“American Horror Story” fans were treated to a little therapy session after “Freak Show” took a week off. Episode 8, titled “Blood Bath,” kicked off with Gloria (Frances Conroy) opening up to a psychiatrist due to her anxiety issues from Dandy (Finn Wittrock). It was there that viewers learned a little bit more about her son’s twisted past … and her plan to stop his murderous acts.
According to Gloria, Dandy has been doing malicious things since a child. He cut off the hair of Dora’s (Patti LaBelle) young daughter and killed the cat because it kept digging up Gloria’s flowers. But probably the most disturbing thing that Gloria revealed was that the gardener’s young son disappeared and was never seen again after playing with Dandy. The protective mother opened up about all of his horrific acts, but she wouldn’t confess to his most recent murders. However she did agree to trick her son into meeting with the psychiatrist.
Meanwhile at the freak show, everyone was searching for Ma Petite (Jyoti Amge). As viewers know, Del Toledo (Michael Chiklis) killed her and gave her body to Stanley (Denis O’Hare). The con man sold it to the museum of oddities, collecting a big payout for securing such a “rare” and “unique” item. The freaks didn’t find her body, but they did find her tattered clothes.
Elsa (Jessica Lange) was completely devastated at the loss of her “most precious one.” But Ethel (Kathy Bates) wasn’t buying the theatrics that she put on. Bringing up the conversation she overheard about “mercy killing” Bette and Dot (Sarah Paulson), Ethel accused Elsa of taking out anyone who dared to step in her spotlight. Elsa slapped Ethel for her insubordination. However Ethel was one step ahead of Elsa. The bearded woman pulled a gun on Elsa and shot her in the leg. It was when the bullet went clean through the wood that Ethel discovered that Elsa was an amputee.
“I am just like the rest of my children,” she confessed. “I love you because I understand you. You think you know me? You don’t know me at all.”
Elsa told Ethel about how a German doctor saved her life and created her new legs out of wood. Ethel appreciated that Elsa opened up to her, but it wasn’t enough. With the gun in her hand, Ethel warned that the “curtain comes down tonight.”
Ethel claimed the bullet was for herself, but Elsa knew better. Asking Ethel for one last drink, Elsa threw a dagger into her old friend’s eye when she raised her gun to shoot.
With Stanley and Maggie’s help, Elsa was able to cover up Ethel’s murder as a suicide. The plan worked out perfectly for Stanley, who staged for Ethel to be decapitated in a car crash. The head of a bearded woman was the only thing he needed to get a quick paycheck.
Ethel was quickly replaced in the freak show by a woman named Barbara (Chrissy Metz), a “Park Avenue” princess” who was sent to an institution by her family to lose weight. Her family was so ashamed of her size that they told people that she was knocked up because it was “less shameful” than her being a “big fat pig.” But Elsa only saw Barbara with dollar signs. She brought her back to the camp and renamed her Ima Wiggles, an ode to the famous 800 lb. fat woman, Ima Waddler.
Elsewhere, Desiree rallied the other woman at camp to avenge Penny’s (Grace Gummer) unwilling transformation into “lizard girl.” The women broke into Penny’s father’s house and kidnapped him. Bringing him back to camp, Penny ‘s father begged his daughter for forgiveness. But she helped tar and feather the man who mutilated her. Desiree wanted to chop off his genitals, shoot him in the head and throw his body to the alligators, but was stopped by Maggie (Emma Roberts). She warned Penny that her father would win if she went through with killing her. And although Desiree warned her to stay out of it, Penny ultimately decided to spare her father’s life.
“I am the astounding lizard girl,” she warned him. “You get to live only become I say so. But you come near me or mine ever again and I will kill you.”
Meanwhile at the Mott household, Dora’s daughter Regina (Gabourey Sidibe) decided to show up to search for her mother. Dandy passed all the questions onto his mother, who claimed that Dora was simply on an “expedition” to acquire squash. Regina knew that Gloria was lying, and promised to wait there until her mother returned.
Dandy knew that something had to be done with Regina, and came up with a solution after visiting with the psychiatrist. The doctor wanted to see Dandy twice a week after he gave answers to the inkblot test like “man with his arms torn off” and “man stabbing woman to death.” Needless to say, Dandy was not happy with his mom for setting him up. However he told her that he’d go to the doctor for a month if she killed Regina.
Gloria wasn’t ready to kill Regina, and instead hatched a plan to escape to Europe with Dandy. She placed a call to the psychiatrist to thank him for his help, but he warned her that he feared for her safety and wanted to temporarily commit Dandy. She thought nothing of the doctor’s words, but Gloria had lost Dandy’s trust. He had overheard her calling him weak and unstable, and blamed it all on her. Why? Because Dandy was a product inbreeding. After Gloria’s father lost all of the family’s money, she was desperate to maintain her wealth. To do so she married her second cousin, Dandy’s father.
In a shocking twist, Dandy got his hands on Gloria’s gun. He held it to his head, but Gloria begged that she wouldn’t be able to go on if he killed himself.
“Okay,” Dandy simply said before shooting his mom in the head. Episode 8 ended with Dandy smiling while crying … and bathing in Gloria’s blood.