With "Edward Mordrake (Part 1)," American Horror Story: Freak Show plays to its strengths, sounding its themes through action rather than talk. Jimmy's (Evan Peters) already reliably tedious, half-true blathering about the equality and sameness of freaks is mercifully limited to a speech given over Meep's funeral; mostly, we're allowed to regard the freaks simply as characters, with accompanying pleasures and demons, rather than as potential monuments to retrospective political actualization. Narratively, this episode's a mess, as it introduces half a dozen threads and is clearly doing a great deal of bookkeeping for the season at large. But this structural looseness, which favors vignettes that stand on their own, also affirms the central premise of aloneness: These characters are bundled together on a cramped makeshift campground yet they're emotionally solitary, trapped within their individual obsessions. "Edward Mordrake (Part 1)" is aware of the reassuring safety, and of the stifling social enclosure, of living with family.