'American Horror Story' recap, 'Tupperware Party Massacre'
By Lacy Baugher
For The Baltimore Sun|
Dec 11, 2014 | 10:16 AM
With a title like "Tupperware Party Massacre" — and after the on-the-nose events of last week's "Blood Bath" — you get one guess at what happens this episode.
Just when you thought we'd hit peak disgustingness. Dandy stops by the freak show to get his future told by Maggie. Perhaps he's having issues seeing his true path in life, having just bludgeoned a passing Avon lady to death and sewn her head onto his mother's body, creating his own gruesome makeshift version of Bette and Dot. RIP, "Avon Lady Whose Name I Don't Know." Seriously, every time I think we've reached the utmost gross thing "AHS" can possibly pull off, it turns out that I'm way, way wrong.
Anyway, Maggie tells Dandy that the crystal ball assures her that his indiscretions will be soon forgotten and life will get back to normal. She is an absolutely terrible fortune teller, but since she's telling Dandy what he wants to hear, he's all sunshine. He leaves a big tip and gets weirdly grabby with her, so it's not clear if Maggie's about to become Dandy's next victim or crush.
Meanwhile, Jimmy – who is drunkenly sharing pudding and sexual innuendo with Ima, the new fat lady – catches sight of Dandy's exit and runs him down, belligerently accusing him of being Twisty's accomplice. Dandy sneers at him – Finn Wittrock deserves so much praise for his performance in this part – before promising to destroy all Jimmy holds dear as payback for taking Bette and Dot away from him. Considering that Jimmy is currently too drunk to stand, this doesn't seem like it's going to be the most challenging project in the world, but even psychos need hobbies.
It's all downhill from here. Jimmy's day continues its downward spiral when Desiree and Maggie catch him having sex with Ima in a random tent. Maggie gets upset, and tells Ima that she doesn't matter at all ("You could be a pillow … a sock!") because Jimmy would be with anyone when he's this drunk. Ima hilariously threatens to jump on Maggie and flatten her, while Jimmy helpfully pukes in the corner.
The next stop on Jimmy's shame tour is the regular neighborhood Tupperware gathering, where he's meant to sexually service the ladies for a small fee. Unfortunately, he's still drunk – how Jimmy's finding time to knock back enough booze to maintain this buzz is unclear – and is not exactly super successful at his task. He also hallucinates a vision of his dead mother, who calls him disgusting and says that he's wasting all her hopes and dreams with his trashy life. The Tupperware party kicks him out.
Elsa and Stanley to the rescue. Elsa and Stanley locate Bette and Dot, hidden away in a crappy hotel. Stanley's convinces the girls – and Elsa, for that matter – that he's been able to get in touch with Dr. Sugar, the miraculous conjoined-twin-separating specialist of legend. That everyone believes this tale so easily – even Elsa, who should know better – is just one of many examples in this episode that people tend to see what they want to see, even in the face of clear evidence to the contrary. That Stanley has brought them all to a literal tin shack in the middle of nowhere probably ought to be setting off some internal alarms for someone, and yet.
He explains to the girls that Dr. Sugar's technique has improved so much there's every chance they both could survive a separation, should they choose to go ahead with the surgery. Dot's adamant that she wants her freedom after years of being chained to her sister, but Bette declares that the whole thing is barbaric.
The twins later debate this topic at greater length and during their heart-to-heart we learn neither of them really thinks that they'll both survive. Dot monologues about how much she hates their "arranged marriage," but Bette tells a heartfelt story about they learned to tie their shoes because they were determined to work together. She tearfully declares that being connected has taught her how to truly love another person more than herself and volunteers to sacrifice herself for Dot's happiness if her death means that her sister might have a normal life. They cry together and hold hands, and it's a lovely bit of acting by Sarah Paulson (twice over), but it certainly doesn't do anything to dissuade me from my initial reading that Dot is the most selfish person on earth.
Party crasher. Err … slasher. Immediately after Jimmy gets kicked out of the neighborhood Tupperware sex party, Dandy shows up to knock on their door, claiming his car's broken down. So of course it should surprise no one that when the Tupperware Lady's husband comes home to find his wife and all her friends dead in the pool in the backyard in a giant version of Dandy's blood-filled bathtub from last week. It's really gross. I guess we should be grateful that everyone still has their own heads.
Back at the Mott house, Dandy is confronted by Dora's daughter Regina, who has gone to the police about her mother's disappearance. He is unfazed by this declaration, and nonchalantly cops to Dora's murder. Oh, and he killed his mother and a bunch of random neighborhood women, too. Dandy just loves murdering. Regina is horrified – though it's unclear whether her shock is from the nonchalant murder confession, Dandy's sudden nakedness or his suggestion that they share a bath "like when they were little" (!?!). Dandy declares himself a god and above the law now before he kicks Regina out for being boring and refusing his blood sex magic bathtub fun times.
Surprise! Dell is still on the show. Dell is busy getting drunk in his trailer, contemplating suicide and trying to write sad letters to Desiree and Jimmy. It's unlikely anyone cares about this development because it's unlikely that anyone cares about Dell. Anyway, we learn via flashback that Dell had some kind of sexual encounter with Stanley and is feeling just overwhelmed with guilt and shame about being a freak — though it seems the fact that he's gay is upsetting him far more than life as a strongman.
He starts hallucinating dead people – Ma Petite, whom he murdered, and Ethel, who I guess is going to just become the confessional for everyone now? — and ends up hanging himself. His suicide attempt is unsuccessful because Desiree arrives in time to cut him down at the last second. Darn.
Shocking decisions everywhere. Regina returns to the Motts' house with a Jupiter police officer in tow and tries to get Dandy arrested for murder. Dandy remains unimpressed and tells the cop that not only did he do it, but he's going to get away with it because he's super rich. He offers the officer a million bucks to kill and bury Regina for him. The cop immediately turns and shoots Regina in the head. ("You got a shovel?")
Meanwhile, Dot and Bette have returned to the freak show – and Jimmy's trailer. Dot has decided that she can't go through with the separation surgery, because she loves Bette and they belong together. (How they walked back from the nowhere woods to the freak show site is a mystery, though.)
Dot confesses to Jimmy that she's in love with him and wants to take their relationship to the next level, as it were. Bette promises she can give the two of them some privacy, somehow – and I guess if you're willing to sacrifice your life for your sibling, sacrificing your bodily autonomy so they can get naked with a boy isn't that big of a deal. Dot and Jimmy kiss, but he claims to be in love with someone else. Dot cries and the girls leave, just as the cops show up to arrest Jimmy. He's being charged with the murder of all those Tupperware ladies.
Odds and Ends
• The fantasy sequences have got to stop; they're like the "Freak Show" version of "Coven's" resurgence spell.
• Ethel the Ghost's reaction to Tupperware, however, was a highlight of the episode.
• Jimmy getting framed for murder seems to offer another clear parallel to "Asylum" as Kit Walker – also played by Evan Peters – was also set up.
• Has anyone addressed the physics of Dandy constantly taking baths in his giant playroom that has no visible pipes or water system? How does this work?
• What a waste of Gabourey Sidibe! Regina had no real point beyond providing a vague tension that Dandy might be caught. Honestly what was she doing when she wasn't at the Motts' house? Her end was certainly an unremarkable one.