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'American Horror Story: Freak Show' RECAP - 'Edward Mordrake, Pt. 2' [Spoilers]

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First off, the good news: In addition to Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka joining the end of this seasonAmerican Horror Story vet Lily Rabe is returning. And! She's revisiting one of her previous roles in the series.

But now the bad news ... tonight's episode was not the strongest. As the titular villain for this year's two-part Halloween episode, you would think Edward Mordrake (Wes Bentley) could have been a bit more menacing. Sure, he was ultimately after a soul to drag back to Hell or something like that, but his most immediate threat was to talk to you until you cry. Not sure how I feel yet about whom he selected, but I'm already surprised about how sad I am to potentially say goodbye to his chosen one.

Without further ado, let's pop a squat on our rusty nail toilet and settle into this week's recap, AFTER THE JUMP ...

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'American Horror Story' Recruits Neil Patrick Harris And David Burtka For 'Freak Show'

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Neil Patrick Harris is a very busy man.

He wrapped his Tony Award-winning turn in Hedwig and the Angry Inch over the summer, was just announced as the host of next year's Academy Awards and can be currently seen in David Fincher's Gone Girl.

On top of that crowded schedule, he's now been confirmed to make an appearance on two upcoming episodes of American Horror Story: Freak Show. But this time, he's bringing husband David Burtka along with him.

TVLine reports:

Harris will appear in Freak Show‘s 11th and 12th episodes as a chameleon salesman, while Burtka will turn up in the season finale (Episode 13) in what I’m told is a sexy storyline with Jessica Lange’s batty chanteuse. Earlier this month, Horror Story puppetmaster Ryan Murphy — who invited AHS super-fan (and good friend) NPH on the show via Twitter back in August — told TVLine of Harris’ forthcoming Freak Show stint: “He had very specific ideas for what he wanted to do, and I had very specific ideas, so we’re working on melding those.” Murphy and Harris’ previous collaboration — a Season 1 episode of Glee — netted the How I Met Your Mother actor an Emmy for Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.

Look for their episodes of the FX series to air in January 2015.

[photo via Instagram]


What To Watch This Week on TV: Meet 'The McCarthys'

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Check out our weekly guide to make sure you're catching the big premieres, crucial episodes and the stuff you won't admit you watch when no one's looking.

— Laurie Metcalf stars as the matriarch of this sports-obsessed Boston family on The McCarthys. Among the brothers are Gerard (played by former New Kids On the Block member Joey McIntyre) and Ronny (Tyler Ritter). The premiere episode, airing Thursday at 9:30 p.m. Eastern on CBS, focuses on Ronny's decision to move away from the close-knit family to Providence. The broad comedy may be guilty of too many easy jokes about how Ronny's family fail to grasp gay culture just as often as he bungles sports trivia, but its heart is in the right place. 

TV's current reigning villainess and a Happy beginning for Eliza Coupe, AFTER THE JUMP ...

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Jessica Lange Covering Lana Del Rey's 'Gods and Monsters' Tops iTunes Charts - WATCH

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Over the past few weeks Jessica Lange has been serving up anachronistic covers of contemporary songs as American Horror Story’s Elsa Mars. The one thing that the Freakshow ringleader desires more than anything else in the world is the adulation of a captive audience, and according the iTunes billboard chart, she may be getting her wish.

Last Friday Lange’s cover of Lana Del Rey’s "Gods and Monsters" topped the iTunes soundtrack charts, ousting Disney’s Frozen and breathing new life into Del Rey’s original rendition of the song. Though this season of AHS takes place in 1950’s Florida, the songs that 20th Century Fox has released as digital singles have all been hits from other eras including David Bowie’s "Life on Mars" and Fiona Apple’s "Criminal."

"I love what [Baz Luhrmann] does with his movies like Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge where you don't play period stuff, you do stuff from all eras that fit the story," Murphy told Entertainment Weekly of the show’s eclectic song choices. "So we decided we only were going to highlight musical artists who at some point in their career had identified themselves as feeling like freaks or misfits or outcasts, which our people are going through."

Watch Jessica Lange’s cover of Lana Del Rey’s Gods and Monster from last Wednesday's episode AFTER THE JUMP...

 

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'American Horror Story: Freak Show' RECAP - 'Edward Mordrake, Pt. 1' [Spoilers]

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In previous installments of American Horror Story, the Halloween episodes were some of the best offerings. But tonight's first half of this year's Halloween two-parter left a lot to be desired. For one, it lacked any real scares. Even our murder clown failed to do much murdering or clowning.

And the new monster introduced this evening, Edward Mordrake (Wes Bentley), was more Katie Couric than Freddy Krueger. Unless you have a fear of intimate conversation, he didn't really come off as much of a threat.

One thing that is becoming clear this season, however, is that the best thing about Freak Show may be Finn Wittrock. As Dandy Mott, he's the least predictable of the bunch. Even at his most subdued, he can make viewers profoundly uncomfortable, but when his tantrums reach a fevered pitch, Wittrock really lets loose. I'd happily watch an hour of just him, his mother (Frances Conroy) and Patti LaBelle in a Woody Woodpecker costume. Here's hoping he returns next season.

Get on your Howdy Doody costume, and let's discuss Mordrake, Mott and all our favorite freaks, AFTER THE JUMP ...

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'American Horror Story: Freak Show' RECAP - 'Massacres and Matinees' [Spoilers]

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“Maybe that’s what this place needs: a strong male presence.” That’s a line spoken by Jessica Lange’s character on last night's episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show, but it could just as well be said of the series as a whole.

Last season, Coven, was so female-centric that the two male leads (Evan Peters and Denis O’Hare) both actually played characters mostly unable to speak. The most recent episode, by contrast, put the spotlight squarely on the male cast, including Peters, Finn Wittrock and Michael Chiklis. Peters is a proven pro at anchoring Ryan Murphy’s AHS lunacy, but the real surprise was Wittrock’s bratty sociopath, Dandy Mott.

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What sort of trouble did Dandy and the rest of the characters find themselves in? Pour yourself a crystal baby bottle full of cognac and relive the highlights with our recap, AFTER THE JUMP

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