In 1952 Florida a freak show carnival moves into sleepy town of Jupitor. The owner of the freak show is Elza Mars (Jessica Lange), a strong willed and glamorous figure who dreams of a serious success as a singer. The supporting cast consists of her army of freaks, most of them not just carrying a burden of a tragic past, but also harbouring dangerous secrets.
It's no long before the show attracts the unwanted attention of the police - a killer clown is lurking near by, and freaks are under suspicion. The danger is also coming from psychotic Stanley (Dennnis O'Hara), a con artists who wants the freaks dead and in a different kind of show - in a museum, displayed in glass jars; and from an evil young man Dandy, whose only desire is to be a movie star takes a very dark turn. The show also gets a slightly supernatural angle with Edward Mordrake - a ghost of a freak with a second face on the back of his head, who will drag to hell any freak who performs on Halloween.
Unlike previous seasons FREAK SHOW follows the same timeline, there are barely any flashbacks, and much more music and singing than before (this tradition started in the COVEN and it seems had become part of the franchise).
FREAK SHOW is a slow burning thriller. The story of a killer clown gets wrapped up too quickly and after that series seem to focus on dispatching to the next life every character, but their deaths are a little inconsistent, and yes, there's a feel that episodes are being filled in, until the grand (and gory) finale.
It is sad to admit that with the pacing, FREAK SHOW also looses its thrills. It is definitely NOT a scary movie, if anything it's a satire and a parody on the early horror films. It seems that this season is just trying too hard to be original, with some grotesque imaginary and twists that would be unheard of in a TV's history, that said, the choice of these twists is not always to the series advantage.
What series delivers well is drama and character development. We do get deep under the skin of these poor fellas, and when they die it hurts. Particularly tragic is the story of Pepper - reprising her role from ASYLUM. It maybe the slowest episode in the season, but it will bring tears to your eyes.
FREAK SHOW is a thirteen hour affair, and the question arises if it all worth it? The simple answer is - it does. The final episode is just brilliant. It is violent, sad and satisfying. The final scene is so strong and heartbreaking that it will make you want to applaud. FREAK SHOW lacks tension of the first season, story complexity of ASYLUM and fast pacing of the COVEN, but it has the best ending.