American Horror Story Winter Premiere Recap: ‘Magical Thinking’ (2023)

A handsome new stranger makes his way into town as Elsa prepares for her journey to Hollywood in tonight’s Winter Premiere of American Horror Story.

We have finally arrived at the moment that American Horror Story fans have been waiting for. The Freaks of Fraulein Elsa’s Cabinet of Curiosities are back as tonight is the Winter Premiere of the highly popular FX Original Series American Horror Story: Freak Show.

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When last we saw the Freaks, they were not exactly in one of the best positions. Freaks have been disappearing left and right, and it all seemed to start when Stanley and Maggie made their way to the camp.

The biggest issue they are facing right now is the incarceration of Jimmy Darling.

We all know what happened to the last Freak that ended up behind bars, and we have a distinct feeling that the future isn’t looking much brighter for Jimmy.

Also, a handsome new stranger rolls into town. It isn’t long before he has captivated not only Bette and Dot, but Elsa as well. Could this be one of the catalysts for the change we mentioned previously? Let’s take a look a tonight’s episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show, which has been titled “Magical Thinking,” and find out.

When we kick off tonight’s episode, we see the exchange between Jimmy and Stanley where Stanley proposes the unthinkable. He tells Jimmy that he knows someone who is willing to pay good money for memorabilia of his “profession.” Stanley even goes as far as to use what happened to Meep to convince him.

After Jimmy takes the liquid that Stanley provided him with, he finds himself very, very ill. Stanley then puts on a show for the guards in order to get him out of the cell and into a place Stanley can collect his fee.

(Video) American Horror Story Freak Show 4x11 Magical Thinking

When next we see Jimmy, he is at the hospital. He asks the nurse for something to numb the pain. Unfortunately, given the fact that one of her friends was at the party where Jimmy supposedly murdered all those women, she is not in a hurry to assist him.

As Jimmy begins to clear the fog in his head, he takes a look at his hand. It is then that he notices the horrible truth. Although Stanley had vowed to take only one of his hands, he made off with both of them. Jimmy screams in what can only be described as a combination of agony and terror all wrapped in one.

Back at the camp, we get a look at Bette and Dot. It seems like a lot has changed since we last saw them. They now feel no need to stand out among the crowd. Bette has died her hair back to her normal brown and they have come to the conclusion that all they need is one another. Well…that and the touch of a man.

When a curious new stranger rolls into town, it seems as if Bette and Dot have found someone to scratch their itch better than they could have possibly imagined. This new face is a traveling salesman by the name of Chester. It turns out that in addition to his given profession, he is a bit of a magician.

It took the whole of about five seconds for her to fall in love with him head over hills. This is going to get interesting.

At the prison, Dell comes to pay a visit to Jimmy. Dell is appalled when he realizes that his son has lost both of his hands. Just as Dell is about to go into a fit of rage, Jimmy tells him that it was him who sold his hands. He claims that Stanley is going to help him get out of this mess, and that he sold his hands to get the money.

Jimmy tells Dell that when he makes his way out of this mess, he plans to try to and buy the show from Elsa. Dell tells him that he’d be happy to go in on it with him. They could be the “Toledo and Son Freak Show.”

It is then that the father and son duo actually have a decent heart to heart. Dell tells him about how he was the freak of the family for nothing more than not having the lobster claw hands like the rest of his family. This conversation seems to help Jimmy understand why Dell is the way he is.

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At the camp, Chester is in front of Elsa attempting to make his case to join the Freak Show. She quickly cuts him off, telling him that they are a Freak Show and not a magic act. She tells him that they really have no room for someone like him.

It is then that he reveals his dark side to her. He pulls out a puppet by the name of Marjorie that seems to have a personality of its own. As soon as Elsa realizes that Chester has a thing for numbers, she is quick to offer him space on the bill in exchange for his financial know how. This can’t possibly end well, now can it?

As show time approaches, Chester sits in his tent preparing for his act. In the background, you can hear Marjorie chastising him for groveling to Elsa. She makes him feel awful small. We have a distinct feeling that it is the puppet pulling the strings in this relationship.

The next afternoon, we see Elsa along with Amazon Eve and Legless Suzi. The two of them are helping Elsa prepare for her upcoming voyage. It isn’t long before Dell come in looking for Stanley. He tells her about what happened to Jimmy’s hands. Immediately, she tells him that he has to get Jimmy out of there.

As he makes his way out of the tent, Amazon Eve follows him out. She tells him that she wants to work together with him to get Jimmy out of there. They plan on using their combined strength as a weapon. We’re not sure what they have in mind just yet, but it may just work.

Elsewhere, Chester comes to see the twins. He tells them that he is in need of their assistance. He want them to be his assistants. At first, they believe that it is because they are freaks, but he is quick to tell them that it is because they are beautiful. It doesn’t really take a whole lot of convincing to get them on board.

That night, they debut their new act for the first time. It seems to be a really big hit with the crowd. Unfortunately, his puppet Marjorie doesn’t feel quite the same way that Chester does about this, but we’ll get back to this in a moment.

As the sun sets, Eve and Dell decide to enact their plan. This ends with Eve breaking out the windshield of a speeding police car. Once the car comes to a screeching halt, the two officers emerge from the vehicle and immediately descend on Eve.

(Video) American Horror Story: Freak Show, Jan 7, 2015, "Magical Thinking"

It isn’t long until both officers are on the ground and Dell is beating the life out of one of them. Where they plan to go from here is a bit of a mystery, but we have a feeling this isn’t going to end well for some one.

So…back to Chester and the twins. It seems as if they have chosen Chester to be the one to deflower them. The thing is, Chester has quite a few complications in this arena. It seems that every time he gets himself worked up, his head begins to ache and there is a ringing in his ears.

The twins are quick to assist him with his ailment and begin to rub his shoulders. While they run their hands on his body, they explain to him what their plan really is. Unfortunately, Marjorie isn’t really on board with their plan. In fact, she attempts to derail it.

Fortunately for the twins, their allure is more than Chester can resist. It takes a little bit of doing, and being able to get over a disgruntled puppet staring them down, but the twins get exactly what they desire; someone to make them a “real woman.” The question now is what will Marjorie have to say about this one?

Unfortunately for Chester, Marjorie’s attitude may be the least of Chester’s problems. Now that Elsa is preparing to leave for Hollywood, she has to find someone to take over the show for her. The Freaks have been saving every penny in the hopes of buying the show from Elsa. They were not pleased when she tells them that their money is a mere pittance and that she has another buyer already lined up.

It seems as if Elsa has already made up her mind to sell it to Chester for the amount of $1,000. We don’t know about you, but we are pretty sure that this is going to create a massive rift among the Freaks. They have never been one to let outsiders into their inner circle so quickly, let alone allow one of them to become their new boss.

As Chester and Elsa begin their negotiations, we begin to see more and more of Chester’s dark side. Apparently, once Elsa is gone, Chester plans to not only give Elsa’s tent to his puppet companion, but he plans to make her the headliner in the show. As we said before, it is the puppet pulling the strings here, not Chester.

As the night progresses police sirens ring out throughout the camp. The police are in search of Jimmy Darling. It would seem as if Amazon Eve and Dell’s plan really worked. Unfortunately, the police are determined to rain hell down upon the Freaks. Things reach an all-new level when Chester began to panic about the disappearance of his dear Marjorie.

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The police make their way through the camp as Chester continues to look for his dearest Marjorie. It isn’t long before he comes upon a rather intimidating Dandy. He tells Chester that Marjorie is running away for good and that she is going to “tell” what really happened to his wife and her girlfriend.

It turns out that Dandy is really jealous over Chester’s relationship with the twins and he is determined to get rid of him for his indiscretions. After a little prodding, Dandy reveals that Marjorie is waiting for him in the tent.

She tells him that if they are to continue to work together, there are a few conditions. The biggest of those is that she not only wants top billing, but he is to get rid of everyone that attempts to get between them; this means him getting rid of the twins.

The bad news is, the twins aren’t the only Freak about to get an unpleasant surprise.

When Dell makes his way back to his camper, Desiree is waiting there for him with a gun in her hand. At the same time, Maggie makes her way to Elsa to tell her that there is something she needs to show her. Apparently, Desiree and Maggie were able to get their hands on Ma Petite’s body. Elsa screams in horror when she sees Ma Petite’s tiny body submerged in formaldehyde.

Back in the camper, Desiree slowly prods Dell until he can take it no longer. He admits outright that he Is responsible for Ma Petite’s death. As the tears fall uncontrollably from his eyes, he tells her about how he smothered her to death. Before he even knew what hit him a shot rang out from behind.

Elsa had drawn a gun and shot Dell dead. She says that his tearful confession was all that she needed to hear.

We have a feeling that things are about to change rather drastically at Fraulein Elsa’s Cabinet of Curiosities, and not exactly for the better. Once word gets out about Chester’s past and especially about the heinous crime committed by Dell, there is going to be a lot of dissension. The question is, will they be able to get it under control before chaos takes over or is the Freak Show doomed once and for all?

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What did you think of tonight’s Winter Premiere of American Horror Story: Freak Show? Do you think Dell got what he deserved? What do you think is next for Jimmy and the rest of the Freaks? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

American Horror Story: Freak Show airs on Wednesday nights at 10:00 p.m. on FX Networks.

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