Last night on “American Horror Story: Freak Show” Stanley finally got his comeuppance in an episode entitled “Show Stoppers.” We see him in the very beginning of the episode facing freak show justice, but we do not discover what happens to him until the very end. Just as the episode is about to conclude we discover that he has been surgically altered to be the show’s new Meep. He is tiny, furry, and nonverbal except for some squeaky meep-like noises that he can create.
If you are a fan of this season of “American Horror Story” (AHS), then you most likely know what Stanley’s storyline alludes to. It is an allusion to the movie “Freaks.” The movie’s villain is the beautiful Cleopatra. She is turned into a tiny bird woman after being pursued by freaks in the middle of the night. Her transgression was attempted murder of their leader. I was impressed at how the movie’s chase scene was recreated on AHS. Stanley’s attempted escape under the trailers after being found guilty of murdering freaks was just like in the 1932 film. Some very good directing was going on in last night’s AHS episode.
When I first saw “Freaks”, I wondered how the freaks were able to change Cleopatra into a legless bird woman. Her hands had been morphed into duck feet, she had no ability to talk, and she was almost completely covered in feathers. Only her head and neck remained human. The freaks couldn’t have done it to her, because she would have never survived that kind of surgery without a doctor(s). So that means, at some point, the freaks must have gotten her medical care.
The same question can be applied to AHS and Stanley. He has obviously had some major surgery done. Limbs have been lost, his biceps were only tiny stubs, and his ability to speak was completely gone. But what surgeon could have possibly been contacted to perform such a brutal surgery? I have a theory that is far-fetched but possible. Because AHS is already a far-fetched series, it is not so odd as it will seem.
I think Hans Gruper (aka Arthur Arden) performed the surgery. In a bizarre twist, the audience will discover that Elsa somehow got in touch with and maintained contact with Gruper after leaving Germany. From the “Asylum” season we already know that Gruper left post-war Germany for America. That means he and Elsa are both in the USA now. Who is a more sadistic and creepy surgeon than the infamous Nazi doctor? The only question to this is why Elsa would keep in contact with the man who took her legs and tortured her lover Massimo Dolcefino?
There is only one more episode of “American Horror Story: Freak Show” left. There are still many loose ends that need to be tied up. Stanley’s storyline may look like it is over now that he is a caged pet freak, but I do wonder if the show will reveal the mystery surgeon behind his transformation. If it is Hans Gruper, the bigger mystery will be why Elsa would allow him anywhere near the freak show at all.