American Horror Story: Freak Show Ep 12 – Show Stoppers

Warning – contains spoilers for previous episodes!

Roll up, roll up, we’re heading towards the Big Finish… no, not the audio this time!

Lines are being drawn as untruths have been starting to unravel and there’s vengeance on the minds of several characters. As the group come together for the feast Elsa has put on to bid the carnival farewell as she prepares to leave for Hollywood, the tensions that have been growing look set to spill over – but who will be having their last supper?

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The show’s habit of not going in the expected direction remains strong and while there’s still a good supply of rugs to keep pulling it doesn’t feel like twists are happening for their own sake, often reflection is showing some inevitability of events following repercussions from previous episodes. There’s a lot of shocks in store, and they aren’t all to do with deaths – but as Elsa notes early on, I won’t spoil the ending 😉

The attention to detail is impressive – what was looking like a plot hole in last week’s episode gets attended in a neat way that also ties some story threads together, and where some of the plotlines are being brought to an end it doesn’t feel rushed. Also impressive is that although a lot is happening this week, with a fair pace being kept up throughout, it feels less like some characters are being left behind in favour of others than the last few weeks have. Even with all that, there are some lovely stylistic and directorial touches, with the musical score making itself creepily felt in addition to the visuals. That said, I am still missing the musical performances a bit as they were so good earlier in the run!

The title this week may have set a high bar, but Show Stoppers doesn’t disappoint and is an excellent setup for next week’s Curtain Call. Not long to wait and find out if the finale delivers, the seats are being sold but I for one am only going to be using the edge!

American Horror Story: Freak Show airs at 10pm Tuesday nights on FOX.

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