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The Dandy Scene That Went Too Far On American Horror Story: Freak Show

Season 4 of "American Horror Story," subtitled "Freak Show," revolves around a traveling circus troupe in 1950s Florida. Since each of its performers exhibit some sort of non-normative characteristic or talent, they're marketed as a freak show, in the parlance of the times. Fans online have praised "Freak Show" in particular for its mix of a vibrant visual style and an emotionally resonant storyline.

Also central to "Freak Show" is Dandy Mott, a serial killer, portrayed by Finn Wittrock in perhaps his best role in the series' history, who relates to the members of the circus troupe in spite of his privileged background. Dandy's particular brand of psychopathy is popular among a significant portion of the viewership of "Freak Show," reflected in his winning a poll created to determine viewers' favorite character from the season.

Like any good "American Horror Story" villain, Dandy's violence pushes the envelope more than once over the course of his season-long tenure. One scene in particular, however, stands out as the gnarliest of all of Dandy's misdeeds, arguably crossing a line more than any other moment in his storyline.

Dandy's slaughter of the surviving troupe members went too far

In the "American Horror Story: Freak Show" season finale, Dandy caps off what had up until that point been a gradual killing off of some of the circus troupe members by slaughtering almost every surviving performer in a large-scale shooting. Whereas most of Dandy's prior kills are somewhat theatrical, Dandy's mass murder is shocking for both its comparative nonchalance and its high body count, specifically of characters with whom viewers have become accustomed to watching.

Finn Wittrock even told a Popsugar interviewer that this was his choice for the scariest scene in all of "American Horror Story." The day he filmed it, he explained, "was actually the one day that I walked home like, 'oh I really hate myself and don't wanna do this.'" On Reddit, meanwhile, one commenter called this "perhaps the most infuriating scene for me in AHS history" and received 29 upvotes.

While moments like, for example, Dandy sewing his dead mother and an anonymous Avon salesperson into makeshift siamese twins may be more outwardly gruesome, the nadir of Dandy's bad behavior comes when he throws all serial killer creativity out the window and simply slaughters most of the circus troupe with which he was once so enamored. It's his senselessness and cruelty that make this scene arguably a harder watch than anything his character has done before it during an already-bloody season.