are being fertilized by the dead maid.
No, trouble, temptations, and transgressions still lurk around every corner in Jupiter and it seems everyone has a plan on how to make their life better starting with the con artists. Stanley's (Denis O’Hare) plot to plunder the sideshow one performer at a time through a series of random, or should we say freak, accidents reveals itself in a series of fantasy flash forwards. (Admit it, they got you a couple of times with that trick!) Despite her growing appreciation for Jimmy, Maggie (Emma Roberts) agreed to continue living among them and help get them to the American Morbidity Museum for an extra 5 percent portion as long as she did not have to participate in any of that yucky murder stuff.
"Fraulein Elsa's cabinet of curiosities is about to have terrible run of bad luck." Stanley foreshadowed before explaining that he still needed to keep Elsa (Jessica Lange) close for access. To do so, he visited her at her tent to talk television. She poo-pooed the idea: "I would never participate in what I consider to be the death of art and civilization." By the time she changed her mind — after the sold-out audience throws food at her while she belts out "Life On Mars" (cool, but we were jonesing for a new number!) — Stanley had moved on to his real target. She spent hours getting dolled up for publicity photos, then she saw him drive away for a picnic pitch with the Tattler twins. Dot was skeptical of his variety show idea but Bette lapped up every promise per usual.
When they returned alive because they declined the tainted titular treats, Elsa hatched a plan of her own to eliminate the competition. Claiming that Stanley suggested she mentor the girls, she said that she was going to take them to the town's finest seamstress for a private fitting. Instead she dropped them off at the Mott house of horrors. As viewers will recall, they had offered to buy the Siamese siblings earlier in the season.
Lady Mott (Frances Conroy), having earlier discovered Dora's cold dead corpse in the dining room and immediately knowing it was her creepy son's handiwork, already had her hands full trying to figure out how she would deal with her spoiled brat's "mental perversions." After all, she can't be mad at Dandy (Finn Wittrock) because said perversions aren't his fault. She believes that they are "an affliction of the extremely affluent" and a result of the intermarrying and inbreeding done to keep estates whole. It is revealed that his father was also a nutcase who killed himself and that she believes it is a "rite of passage" to have a psychotic or two in the bloodline. Dandy surmised that he wouldn't suffer from bloodlust if mom had simply allowed him to follow his dream to act. Either way, she pointed out, he couldn't just pick up and chop up vagrants: "It’s 1952. People will be missed."
So mommy came up with the planter burial concept, but couldn't come up with a strategy before Dandy felt the itch once again. He exercised in his chonies, rubbed a vat of oil across his chest, donned his finest ascot and waxed poetic about his vision. (It was all very reminiscent of American Psycho.) "One door closes and another opens. My body holds a heart that cannot love. When Dora was dying, she looked into my eyes and I felt nothing. This body is America — strong, violent, and full of limitless potential. I will be the U.S. Steel of murder. The clown was put on earth to show me the way, to introduce me to the secret language of murder. But I am no clown. I am greatness, I am the future, and the future starts tonight."
He solved his issue by trolling the local gay bar, which was surprisingly swinging for a small town that, according to Maggie earlier, hates "poofs" more than freaks. There he encountered the gorgeous Matt Bomer, the first of the night’s two Ryan Murphy regulars to make their AHS:FS debut. (The other was Gabourey Sidibe, who portrayed Dora’s daughter, a secretarial student in the Big Apple, who called Mott because her mom missed their weekly call.) Bomer is an escort that Dell (Michael Chicklis) believes he's in love with and intends to leave his wife for, but Bomer called his bluff. "Love me? You've only been in town about a month. I work here. This is my office. When I'm here, I’m working. You get what I’m saying?"
Per usual, Dell ran off huffing and puffing like a puppy who’d just been kicked. If the hooker had just bought into the strongman’s dream and let him be his sugar daddy, he might not have been Dandy’s second victim. But, alas, a Ben Franklin lured him to Twisty's van and ultimately his gruesome and painstakingly slow death by stabbing. (Also done in tighty whiteys a la Patrick Bateman.)
Dell returned to Desiree (Angela Bassett), newly empowered by a doctor's diagnosis that she was all-female all the time, that she was capable of getting pregnant, and that what she thought was her junk was really just an elongated clitoris that could be repaired via surgery. Suddenly, the life she has always dreamed of could become a reality, and after a frank chat with Ethel about Jimmy being his son and how the claw hands came from his side of the family, she left him to move in with Ethel, declaring, "This jacked up sham of a marriage was all I thought I deserved."
Just as the ex-hermaphrodite started envisioning her new life and Dell realized he might lose both her and his mister simultaneously, he decided to do what he does best — threaten and beat up helpless folks. While the doc thought he was there to discuss Des' miscarriage, Dell was there to break his fingers so he could not do the surgery that would make Des look like a regular woman. Thus keeping her confidence down and codependence elevated.
So readers, did you find "Pink Cupcakes" delcious or disgusting?
American Horror Story: Freak Show airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.