After weeks of tuning into Ryan Murphy’s chilling, carny-themed FX series, “American Horror Story” finally came to a bloody end with the airing of the Season 4 finale of “Freak Show" Wednesday night. The final episode, “Curtain Call,” kicked off with the freaks being forced to promote Dandy’s (Finn Wittrock) freak show debut, which consisted of the privileged owner prancing around onstage while belting out showtunes.
But the freaks weren’t too thrilled to endorse Dandy’s act – especially Penny (Grace Gummer), who suggested they call it quits. But Paul (Mat Fraser) advised that because the carny world was dwindling, it might not be wise to quit their day job.
“Our world is dying,” he said. “This is the end of the line.”
Paul then suggested that they use Dandy as long as they could until his fortune ran out. But he quickly changed his tune when they arrived back to camp, only to be greeted by their less-than-enthused employer.
“I’m in charge here and I say it’s your fault,” Dandy said, blaming the lack of sold-tickets on his “boring” freaks. The newest owner then cooked up the wild idea that in order to sell more tickets, the show needed a new attraction – stating that perhaps adding horns to Penny’s face would entice customers. That’s when Paul completely lost it.
“You’re not special. You’re rubbish. You’ll never be one of us and you don’t own us!” he stated before quitting the show.
But the freaks weren’t the only ones struggling in episode 13. Elsa (Jessica Lange) was also enduring her fair share of woes in her new world of Hollywood as she attempted to get noticed by big shot producers. After waiting hours for a run-in with the man in charge, Elsa encountered a rather nasty secretary who dissed the fraulein’s act. The artist then slapped the loose-lipped administrator across the face, which is when David Burtka made his “American Horror Story” debut as Elsa's knight in shinning armor.
Burtka, who portrayed the role of Michael Beck, broke up the fight between Elsa and the security guard.
“You’re the first kind face I’ve seen in months,” she said to him, asking what role he played in the company. That’s when Michael revealed he was involved in the casting division. Cue the fireworks.
Meanwhile, back at the camp, Dandy sought revenge for the freaks’ bad behavior. He loaded his gun and went on a killing spree, annihilating all the freaks we’ve grown to know and love throughout Season 4. However, he spared the life of the Tattler twins (Sarah Paulson).
“Come with me,” he said to Bette and Dot.
After Dandy whisked the girls away from the blood-soaked camp, Jimmy (Evan Peters) returned home only to find out that Elsa had fled and that his freaky family had all been murdered. Dandy positioned the bodies of the dead performers so that they would lead up to the stage. Completely distraught, Jimmy used his new wooden claws to shut the deceased’s eyes. That’s when Desiree (Angela Basset) entered the tent, revealing that she was the only one to survive the horrific killing.
Dandy celebrated the blood bath with a marriage to Bette, who seemed oddly happy to marry the mass murderer. But after Dandy made a champagne toast to a happy life, it was revealed that the twins had tricked him. They slipped a drug into his glass to make him vulnerable. Then they shot him in the arm with his own gun. And no, they didn’t miss by accident. The twins, Desi and Jimmy had bigger plans for Dandy than a quick death.
“You’re finally going to be a part of the show,” Jimmy teased.
When Dandy awoke from his drug-induced haze, he found himself stuck in a damp box that previously belonged to Houdini.
“You might look like a motion picture dreamboat, but you are the biggest freak of them all,” Desi said as water began to flood the box.
Dandy pleaded for his life, even offering the freaks money, but they only thing they craved to see was Dandy’s theatrical demise.
“Heck of a show,” Jimmy said after Dandy took his last breath.
“That boy is a star,” Desiree added, shoving a handful of popcorn into her mouth.
The Season 4 finale of “Freak Show” then flash forwarded to 1960 in Hollywood. Elsa was the Queen of Friday night. She had three Emmy awards, a couple gold records and was married to Michael, who swept her off her feet the first day they met. However, their relationship turned bleaker as time passed and soon they were unable to see eye-to-eye.
When the network requested for Elsa to work on Halloween, she refused. Michael couldn’t understand why, but his wife was persistent on sitting October 31st out. After their argument over Elsa’s Halloween Spooktacular, the Hollywood starlet fled the scene to meet up with Massimo (Danny Huston).
She told her old friend that although she had everything, she was still unhappy. That’s when Elsa begged Massimo to take her away so that she could spend the rest of her life with someone she loved. But Massimo revealed that would be impossible considering he was dying from a lung and bone disease. Elsa’s true love admitted that he had less than a month before dying.
As if Elsa’s day couldn’t get any worse, the network revealed that they found and watched Elsa’s snuff film, explaining that her career was over. They even brought up Elsa’s past as a freak show owner, divulging that her former employees had all died in “some kind of massacre.”
After the heartbreaking news, Elsa decided that performing on Halloween wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all. “Why not? I might as well go out with a bang,” she said, sealing her own fate.
As Elsa sung her heart out during the spooky segment, the freak show massacre survivors all watched their former boss soak up the spotlight via the small screen. Desiree stopped to admire Elsa as she chased her children and husband down the street. Jimmy and his newly pregnant wives (Bette and Dot) enjoyed the fraulein’s performance from the comfort of their home. Edward Mordrake (Wes Bentley) watched Elsa’s act front row and center after she summoned him from hell.
But Mordrake wasn’t alone! He came with his entire ghostly troupe, included Twisty (John Carroll Lynch) to condemn the Halloween-performer. The kind clown even warned Elsa that her demise would only hurt a little.
After Mordrake stabbed Elsa, he revealed a twist to his plan, explaining that her place was not with them. So, where was Elsa sent?
In the final scene of “American Horror Story” Elsa returned home to her Florida-based freak show, only to be greeted by her original family members who were all killed throughout Season 4.
“What is this place?” Elsa asked, wondering if she would have to pay for her sins.
“Stars never pay,” Ethel (Kathy Bates) replied, giving her friend a hug.
The series concluded with Elsa being asked to take on the role of the show’s main act, a request which she happily agreed to.
What did you think of “American Horror Story: Freak Show”? Sound off in the comments section below with your thoughts on how Season 4 of the hit FX series concluded.