American Horror Story: Freak Show Recap: Test of Strength

American Horror Story: Freak Show Recap: Test of Strength

Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven’t seen American Horror Story: Freak Show Ep. 7 – “Test of Strength.”

“I wanna keep my balls.” — Jimmy

Its becoming increasingly clear that what felt like focus earlier this season is quickly devolving into a lack of purpose.  There is nothing driving the plot forward, instead we get a series of scenes with increasingly improbable and uninteresting results.

So, Stanley decided to blackmail the guy with a scary temper and superhuman strength to kill a freak for him because Stanley makes very poor decisions. And then Dell attempted to kill the second strongest person in the show because he also makes very poor decisions. Are you catching on to the theme here?

Keeping with the theme, Jimmy chose to get drunk with Dell rather than kill him in his sleep like a sensible person; Bette and Dot also got in on the blackmail game, but they targeted Elsa, who’s made it pretty clear she’s not a bitch to be trifled with; and Dell switched tactics from attacking the strongest woman, to the weakest.

We also got some unnecessary bonding between Dell and Jimmy, Candy Striper Girl’s father marked her as a freak for the world to see, and Stanley found someone else who was on board with his freak killing plot: Elsa.

But what effect did any of that have on the plot? And, more importantly, where was the horror? Each season has strayed a little bit further away from the initial mission statement of a horror television show, but this season has felt the least scary yet. Where are the ghost rapists and Nazi doctors? The big villain of this season is just a spoiled rich kid with some socialization issues. Sure, killing Ma Patite was pretty messed up, but it would have been a bit more powerful if they hadn’t faked killed her last week.

This season is still much stronger than last season and on par with the better parts of the first two seasons, but its time to admit the creators haven’t completely overcome their most common flaws.

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