There is possibly one person in American Horror Story, through all of their anthropologies that everyone expects excellence out of. In fact, she has even won an Emmy for it. Of course, I’m talking about Jessica Lange. Whether she is the matriarch of a ghost family, the stripper turned nun for an asylum or the motherfucking supreme, she has always excelled in her roles. So when she bounded to the next AHS project, Freak Show, it’s only natural that the woman should take up a character who embodies traits from all three previous outings:- a mother, a saint and a sinner.
Of course, as always, Lange delights us in Elsa’s role. She has the ability to convey bursts of different emotions that her character is embroiled with. First she is a sweetheart, then she is a lover. Then she loses it all to become angry or upset – tangled in her own web of jealousy because she believes she has earned the right to be a star. She is ruthless in her ambition and that’s where her seeds of evil lay, with the reckless abandonment of anyone who upsets her or drags her to the level that she is actually on. Lange is a wonderful character actress so much so that she may encompass all she has played before but it still feels fresh and undated.
Which is good because it seems to have stalled a little bit. Though the main villains have been placed on the con artists and their intent to ensnare a freak into big jars (Ma Petite almost getting pickled made us nearly cry), there is a bit of a plateau here as some of the storylines collide with one another. Still enjoyable and still showcasing much more of the depravity “normal” humanity has rather than the freaks, it just needs to move a little more punchier next time.