American Horror Story, once more, is a chronicle of human drama. The freaks yearn to be accepted and understood, even daring to eat at a local diner together. Dandy, as contemptible as he is, still shows signs of immense vulnerability when he asks to join the troupe so he can be with the people he identifies with. “I’m one of you,” he begs Jimmy. “You’d be saving my life.” His sincerity, and Jimmy’s harsh dismissal, almost make him a sympathetic character. Almost.

He’s still a royal brat, demanding that he get whatever he wants, and instead of helping Twisty’s victims flee he brings them back. But can we really blame him, given his sheltered and spoiled existence?

Angela Bassett, who played the phenomenal voodoo queen from last season, and Michael Chiklis- best known for The Shield– join the cast as the Three-Breasted Woman and the Strong Man. Although Desiree’s role within the troupe hasn’t been determined, the Strong Man’s presence disrupts the natural hierarchy, with Elsa, Ethel, and Jimmy’s decisions being overruled by his brute, physical force.

Twisty the clown is by far the most terrifying element of the show. Every scene he’s in, he’s stabbing chests, severing heads, and terrorizing his captive audience. Now, he’s got the help of sociopathic Dandy who kills cats, a promise to the viewer for more horrifying evils as the series continues.

Bloody Rundown

desiree-dupre ep 2There’s a new freak in town, and his name is Dell Toledo the Strong Man- who also happens to be Jimmy’s violent, deadbeat father. He and his wife Desiree Dupree, who has three breasts and both male and female genitalia, join Elsa’s freak show. Elsa believes Dell will be a good male leader for the other freaks, until he forcefully decides to put on a three o’clock matinee against her wishes.

Dell thinks the matinee will revive the show, especially since the police set a nighttime curfew due to the rash of murders and kidnappings. The cops suspect that the freaks have something to do with it. Elsa and Jimmy try to use their suspicion to their advantage by throwing the unruly, aggressive Strong Man under the bus, but the plan backfires. Tiny Meep is taken into police custody and meets a tragic end at the hands of other inmates.

Twisty the serial killer clown strikes again, this time murdering two people in a toy shop. In spite of his grotesque appearance, Gloria hires Twisty to cheer Dandy up. It works. Throughout the episode, Dandy rants and raves how much he hates his life, and even tries to join the freak show so he can pursue his dream of being an actor. Jimmy harshly rejects him, and tells Dandy he’d give anything to be as privileged as him. Dandy is despondent and full of resentment, but finds relief in Twisty’s antics. He even assists the clown in keeping his hostages in check.

John Carroll Lynch as Twisty the Clown

After a successful matinee performance by Bette and Dot, Elsa becomes jealous of Bette’s singing success. While Bette is sleeping, she tries to tempt Dot- who is much less talented- into killing her sister with a knife.