The Horror Honeys: American Horror Story: Season 4, Episode 7 ~ Test of Strength

American Horror Story: Season 4, Episode 7 ~ Test of Strength

A Horror TV Honey Episode Recap by Lisa

The title of this episode seems especially apropos for multiple reasons, the most obvious being that watching this show every week truly is becoming a test of strength. After all of the wonderful setups that were created last week, I had expected an episode with a bit more action and follow through. Instead, we were subjected to another unnecessary musical number and a pitiful attempt at humanizing Dell.


Evan Peters is a delight and he certainly isn't hard to look at. Nirvana is a band held in high esteem for many well deserved reasons. So, why did Jimmy Darling's rendition of 'Come As You Are' not work? Because it felt tacked on for no real reason, it was simply how the show returned from a commercial break. Jimmy is so full of rage, yet his performance really didn't let that shine through and of all of the performances that required a slow motion mosh pit, it was this one, not the twins doing Fiona Apple. Jimmy is usually in jeans, a white tee and a leather jacket. Why on earth was he wearing khakis and a button down shirt while half heartedly performing what should have been an angst filled performance? At the end of the song he didn't even have enough energy to throw the microphone to the ground. He just kind of knocked it over. And auto tune? On a Nirvana song? Mr. Cobain must be turning in his grave. Rumor has it, in a future episode, Ethel will be treating us to 'Doll Parts' from Hole. I guess Courtney Love has some bills that need to be paid. 

I know that some people are already tiring of the musical numbers and I can understand that. Jimmy Darling performing 'Come As You Are' should have looked and felt more like 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' with moshing, rage and tons of energy.  Instead, the overall tone and visuals suggested he was singing an 80s love song. One of the really crappy ones that you never want to remember.

Thank goodness for Denis O'Hare strolling through and keeping things interesting with all of his homosexual double entendres. After telling Dell that he feels like a "damn fairy" and then accuses him of not being able to "get it up," he goes on to taunt him with knowledge that he's seen Dell at High Noon. As a poof who is not ashamed of himself, Stanley preys on Dell's shame and blackmails him into providing him with a specimen. A freak. The fact that Dell goes after Amazon Eve is full of so much egregious subtext that I cannot bear to deal with it. 

"Queer, isn't it?" Stanley asks Dell and then tells him that he is trying his patience. That makes two of us, Stanley. That makes two of us. 


It would be a shame to stop with the uber-obvious undertones when it comes to Dell, so, of course he went after the smallest and weakest member of the group to provide as a specimen to Stanley. Ma Petit has been on the butcher block for a while now, but this was just a decidedly awful way for her to go out. Many viewers declared that they were finished with this season after her death and I can't say that I blame them. 

RIP Little one...
As Ethel Darling gives a tearful speech that brings all of the freaks together in an effort to get rid of Dell, Jimmy promises that he will take care of Dell. Well, this leads to a father/son bonding moment that is too little and too late. Does anyone actually care about Dell or his potential deeply buried feelings towards his son? Here's to hoping that all of the ladies mob Dell in the next episode so we no longer have to deal with his repressed homosexuality because it is beyond boring. 

Actually, now that Ethel knows what Stanley is up to after overhearing him and Elsa speaking about the twins, I cannot wait to see what she is going to do about this. I absolutely cannot wait to see Ethel Darling rally all of the freaks and take the trash out. 

What can I say about Bette, Dot and Elsa? How long are these three ladies going to dance around one another trying to decide who the ultimate queen bee is? Just like Dell, this storyline needs to come to some sort of resolution and, please, not with all of these split screen conversations. Every time another split screen is used, I am reminded of Kill Bill and then I think about how AHS is no Kill Bill

Let's talk about Penny and her punishment. She is in love with Paul The Illustrated Seal Boy and her father finds this to be shameful. As an electrician, he is allowed into people's homes and he does not want the shame of his freak loving daughter to tarnish his professional reputation. So, what does he do? He turns her into a freak by forking her tongue and tattooing her entire face. This is such an ugly act for so many reasons, but I just wasn't as appalled by the outcome as everyone else seemed to be. Paul is the very last person who is going to reject Penny for looking different. Yes, her father did something beyond reprehensible to her and it broke a piece of her, but now she gets to be with the love of her life and live with a family of people that will always accept her; faults and all. 


This freak is a bit relieved to get a break from AHS for two weeks and in this time I will ponder the things that I found really perplexing.

1. How is it that someone who hates freaks so much knows a tattoo artist?
2. How did the doctor shoot himself with two broken hands?
3. How is it possible that Paul is still alive despite being stabbed in the gut and not receiving any medical attention?
4. Why does Mr. Murphy always insist on throwing women into what, ultimately, boils down to a cat fight? 
5. How did the twins dine on caviar and liver pate without gaining any weight and why do rich people enjoy "delicacies" that involve cruel forms of animal torture?
6. Why is Emma Roberts on this show? 

TV Babies, please tell  me all of your thoughts and feels about Freakshow. Where do you think all of this is heading and are you mostly pleased with this season so far?