The opening sequence sees the Boulet Brothers playing the Madames Murnau, a couple of cunning clairvoyants who end up blinding their would-be victim. This is one moment where I am glad that the show has a budget, because the makeup job on the burned out eyes looks so realistic. As a haunt actor and self-taught makeup artist, I can appreciate a good practical effects job when I see it.
In the boudoir, Dollya reads herself on the purple briefs that she wore under her costume last week. They nearly cost her her place, and as such she reveals that she burned the briefs following the challenge. Overall, the energy in the room is not as high as it usually is, as the on-location Hospital of Horrors challenge took a lot out of everyone involved. That in mind, the general consensus is that Maddelynn is likely the contestant that was exterminated. Simply put, it was another case of one exterminee willing to fight for their place, and the other was more or less already done. Sure enough, Priscilla joins her castmates, confirming Maddelynn’s untimely demise.
This week’s floor show pays tribute to the freakshows of years gone by. Each contestant will develop a look worthy of the finest sideshow, complete with a performance to boot. In addition, each performer will style a custom Arda wig to use in their act. From the jump, Dollya jokes that now that Maddelynn is gone, red hair isn’t off-limits anymore, and this proclamation gets a huge laugh from the final five.
Priscilla is still very much upset over the Key of Life and Death from the Dungeons and Dragons challenge. She doubles down on her slighting of Dollya by accusing her of coasting through the competition thus far, and the epic back-and-forth unfurls in such a way that makes it feel like it’s worth getting invested in. It is a motherfucker of a bitchfest, with Louisianna throwing in with the stoning crowd, while Evah and Landon largely steer clear of the madness. Dollya accuses her castmates of keeping it cute on-camera and the opposite off-camera, but in any case, it definitely sets up a Dollya vs. the world conflict, even if Dollya started the fire herself.
The top five talk about who they think will be the top three, as that reality is just around the corner. Louisianna thinks that Priscilla and Landon will join her. Priscilla echoes Louisianna’s picks. Dollya thinks that Landon and Evah will be in the top three with her, while Landon thinks that Evah and Louisianna will be the finalists. Evah echoes Landon’s picks, which creates quite the telling story. Everyone had Landon in their hypothetical top three. No one besides Dollya herself had her in theirs. Louisianna appeared in everyone’s top three except for Dollya. Two of Evah’s cohorts think that she will be in the final. Shockingly, only Louisianna thinks that Priscilla is top three worthy.
The plot thickens as the Dragulaworld pageant comes up, as Priscilla throws shade at Dollya for her claiming that she “didn’t need” the pageant to make it to the show. The big clash of Dollya versus Priscilla is starting to look like it will put any of the previous beefs of the last two seasons to shame.
The stakes for this week are $500 worth of Arda wigs, and given this week’s guest judges, that prize will be a lofty goal for the fatal five. Vander von Odd steps out from behind the scenes to lend her expertise, and Cig Neutron of Face Off steps behind the judges’ table for this bonafide freakshow floor show. First up is Landon as the man with three dicks, though the phalluses are not as human-looking as he may have wanted originally. Evah’s look is cutesy and fun, until we see that she has a baby coming out of her chest, burster-style. Priscilla’s blockhead moment is classic freakshow, and it’s done so well, it’s hard to elaborate here. Dollya’s well-endowed strongwoman act has a wig reveal to boot, and it’s hard to give this look anything but 10s across the board. Louisianna goes for a classic burlesque look, but a third breast comes into play for that freakshow moment.
Judgment is passed, and while Priscilla was freaky, her doll prop went unutilized. Dollya had a fully realized concept and look, and it goes over well with the judges. Evah needed to be grittier and dirtier, a tune that has been sung a couple of times for the Texas native. Louisianna’s bodysuit didn’t read as such, so props to her, but her performance could have gone further than it actually did. Landon more or less ran the damn freakshow, trouser snake trifecta and all.
Each contestant is asked a question, and the answers are telling, to put it gently. Landon and Priscilla are both asked who should go home. Landon says that Priscilla should, based on her critiques from the last two challenges. Predictably, Dollya is Priscilla’s pick, though Dollya admits that she’s been “a passive little bitch” up to this point, hence her taking Priscilla and the rest of the cast to task back in the boudoir. Evah is asked if she has been herself in the competition, especially lately, and she affirms that she has been. She has a goal, and she works towards that goal no matter what. Louisianna is asked who should win tonight, and she smugly claims it should be her.
Unfortunately, it is not Miss Purchase’s night, but rather Dollya’s, as she wins the challenge, her second main challenge win thus far. Landon is excused from the extermination, leaving Louisianna, Priscilla, and Evah to face a dollar-stapling extermination challenge. Before the staple showdown, Louisianna is panicking. She doesn’t have a high pain tolerance, and being in the bottom is scaring the everloving shit out of her. She ultimately buckles down and goes for it, telling the cast that if this is what she has to do to say, then she’ll do it. In a heartwarming moment, the kindness and guidance of the elder stateswoman Purchase is paid back by all of the other artists, as they comfort her and encourage her, just as she has done all season for them. I know that a Miss Congeniality title isn’t quite in the framework for Dragula, but if there ever were such a thing, I would nominate Louisianna for it in a heartbeat.
And speaking of heartbeats, during the extermination, Louisianna passes out from the pain, planting a seed of doubt that she may be cut from the competition. Fortunately, it is not the end for Miss Purchase, but rather for Evah Destruction, who we see getting the test of strength mallet treatment in her death scene.
It’s a shame to see such a talented queen bite the dust, but that’s what happens when the Dragula crown inches closer. We now have our final four, and at this point, it’s damn near anyone’s ballgame.