31 Days of Reviews: Edward Mordrake Pts. 1 & 2

This review will center around the Halloween episodes of American Horror Story: Freakshow– Edward Mordrake pt. 1 and Edward Mordrake pt. 2.

American Horror Story always has Halloween themed episodes. Why wouldn’t it really? I personally felt that this was a very intriguing story, much more so than the Halloween episodes featured in American Horror Story: Coven.

This set of Halloween themed episodes centered around the urban legend among the carnival circuit of Edward Mordrake, a high-born, attractive man from long ago who was born with two faces. According to the lore, Mordrake’s second face, his demon face, would whisper hellish words to him that only he could hear. He left his high born status and began performing as a “circus freak,” but one night he snapped, killing every other “circus freak” in his troop before hanging himself. Because of this, no freak performs on Halloween night or else the spirit of Edward Mordrake and his demon face will arrive to claim one of their souls for his otherworldly show.

Bringing us back to our recurring characters for the season, no one intends to perform on Halloween night. That is, except Elsa, who was told by a (fake) fortune teller that a man would soon arrive to revitalize her career as a performer. Elsa performs a rendition of a Lana del Ray tune on Halloween night which calls Edward Mordrake to the tents of her circus troop.

The episodes then begin on a long line of character backstory for characters that may have otherwise never been explored. The most interesting of which is when Mordrake comes to the tent of Elsa herself, giving the audience answers as to why she’s so narcissistic and (as Mordrake bluntly asks) what happened to her legs.

On the other hand, we return to the story of Twisty the Clown and his new sadistic friend, the spoiled rich boy from episode 1. This relationship continues to get more and more twisted, until it reaches its peak at the end of the Halloween episodes. With the end of one era comes the birth of a new..

This however, is where I have to express slight disappointment. If you have yet to see the Halloween episodes of AHS: Freakshow, then do not read between the asterisks.

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Just as Mordrake is prepared to take Elsa with him to the afterlife, he hears incessant clanging music in the distance which causes him to leave Elsa in her state of grief. He stumbles upon the source of the music in Twisty the Clown. At this point, we hear Twisty’s backstory, which is great. Mordrake decides to take Twisty to the afterlife with him, so he murders him and leaves his body in the woods, where they then disappear as spirits into the night.

I don’t know if I’m really disappointed as much as I am confused. I don’t think I ever fully understood Mordrake’s motives in who he decided to take with him. He asks the performers about their low points in life, their tragic backstory. He wants to weep for them. When he listens to Twisty’s backstory, he remarks that he’s never seen an evil so evil that it can’t admit its own evil. Yet, he takes Twisty with him anyway. Was this an act of kindness toward Twisty’s future victims? An act of mercy for Twisty?

I guess I just didn’t understand his motives. At the same time, maybe he doesn’t have any. Maybe I’m just trying to find logic in the illogical.

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After seeing the Edward Mordrake episodes, I’m looking forward to where the show will be heading. It seems like a lot of things that have been brewing are now starting to really begin.

If you haven’t started this season of American Horror Story, you’re not too late. There have only been 4 episodes so far, and the season is a separate entity from all of the other seasons.

American Horror Story airs Wednesday nights at 9 PM CST on FX.

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