Dandy prepares for his debut performance. The Tattlers contemplate marriage, while in Hollywood, Elsa discovers she's further from love than ever before.
Dandy oversteps the mark as the new owner of the freak show and most of the company, all fed up with his antics, quit. His response is exactly what you would expect: he goes out and kills everyone in sight. Some survive however and plan their own unique revenge on the erstwhile showman. Meanwhile, Elsa arrives in Los Angeles but doesn't quite get the reception she had hoped for. She perseveres however and soon realizes her dream. Happiness however proves to be elusive.
- Paul and Seal, Penny and Barbara worry about Dandy Mott's ownership of the show, but with few other options, Paul suggests they wait and see what happens.
Back at the show, brat Dandy preps for his Cole Porter review, haranguing the spotlight operator: "For 'Anything Goes' I need the magenta light to accentuate my spirited rendition."
Paul returns and breaks the bad news to Dandy that they haven't sold a single ticket. Dandy rips into the freaks, calling Amazon Eve an "ugly cow" and blaming them for the lack of audience interest. He suggests a pair of horns on Penny and Eve has had enough. She decks Dandy. Then Paul tells him how it is: that Dandy is boring and will never be a freak like them. They quit.
Out in Hollywood, Elsa Mars strolls into the office of the head of the World Broadcasting Network, as she has for the past three days in a row. When the president's secretary says she can't see him without an appointment, Elsa settles in to wait -- all day. At the end of the day, Elsa is irate that the president snuck out the back and the secretary just let her sit there. When the secretary suggests Elsa change her act because "Marlene did it better," Elsa hits her and wrestles her to the ground.
Michael Beck (previously Michael Beckenbauer, "Hollywood's funny about German surnames"), comes to her rescue. He's the junior vice president of casting.
Back at the show, Dandy walks the grounds, humming. When he sees Paul, he shoots him through the forehead without a pause. Penny hides, but he kills her, too. Dandy turns his attention to Toulouse, then legless Suzy. After killing them, he calmly continues on, shooting anyone he sees. Amazon Eve hears the shots and leaves her trailer. After finding Paul's body, she picks up an axe.
Dandy finds Barbara and shoots her through the face. Dandy continues on to Desiree's trailer, where she's hiding in a closet. He hunts her down and is about to shoot through the door when Eve tackles him and knocks the gun free.
They tumble out of the trailer and Eve, who has at least a foot on him, starts pounding on him. But he's able to get his gun and shoot her through the leg, stopping her just long enough to be defenseless as he finally shoots her in the head.
He's annoyed by the inconvenience.
He goes back inside looking for Desiree, but doesn't find her. He returns to his tent, where he has Dot and Bette bound and gagged. "Come with me," he says.
Later that night, Jimmy returns to the empty show grounds. Not knowing Elsa has left, he looks for her in her tent. He calls out as he walks around, but gets no response. Then he heads to the big top, where he finds all of his friends and fellow freaks dead in a heap. Desiree finds him.
Back at Dandy's house, Dandy marries Bette Tattler, who seems genuinely happy about the whole thing. Dot tells him she can "leave her body" to give them privacy on their wedding night. He warns her: "I can get very nasty if my manhood is compromised." The witnesses are all his stuffed animals.
Bette beams at being Mrs. Mott and tells Dandy the maid she's hired is a classical trained French chef.
Later at dinner, Dandy talks about their honeymoon safari plans as the (unseen) maid pours him champagne. He starts to get woozy and we see the maid: Desiree.
Bette turns on him: "Did you honestly think we would lay with you in your wedding bed after you massacred our entire family?"
Dot commends her sister as a truly great actress.
When Dandy groggily tries to lunge at Desiree with a knife, Bette shoots him in the arm. The "butler" arrives: Jimmy.
They reveal a car inviting him to his own debut performance. Jimmy and Desiree tell him he's finally going to be the star of the show. Dandy passes out.
He wakes up chained in Hardin Houdini's famous escape tank. (Flash back to Jimmy telling Desiree they have to kill him with showmanship.)
Dandy protests that he's a song and dance man, not an escape artist. Then he turns to Bette and asks to go home, saying that "marriage is hard," but he forgives her.
Finally, Desiree tells him: "You may look like a motion picture dream boat, but you are the biggest freak of them all."
They turn on the fire hose in the tank. Dandy screams and throws himself against the glass, but they sit down with popcorn to watch as the water slowly rises. Soon, it's over Dandy's head and he stops struggling.
"Heck of a show," Jimmy says. "That boy is a star," Desiree says.
News reel footage of the creation of the Hollywood Walk of Fame rolls. We're introduced to Elsa Mars, the "Queen of Friday night television," with three Emmys and several gold records to her name. Her husband and manager Michael Beck is by her side.
On the set, the couple films an ad for instant coffee. Elsa almost makes it to the end but then gets made at the writing, painting her as a head strong woman who has to be wrangled.
Later, as Elsa relaxes in her dressing room, a network publicity woman comes by with a pitch for a Halloween profile on the couple for Parade magazine. Elsa tells them she won't do a Halloween show. Elsa turns on Michael, lamenting ever marrying him. (Cut to a quick scene of Elsa back to her dominatrix roots with Michael.)
Elsa returns home to find Massimo Dolcefino waiting for her. He commends her accomplishments, but she tells him she's bored and alone. When he tells her he loves, she suggests they run away together.
But he tells her he has lung cancer and only has a month to live.
Later that night, drunken Elsa gets a visit from Michael and Henry Gabel, the head of the network. A reporter has a copy of the video in which her legs are sawed off. They also looked into her past and learned about the freak show. Gabel breaks the news that they're all dead: the bodies were found in a mass grave.
Elsa announces she's changed her mind: she will perform on Halloween. "Why not? Might as well go out with a bang."
Later, at the Halloween special taping of "The Elsa Mars Show," Elsa sings "We Can be Heroes."
On a street somewhere, Desiree and her husband Angus, and their two kids, see Elsa perform.
Dot and Bette bring Jimmy dinner. The twins are pregnant.
Outside the studio in Hollywood, Edward Mordrake and his cloud of green mist come for Elsa, with Twisty the Clown and his misfit entourage.
Elsa is happy to see him (although no one else can). Edward plunges a knife into her chest and Elsa falls from the unseen hand as he tells her: "Your place is not with us."
Instea, Elsa sees herself back at the show with Ma Petite, Legless Suzy, Paula and Penny (now hitched), Amazon Eve and even Ethel. Everyone is getting ready for the show. "The sins of the living don't add up to much around here," Ethel tells her.
"It's like you always said, sweetheart: 'Stars never pay,'" Ethel says, hugging her. There's a full house every night, they've just been missing their headliner.
Ma Petitie helps Elsa get ready for the show as Meep runs past. On stage later, Ethel introduces "the brightest and the best that ever was and ever will be: Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you, Miss Elsa Mars."
Back in her blue tuxedo, Elsa takes the stage to a standing ovation.