It's like everyone in the writers room went "Oh, right! The season only has 13 episodes. Better throw something on the page and hope it sticks." Whatever they threw stuck alright, but it's all sliding down the page like mud down a wall.
Maybe it's my fault for watching all three previous seasons of AHS after beginning this one, but this season has been my least favorite by far, despite its incredibly strong beginnings with Twisty the Clown, Dandy Mott and his mother, and the life of the freaks in general.
There are so many abandoned stories happening the season is feeling as run down as tents at Elsa's Cabinet of Curiosities.
For starters, Evan Peters was sorely underused as Jimmy Darling. He was charismatic and charming. He killed a man. He didn't care. He maintained youthful optimism and hope. Then suddenly he was just wandering around having nothing to do except whine, get drunk, whine, cry about how he wasn't normal, cut off his own hands, and then finally, tonight, he asked the doctor to carve lobster claws instead of hands.
On a metaphorical level, I get it. He had finally come to accept that he's different and that his claws make him special instead of damaged somehow and blah blah blah. But on a storytelling level? How the hell did we get there?
It certainly wasn't because of Maggie and their great love, which could have been a vehicle of acceptance for Jimmy.
Maggie, the beautiful, normal girl, falls in love with him despite his hands. She sees the person inside him. He helps her realize that street life as a hustler isn't what she wants for her future. He accepts his hands. She gives up the hustle and turns over Spencer. They live happily ever after-ish until one day they're the grandparents of one of the witches who ended up in the coven. Or something.
As it was, Maggie's death was meaningless. There was nothing about her death that redeemed her to Jimmy or to the freaks, if such a thing was even possible. I get the idea we're supposed to arrive at the conclusion that no, redemption wasn't possible for her. The freaks aren't a forgiving bunch. But, given all the loose ends this season has been trying to tie up recently, it's not like we've actually been able to get a clear read on that.
So, Maggie's dead. No one cares. She only died so that the event could serve as a catalyst for Chester Creb to go full-on crazy and kill Marjorie, an apparent figment of his imagination I still can't figure out. Is she the manifestation of a voice that has been in his head since the metal plate was put in? Did he start imagining Marjorie as flesh and blood after getting the puppet?
Why do I have so many questions about a character we met last week? I shouldn't care! But I do. I care about what's going on with Chester and that puppet a lot more than I care about Elsa Mars.
She is, to use the common vernacular, the worst.
Nothing about her is good or unselfish or concerned with the well-being of anyone but herself, which is clear given the fact that she sold the show to Dandy Mott, whether or not she knows about his bloody proclivities.
Why isn't Dandy Mott still killing people? Is he and we just don't see it because he isn't killing freaks? Is he laying low on account of framing Jimmy?
And speaking of that, the police do ONE SWEEP of the freak show and don't come back because they didn't find a man with no hands who escaped from police custody? "With no hands" is pretty pertinent information on a BOL so, if they haven't found him yet, they're not going to sniff around the tents some more? Really? No. That isn't how cop stuff works.
But, back to Dandy Mott and where he's been for a few weeks now. Did he decide that if he wanted to keep his operation running he might actually need to do some work so he was off being a business man in his elaborate suits and playing with toys in his spare time?
Why don't we know these things? This late in the game, do we even care?
What did you think of "Show Stoppers"? What will happen to the freaks next week? Is Elsa THE WORST?
Be sure you're all caught up between now and next week's finale! Remember you can watch American Horror Story online right here!
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.