Episode 4 of “American Horror Story” delivered a lot of tricks and treats. The Halloween-themed “Freak Show” episode picked up where episode 3 left off – with the spirit of Edward Mordrake (Wes Bentley) searching for a soul to take back to hell.
So, who did Edward Mordrake take? All signs were pointing to Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange). The singer and freak show leader had to confess her darkest times to the spirit, and revealed how she lost her legs. In Germany in the 1930s she had been involved in the fetish business. She was a star in her own little world, but someone took advantage of her. One night she was drugged, tied to a bed … and had her legs cut off with a chainsaw as part of a snuff film.
Edward Mordrake’s second face wanted to take Elsa until he heard the sound of another performance taking place. That performance was coming from Dandy (Finn Wittrock) and Twisty the Clown (John Caroll Lynch), who had managed to capture Jimmy (Evan Peters) and Maggie Esmerelda (Emma Roberts). Dandy had plans to saw Maggie Esmerelda in half, but Jimmy stopped him before he could make contact. His attack led Maggie and Twisty’s other captives to escape – but Jimmy wasn’t as lucky. While Dandy chased after their victims, Twisty brought Jimmy inside the school bus to finish him off. Fortunately for Jimmy, Twisty the Clown received a visit from Edward Mordrake.
Edward Mordrake asked Twisty the Clown about his darkest moment and made him remove his mask. After calming the clown down, Twisty revealed how he lost his mouth.
In 1943 Twisty had been one of the best clown’s in a traveling carnival. The children loved him – but the freaks he worked with did not. Jealous of the love everyone showed Twisty, the freaks drove the clown out of town by telling him that the children told the police that he was inappropriate with them.
“I couldn’t be a clown anymore,” he explained to Edward Mordrake. “So I came home to Jupiter.”
But Twisty had no family in town after his mother died. Instead he devoted all his time to turning garbage into gold – like Rumpelstiltskin – so that the children would love him again. But the local toy store didn’t want Twisty’s toys, and his desperate attitude scared the local children.
Alone and sad, Twisty the Clown turned a gun on himself. But Twisty didn’t die – the gun blew his mouth off.
“I though, I’m so dumb I can’t even kill himself,” Twisty said.
With a mask to cover his face, Twisty the Clown went to the Jupiter freak show to try to entertain others. But no one cared about his act or balloon animals. That’s when he hatched another plan for the children – “save them from the freaks. The evil, mean, freaks.”
“The children forgot that they loved me,” Twisty continued to Edward Mordrake. “The freaks were stealing them just like before. I knew what I had to do. I had to get them back.”
That’s how Twisty ended up kidnapping people. But he insisted he was a “good clown” because he also got his kidnapped kids a “pretty babysitter” … who he also kidnapped.
While Twisty the Clown’s story was sad, Edward Mordrake didn’t cry for him. However the blackness in Twisty’s heart did cause the demon in Edward Mordrake to weep. Forgetting about Elsa, Edward Mordrake stabbed Twisty the Clown to death and added him to his collection of dead freaks.
“Come, brother,” Edward Mordrake said to a healed Twisty, whose spirit had his mouth returned to normal. “Join us.”
Twisty the Clown joined Edward Mordrake’s ghostly troupe – but he left behind Dandy. The troubled man initially believed his Halloween to be ruined by Maggie Esmerelda’s escape, but he was happy to find Twisty the Clown’s abandoned mask. Putting the mask on himself, Dandy returned to his house. It was there that Dora (Patti LaBelle) yelled at Dandy for the last time. Tired of her berating, Dandy took Twisty the Clown’s weapon and slit her throat.
Episode 4 of “American Horror Story: Freak Show” concluded with Dandy removing the mask to look at Dora … and then smiling and laughing.