American Horror Story Season 4 Episode 4 Review: Edward Mordrake Claims a Freak

at .

American Horror Story Season 4 Episode 4 concluded the tale of Edward Mordrake, and the tale of Twisty the Clown, or "Twisted Clown" as my closed-captioning called him.

(Yes, I watch TV with closed-captioning. I recommend trying it!)

Through Edward Mordrake's hunt for the Halloween sacrifice, we filled in the histories of several of the freaks of American Horror Story: Freak Show, and with only a handful of nit-picky complaints from me.

The New Dandy - American Horror Story

It was too easy to guess that Edward Mordrake would not be taking Elsa Mars with him into Hell. There's no way Jessica Lange's character dies in episode 4. But for a minute, it seemed possible, and for a minute, I could understand why she wanted to be the one.

Watching her flirt with him in hopes that he would make her a star showed just how deeply she believes her own delusions. We've known for weeks now that she's using the freaks to get herself discovered, but hearing her say the words out loud made her seem even more washed up and sad than she already did.

Thankfully, Edward Mordrake called her on her ignorance, quite beautifully, I might add:

Edward: It is not your talent that renders me speechles. It is your delusional ignorance.
Elsa: Excuse me?
Edward: You are a tattered waste of oxygen who bolsters herself with contempt for others.

Her story, which is what he came for, was grisly, but not unexpected. Wanton sex and deviance is sort of a thing with Ryan Murphy projects, this one included, but I can't say I expected Elsa would have been a dominatrix in a past life. As she said, her ambition was her downfall.

Because she so desperately wanted to be a star, she was drugged and appeared in a snuff film. If you don't know what a snuff film is (and I didn't until tonight, despite having heard the term before), they're murder films. And I'm not talking about murder flicks like Texas Chainsaw Massacre

I mean, murder-murder. Cloaked and hidden men kill someone on film, record it, and then distribute their recorded murder for money. 

Nit-pick #1, a thing I learned that I can't un-learn now: The term first appeared in 1976, which is a good 20 years after AHS: FS​ is set. Not sure why that bugs me, but hey, it does. 

After learning about Elsa's darkest moment, when her legs were cut off while she was awake and drugged but not so much that she couldn't feel the pain and then left for dead, Edward's evil face decided she needed to join them. That is, until he heard music tinkling off in the distance.

That music belonged to Twisty the Clown and came from his middle of the woods show given by Dandy Mott, who is probably the freakiest freak on Freak Show right now. 

Jimmy and Maggie were on their way back to the camp when his bike ran out of gas. While walking in the shadows, Twisty's female captive escaped and made a run for it. Twisty caught up to her and took her back to his camp. Jimmy and Maggie followed and while they were watching, Dandy knocked them unconscious.

They awoke to find Maggie in a box and Jimmy tied up. Dandy planned to saw her in half while they all watched. 

Dandy is a terrible captor, first of all, at least at this point. Neither he nor Twisty seemed to pay any attention at all to the fact that Jimmy was untying his arms and legs and coming after Dandy. After learning Twisty's story, as told to Edward Mordrake, his lack of urgency sort of makes sense. 

Twisty the Clown used to love children. In his sick and, uh, twisted way, he still does. Did. Whatever. He was a good clown, but a "simpleton," according to the other freaks who worked with him at a traveling carnival. They were jealous of his gig and drove him out, ruining his reputation in the process by labeling him a child molester. He couldn't get work doing the thing he was best at in the world. 

Eventually he decided to take his own life, but failed, and then decided he'd just kill people instead. Seems legit. 

That was the gist of the explanation. He thought he was protecting children by killing the people who made them do chores? I...yeah. So many questions about Twisty that will never get answers to, and those are the remaining nit-picks, which I must now ask all of you.

Twisty was from Jupiter, and had apparently come back to town fairly recently, even interacting with Elsa's freak show by standing outside the ticket line and offering up balloons to children. Jimmy has literally seen this guy before and NO ONE thought "that clown is sort of weird and covered in what might be blood!" or "what's up with that mask, dude?"

It doesn't seem like he's been some traveling killer for long, and rumors about his reputation clearly circulated prior to his suicide attempt, for which he received medical attention.

If he's the resident child molester living in the woods in a 1950s town and children are going missing, why did no one in the town think "oh, hey, maybe we should go rustle up the child molester living in the woods and see what that's all about..."?

(I'm not saying that's an appropriate response for a town to have. I'm saying is a commonly depicted response.)

OH RIGHT! If any of those questions had been asked and answered and Twisty hadn't died at the hands of Edward Mordrake, then we probably wouldn't have his dear friend Dandy, and Dandy's the real doozy of a villain this season because he's straight crazypants insane. 

I really, really, REALLY wanted him not to be able to kill Dora the Maid because I appreciated her sassmouth, but her death was worth it for that deliriously evil grin and chuckle that slowly spread across his face and poured out of his mouth. So weird. So very weird. So good.

The good thing to come out of this episode, which I have a feeling is going to turn into a very bad thing, is that Jimmy and the freaks finally got some positive press from the town of Jupiter for saving their children and lifting the ban and alleviating their fears that there's a killer on the loose. For now, the town is pro-Jimmy Darling.

Once Dandy Mott starts killing random people for reasons that will only make sense to Dandy Mott who hates everyone and everything, guess who the town is coming after?

Yep. Jimmy Darling and the freaks.

What did you think of American Horror Story: Freak Show tonight? Do you wish Edward Mordrake had stuck around for a while? Whose story did you like better, Elsa's or Twisty's? And please, if you have any theories or want to discuss my questions at all, please let's do that. SO MUCH TO DISCUSS.

Don't forget! If you missed a single minute you can watch American Horror Story online right here at TV Fanatic!

Edward Mordrake, Pt. 2 Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
  • 4.2 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (44 Votes)

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

Show Comments
Tags: ,

American Horror Story Season 4 Episode 4 Quotes

Edward: It is not your talent that renders me speechles. It is your delusional ignorance.
Elsa: Excuse me?
Edward: You are a tattered waste of oxygen who bolsters herself with contempt for others.

[to Maggie] I'm not the one you have to worry about, Toots. It's the townies, the cops. Do you have any idea how much they hate us? At best we're tolerated because they're grateful we make them feel normal.