American Horror Story: Freak Show Season 4 Review “Test of Strength”

American Horror Story Season 4 Episode 7 Test of Strength (7)

On the latest episode of “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” yet another of Elsa’s band of freaks was destined to die prematurely- but who would it be this time? After catching Dell in a gay bar, Stanley gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse: either deliver him a freak ASAP, or he’d out him to anyone and everyone who would listen. In the wryly-titled “Test of Strength,” we saw the end result, though not without a lot of back-and-forth, decision-wise, on Dell’s part.

First up, he went up against-of all people- Amazon Eve. Now, I know Dell is the strong man and all, but why he went after arguably one of the only people in the entire carnival that could give him a run for the money is beyond me. I mean, yes, it’s possible he could have succeeded, but why go after one of the tougher members of Elsa’s coterie when there was plenty of low-hanging fruit that wouldn’t have given him half the trouble? It’s almost as if he wanted to fail.

Well, needless to say, he did, with Eve basically handing Dell’s ass to him. To make matter worse, it inspired the women of the group to rally against him and plot to kill him in his sleep or what have you. Way to alienate most of your co-workers, dude!

Next, Dell took a stab at his own son (!), who he took out drinking and almost hit with a brick before Jimmy finally confronted him about being his father, which he admitted to eventually. This led to some long-overdue father-son bonding that ended with the unlikely duo showing back up at the carnival site drunk as skunks. Stanley was not amused, which led Dell to do what Maggie couldn’t: take out the weakest link of them all, the wee Ma Petite. So adorable…yet so vulnerable. All it took was a pretty dress and a hug and Dell had his mark. So sad.

Dell certainly deserves what’s coming to him- and you just know it won’t be pretty. And why did he do what he did? Because he was ashamed of being gay? What a douche. Like anyone at the carnival would give a crap. Hell, they already want him dead! Now, they’re really going to hate him, at least if they find out. And I feel that they will somehow. Even if they don’t, I still feel like Dell is going to meet a mighty grisly end. We shall see.

Speaking of grisly ends, Penny’s father did not take the news of her literally running off to join the freak show well, opting to give the worst makeover ever as revenge. Enlisting tattoo artist Morris, he had her face tattooed in a most horrific fashion, much to her shock- and later on, to Paul’s. Well, on the plus side, she’ll certainly fit in with the freak show now. I’m guessing from the preview of the next episode that Penny is going to have her revenge on her not-so-dear-old dad soon enough, so there’s that to look forward to.

Finally, there was more drama with the twins, who Jimmy rescued from the Motts, much to Dandy’s dismay. Only when they got back to the carnival, they lied about the true nature of how they came to be there, leaving out that Elsa had basically sold them off to the Motts. In exchange, they opted to blackmail Elsa for a variety of things, which she didn’t take kindly to, to say the least. We got a nifty split-screen sequence, partially in black & white, that showed how Dot was continuing to conspire against her sister, in hopes of acquiring an operation to separate the two. Elsa agreed to look into it and did, until Stanley offered to take care of it his way- by dispatching with the both of them. Elsa essentially gave him the go-ahead, but Ethel overheard much of it, so that may well fare badly for Elsa on down the line, assuming the twins disappear again, which is a safe bet.

This was an okay episode, but a bit of a comedown compared to the last few episodes, especially the two-part Halloween special. That’s too bad, but at the same time, it could be worse. Obviously, the show still needs time to recover, but I have faith they’ll get there- sooner or later, that is.

What did you think of the latest episode of “American Horror Story: Freak Show”? Were you sad to see Ma Petite go? How do you think the women will handle the Dell situation? Will Stanley get the better of the twins- or will they figure him out and kill him first? What will Penny do for revenge against her father? Who will be the next freak to go down? Sound off down below and see you next time!