American Horror Story: Freak Show – Season 4, Episode 7: “Test of Strength”

“Test of Strength” is mainly set-up for the next episode, along with some bad karaoke for good measure. I love Evan Peters as much as the next girl, but I did not need to witness his dismal Kurt Cobain impersonation. As much as I like this season, I could really do without the musical interludes.

Now that Ma Petite is gone for good, I wonder if any other fantasy exhibits will come to fruition. In past episodes, we have seen Stanley’s daydreams about Paul the Illustrated Seal behind glass, in addition to both Dot and Bette. It looks like Stanley has already secured the twins with Elsa, so Paul better watch his back. If Paul dies, we riot. Hashtag that, dear readers – make it trend.

Paul, after all, has so much to live for. He is persevering in spite of Elsa’s murder attempt. Speaking of that, why has no one called a doctor for this poor man? By now someone must have figured out that Elsa never actually contacted a physician, and yet everyone is still just waiting around? Anyways, Paul’s bratty little girlfriend is a freshly anointed freak! After repeatedly conveying to her father that all she wanted was to live amongst the freaks, dear old dad made her dreams come true – not only will she live with them, but now she is one herself! I do not like Penny; she gets herself into some pretty dire situations, but is incapable of eliciting sympathy or compassion. I actually found her father’s response to be highly entertaining – he gave her exactly what she wanted! And really – there’s no way Paul will be anything but turned on by her stunning transformation.

The highlight of “Test of Strength” was definitely Evan Peters’ performance. Not his singing performance – his acting. Jimmy’s drunken meltdown demanding acceptance from Del was poignant and raw. Peters has played some memorable characters in past seasons, but Jimmy might be the most multifaceted. He displays attributes from each of his parents, as well as relating the struggles of a man straddling the realms of freakdom and normalcy.

And now, we have the dreaded two week hiatus. Last season, the break was a welcome relief. This season, it makes me sad. Come back soon, AHS! I miss you already.

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