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

The following article includes references to the topic of suicide.

Twisty the Clown (John Carroll Lynch) is one of the scariest and most disturbing aspects of "American Horror Story: Freak Show." Clad in a dirty and disheveled clown costume with a hideous mask featuring a haunting smile, Twisty the Clown terrorized the first half of Season 4. Murdering the parents of a young boy and kidnapping him, and capturing a young woman after killing her date, Twisty, like the name implies, has a twisted way of looking at things — he just wants to bring laughter and joy to the young boy's life, and wants the young lady to act as his babysitter. How thoughtful!

Casting a fearful pall across Jupiter, Florida as well as Elsa Mars' (Jessica Lange) freak show troupe, Twisty believes that he is saving children from their parents and the freak show, who is "stealing kids away." Twisty's mental state is questionable at best, though his tragic origin story and the manner in which he became to exist in his current state earns the character a sliver of sympathy. But his savage and brutal attacks and murders tend to undermine any sort of sad feelings fans may have for him.

Considering the horrible acts Twisty commits during "AHS," what scene is truly disturbing to watch?

Twisty's tragic backstory scene went too far

During Episode 4, "Edward Mordrake (Part 2)," the specter of a British aristocrat is summoned on Halloween, a forbidden performance day in the freak show circuit for that very reason. Edward Mordrake (Wes Bentley) has but one goal when he is called into this reality, and that is to leave with another performer for his retinue of ghosts, and he always seeks "the blackest soul." This sees Mordrake interrogate most of Elsa's performers and herself, and just as he is about to claim her soul, he's called away by the presence of Twisty. Demanding that Twisty answer his questions, the ghost allows him to speak, which reveals his sorrow-filled history and grievous wound.

Explaining that he was driven from his circus job by members of another freak show, Twisty lived in a broken down bus in squalor, and attempted to re-purpose trash and junk into toys for children to gain some meaning in life, but was met with nothing but resentment and hostility. This caused Twisty to attempt suicide with a shotgun, but the attempt was botched and left him without a lower jaw or the ability to speak. These scenes are harrowing, and the combination of special effects make the mangled clown difficult to look at without his trademark mask. The blending of a tragic history with a visually upsetting injury causes these scenes to go just a little too far, but knowing the series as a whole, this was probably intentional.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.