It’s over. American Horror Story: Freak Show aired its final episode last night, and with it we say goodbye to Elsa Mars and her Cabinet of Curiosities. It’s been a bizarre season, to say the least. From Dandy’s psychotic tendencies to Chester (Neil Patrick Harris) and his creepy doll, Freak Show definitely wasn’t short of thrills. As for the finale? Well, there was a lot of death.
Dandy massacred everyone while Edward Mordrake returned to fuck shit up. We weren’t prepared for all of the killing that went down, so let’s break down the highlights from last night’s episode, appropriately titled “Curtain Call.”
The freaks quit on Dandy, so he literally shoots them all.
Dandy is now the owner of Elsa’s Cabinet of Curiosities, and his first order of business is to have the freaks hang up a giant banner advertising his song-and-dance bullshit as the show’s main attraction. The freaks want to GTFO, but they decide to stay because Dandy has a lot of money and they wouldn’t know where to go otherwise. After the freaks come back to the camp, Dandy yells at them for not selling any tickets. He says the house is empty because people are tired of their “freaky” antics and want something new. But Amazon Eve is having none of this and punches Dandy in the face. Paul the Illustrated Seal gets in on the action and tells Dandy he isn’t special and that no one wants to see a “pretentious prick” dancing around their stage. With this, they quit and storm out of the tent.
But Dandy isn’t taking his humiliation lightly. Later in the episode, we see Dandy putting on make-up and oddly whispering “it’s showtime” to himself. Then, he walks out of his tent and begins shooting the freaks one by one. Paul, Penny, Ima — all of them. Dead. Amazon Eve puts up a fight, but Dandy eventually shoots her, too. Desiree manages to hide out and avoid getting killed. Meanwhile, Dandy ties up Bette and Dot because he wants to marry them. Without a doubt, this is one of the most disturbing AHS sequences ever (including Murder House, Asylum, and Coven).
Dandy gets what he deserves.
Jimmy returns to the freak show after receiving his wooden lobster claws. However, no one is there. Panicked, he runs into the main tent and finds all of the freaks’ bodies lined up in a bizarre bloody trail. Desiree comes out of hiding and the two share a tender, heartbreaking moment. In the next scene, we see Dandy marrying Bette (with Dot present) in an eerily happy ceremony. During their post-wedding feast, Bette is relishing Dandy with compliments as an anonymous maid fills his glass with champagne. Turns out, the lady is Desiree, and she splashed more than a few drops of poison in Dandy’s drink. Jimmy also joins in on the fun and informs Dandy he’s now officially going to be a part of their freak show. Dandy passes out and wakes up in Houdini’s famous escape tank (the one that fills up with water). According to Desiree, the only way out is through ~*mAgIc, which Dandy lacks severely. Water starts to fill up and Dandy begs the twins to take him home. But they both hate him for killing their friends (damn straight). Dandy’s “immortal” status can’t save him now; he’s drowning. Eventually, the tank fills up and he dies as Bette, Dot, Jimmy, and Desiree (who is iconically eating popcorn) watch with pure happiness. “That boy is a star,” Desiree says. So creepy and satisfying!
Elsa becomes the physical embodiment of Britney Spears’ “Lucky.”
Elsa arrives in Hollywood hellbent on stardom, but things aren’t going as planned. She can’t snag an audition with the president of the World Broadcasting Network, so she spends her days sitting in the office lobby praying he’ll show up and turn her into a shiny pop goddess. Turns out, the head honcho knew some crazy lady was waiting in his lobby to show off her singing #skillz, so he snuck out the back to avoid her. This pisses Elsa off, so she naturally slaps the office receptionist (maybe not the best move). Lo in behold, Michael Beck, some hot guy who just happens to be the junior vice president of casting, steps in and breaks up their quarrel. Oh, he then makes Elsa a big ol’ star.
We fast forward to 1960: Elsa is now married to Michael and a household name with her own television show. However, she’s lonely AF, hates her husband, and just wants someone to love her. When a publicist asks Elsa to perform on Halloween, she refuses. (Remember the Edward Mordrake episodes when we learned freaks die if they perform on Halloween?) She then storms home to find Massimo, the doctor who fixed her legs, waiting. She begs him to run away with her, but he refuses. He has a disease that has spread to his lungs and only has one month to live. Now, Elsa feels more depressed than ever. (You could say she has tears that come at night.)
Elsa goes home.
Elsa’s getting her drank on in her Los Angeles house when Michael comes home with the president of WBN. Apparently, notorious gossip columnist Hedda Hopper got a hold of the German movies that show Nazi war criminals cutting off Elsa’s legs. Hopper’s prepared to release the tapes in the next week, which means Elsa’s career is over. To make matters worse, Hopper also found out about Elsa’s stint as a freak show ringleader and that all the carnies died in some tragic massacre. Because of the morality clause in Elsa’s contract, this puts the final nail in her professional coffin. She suddenly has a change of heart: She will do the Halloween show. As Elsa is singing her heart out, Edward Mordrake comes and — you guessed it — kills her. However, he’s not taking her with him: He’s sending her back to Jupiter, Florida to be with her original Cabinet of Curiosities. She reunites with Ethel, sunshine queen Ma Petite, and the rest of her beloved freaks. It’s almost like everything is back to normal. Elsa is the headliner again, only this time she has a full house.
Everyone gets a happy ending.
While Elsa is giving her final performance alive, we see Desiree happily married with children. (Her outfit was also all kinds of opulent.) And Jimmy? He’s now married to Dot and the two are expecting a baby. Cue all the tears.
What a finale! We’re sad to see Freak Show go, but we can’t wait to see what Ryan Murphy does next. Let us know what you thought of “Curtain Call” in the comments below.
[Photo Credit: FX]