Warning – contains spoilers for previous episodes!
And now, the end is near, the Freak Show calls its final curtain…
It seems like the worst of all possible worlds for the troupe, with Dandy having taken control of of the Cabinet of Curiosities, and he wastes no time making his present felt. With Elsa on her way to Hollywood, it seems like both their dreams are set to come true, but what will that mean for everyone else? With Dandy involved, will anyone even survive?
As with Last Christmas, a concept of dreams is woven through the episode; here it’s more the metaphorical type than the literal and how they can measure in reality to how they were anticipated. There are a couple of times though when you do have to wonder if a character is actually asleep or fantasising a sequence – the repercussions of those Pink Cupcakes still making themselves felt!
With last week’s Show Stoppers living up to the title and being so strong, there’s some trepidation that the Curtain Call may find it hard to live up to the previous episode or feel like a repeat. But the show has the confidence to take a different approach and continues the neat subversion of expectations that has been a pattern through the run. It’s not a surprise that not everyone is going to live to the end, but the way that some characters’ stories are tied up don’t go the way that may be expected.
One thing in common with the previous episode is that characters don’t feel left out, by the same token they don’t feel squeezed in either – no small feat considering the size of the cast! There’s also some striking visuals, with lovely use of colour, and the score ties in nicely.
A tiny niggle is that not quite in line with a few comments in the episode, the real biggest freak of all could be a revolver that appears to be able to fire dozens of bullets without reloading 😉 And the cutting of the final shot itself, while perfect in many ways can be a touch annoying in others – I wanted it to continue even though that would have made the ending worse!
That’s a fair comment for the series as a whole – while a 22-episode run would have been great to see more of the differing characters, it would have extended its welcome and been prone to repetition. And the great thing about American Horror Story is, even if you didn’t like it then there’ll be something very different coming next time… for me, I’ve still got the last three series to find for that too!