“American Horror Story: Freak Show” Episode 2 – Bald Mountain and three hilltops

The second week of “American Horror Story: Freak Show” revealed new attractions such as Michael Chiklis as the Devious Plot-Changing Strongman, Dell Toledo, and his wife, the Astounding Tri-Mammeried Angela Bassett.

When these two sidle on into Jupiter, Bassett’s Desiree Dupree shows she has more to offer than her glorious prosthetic. She also boasts ‘proper girl parts and a ding-a-ling.’ “I’m a full-blown hermaphrodite,” she says.

(Is it weird that I now really want to see this show cross over with “Downton Abbey”)?

Regardless, Desiree and Dell beg Elsa to let them stay, as the dwindling number of sideshows has limited their options. Plus, Dell snapped the neck of a gay man he caught having sex with his wife (the poor fellow was attempting to turn himself straight in an attempt to have a “normal” life). That whole murder thing likely  didn’t endear him to the cops of his previous town of Chicago.

A good ol’ fashioned flashback explains that Dell is actually the father of Jimmy, the “lobster boy.” Ethel is not pleased by his return.

(I would have figured that the spawn of a strongman and a bearded lady would be a ‘roided up version of Cousin Itt from “The Addams Family,” but that would probably make Evan Peters a lot less marketable as the swoony romantic lead his character likely turns out to be.)

Meanwhile, checking in on the much uglier side of Jupiter, Dandy and Gloria are having lunch. Dandy finds her and his life to be ever-so-boring. Dandy pulls out his nipple-shaped bottle full of cognac.

Gloria doesn’t approve. “You can’t live on sweets and cognac. It’s bad for the temperament. I’m still having nightmares about the debacle with the Cushing girl—”

Dandy steams, “She was just miffed because I said she reminded me of the pregnant hippo we saw on safari!”

When Gloria remarks that she was just glad the chief of police was a former boyfriend of hers, it becomes obvious that sociopathic behavior is not a new thing for Dandy. (But really, his name is DANDY, for cryin’ out loud. How else was he supposed to turn out?!).

Dandy leaves the house to beg Jimmy to let him join the freak show. Jimmy rebuffs him. Gloria drives around and finds Twisty, fresh from a double homicide he committed at the beginning of the episode. Naturally, she invites him to cheer up her boy.

The two get along fine until Dandy sneaks a look into his new buddy’s bag. Dandy is surprised by whatever is in there to stare at it long enough for Twisty to (surprisingly, non-lethally) attack him with a bowling pin and get out of Dodge.

A young woman and small boy Twisty captured last episode manage to get away from Twisty and knock his mask off, revealing a disease-ridden gaping hole where his mouth should be.

While Twisty grabs the rugrat, Dandy sweeps in and captures the young woman so he and his new friend can continue their little playdate from hell.

Dell, who in the last scene was blubbering for mercy, is next seen strong-arming Elsa into establishing a matinee show, due to the citywide curfew that’s in effect thanks to the string of recent murders. She reluctantly complies, with Dot crooning Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” while the fame-obsessed Bette does back-up. It’s rather similar to all of the Commodores were attached to the body of Lionel Ritchie.

(Note: The menfolk of Jupiter form a borderline mosh pit while Dot sings. So, the Tattlers are feared by everyone until Dot starts singing, and then all is temporarily forgotten? Test that theory with Dot singing in front of the Jupiter’s police officers, and the carnies might have an easier time…).

Elsa also believes her dreams of stardom could be threatened, so she encourages Bette to cut off her sister’s head, because that wouldn’t cause both of them to die from blood loss or anything.

Jimmy brings the rest of the carnies to a local dinner in an attempt to be treated like everybody else. This goes over horribly, with Dell eventually entering the diner and beating Jimmy up to prove his leadership ability.

Later, Jupiter’s finest show up with a warrant to search the carnival for any evidence regarding the missing police officer. Jimmy planted the badge in Dell’s trailer to get rid of him, but Dell, somehow figuring everything out, found it and put it with the things of the chicken-head-biting, diminutive Meep (Ben Woolf, who actually has putitary dwarfism).

Alas, poor Meep is targeted in jail, and after a few hours in lock-up, his body is tossed into a bag and thrown back on to the carnival grounds to the feet of a grieving Jimmy.

Let us know what you thought of the episode @GCMagCMU