American Horror Story: Freak Show: “Monsters Among Us” Review

American Horror Story Season 4 Episode 01

This freak show gets freaky.

FX / Via: Collider


Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!

Season 4 of FX’s beloved series American Horror Story opens up with a revelation of what’s to come. Beginning in Jupiter, Florida (1952), a way too nosy Milk Man stumbles across a dead body and a monstrously deformed creature who shares one reproductive system, two hearts, and two heads. The double-headed women are Bette and Dot Tattler. Bette, the more aware, and Dot, the more impulsive and slightly stiff necked, are conjoined twins (Sarah Paulson), whom both fall victim to the ever impressive manipulation of Elsa Mars.

Jessica Lange plays the role of the badass Elsa Mars (shocker). She makes a way out of no way in order to reach extraordinary success of her faltering freak show she so desperately hopes to revive with the Tattlers. She’s still the love or hate character as a recruiter of human souls. She sets out to “rescue the wretched” with her superior, vicious threats and ultimatums, all while carrying the world’s smallest woman at her waist.

Evan Peters is Jimmy Darling, a regular man with humongous claw hands who uses them for… “satisfying purposes.” He’s introduced after a monotonous 22 minutes.


FX / Via: Collider

There’s a clown, a terrifying, wide-mouthed killer clown, who stalks his prey during daylight and nightfall, who’s undebatably the most eventual character of the night. He has an unknown agenda, murdering the family of a young boy and the lover of a young girl, both of whom are held hostage in the back of a barbaric trailer. This is an entirely separate story that desperately needs to be told.

By the time we’re introduced to the rest of the freak show, every expectation you’ve had for the show is probably already dismantled. We’re finally introduced to the bearded woman, Ethel Darling (Kathy Bates), at Elsa’s. We find out that Elsa has two wooden legs and has the bearded lady at her every beckon call. We’re shown a glimpse of the sick antics that take place behind the scenes as well. Elsa gives a more than unnecessary solo. Jimmy, tired of being called a freak, commits a murder. He then joins forces with his fellow co-stars to slaughter the victim to a pulp where they unbeknownst are under the watchful eye of the demonic clown.

Whatever you do, don’t call them freaks…


After all the the hype and anticipation, the clown delivers, but the rest just seems like a big let down. “Monsters Among Us” is basically the Tattler show that provides mediocre background history that has become uninteresting already. Elsa Mars is a lunatic. Jimmy Darling is making out to become this season’s sought after hero, and Ethel Darling is bizarrely interesting. But where the hell are Emma Roberts and Angela Bassett?

On a scale of 0-10, how disappointed were you in this premiere? Freak out in the comments below.


*We do not comment on anything relating to previews for the next episode and beyond.
About Kendra Allen (49 Articles)
Kendra Allen is a music writer at So of course I like books and music and thangs. I also like cereal. You can find me @happyisfeet on Twitter and Tumblr.

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