Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, welcome to the fairground of freaks and witness the dalliance of the deviant … the terror under the tent. It’s Halloween on American Horror Story: Freak Show and its so big it will take us two weeks to get through the night. This week we get “Edward Mordrake, Part 1.”

Trick or Treat | We start off, and although it might be Halloween, the string of homicides by a bloody clown has dampened the activities, forcing the kiddies out into the late afternoon sun for their trick or treating. Is there anything worse than a curfew on halloween? Well, for one little girl afraid of clowns, her punk brother who dresses as a clown and steals her candy, maybe so. But then again, this is a Ryan Murphy show, and we know what he thinks of bullies.

Well, Twisty is walking around in the broad daylight, bloody clown outfit and all, failing to hide behind tiny trees and he has seen this brutal clown teasing. No, Twisty will have none of that, especially later on when brother the bully steals all her candy and blackmails her into doing all his chores. Well, Twisty doesn’t like when people abuse the terror of clowndom, and he snatches the boy away and brings him to his murder bus. I told you Ryan Murphy didn’t like bullies.

Fortunes and Freaks | But this Halloween story isn’t about Twisty, it’s about some guy with the ridiculously sinister name of Mordrake and the introduction of two new players and fan favorites. Everyone seems to want to make a buck off the freaks, and it doesn’t get more literal than the introduction of con artist pair Dr. Mansfield and Esmerelda (featuring the welcome return of Denis O’Hare and Emma Roberts). They’ve been trying to scam The American Morbidity Museum, and although they fail with their baby sasquatch, they do learn of the thriving market in deformed bodies stuffed in formaldehyde jars. Which makes sense if there is such a thing as a morbidity museum in the first place.

So Esmerelda infiltrates the Freak Show as a fortune teller, using her best profiling techniques to infer Elsa’s most deep desire: Fame. Meanwhile, Dr. Mansfield is a day behind, waiting for Esmerelda to grease his entrance as the ringmaster. But he isn’t sitting idly by. We find him at a seedy motel with Thor, a hunky prostitute, and they are gonna have some fun, especially when Thor sees that the good doctor has something special between his legs. I’m guessing he might like his time at the Freak Show, he is a bit of a freak himself.

Mister Floppy | Talking about that little extra. We get more of the troubled relationship between triple-tits and mister-floppy. While Dr. Mandrake might be getting it hot and heavy over at the hotel, it seems strong man Del has a little problem under the tent, and even Desiree can’t help. Del has been a despicable character since his entrance, and he doesn’t stop here with another violent outburst. It will be a happy day when Twisty gets his hands on this brute.

Kathy Bates, Ethel. AHS 4.3

Meanwhile, it seems that Ethel, the Bearded Lady and Del’s former wife, is not long for this world. Even though she quit drinking, it is too late and her liver is failing. With only six month to live, Ethel is back on the bottle and thinking about Jimmy. She is concerned he will be stuck in the dying carnie circuit, with no future. But if she think Del, Jimmy’s father, might be there to help she is sadly mistaken. She tries to talk to him, but he isn’t very receptive, and given all his violent outbursts I think that might be for the best.

Howdy Doody Time | We get a bit more of Dandy’s entitled attitude this week as his mother Gloria, ever trying and failing to please, gets him a costume of his favorite character, Howdy Doody. There is a serious bit of infantilizing going on with mom and son stuck in their freudian mansion. Dandy doesn’t want to be Howdy Doody, he wants to be a clown and stalks around with a mask that is a bit too small for his big ego.

But while mother coddles him and dismisses the insanity of her son, we do get Dora slapping him down. Patti LaBelle’s Dora is forced to dress and sing as Woody the Woodpecker and you don’t put a true diva in a silly costume unless you want a harsh talking to. And we at least get that, as Dora slaps down the little jerk, telling him that he doesn’t scare her, he is nothing but a coward.

Are Two Heads Better than One? | Dandy might be an entitled sociopath, but Dot isn’t winning conjoined sister of the year anytime soon. Sadly for Bette, Sara Paulson’s dower other side is full of dark thoughts and Bette can’t hide from Dot’s dreams of beheading her twin. I don’t see how Ryan Murphy could miss out on a good beheading, but it won’t be by any surgeon and it won’t end well. Then again, you don’t take a show called American Horror Story: Freak Show and miss the chance to cut off the head of a conjoined twin. You just don’t get that many opportunities to go there.

Let’s Summon a Demon Spirit | Finally we get to the story of Wes Bentley‘s Edward Mordrake. It seems he was a refined man who wrote poetry and opera’s, but sadly had an evil demon face on the back of his head that whispered evil things Wes-Bently-in-AHS-Freak-Show-Episode-3to him. One night he snapped and killed every freak in the troupe and ever since, so the legend goes, if a freak performs on Halloween then Mordrake will arrive and take the soul of a carnie.

The group refuses to perform, fearing the legend and Ethel tells them all she has seen it happen. She is a true believer, and they are rightfully to fear it. But Elsa wants center stage, and Dot is in her way. Dot has no problem standing up for herself and claiming the role of headliner, and she isn’t afraid of silly superstitions either. So Elsa, trying to either buy her own fame or destroy Bette’s, pushes on and their performance, rehearsal or not, brings forth the spirit of Edward Mordrake.

Mordrake the Not So Scary | The town is scared. The carnies are worried. A murdering clown is running around the town. And so, the entrance of Mordrake seemed a bit underwhelming. While we hope for him to confront Del or Dot or Elsa, instead we see him in the caravan of Ethel, the Bearded Lady. Luckily we have the amazing Kathy Bates to the save the day with the story of her life, recounting her past success as a young singer, Del’s obsession with making money off her and finally, agreeing to Del’s plan to sell tickets to the birth of baby Jimmy. The way Del yelled with joy at Jimmy’s flipper hands and ran to sell this amazement to the gawking crowd was another in a long line of despicable Del moments.

And maybe Dell will get a meeting with our emo-spirit after all, because all this talk between Mordrake and Ethel result in him determining that she is “Not the One.” Returning to his green smoke, Mordrake moves on to test others in the camp, but for this first part of our Halloween two-parter, our titular villain seems like the least of their troubles.