If, during the lead-up to Freak Show, you had asked any of the fans of American Horror Story, or any of the writers of American Horror Story, or maybe even Ryan Murphy, who the main character of the season was going to be, none of them would’ve said Finn Wittrock’s Dandy Mott. They probably wouldn’t even have said Evan Peters’ Jimmy Darling. But with “Tupperware Party Massacre,” it’s clear that the unconventional origin stories of Dandy and Jimmy are the only coherent character arcs being developed on this series. And they aren’t half bad.
The characters in Freak Show are always in conversation with their own freakishness, but this episode finds a few of them — mainly Bette and Dot, Jimmy, Dandy, and Dell — confronting it and dealing with it in their own ways.
For Jimmy’s part, he spends the episode drunk and wanting, plying the obese lady Ima Wiggle with food and then plowing her in some random tent. They’re interrupted by Maggie, who calls him out for his drunkenness, and he insists on Ima’s “softness,” a repeatedly used descriptor that is maybe one of the grossest things this show’s ever done. From here he stumbles out onto the grounds and hears the whistling of Dandy — who had been receiving a fortune from Maggie, who, you’ll remember, is a fraud. The two have a confrontation and Dandy vows to ruin Jimmy’s life because of his having taken away Bette and Dot. And that’s obviously the driving force behind the plot of this (and perhaps the next) episode.
Jimmy then heads to a suburban Tupperware party to finger-bang some housewives, only he’s too drunk and “keeps missing.” He leaves, and almost immediately, Dandy arrives. He charms his way into the party and — have you seen the title of the episode? — massacres the women, dumping their bodies in an indoor pool and filling a few Tupperware containers with their blood so that he can bathe in it later.
As he does, though, Regina interrupts him, again demanding to know where her (dead) mother is. Dandy tells her: he killed her. And he killed his mother. He tries to appeal to his and Regina’s apparent childhood bond, to no avail. She returns with a policeman, who immediately shoots her in the head when Dandy offers him a million dollars. (Society is filled with the real freaks, right!?)
Meanwhile, the Tattler twins, who had off-screen been shuttled out of camp by Ethel, were recovered by Elsa and Stanley and taken to a metal shack in the woods. Stanley’s hired a male prostitute to roleplay as a doctor who can separate the twins (and, probably mostly, to get him off). For what it’s worth, Elsa has been convinced, too, and, while she’s motivated by her own greed and insecurity, she’s oblivious to Stanley’s own motivations. Stanley’s plan is for naught, though, as — in one of the series’ best acted scenes — Bette and Dot have a heart-to-heart and decide, finally, to abandon the idea of separation surgery. They escape back to the camp, and lie in waiting in Jimmy’s trailer.
Out of nowhere, the twins take off their robe and confess their love for Jimmy. Jimmy, climbing out of his drunken stupor, tells them he loves somebody else (Maggie!). He helps them back into their robe, heads out of his trailer, and gets jumped by the police. Obviously paid off by Dandy, they take him in for the murders of the women at the Tupperware party.
As with every episode this year, there are a few other loose ends. Dell, after having sex with Stanley, and driven by visions of Ma Petite and Ethel, hangs himself. He’s saved by Desiree, though, who seems oddly distraught about it, given that she’s just reunited with Angus T. Jefferson (a weirdly cast Malcolm-Jamal Warner), an apparent flame from her past.
This wasn’t a perfect episode, but it was one of the best of the season. Elsa, who has become a complete bore of a character, was mercifully absent. Finn Wittrock as Dandy has really surprised with his uncanny ability to swing between completely charming and utterly sadistic, and he’s made the character one of the few consistently enjoyable aspects of this unwieldy season. It’s clear that he’s been established as the ultimate (exterior) villain, and his vendetta against Jimmy is going to be used as a rallying cause for the freaks. It might not be the most interesting plotline, but it is, at the very least, a plotline, and that’s more that can be said for most of the season.