Even without the magical elements we saw in American Horror Story: Coven, the villains of the series' fourth installment are said to be scarier than ever, so where does that leave Jessica Lange's Freak Show ring leader Elsa Mars? Coven alum Emma Roberts teased that the AHS: Freak Show script gave her nightmares, and suggested that fans seriously prepare themselves for the Oct. 7 premiere. The magic is now kaput and on Freak Show, once you die, you're dead — so how, you might ask, will this season accomplish the amazing feet of being even freakier than last season? Well, with an awfully creepy and brutally deranged villain, of course! And to add a little shock factor: it's not the mysterious freak show proprietor Elsa Mars.
Jessica Lange returns for her fourth and supposedly final season of AHS as the German expatriate sideshow manager of a 1952 freak show. And for those of you who were disappointed to hear she won't be playing the villain, have no fear. Jessica's character Elsa will still represent the mother-hen, right smack dab in the heart of the drama where we expect her to be. But this time, she might be the one on the defensive. AHS creator Ryan Murphy told EW that Twisty the Clown and the two-faced Edward Mordrake will be out to get Elsa's freaks.
Supernatural business aside, this season's villains will seem all-too-real. In fact, in the same interview, Murphy said John Carroll Lynch (Twisty the evil, murderous clown), even managed to rid the set of a third of the crew during filming. (If Freak Show can't even keep its cameramen in the room, I can only imagine what Twisty's terrifying facial features will do to viewers. But I digress.) Some people just can't handle clowns — and unfortunately it's looking like Elsa's freaks might be some of them. In case clowns weren't spooky enough already, this one is out to get the persecuted freaks and Elsa will be left to pick up the pieces.
And while Lange might not be the villain for once, as the mother hen of this pack of freaks, she'll likely have no choice but to lash out once in a while. Elsa Mars travels the world rescuing people who are threatened for being a little outside the norm — bearded ladies and three-breasted women alike, whom closed-minded people might dismiss as "freaks." She literally saves these people from hospitals and jails just before they are to be shipped away to asylums and knowing Lange's sort of character, Elsa isn't going to let some clown come in and take her freaks away from her.
This Lange character, even with the usual glam factor, will be different than any other Lange character we've seen, because Elsa is said to have a special connection to her band of misfits. (A world apart from the Coven leader hellbent on murdering her successors, isn't it?) She is their guardian; she saved them and I'm willing to bet she'll do it a thousand times over.
Long story short: Elsa won't be the biggest villain on Freak Show by a long shot. But if I know anything about AHS, she'll certainly become scary in her own right if she needs to be. My guess is that nobody is going to mess with her freaks if she has anything to say about it.
Images: FX; Giphy (3)