‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ Recap: Season 4 Episode 3 “Edward Mordrake Part 1”

'American Horror Story: Freak Show' Recap: Season 4 Episode 3 “Edward Mordrake Part 1”

Tonight on FX our favorite creepy drama American Horror Story: Freak Show starring Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates continues tonight with an all new Wednesday October 22, season 4 episode 3 called “Edward Mordrake Part 1.” On tonight’s episode, the freaks refuse to perform on Halloween due to a superstition; Ethel receives life-changing news.

On the last episode a citywide curfew threatened to shut down the Freak Show. A strongman from Ethel’s troubled past arrived at camp. Gloria arranged a terrifying play date for Dandy. The Tattler Twins revealed a talent that could knock Elsa from the spotlight. Did you watch the last episode? If you missed it, we have a full and detailed recap right here for you.

On tonight’s show, the Freaks refuse to perform on Halloween due to an old carny superstition. Jimmy is smitten by a woman claiming to be a fortuneteller. Ethel receives life-changing news.

Tonight’s episode is going to be another spooky one and you won’t want to miss it. So be sure to tune in for our live coverage of FX’s American Horror Story – tonight at 10PM EST! While you wait for our recap, hit the comments and let us know if you are excited about season 4 of American Horror Story and check out a sneak peek of tonight’s episode below!


It’s Halloween and a group of people are on a tour in the American Museum of Morbidity. Later, Dr. Mansfield and his assistant, Mrs. Rothchild, ask the museum head if their specimen for sale has been analyzed. It’s clear they are con artists trying to fool the museum. The museum’s expert comes out and says that the thing they brought to them was clearly a fraud. The fellow walks away, displeased, and says he won’t press charges for this fraudulent behavior — even though he very well could.

The museum tour guide/owner says that her business is failing and, if they did bring her something authentic, she wouldn’t ask many questions. She reveals that most of her specimens have come from freakshows; however, there aren’t many running anymore. She tells them of one still going on in Florida.

This Dr. Mansfield and his assistant set their sights on Florida. They are obviously heading to our fave little freakshow, run by the starry-eyed Elsa Mars.

Trick o’ treaters are out and about, going from door to door. We’re in West Palm Beach. Two parents talk about the murders in Jupiter, FL. A small girl, terrified of clowns, sees Twisty staring at her from behind a bush.

Ethel goes to visit her doctor, who reveals to her that she has cirrhosis of the liver. He says that she has anywhere from 6 months to a year to live. She starts to cry. The doctor is very kind to her. She tells him that she’s not crying because she was told she’s going to die; rather, she says she’s crying because he was the first doctor to have ever treated her with any respect.

The freaks are having a Halloween party. Jimmy comes back from digging a grave for Meep. Dot goes off on everyone for acting as if nothing is wrong. Dot suggests that they all dedicate tonight’s performance to Meep, but everyone says that no freak performs on Halloween — in fear of summoning the spirit of Edward Mordrake.

Ethel comes into the tent, pours herself a glass of alcohol, and seconds the fact that no freak performs on Halloween night. She tells the story of Edward Mordrake, a man with a demon face on the back of his head. Eventually, he ended up at a freakshow, much like Elsa’s. One Halloween night, he murdered everyone in his troupe and then hung himself.

Jimmy doesn’t believe his mother’s story. She gets up and leaves. He follows her. He asks her why she’s started to drink again. She seems agitated with him and leaves — she’s obviously deflecting, trying to distance herself from her son, after learning that she’s dying.

Dandy is presented with a Halloween costume; however, he doesn’t like it. He throws a temper tantrum. His mother’s maid stands up to him and calls him ungrateful. She says that she’s not afraid of him. Soon, Dandy gets to work on creating a costume of his own.

The freaks are readying Meep’s grave when a taxi pulls up. “Mrs. Rothchild” gets out of the car. She says she’s here for a job. Jimmy is first to greet her, and he insists that she doesn’t belong at the freakshow. She introduces herself as Mystic Maggie Esmerelda — and she’s here looking for a job.

Bette and Dot are having a dream of a doctor separating them. Dot, of course, is the one who wants the surgery. They wake up. Bette is sad that Dot would consider having the surgery, as it will surely kill one of them.

Meanwhile, Esmerelda shows off her “gifts” to Elsa. She reveals certain elements of Elsa’s past — how she lost her fame at the hand of someone else and how she’ll soon be given a second chance at stardom. Of course, Elsa eats this up and offers Esmerelda a job.

Desiree comes in to the trailer to have sex with Dell, but we learn that he’s impotent. Desiree is frustrated, and she says she can’t take it anymore.

Dell storms out and runs into Ethel. She reveals that she’s dying and asks him to look over Jimmy.

Dell and Ethel reminisce about their past together. She asks Dell if he ever loved her, even in the moment they conceived Jimmy, and he says no — but his eyes tell a different story.


Dandy has made himself a costume. It’s a clown. He grabs a knife and runs in to Dora, the maid. She laughs at the sight of him, and she says that she’s not scared of him. He approaches her with the knife, as if he’s going to kill her. Dora dares him to do it. They face off. Dora says that Dandy doesn’t have the guts to kill anyone — that’s how she’s sure he didn’t have anything to do with the murders around town. He tries to do it though, he’s about to kill her, but something stops him. He rips off his clown mask and yells, “I hate you, Dora. I hate you. I hate you. I HATE YOU!”

Esmerelda talks on the phone with her associate. She says that she ran into Siamese twins. Her associate is excited about this, and he tells her they’re going to break the bank after this job. She says that this place gives her the heeby jeebies and that she never agreed to murdering anybody. He has to get off the phone because he says he has to take care of his business.

In walks a male prostitute. The male prostitute takes off the man’s pants and exclaims, “Oh my god.” Not sure if it’s the good kind of exclamation . . . but it seems there’s a high chance that this man is also ‘unusual’ in some way.

Bette and Dot are about to rehearse a song when Elsa comes in and says that she needs the stage to practice her own song. She tells them off after getting into an argument with them about who’s the REAL star of this show. She needs to practice because she was given a prophecy that a tall, dark-haired man with piercing eyes would arrive to invigorate her career. Elsa starts singing “Gods and Demons” by Lana Del Ray.

Her music summons the spirit of Edward Mordrake. He walks into the tent. Elsa bows for him; however, when she looks back up, the man has disappeared.

The carnival grounds are still, silent. Ethel prepares for bed. She senses something behind her. She sees a dead figure. Next, Edward’s spirit comes in to chat with Ethel. She begs him not to take her with him, as she still has so much left to do. Her time is short as it is. Edward asks to hear her story, in its truest form, so his demon — the thing that makes him a freak — may judge her.

She tells of her career, and her ultimate fall from the spotlight, and how she was ridiculed towards the end of her career — right before she grew big with child. Edward says that his demon says she has a darker shame, and then she goes on to reveal that Dell, her first love, exploited her birth. In other words, he treated Jimmy’s birth as a show and charged visitors to watch Ethel give birth. She cries honest tears and when she tells Edward that she’s ready to die, he hands her a handkerchief. Edward apologizes for making her relive her pains; Ethel says that she relives them every day.

A violent whisper, belonging to the demon face latched onto Edward’s skull, fills the room: “Not the one.” Edward disappears, leaving Ethel alive and well.

Dandy, in his clown costume, goes to visit Twisty’s children.

Twisty returns with a new boy. Dandy’s there to greet him. “More fun,” he says.

The episode ends: TO BE CONTINUED.