There have been mixed opinions on the Freakshow season of American Horror Story. But no one can argue that this season of the horror anthology show went out the way it should have – with the incomparable Jessica Lange as Elsa Mars singing David Bowie’s “Heroes”. Right now Jessica Lange has not signed on for another installment of the show, so if Freakshow was her last appearance on American Horror Story it was an appropriate ending for her to go out playing one of the best characters she has had throughout the series. Unfortunately, for many people, Elsa Mars was one of the only two interesting characters in the show. The other was a character that fans didn’t get nearly enough – Twisty the Clown.
The Ending – The ending of Freakshow was a bit of a disappointment considering how many other options there were to wrap up the story. There were happy endings for most, including for Dot and Bette who ended up living happily ever after with Jimmy and even getting pregnant. Dandy, after having a meltdown and going on a freak shooting spree, was killed appropriately by being drowned in a Houdini style escape tank filled with water which he could not escape from.
Elsa, after running away from the freakshow, goes on to get the life she always wanted. She finds a husband and becomes a big star with her own variety hour TV show where she gets to sing. She even gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But her happiness doesn’t last. She finds out that her husband has terminal cancer and has about a month to live. She also finds out that the attempted snuff film she was an unwilling participant in where her legs were cut off has been discovered. When it’s made public her career will be over. She decides to go out on her own terms, singing David Bowie’s opus “Heroes” on Halloween night knowing that Edward Mordrake will come for her.
But instead of being punished for her crimes Elsa is sent to Heaven where she can entertain forever with the rest of the freaks from her sideshow who were gunned down by Dandy. The ending, just like the rest of the season, was supposed to be an indictment of the way that stars are treated in society and held to a different standard when it comes to behavior and punishment. But as usual, Ryan Murphy’s attempt to moralize felt forced and flat.
Twisty the Clown – One thing that critics and supporters of this season of American Horror Story agree on is that there was not enough Twisty the Clown. Twisty was the standout character in this season and after the initial appearance of Twisty for shock value Twisty didn’t appear nearly enough. There was a pretty dismal lack of character development across the board, which is also not unusual for a Ryan Murphy series, but it is particularly disappointing that Twisty wasn’t given more airtime. Twisty was by far the most interesting of the freaks and the scariest clown seen on TV in a long time. Perhaps Twisty deserves his own show.
The Future of American Horror Story – Currently American Horror Story is scheduled for another season in the fall of 2015. But if Jessica Lange decides to bow out it will be hard for Ryan Murphy to come up with an idea original enough to revivie the dying series. His original idea for an anthology series using the same actors in different roles each season was a good one, but the execution of the past couple of seasons hasn’t been great. Overall fans have been a little disappointed with the last two seasons. Murphy is also developing an anthology series based on true crime called American Crime Story and it may be time to let American Horror Story die so that Murphy can concentrate on the new series. Maybe if he has plenty of true crime to draw from Murphy can come up with some more interesting stories to tell.