The Internet is still recovering from last night’s premiere of American Horror Story: Freak Show, and we can’t blame people because — damn, it’s good. From the triumphant return of Pepper (Naomi Grossman) to Jessica Lange’s utter ferocity and Sarah Paulson’s psychological prowess, Freak Show is shaping up to be one of the best and creepiest — um, hey there, Twisty — AHS seasons yet.
Because there were so many highlights from the premiere, it was pretty difficult to narrow down standouts. But thankfully, we unleashed our inner Supreme Witches and got the job done. Without further ado, ladies, gentlemen, and freaks, here are nine cold-hard facts about American Horror Story: Freak Show’s first episode that will undoubtedly get fans all hot and bothered.
1. Evan Peters (Jimmy) got really sexy.
Peters was always a cutie, but he turned into a bona fide hottie on Freak Show. We’re willing to blaze past his lobster hands — which several ladies enjoyed during last night’s episode, if you catch our drift — for those biceps and pecs we saw busting out of his tank top. And his wink and deep accent? *Swoons*
2. Frances Conroy (Gloria) only appears in one scene, but remains iconic by throwing life-changing shade at Lange (Elsa).
The Balenciaga queen is set to be a series regular on Freak Show, but sadly only appeared in one scene last night. After she and Gloria’s son Dandy (played by the fresh and hot Finn Wittrock) attended Elsa’s Cabinet of Curiosities — the only two people in the audience, mind you — they were less than pleased with the performance, notably at Elsa’s live singing. Right before the mother-son duo leave Elsa’s tent, Gloria scoffs, “By far the most freakishly of all tonight was your pathetic attempt at singing.” And then she sashays away like the legend she is.
3. Kathy Bates (Ethel) is the soul of the show.
Ethel is a far cry from Delphine, the sadistic slave owner she played in Coven. Instead, Ethel — the troupe’s bearded lady — is warm, strong, and family-oriented. Not only does she look out for her actual son, Jimmy, she acts as a mother figure to Elsa, Bette, and Dot (the siamese twins played by Paulson) in many ways — like making sure Bette eats when Dot won’t let her. It’s pretty tender.
4. The show is more heartfelt than you’d expect.
Riffing off No.3, who knew Freak Show would cause us to feel so many feels?! After the campy and kooky Coven, the amount of times we almost cried during Freak Show threw us for a loop. Like when a group of idiotic boys threw glass bottles at some of the troupe members and called them freaks, or when Elsa scolded Jimmy for flirting with a waitress because of his “deformities.” You can’t help but feel for these characters, especially when Jimmy angrily cries, “Don’t call us freaks!” at an ignorant police officer. We recommend having a box of tissues handy this season.
5. Lange is still as opulent as ever.
If there’s one aspect of AHS that remains constant, it’s Lange’s oozing perfection. From the sassy neighbor she played in Murder House, to the flaw-free nun in Asylum, and the Supreme Witch in Coven who was everything, Lange’s characters never cease to slay — and Freak Show is no exception. As the cool and cunning Elsa, Lange is fiercer than ever. And if you saw Elsa’s first outfit in the show, you’ll know exactly what we mean.
6. There could be an interesting love triangle between Jimmy, Bette and Dot.
Now, this is something! When Elsa first brings Bette and Dot to the Cabinet of Curiosities, the twins have different opinions about their new surroundings — that is, until Jimmy lays on some serious charm. “It’s not every day he comes across to beauties in one body,” Jimmy croons before winking at Dot. Both girls are clearly captivated, so does this mean a crazy love triangle is taking shape? All signs point to yes.
7. Twisty the Clown might be the scariest AHS villain to date.
With that creepy smile, stained clown’s costume, and penchant for wielding blunt objects at unsuspecting youths, we’ve got a terrifying AHS villain on our hands. But will Twisty surpass Asylum’s Bloody Face — the last AHS character to cause us sleepless nights — as the creepiest killer of them all? Clowns are never a good idea, and if AHS creator Ryan Murphy keeps up the cold tension surrounding Twisty, it’s very possible.
8. Paulson gives a bravura — and possibly Emmy-winning — performance.
Paulson constantly delivers great performances in AHS (and her entire filmography, for that matter), but Freak Show is on another level. As the actress behind Bette and Dot, Paulson is constantly alternating personalities and emotions, which is an exhausting task. She does it with aplomb, and the psychological synergy between the characters is incredibly palpable. If there was ever an AHS year that Paulson deserves an Emmy, this is it.
9. Lange’s final scene will blow your mind.
Whoa, did anybody see this coming?! We certainly didn’t. In the last scene of the episode, Elsa is undressing after a disappointing Freak Show performance. As Elsa takes off her dress, we get a big reveal: she has (spoiler alert!) prosthetic legs. The shocking development gives Elsa’s character a whole new level of vulnerability we’re excited to explore. Yes, Freak Show just pulled a Beyoncé.
[Photo Credit: FX]