American Horror Story Season 4 Episode 3 Review: Edward Mordrake, Pt 1

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In the third Freak Show installment, American Horror Story Season 4 Episode 3, we learned the story of Edward Mordrake, and what a story it is.

Mordrake was a prodigy with an evil spirit attached to the back of his head. While Edward, the man, was a kind soul, the spirit which eventually came to control him was anything but. Legend has it Edward's spirit took over his body one Halloween night and he killed an entire carnival's worth of freaks. Now the freaks refuse to perform on Halloween which tells us one thing:

A performance is absolutely, without a doubt, going to take place on Halloween at Fraulein Elsa's Cabinet of Curiosities.

In the spirit of disclosure, American Horror Story: Freak Show is my first foray into this franchise, but not into Ryan Murphy's creations. The season has all the trappings of a Murphy series.

Odd musical numbers and envelope pushing sex scenes coupled with telegraphed foreshadowing and some seriously deranged characters. AHS is like Nip/Tuck meets Glee.

That actually doesn't sound all that fantastic and yet here I am, watching eagerly each week hoping Jimmy Darling will find a way out of the freak show. Wondering if Elsa will ever become a star. Surprised the Tattler sisters haven't sliced off each others' tongues!

The most interesting character of the night, maybe of the series so far, is Ethel. I can't help but like her. Maybe it's the character. Maybe it's Kathy Bates. Maybe it's both.

Learning that Dell is Jimmy's real father wasn't a shock though I didn't expect it to be that easy. The manner in which he saw dollar signs next to Ethel's name and effectively ruined her life while promising her a lifetime of happiness makes me want to kick him. 

Ethel might have been a freak with an act, but she was a headliner! She was happy. He came along and used her and that was the beginning of the end for her. That Edward Mordrake spared her life was no surprise. She has a pure heart, even if she's done things she'd rather not remember during her time with the carnivals.

Maybe Mystic Miss Esmerelda can look into her crystal ball and see if Ethel's life will end differently than the test results at the doctor's office revealed. Well, you know, if Esmerelda wasn't a fake looking to make it rich putting specimens in museums. Her skeevy con-man friend has a specimen he could sell...

Something tells me she's going to fall for Jimmy and he for her. She'll be his ticket out of the freak show as long as Dot Tattler doesn't catch wind of what's going down. There's an evil streak a mile wide in that one!

Bette: I wonder who you are since we came here.
Dot: I'll tell you who I am. I'm someone will do what it takes. I'm going to work hard, save my money, and find a doctor who will do that surgery.

Right now on American Horror Story: Freak Show we have about seven different stories happening at once, which is making things feel a little convoluted. Many of the stories overlap, but the wait is on to see how they'll all be resolved and whether any of them will tie in to one another.

With so many competing stories, it's hard to know where to focus our attention. The biggest question of all, at least for me, is how does Twisty the Clown connect to Elsa's curiosities?

It cannot be coincidence that a murderous clown and this freak show rolled into town at the same time, can it? And let's just go on the record and say that Dandy Mott is freaker than Twisty the Clown, with his jacked up face and bowling pins, ever dreamed of being. 

He is at once a petulant child and a stone cold killer. He just hasn't killed a person yet. (He will. It's coming. It has to be coming.) 

From Twisty and Dandy to Elsa and Edward, it's all so bizarre at the moment I can't stop watching because I want to know how it all comes together. At the same time if things don't start connecting a little more quickly, I can see how people would lose interest.

But that moment isn't now. Not for me at least. For now there's much still to be mined with American Horror Story: Freak Show so I'll just sit back and enjoy

What did you think of American Horror Story Season 4 Episode 3? Who will be Edward Mordrake's next victim? Remember, you can watch American Horror Story online right here at TV Fanatic any time!

Here is your first look at American Horror Story Season 4 Episode 4:

Edward Mordrake, Pt 1 Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (23 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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American Horror Story Season 4 Episode 3 Quotes

We're all hopeless, Doc. We're all going to die.


I ain't crying cause you're telling me I'm gonna die, Doc. I'm crying cause you're the first doctor ever treated me with respect.