Film & TV

TV Review – American Horror Story: Freak Show, Episode 5

Warning: Spoilers follow!

Again we reunite for our weekly fix of Freak Show, where we discover more about the plot for our favourite freaks’ destruction. This week’s chapter, “Pink Cupcakes”, opens with some spectacular closeups of a Gala night that marks the death and display of our freaks at the American Morbidity Museum. Fortunately, this is just a fantasy of the new crook, but how long can our thumping hearts stand the tension?

Once again we are witnesses to the meticulously crafted atmosphere we’ve come to expect from American Horror Story, with a narrative of equally nauseating terror. This week, we felt well and truly transported back to 1952 Juptier, as Elsa is faced with a decision on whether to enter the world of television. She eliminates the idea on the grounds that you cannot take the wonderful world created by film and compress it into a small box of black and white, perhaps an ironic wink at the current quality of flourishing contemporary dramas such as AHS that can possess and even exceed the production value of modern cinema.

Then, after the food throwing fiasco during the show, where the audience begins abusing her, Elsa begins considering the idea of TV positively. Her dilemma can be seen in one spectacular shot in which she is staring into several mirrors at once, as each one tries to reflect a different side of her personality and pull her in a different direction. But of course, the desire to be famous supersedes any common sense.


Later on, we see a familiar sight from previous episodes with the transitions between reality and fantasy, with a more magical pallet of lighter colours used to splendidly illustrate the fantastical, contrasting with the grim reality. This is used despite the fact that no matter the realm of consciousness, the endings are often bleak.

Blood is a critical component in this chapter, it is everywhere and always spilled in vain. Not unusually, red and pink serve as symbols of death, while the colour white takes on new meaning as Elsa’s suit is anything but holy.

Also in “Pink Cupcakes”, we get back to Dundy as a murderer. This time we see how he prepares himself; exercising in various cuts, we get a voice-over of him explaining what led him to be a killer: “I was destined to be the greatest actor of all time… But mother wouldn’t let me. But she cannot hide my greatness… when one door closes, another opens… I will be the US Steal of murder”. Eventually we see him tempting the next victim and killing him in a calculating and cold way. He has no regrets, just happiness due to his life changing friend, our dearly departed clown.

While not as fulfilling as last week’s “Edward Mordrake: Part 2”, “Pink Cupcakes” still thrilled, and sustains our intrigue of what else is going to happen.


Naama Shinman

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Watch American Horror Story on FOX, Tuesdays at 10pm in the UK.

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Film & TVTV Reviews

Writer and Editor for the Film & TV section of Impact, Bharat is a keen previewer, reviewer and sometimes just viewer, of all things cinematic and televisual, with a particular passion for biographical pictures, adaptations and sitcoms.

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