The freaks said goodbye to one of their own on American Horror Story Season 4 Episode 8, and not just Ma Petite. Actually, the death count was in the neighborhood of 4.5 tonight, definitely helping the episode earn the title "Blood Bath."
Spoiler Alert since people get crazy about these things (understandably so) characters died tonight and we're going to discuss them by name. So avert your eyes and all...or watch American Horror Story online and then keep reading.
For Elsa Mars, it was kill or be killed tonight. It's not like any of us didn't think she had it in her. After Ma Petite's disappearance, and after hearing Elsa and Stanley's conversation about the Tattler twins, Ethel suspected Elsa for the tiniest woman in the world's demise. Elsa, obviously, did not take kindly to the suggestion that she would bring physical harm to one of her own.
While Ma Petite is probably the ONE freak she wouldn't hurt in any way, that she was able to so easily blur the line of where her responsibilities to them begin and end definitely didn't help her cause. Elsa Mars is in this thing for herself. Ethel knew it. We know it. Elsa knows it, too.
But still, there was something shocking about the quickness with which Ethel was dispatched. It was clear that something was coming, and that the something wouldn't be good, but because it's been several weeks since we last saw Elsa throw her knives, THAT method of dying wasn't one I was expecting.
To clean up her mess, Elsa employed Stanley, whom she believes to be her agent, to stage Ethel's death to look like an accident. He decides to make it a suicide and decapitates the woman so that 1) the freaks will be unable to tell that she died from a knife wound and 2) he can sell the head of the Bearded Woman to the museum.
When Desiree finds out what Stanley has done, there will be no heartfelt pleas from Maggie strong enough to stop her from dismembering him on the spot.
Ethel's death sparked a wave of unity and a quest for retribution among the women of the camp. Desiree, Amazon Eve, and Legless Suzi set out to avenge Penny's mutilation at the hands of her father. Penny's story is somewhat boring to me, so I wouldn't have cared if they'd killed him. Not to be heartless, but he was pretty scummy.
And yet I can see why Maggie's missive worked on Penny.
She's not like the others. She wasn't born into a life of hardness and cruelty. She knows what it's like to be normal and her system of justice is different from theirs. She may identify as one of them now, but on the inside, she'll never know what life is like as a freak. In many ways, her fate is worse because she has both experiences.
While Jimmy eulogized and buried his mother, Elsa traveled to Miami to bring another freak to camp. Barbara, aka Ima Wiggles, is a Fat Lady. (Please tell me she will sing to close the show...)
Elsa tells Jimmy that Ima's "ample bosom" might be a source of comfort for him and sure enough, after drinking himself silly and pushing Maggie away, he reached out to Ima for nothing more than a hug and a soft place to lay his head. That was also sort of bizarre, but not out of the realm of something Jimmy might do. Barbara seemed...shocked and delighted...to have his attention.
And speaking of attention, tonight Regina (Gabourey Sidibe) demanded an audience with Gloria and Dandy Mott over her missing mother. She didn't get her answers, but she also didn't die, so that's a plus.
(Prediction: She will be the one to kill Dandy Mott as the season ends!)
Gloria Mott, on the other hand, did die, and at the hands of her son, no less. Like we didn't see him eventually killing his mother coming! I can't decide if Dandy was playing his mother or if he really did intend to kill himself there for a moment. Sometimes he seems utterly distraught at being the way he is.
And then he soaks in THE bath tub full of his mother's blood and you realize he really relishes being a sociopath.
What did you think of "Blood Bath?" Are you shocked that Ethel is gone? What about Gloria? Sound off in the comments below!
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.