Halloween comes a week early on Freak Show. Not to worry, Murchak gave us Edward Mordrake Pt. 1, so Halloween will last for two bloody weeks. It’s not unlike life in the French Quarter in between building collapses.
The post title comes from the mouth of Dandy Mott. He’s ready to go out and terrorize trick or treaters but Jupiter is under curfew. He initially satisfies himself with refusing to dress up as Howdy Doody and threatening to murder the family’s spunky housekeeper, Dora. One of the high points of a relatively subdued episode was when Patti LaBelle crowed (if that’s the right word) like Woody Woodpecker. Undignified but funny, much like the entire series.
More about Edward Mordrake Pt. 1 after the break.
As always, I’m picking and choosing among the story lines for my random and discursive comments. I’ll get back to the Tattler twins and Twisty and the Captives next week. How’s that for a new band name? Their stage backdrop could be a Twister thing with Twisty’s scary teeth superimposed in the middle. Sorry for the superimposition:
The Myth Of Edward Mordrake: We learn that freaks do not perform on Halloween because of what happens when they do. The spirit of Edward (The Two Faced Prince) Mordrake rises from the grave, freaks out and murders freaks. Ethel the Bearded Lady firmly subscribes to this notion but Elsa Mars and the Lobster Boy think it’s ridiculous. They’ve obviously never watched earlier seasons of American Horror Story.
Btw, Murchuk are recycling an old freak’s tale as you can see from this wikipedia entry. I happen to believe in recycling. We don’t want Two Faced Princes dumped in a landfill, now do we?
The American Morbidity Museum: We learn of its existence and that it has fallen on hard times. We’re introduced to two familiar AHS players, Dennis O’Hare as Stanley and Emma Roberts as Maggie Esmerelda. They’re con artists trying to scam the museum with a “baby sasquatch” that’s actually a fetal goat with a cat’s jaw sewn on it. Oopsie.
The museum director tells our con cats that if they can find something genuine, she’s interested. It doesn’t matter than Stanley is a fake Havud man and Esmerelda is a fake medium. She needs freak relics and she needs them fast. They decide to sally forth to Florida. I cannot imagine why…
She Stole My Career: When Esmerelda arrives at the Freak Show, she runs into the dishiest freak of them all, Jimmy the Darling Lobster Boy. She makes goo goo eyes at him and he ushers her into see Fraulein Elsa Mars for a fortune telling tryout.
Esmerelda proves that she’s more than just a pretty face with Elsa’s reading. It helps that Elsa is smoking opium. The fake clairvoyant finds Elsa’s hot button: her conviction that Marlene Dietrich stole her career. She informs Lily Von Shtup that a dark eyed, handsome impresario will turn up to make her a star. I have a funny feeling that it will be her partner in crime, Stanley who, while she’s getting hired on at the Freak Show, is frolicking with a guy in a Thor hat. I guess Marlene Dietrich isn’t the only one who knows what the boys in the back room want:
Ethel The Bearded Lady’s Origin Story: We learn that she used to be a bearded circus headliner whose act surrounded her with beautiful, unhairy ladies. Then, Del the Strong Man showed up and wrecked her career by convincing her to recite Shakespeare in a sideshow. He wanted to appeal to high brow rich people but they weren’t interested in hearing the Bard spoken in a shaky Balmer accent by a Bearded Lady, hon. Imagine that, hon.
The most horrific image we see is Del’s promoting Jimmy’s birth as a spectacle. “Hold the freak baby, two bits.” Del is not a very nice man, but it’s not a shocking development. My countryman specializes in playing creeps such as Vic Mackey in The Shield.
Ethel’s waltz down memory lane is prompted by two events. First, she sees a kindly doctor who informs her that she’s dying of cirhossis of the liver. Her time is limited and she’s worried about her Lobster Boy’s future. I suggest he stay away from Boston since he might wind up on a lobster roll. Mmm, lobster roll. Second, she stares death in the face in the person of Edward Mordrake who was conjured up when Elsa rehearsed this week’s anachronistic song, Lana Del Ray’s 2012 tune Gods and Monsters:
In spite of Elsa’s horrendous singing, Mordrake decides to spare Ethel. Perhaps he’s time traveled and heard the *original* version of the song, which is pretty darn swell:
This is only part one of Freak Show’s Edward Mordrake arc. He’s been summoned forth to kill a freak to join his ghostly menagerie and he’s not going anywhere until his mission has been accomplished. As you can see below, he’s a big wheel who won’t be satisfied until there’s more freak blood on his spectral hands: