Stanley fantasizes about a gala event for the American Morbidity Museum where he expects to be recognized for his contribution but isn't. Maggie shoots down his fantasy, and they discuss his plan to obtain a specimen from Fräulein Elsa's Cabinet of Curiosities. Maggie wants an additional 5% cut for having to live with the freaks and cautions Stanley to conceal his homosexuality.
Gloria discovers Dora's corpse at Mott Manor and immediately accuses Dandy of the murder. She yells at Dandy and chastises him for the killing, reminding him that Dora had been a mother. Dandy offers to help her hide the body. Gloria laments that she must clean up after Dandy, just as she has always done with all of his other messes. Gloria orders Dandy to stay in his room for the whole day as a punishment. Dandy walks away crying, but with his back turned, he shows no remorse at having killed Dora.
Stanley introduces himself to Elsa as a WBN (World Broadcasting Network) television agent and offers to give her a show of her own. Elsa turns down his offer when she finds out that it is a television show. She claims that television isn't going to last and is the death of civilization and art.
Jimmy is practicing his lines and juggling skills for the upcoming packed house. Maggie tries to subtly warn him about Stanley by reading Jimmy's palm and telling him that a man will come to bring him lies and false promises. She concludes the reading by saying that Jimmy should leave for New York while he still can, but he brushes off her concerns. Jimmy tries to kiss her, but she immediately recoils in shock. This angers Jimmy and he leaves. Backstage, Ethel sends Jimmy to retrieve Dell. Inside Dell's trailer, Desiree tells Jimmy that Dell has run off and that she is not in the mood to perform. Desiree tells Jimmy that he is wrong about Dell, and describes the good times they had together. Jimmy sits down beside her. He tells her that Meep was the brave one and that he died because of Jimmy's own cowardice and failure. Jimmy weeps and she comforts him, and they slowly end up having sex. Jimmy fingers her with his deformed fingers, causing her to bleed. With the townsfolk expecting Jimmy to perform, Ethel rushes Desiree to Dr. Bonham in his stead.
Jimmy takes over emcee duties and introduces Elsa, who repeats her act of singing Life on Mars. Elsa is overwhelmed by the audience's boredom and dislike for her actions and is forced to cut her act short and leave the stage when the audience throws popcorn at her. Elsa decides to accept Stanley's proposition.
Ethel helps Desiree into a hospital gown, and Desiree bids her stay when the doctor arrives, as she is nervous about visiting a doctor for the first time. Desiree reveals that she was born in Philadelphia as Derek Dupree and that she had been mistaken for a boy until she was twelve. By that time, Desiree had hit puberty and grew three breasts. Dr. Bonham reveals that she is 100% woman, not a hermaphrodite: her penis is really an enlarged clitoris. He offers to remove her third breast and reduce the size of her clitoris so that she can look normal. Desiree is shocked when the doctor tells her that the bleeding was a miscarriage and that she can still have children of her own.
Gloria instructs the gardeners to dig a six-foot deep hole, despite her new garden only requiring 18 inches. Dandy apologizes to his mother for Dora's death. Gloria reveals that Dandy's father and the entire Mott family were prone to insanity due to extensive inbreeding, which was done to preserve wealth and keep the family estate. Gloria intends to find a safe way for Dandy to indulge his violent impulses.
Elsa dresses to perfection for publicity photos for her television show. She is shocked when Stanley leaves with the twins in his car. He presents the conjoined bust of Bette and Dot Tattler to the American Morbidity Museum curator, who asks why Bette looks more dead. Stanley claims that Bette died first due to pneumonia. A flashback shows how he got Bette to eat a poisoned pink cupcake. Dot refuses to eat her cupcake, as she is too busy crying over her sister's death. Stanley strangles her to death instead. This memory is merely one of Stanley's fantasies. During their actual picnic, Dot had refused cupcakes for both of them because they needed to keep their figure if they were to be on TV.
Dandy works out in the playroom while soliloquizing about wanting to be an actor, but realizing his potential as the perfect murderer. He finds his way into a gay bar, musing on a poster looking for Twisty's accomplice wearing a mask. There he finds Dell having a drink with an artist and prostitute named Andy. Dell is pressuring Andy to stay with him, but Andy brings him down to earth that he's still married. Dell starts to break down, and Andy reminds Dell that he is, in fact, in his office. Dell leaves, which is Dandy's cue to approach.
Elsa and the Tattlers discuss Stanley's plans and the promises he's made for each. Elsa tells them that as their new mentor, she has arranged for a seamstress to craft something for them the next day so they can look their best.
A drunken Dell returns home to his trailer. Desiree tells him about her visit with the doctor, and that she wants to try for a baby, but not with him. She reveals that Ethel told her that Dell's father was a lobster man and that Jimmy is his son. She calls him a freak and leaves, saying that she will soon look normal and will be too much of a woman for him to handle. She takes her belongings and moves to Ethel's caravan.
Dandy leads a skeptical Andy into the bus. Dandy has paid Andy $100 but insists he is not gay. Dandy, in an effort to salvage the situation, offers that they strip naked facing away from each other. When Andy turns, Dandy is indeed clothed only in briefs— and Twisty's mask. Dandy stabs and begins to dismember a still living Andy, disposing of his limbs in a tub of acid. Andy awakes and begs for death, but Dandy elects simply to continue sawing off Andy's limbs.
Regina Ross, Dora's daughter, calls from the Barbizon after her mother missed their weekly phone call. Gloria initially puts her off, saying that Dora is too busy to call. As they are about to hang up, Gloria recalls that Regina used to live with them and played with Dandy, and asks what she thought of Gloria as a mother. Regina recalls that Gloria was never really there as a mother, and Gloria defends herself, saying she raised Dandy how she was raised growing up. She recalls a moment in Dandy's childhood when he was sick and called her to his room, and Gloria didn't know what to do and didn't want to get infected and sent his governess instead; following that incident, Dandy never called for her ever again. Regina uncomfortably hangs up. Dandy appears, in his underwear and covered in blood, much to Gloria's horror.
Dell visits the same doctor who examined Desiree. Dell threatens to harm his family if he interferes with Desiree again and breaks his hands to prevent him performing surgery.
Elsa drives away from Jupiter with the twins, taking them to the Mott Manor. She offers them to Gloria, who previously offered to buy them to please Dandy.
- The Barbizon Secretary School attended by Regina Ross is likely a conflation of the Barbizon Hotel for Women and Katherine Gibb's Secretarial School which rented two of the building's floors to house its students. The location is also known to have housed aspiring actresses, models, and authors.
- Bette's comment about Dinah Shore's supposedly dubious heritage comes from a real legend. It is common among urban myths to take celebrities down a peg with rumors that their bloodline has been muddied by a "lesser" race or legacy, going back to the commoner's whispers of royal bastards.
- Stanley: "Fräulein Elsa's Cabinet of Curiosities is about to have a terrible run of bad luck."
- Elsa Mars: "I would never participate in what I consider to be the death of art and civilization."
- Gloria Mott: "You have the sickness like your father had before you. He stifled it the only way he could. These mental perversions are an affliction of the extremely affluent. Cousins marry cousins to protect the money, to keep the estates whole. Inbreeding. Becomes a right of passage to have a psychotic or two in the line."
- Dell Toledo: "The pain don't define me."
Cast and characters
- Sarah Paulson as Bette and Dot Tattler
- Evan Peters as Jimmy Darling
- Denis O'Hare as Stanley
- Emma Roberts as Maggie Esmerelda
- Finn Wittrock as Dandy Mott
- Frances Conroy as Gloria Mott
- Michael Chiklis as Dell Toledo
- Angela Bassett as Desiree Dupree
- Kathy Bates as Ethel Darling
- Jessica Lange as Elsa Mars
- Patti LaBelle as Dora Brown
- Gabourey Sidibe as Regina Ross
- Erika Ervin as Amazon Eve
- Jyoti Amge as Ma Petite
- Naomi Grossman as Pepper
- Mat Fraser as Paul the Illustrated Seal
- Rose Siggins as Legless Suzi
- Grace Gummer as Penny
- Celia Weston as Lillian Hemmings
- Jerry Leggio as Myron Bonham
- Matt Bomer as Andy
- Christopher Neiman as Salty
- Drew Rin Varick as Toulouse