News Ticker

American Horror Story: Freak Show – S4E10 – Orphans

Previously on AHS: Freak Show, ‘Tupperware Party Massacre’

I’m not sure what to expect out of tonight’s episode. It’s been kind of all over the place the past couple of weeks and I’m waiting for things to come together. And for Dandy to keep his damn pants on.

We open the show with yet another death. This one seems to be of natural causes – Salty died of a stroke. Pepper can’t handle it, but Elsa can’t be bothered. Richard says she has too much stress; Elsa tells him she wants him out of the camp. But alas, he has the “head of the network” lined up to meet with her. For a smart, canny, conniving woman, Elsa sure is a dumbass to believe a word out of Richard’s mouth. Yet she does. He offers to take care of Pepper while Elsa prepares for her big TV show meeting. Elsa stupidly agrees and Richard hacks Salty’s head off to display at the morbidity museum.

American Horror Story Salty Died

Del walks in on Desiree reading to Pepper and asks to talk to her. He begs her to take him back and Desiree turns him down. She shoos him away and tells Pepper she’s going to get ready for the show. Pepper loses her shit over being left and Desiree ain’t having none of it.

Desiree and Elsa kick back a few shots and Elsa starts telling the tale of how the show began. I’m hoping this isn’t an entire flashback episode because I need the current storylines to get a move on.

Back in the day, Elsa started out with the gypsies but soon wanted to run her own show. She ventured out to an orphanage and found Pepper. They make an instant connection over stacking blocks and Elsa brings home her first pet – or as Elsa puts it, her first “monster”, yet she says it was the first time she ever felt unconditional love.

She continues to acquire new monsters, but her original, Pepper, was lonely. Then along came Ma Petite. Awww, we haven’t seen her in a while. She was so dang cute. Elsa trades 3 cases of Dr. Pepper to acquire the little one (Seriously? That’s it?) and Pepper is temporarily satisfied with having her maternal needs fulfilled. But soon other needs kick in and Elsa finds Pepper her soul mate: Salty. But now that Salty has died, they decide that it’s time for Pepper to go back home.

Salty and Pepper

Maggie is taking a healthy swig from her flask when Desiree and Theo (okay, he’s not Theo, his name is Angus) walk in. They ask for a reading on their future. Maggie says they have a fresh start somewhere out west with a white picket fence. They giggle giddily and then Maggie’s shots kick in and she shits all over their happy little dreams. Um, okay. Haters gonna hate, I guess.

But Desiree ain’t having none of this either. She calls Maggie out as Maggie is getting sloshed on the carousel. Maggie confesses that Richard / Stanley is not the Hollywood scout he says he is. That they’re business partners. Desiree asks what they want with the show and Maggie claims they pick the audience’s pockets. Desiree calls bullshit and tells Maggie she will kill her if she finds out Maggie had anything to do with the deaths that only started happening when they showed up.

Back in Maggie’s tent, the twins are waiting for her. They offer up their money to get a good lawyer for Jimmy. Maggie declines but they toss the money at her anyway and tell her to “do right by Jimmy.” The kid is an alcoholic, emotional wreck. Why does every vagina on this show want him?

In jail, Richard comes to visit Jimmy. He asks Jimmy if he did it and Jimmy said he was too drunk to remember and he’s not sure if he killed the Tupperware party or not. Richard says he’s got a top of the line lawyer for him. Richard says the lawyer will need money, but Jimmy doesn’t have any. But Richard’s got an idea of how to raise the money. Of course he does that little skeeze.

Desiree is happily whipping up a pot roast and Maggie comes to talk and “do the right thing.” She wants to help Jimmy but she needs Desiree’s help to do it. And we have another commercial break. Is it just me or is this entire episode primarily commercial breaks? Hey, at least I haven’t had to look at Dandy’s ass at all.

Elsa has brought Pepper back to her sister. But sister don’t want her. Elsa says Pepper will die of loneliness if sister doesn’t take her. So sister agrees. Pepper tells Elsa “stay” but Elsa tearfully departs. Pepper looks so sad and pitiful but can’t articulate anything. She presses a kiss to Pepper’s palm and tells her if she’s ever lonely, to hold that kiss to her cheek and Elsa will be there. Oh God, this is the saddest scene. That barren, half-drunk sister of hers better not turn out to be a jackass. But at least she isn’t in danger of Richard killing her off.

Maggie takes Desiree to the morbidity museum where they see Ma Petite’s body and Salty’s head. But then the newest exhibit is revealed: a pair of lobster hands that must have been Jimmy’s. When Maggie sees them, she faints. I would too if my own personal magic orgasm fingers had been destroyed.

Ma Petite

Flash forward to 1962. Pepper’s sister, Rita, is at a convent. She’s talking to Sister Mary Eunice – Lily Rabe! Yay! She’s got herself a deformed little baby that Pepper takes care of while she drinks gin and complains. Rita is telling a tale about Pepper having a drinking problem and an obsession with her husband and parading around naked. Sister Mary Eunice says the shock therapy and caning should help with that. Then Rita claims Pepper is a murderer, says Pepper killed her son. But it was really Rita’s husband. Sliced that infant wide open and let him drown while Pepper was giving him a bath. Pepper finds his bloody dead body and goes hysterical. And I’m practically hysterical. What the hell is this madness? Poor Pepper! How can anyone be that despicable and cruel? This is sick and twisted in the most depressing and heartbreaking way. I don’t like this one bit.

Pepper is locked away in a cell, wrapped in a straightjacket. Sister Mary Eunice comes to fetch her, angry at first, but then sees that Pepper is crying over dead baby Lucas. She’s overjoyed that Pepper is “learning her lesson.” She brings Pepper to a library of sorts and teaches her to sort the books. She calls Pepper her “special project” and Pepper seems somewhat happy. She finds an issue of Life magazine with Elsa on the cover (with a caption reading: Elsa Mars still owns Friday night. WTF?) and touches her palm (the one Elsa kissed) to her cheek and smiles.

Well, holy crap, that was sad! It was so emotionally charged with the Pepper scenes that I almost don’t care how little the main plot lines developed. My heart is broken, I’m intrigued with that Life Magazine cover and did you see the previews? Not just Neil Patrick Harris, but a completely whack-a-do Neil Patrick Harris is coming! And he’s such a loony that even Dandy refers to him as a “sicko.” Oh hell yes, AHS. Bring it on. But stop with the sad stuff. This episode had more than enough to last me the rest of the season. Vengeance for Pepper, damn it! Until next year…

About Maya Maldonado (43 Articles)
Maya Maldanado is the author of the Lust (The Immortal Shadows Trilogy).

4 Comments on American Horror Story: Freak Show – S4E10 – Orphans

  1. Not much to say about this episode other than it reminded me of the Bethisode on Walking Dead. On it’s own it was OK, I guess, but much like Beth, Pepper is someone I didn’t really know or care about. Her story was depressing as shit, and I felt bad for her, but I don’t have any connection to this character. So, overall I didn’t care too much about all of this. I did learn that she and Salty were married though. I swear they said they were siblings earlier in the season. Anyway, I got a laugh at the fact Shorty Bop was sold to Elsa for 3 cases of Dr. Pepper. Finally, I’m skeptical about Jimmy’s hands being cut off until it’s proven in the future.

  2. Such a sad episode. All night all I could tweet was Poor Pepper. And can we add her sister & brother-in-law to the list of people who must die horrible painful deaths? Please & thank you.

    No clue wtf is going on tho. Nice seeing Ma Petite again. The actress just turned 21 and had a huge party. Awww.

    Looks like Maggie is turning on Richard/Stanley/Spaulding/Russell/whatever the fuck his name is this season. He’s more evil than Russell at this point. At least Russell had fun with his evil.

    Elsa really did love Pepper. Awww. But what was that with her on the cover of Life? Loved the smile from Pepper when she saw it tho. So I wonder how that happened if Denis O’Hare’s character is full of shit.

    Sister Mary Eunice! Before her demon possession! I can’t remember but Pepper was treated nicely in Asylum, right?

    That’s all I can think of. Questionable episode as usual. Seriously don’t know where they’re going this season. Can’t wait to hear y’all’s thoughts in this one.

    And one last, “Poor Pepper”

  3. This is one of their best episodes, period. Pepper was/is a fan favorite, so this backstory was like a little Christmas present to shit on our emotions. And all the parallels (and obviously the direct connection) to Asylum warmed my heart and broke me at the same time. The Elsa and Pepper flashback at the orphanage had me in my Kit and Jude feels.
    This was an episode where they finally got their rhythm and returned to their AHS roots. Wasn’t a questionable thing about this episode. We got backstories, we got main plot progression, we got some genuine surprises, and we got some gotdamn emotion. This was the first time I actually felt something for Elsa. I believed her and felt like I gained some insight into who she is and her inner conflict. They finally balanced following up storylines without wrapping it up in the same episode and now we can finally anticipate the next episode.
    As far as Jimmy, I definitely don’t think this is or has ever been a case of “every vagina wants him.” The ladies of the town treated him as a novelty dildo, so I ain’t counting that as wanting him lol. That’s exploitation. But Dot genuinely loves him and always has. It might not be reciprocated in the way that she wants, but it shows how mature she really is and how authentic her love is. Jimmy’s always been there for them and their wellbeing too. Maggie’s “love” for him is real self-interested. He rescued her one time and now she wants him to rescue her from Stanley/Richard. I actually feel really bad for Jimmy and feel bad the audience kinda shits on him. He has legitimate reasons for falling apart. He’s killed a detective trying to protect the twins and the rest of the freaks, indirectly got Meep killed, Ma Petite’s dead, his mama died outta nowhere, and everybody’s telling him to get the fuck over it. Hell, I’d probably be drunk too, shit.
    Anyways, I was pleasantly surprised by this episode and I’m actually anticipating the next episode. Haven’t felt this since Asylum. Welcome back American Horror STORY!

  4. Favorite episode of this season. Pepper broke my heart. The parents with the baby kind of reminded me of Eraserhead a bit. Nice to get some background on how Elsa started the Freak show, and that glimpse of Elsa on Life Magazine? What is to come?

Leave a comment