Bette & Dot Tattler & NPH? On 'AHS' The Ladies Are Crushing On Him But What Do They See In The Creepy Magician?
That glorious day has finally arrived — the day that everyone's favorite actor/magician/Tony host/future Oscar host, Neil Patrick Harris, joins Ryan Murphy's AHS: Freak Show . It's a day that many thought they'd never see, after the How I Met Your Mother actor and his husband David Burtka turned down roles in Season 1 of FX's American Horror Story. (Murphy wanted Harris and Burtka to play Murder House's bickering gay couple, who ended up played by Zachary Quinto and Teddy Sears.) But the stars have finally aligned, and NPH is at long last re-teaming with the man who guided him to his first Emmy with the guest role of Will Schuester's resentful frenemy Bryan Ryan in a Season 1 episode of Glee. And as it were, NPH will be pairing up with Better & Dot.
On Freak Show, Harris will play Chester, described as a "chameleon salesman" who arrives in Jupiter, Fla. to save Fräulein Elsa's Cabinet of Curiosities. (Husband Burtka will also join the show in the season finale for a "sexy storyline" with Elsa.) In the AHS promo for Episode 11 "Magical Thinking," we see Chester arrive at the freak show, not-at-all-creepy ventriloquist's dummy in tow, and quickly win the heart of Sarah Paulson's conjoined twins Bette and Dot Tattler. "The Twins grow enamored with a traveling salesman," the episode description for "Magical Thinking" reads. But why are the sisters so quick to fall for NPH's clearly creepy Chester? Here are just a few theories for what might be about to go down:
They're Rebounding from Jimmy's Rejection
Chester will be far from the first man the Tattlers have set their eyes on. They were quickly smitten with Jimmy when they first joined the Cabinet of Curiosities, and at least Bette was equally taken in by Dandy's flirtatious manner when they were being held captive in the Mott Family House of Horrors. So it shouldn't be all that surprising that they find themselves head over heels again for the new handsome man in their lives, especially after Jimmy so bluntly rejected their advances in "Tupperware Party Massacre."
They're Magic Fans
For the twins' sake, I hope it takes something more than a smile and a few kind words to make them go all weak in the knees for a third man in one season. (Those two girls need to learn to stand on the one pair of feet that they share.) But maybe they're really just suckers for magic. Thanks to the promo, we know that Freak Show will take full advantage of NPH's affinity for illusion; after all the terrible things the sisters have suffered in their lifetime, they're bound to be entranced by someone who can seemingly perform miracles with his own two hands.
He's Really, Really Good in Bed
"Freaks believe in absolute pleasure." "We can tell when a man is flirting with us." "You're beautiful." All that dirty talk between the Tattlers and Chester in the promo, not to mention the shots of characters caressing themselves, disrobing, and kissing in silhouette, it seems like sex is on everyone's mind in "Magical Thinking." Perhaps the reason for the twins' crush is that simple: Chester is really, really good in bed. (NPH's Hedwig seduced us all at the Tonys last year, so we know he's got the moves.)
His Dummy Has Magical Powers
I'm gonna go out on a limb with this one, but what if Chester's dummy is actually magic? Freak Show has thus been light on the fantastical and heavy on the realism, but the season hasn't entirely shied away from the supernatural. Remember the demon with two faces who rose on Halloween to add a sad freak to his ghostly entourage? Yeah, me too. So what if it's not Chester at all who's doing the seducing... but his creepy doll? Perhaps her soulless eyes have the power to hypnotize people and bend them to her will. "Magical Thinking" indeed.
(This wouldn't even be the only plot about hypnotism that Murphy tackles this year. The description for the fourth episode of Glee 's final season contains this gem: "Meanwhile, Sue is busy meddling and hypnotizes Sam into making a move on Rachel to throw her off." Say what?)
He Offers to Cut Them in Half
It appears in the promo that Chester's trademark magic trick is the old saw-'em-in-half routine. (Of course, his version appears to end in blood and horror, but we'll assume that Bette and Dot don't yet realize that.) Perhaps the creepy salesman convinces the twins that he can use magic to sever them in half. Will they reconsider their newfound stance on separation if they think there would be no risky and expensive surgery involved?
They're Using Him for Their Own Ends
What if we're just being led by the promos to think that Chester is a sadistic creep using the twins for some nefarious purpose, when it turns out that — while he may still be a bit of a creep — it's the twins who are actually using him? It's possible that Chester has a lot in common with NPH's Desi Collings from Gone Girl, and his naïve infatuation with a pretty face will lead to his bloody undoing.
He's NPH, Who Doesn't Love Him?
Then again, maybe I'm overthinking all of this. Maybe Bette and Dot's crush on Chester doesn't have anything to do with magic tricks or hypnotic dolls. Maybe they just like him because, I dunno, he's freaking adorable? Seriously, look at that grin. Who couldn't love that face?