Ryan Murphy, you sly dog you. The co-creator of the FX series “American Horror Story” sneakily slipped in another important connection between the current season, "Freak Show," with the show’s second season, “Asylum.” But because you were too busy fawning over Maggie’s (Emma Roberts) gruesome death and Stanley’s (Denis O’Hare) jaw-dropping Meep-transformation, you probably missed it. We know we nearly did.
So, here’s everything you need to know about how Murphy filled another gap between Season 2 and 4 in the 12th episode of "American Horror Story: Freak Show."
After Jimmy (Evan Peters) lost his hands, Elsa used her connections to call upon an old friend – one who had helped her after her own legs were cut off via chain saw during a snuff film, which took place in 1932 Berlin. That’s when Massimo Dolcefino (Danny Huston) entered Jimmy’s tent with his toolbox. Initially the lobster boy detested the idea of donning wooden hands, but he changed his mind once Elsa lifted up her dress, revealing that she too sported wooden legs.
That’s when Massimo divulged an interesting story about Elsa. The artist explained he sought revenge for the men who mutilated his lover. However, he failed to kill the mastermind behind Elsa’s dismembering. Instead it was Massimo who was tortured by Hans Gruber (or as some argue, Gruper), who reportedly took Massimo’s attempt to kill him to heart. Massimo was later freed by another German soldier.
— Pedro López. (@pedrolopezmm) January 15, 2015
Now if the name Hans Gruber sounds familiar it’s because you’ve heard it once before – in Season 2 of “American Horror Story.” It was revealed during “Asylum” that Hans Gruber was the real name of Dr. Arthur Arden (James Cromwell), the physician and administrator of Briarcliff Manor who was also confirmed as a Nazi war criminal.
Arden was the one responsible for performing horrific experiments on the patients. He was best known for mutating humans who ran rampant in the forest and amputating Shelley’s (Chloe Sevigny) legs. The character killed himself by the end of Season 2 by burning with the corpse of Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe), who was being cremated in the Briarcliff oven -- a fitting end for a Nazi war criminal.
Another interesting tidbit is that the Season 4 version of Hans was portrayed by Cromwell’s real-life son John Cromwell, which explains the physical similarities between the two characters.
The Huffington Post reported that Murphy gave another nod to “AHS” fans when he mentioned Elsa’s love for the movie “The Sign of the Cross,” which was also Sister Jude’s favorite movie to play for the patients in Season 2, “Asylum.”
Did you catch the connections during episode 12 of “Freak Show”? Sound off in the comments section below and don’t forget to watch “American Horror Story: Freak Show” when the Season 4 finale airs Wednesday, Jan. 21, at 10 p.m. EST on FX.