#AmericanHorrorStory: Pink Cupcakes

This episode is all about physical and emotional pain.

The Details

  • Elsa is booed off the stage, then snubbed by Stanley since he really just wants to kill the twins, but that plan fails too.
  • Esmerelda rejects Jimmy’s advances.
  • While Jimmy is consoling himself with Desi, she miscarries. The doctor confirms for her that she is a woman.
  • Dell begs his boyfriend to run away with him, but he is rejected. Desi tells Dell that she’s leaving him.
  • Dandy owns his identity as a killer, killing Dell’s boyfriend.
  • Elsa sells the twins to Dandy.

The Big Q

What is the relationship between physical and emotional pain?

The Impact

In exploring this, please note that I’m not suggesting that there are emotional causes for all our physical suffering in the real world (or vice versa). Rather, in storytelling, both are used to help audiences explore the human experience of pain. While we can definitely see the fallout of physical trauma on Elsa, from the removal of her legs to the humiliation on stage, I’m still curious how she ended up being a dominatrix, and I think it’s rooted in some emotional pain. Jimmy has had emotional pain his whole life because of his hands, which is exacerbated by Esmerelda’s rejection and Desi’s pain at his touch. Desi gives us the emotional background for her suffering while the doctor examines her physical suffering. Dandy, while genetically predisposed to be a psychopath, was also emotionally traumatized by neglectful parenting, causing him to inflict physical pain on others to get relief from his own pain. Dell’s sexual frustration manifests itself when he breaks the hands of the doctor. Finally, several parties want to hurt the twins, and while their mother kept them locked up for ages, they seem to be some of the most well-adjusted characters on the show. What’s interesting about Bette and Dot is how Dot seems to manage the pain for both them, even though Bette’s the murderer.

What do you think? What else have you seen so far about pain?

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