Friday, December 12, 2014

American Horror Story, Season 4, Episode 9: Tupperware Massacre Party

Dandy visits fortune teller Maggie for some advice about his messed up life especially since he’s now added a passing Avon lady to his victims so he can sew together a Dot and Bette puppet out of her corpse and his mother’s. Maggie tells him something blandy reassuring which he takes as complete vindication and leaves relieved – after creeping Maggie out.

Jimmy has taken to getting very drunk, flirting with Barbara – now under the stage name Ima – and feeding her. Until he sees Dandy and drunkenly runs after him, accuses him of being behind the twins’ absence and being the other clown murderer (50% right) before falling down drunk. Dandy swears to destroy Jimmy

While looking for the twins at the camp, Desiree is met by a man called Angus – who she tells Maggie is her “beau” but to keep it quiet. In a tent they find Jimmy having sex with Barbara. Desiree calls them “pigs rutting” and Maggie adds “he’ll put it in anyone, he’s drunk.” Maggie tries to storm off and Jimmy stops her yelling that Barbara both begged her as crude descriptions of her, Maggie gives him a well deserved smack. Barbara runs to Jimmy’s defence (threatening to “flatten” Maggie) while Maggie points out Barbara could be anything for Jimmy (“a pillow, a doughnut, a sock”). Jimmy is sick.

And he’s still drunk at one of the “Tupperware parties” he does for the housewives of the town – and it does not improve his performance. He hallucinates his mother who is definitely not impressed with Jimmy’s decline. Eerily, the other Tupperware attendees also have small talk with Ethel. When the hallucination ends, Jimmy is kicked out.

When he leaves, Dandy arrives, asking to borrow a phone. And later, when the hostess’s husband returns home he finds all the women murdered in the swimming pool, blood everywhere.

Dandy took some of their blood for his bath and Regina visits to tell him she’s gone to the cops. Dandy calmly tells her he killed her mother. Regina is shocked and horrified – and then takes in her blood stained surroundings. Dandy happily expositions about killing his own mother and how he’s discovered bathing in blood. Regina tries to leave and Dandy locks the door. Dandy tells her how happy he is, Regina replies that his victims aren’t. He wants her to join him in his blood stained bath with a tantrum over her being so scared. He gets disappointed and angry because Regina isn’t joining him on his murder train – and he kicks her out. He goes off on one of his classic rants

Regina comes back with the police and it looks like Dandy may finally get his; but Dandy relies on his vast wealth and happily admits to murder and that he’ll get away with it because he’s just that wealthy. To prove it, he offers the detective $1,000,000 to kill Regina – and he does it without thinking for a second.

Over to the twins who have been absent for a while (hidden by Ethel) – who have been tracked down by Elsa and Stanley. They tell the twins that the towns people have risen up to form a mob to hunt freaks – blaming them for the death of Ethel. (Elsa found the Twins by finding Ethel’s suicide note – since Ethel planned to murder Elsa and then kill herself). They tell the twins they have a safe place for them and dot is naturally cynical – but Elsa convinces her by saying the surgeon to separate them is on the way.

The “safe place” is Stanley’s murder shed in the middle of nowhere and we get a flashback revealing that Elsa isn’t that heartless, she doesn’t want to murder the twins and Stanley has actually convinced her he has a doctor coming to separate them (separated, they’re not longer oddities and therefore no competition to Elsa). Stanley also assures Bette and Dot that both of them should survive the surgery. Bette still doesn’t want to be separated but Dot draws a line – she wants a life as a “normal” woman.

When they’re alone they talk – Dot about how very sick she is of living like this, while Bette is very clear that she knows only one can survive the surgery; Bette also points out what they’ve achieved, what they’ve learned together. She considers them being joined as a benefit since it gives them the chance to truly love and sacrifice for another person. But, in the end, Bette doesn’t want to live alone – and would be happy to die so her sister can live and have a normal life.

At the camp, Dell struggles to write a note, alternating between addressing it to Desiree and Jimmy, before drinking a lot and walking from the camp – only to be intercepted by Stanley. Who mocks him, insults him then reveals he has a massive penis because, of course he does; Dell gasps that Stanley is a freak. Stanley decides to wave his penis around in a ridiculous attempt to seduce Dell.

Back to Dell continuing his note – a suicide note. He also hallucinates Ma Petite and Ethel because everyone on this show hallucinates. He rigs up a noose, gasping that he can’t take the “shame of it” any more, being “a freak”.

Dell hangs himself – but before he dies Desiree cuts him down.

Foiled in his attempt to seduce Dell, Stanley goes to a motel for an elaborate sex scenario with another hook up. Who he’s also training to act as a doctor to reassure Dot and Bette

Jimmy continues to drink and lose his shit when he returns to his trailer to find Dot and Better waiting – they’ve changed their minds, Dot’s realised how wrong she was to consider killing her sister and she now knows they belong together. Of course this sweet message of love and light is kind of lost on Jimmy. Dot tells Jimmy how sweet and lovely he is and how he’s the only man for her – and drops her dress. Jimmy checks what Bette thinks – and she says she supports Dot. They kiss Jimmy and he pushes away – he says he cares about them but he can’t because he loves someone else. Ouch. Dot and Bette make their tearful, awkward exit and Jimmy throws about his booze, as you do

And the cops arrive. It seems the police have decide Jimmy is a perfect scapegoat for Dandy’s murders.

Regina arrives and… she dies. She was even more underused than her mother! The POC on this show have been horrendously underused – Desiree has hardly any screen time, Ma Patite, Regina and Nora have all been killed, again, after virtually no time! How do you even get actors of this profile and use them so poorly?

Yes, it’s trying to make a point of Finn’s immense privilege compared to everyone else on the cast and that’s an important point to make – but that’s all Regina is reduced to, a throwaway point to make, a rough insert with which to pass on an Aesop, not an actual character in her own right.

So Stanley decides to get his cock out for Dell because… I have no idea any more. It’s like this season is trying to dredge up every offensive portrayal of gay men possible. And we add to the bingo with suicidal Dell: have we missed any yet? Serial killer? Conscious-less monster? Abuser, predator, sex worker, multiple murder victim (all linked to sexuality), suicidal closet case? We must have a full set by now! Throw in some really insulting references to the closet (the freaks have to manage because they “wear their shame on the outside” because the closet is such an asset in a world of torturous ex-gay therapy and criminal prosecution, persecution and genocide because being gay is seen as a “behaviour”) and this has just been repellent.

I said last episode I wasn’t hopeful for the treatment of Barbara – and this is becoming clear. Again we see her eating, Maggie clearly thinks there’s no way that Jimmy could possibly be attracted to her, reducing Barbara to an object and, the way Jimmy is acting, it looks like the show is backing that up. Even Barbara’s threat to Maggie referenced her weight

The one point in this episode that wasn’t awful was Bette and Dot together.