When actor Ben Woolf returned to the AHS screen as Meep the Geek, savagely nipping the head off a live chicken during Elsa Mars' Freak Show, you probably thought he was here for the long hall. If you're an AHS guru, Woolf probably still makes the occasional appearance in your nightmares as the Monster House basement monster Infantata, so it makes sense to think that he'd at least last long enough to make it back into those nightmares. But Meep's surprising death so early on Freak Show was as disturbing as it was disappointing. But when you think about it, Meep might actually be the most important character on the show, especially in death.
Meep's death actually pushed the story forward more than any other event yet this season. When he turned up dead on the freak show's doorstep (or, in this case, tent flap), each of the show's most prominent characters came to life before our eyes. The helpless, and yet somehow adorable, "freak" made hearts break with little more than a single word. After he was falsely accused of killing a Jupiter cop (the one Jimmy actually murdered in Dot & Bette's defense), Meep's injustice and untimely death ultimately made the troupe of "freaks" stronger than ever.
And here's how:
Jimmy is Evan Peters' strongest AHS character to date, hands down. He felt an obligation to be the man of the house, er, tent from the get-go — even murdering that cop to protect the Bette & Dot and lashing out at anyone who dares to call him or his coworkers "freaks." But Meep's murder sparked something in him that matured him by leaps and bounds.
Initially, Jimmy was willing to turn himself in if it meant getting his friend out of jail, but he was too late. With guilt and responsibility eating away at him, Jimmy transitioned from a good-intentioned but temperamental boy into the hero and protector, even in the eyes of Jupiter's townspeople.
Anything that affects Jimmy simultaneously affects his mother. She obviously had a drinking problem in the past, so when Jimmy turned to alcohol after Meep's death, it was only a matter of time before Ethel's own guilt shone through. I only hope that with Meep gone, Ethel can help coach Jimmy to be the man of the camp that we know he can be. The problem is, Ethel wants Dell to be a part of Jimmy's life once she's gone, and since Meep's death was mostly Dell's fault, there's no way in hell Dell's getting anything close to a successful relationship with his son.
BETTE (...AND DOT)
Bette's feelings for Jimmy are prominent in most, if not all, of her scenes and they have only been made stronger by his recent epiphany. If she didn't already want to kill her adjoining twin sister, her feelings certainly aren't doing well to delay the process. In Bette's delusional dreams, Jimmy will only love her once she rids herself of the third party, and that can't mean anything good for the twins moving forward.
Elsa plainly accepts that Jimmy is going to do what it takes to be seen as the strong, male figure among the troupe. Regardless of her selfish attempts to put herself in the limelight, Elsa's protection over her "freaks" is evident throughout. If Jimmy realized his own potential through Meep's death, it inadvertently made Elsa believe in Jimmy whole-heartedly. Since Jimmy dutifully consulted Elsa before acting, I only wonder whether she had anything to do with trying to pin the cop's murder on Dell.
And while he was only around for a brief moment, absolutely all of this can be traced back to one chicken-beheading circus performer:
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