It’s that time of year again when lights are strung, leaves fall and TV shows go on hiatus. So without further adieu, here is the fall finale recap of ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show – ‘Orphans.’ Soak it up as it’s the last one for a while!
I especially liked this episode because it reverted back to the ‘origins’ theme from earlier in the season with Twisty (dead but not forgotten). As some of you know, Pepper is the only character to play the same role in different seasons of AHS (unheard of in this U-verse) therefore creating the delicious opportunity to bring ‘Asylum’ and ‘Freak Show’ together at long last. More on that later, but it was really a delight as a fan to see this happen.
This season has been a very emotional one, to say the least and this episode is no acceptation. We open with the death of Salty, who had died in his sleep the night before. At first it seems like this was the work of Pornstache Stanley, but Elsa beautifully monologues about how the “death of a freak is always a sore one, but never a surprise.” Some one tell that to Pepper, Salty’s wife who (like him) suffered from similar pinhead syndrome and will one day succumb to her fate as well. His death was peaceful but his lifeless body cannot escape Pornstache and his axe (we later see Salty’s head in the ‘Museum for weird things’ along with Ma Petite’s body).
With a grieving Pepper, Three Tits Desiree acts as mother hen but cant handle her temper tantrums and goes off to tell Elsa that something needs to be done to help Pepper. Here we get the ‘origins’ story of how Pepper came to be with the ‘Freak Show.’ I have to say this whole flashback sequence is pretty rad (I love the wedding portion the most), as is Elsa’s youthful make up/wig. ON. POINT. Elsa found her at an orphanage and fell in love with her. Since she was over 18 they let her just leave with Elsa (totally safe) thus becoming the very first ‘freak’ in Elsa’s trope. From there they grew the show together, but Elsa could sense that Pepper was longing to be a mother. Elsa’s prayers were answered (sort of) when Ma Petite came into their lives via the sultan of everything wrong in the world, as she was his “pet.” Elsa, the cunning fox that she is, offers him 3 cases of Dr. Pepper (irony. irony everywhere) in exchange for Ma Petite. SOLD!
As the years go on, Pepper, Elsa and Ma Petite’s family grows and so does their love for one another. But there was still one more thing Pepper needed to make her life complete; a mate. This girl really had a lucky streak by first being rescued, then getting the child (kind of) that she always wanted and then meeting Salty, her perfect match all while being surrounded by friends and love and fun. Alas, all good things must come to an end and knowing AHS its only downhill from here.
After the death of Ma Petite then Salty, Pepper becomes too much for Elsa to handle, so she travels to Peppers estranged sisters house (she’s the one that dumped her at the orphanage all those years ago to have kids and get married, but never had the kids. Some sister). Elsa is as sad as one can be and kisses Pepper’s’ palm and says to hold it up to her face whenever she’s lonely and that’ll be like Elsa is there, kissing her cheek. SAD. SAD. SAD.
Back to the present day, Dell tries to apologize to three boobs McGee about everything he did wrong in their marriage, life, trying to kill himself, etc. you know the usual stuff and oddly she forgives him and oddly so do I which shouldn’t be the case since he killed Ma Petite and shattered my heart into a billion little pieces. But its Chiklis and he just has that face I cant help but forgive. Damn him straight to hell for that.
Desiree is in the throws of a past love, Angus (he laid eyes on her while she was ‘dancing’ at another freak show and it was love at first sight). To test the bounds of their union, they visit a nearly drunk, always annoying Maggie to see what the future holds for them. Now Jimmy is still in jail so little miss magpie is taking a page out of his playbook and getting shi*faced every night like her beloved. So when she reads their fortune, its all sunshine and rainbows until she becomes bitter and says they’re basically doomed because, hey, we all are.
At this point Desiree starts to wise up to Maggie and confronts her about her BS reading. Maggie fesses up that she and Pornstache Stanley are ‘robbing’ patrons once the lights go down at the show (I mean, using a lie to cover up a different lie is so weird) but Desiree wasn’t raised by no fool. Here we also get the ‘origins’ story of how Maggie and Stanley met (posing as a boy, newspaper pick pocketing, you get the idea) but its not a very interesting or far fetched one.
Somehow Maggie decides she wants to do the right thing (as I so predicted from Ep. 1. BAM!) and brings Desiree to the ‘Museum for Weird Things’ as insurance/protection and shows here all of the dead freaks that Stanley has been selling to the museum for a profit. What she DOESN’T expect to see is Lobster Boy’s hands (aka Jimmy) sitting in a jar before her. Is he dead? Did Stanley kill him? Did a group of horny housewives cut them off, use them for their wicked needs and then sell them to the museum?? We’ll have to wait until next episode to find out the answer to that riddle but based on the fact that Stanley went to see Jimmy in jail earlier in the episode and said his ‘hands’ were valuable enough to sell and pay for a fancy lawyer is the key.
Anyway Maggie faints, like the little b*tch that she is and we cut back to Pepper’s sad sack life. We flash to 1962, to Pepper’s sister speaking to a nun about why she’s admitting the “patient.” Who is this nun you ask?? ITS LILY RABE FROM SEASON 2 AHS: ASYLUM!!! Holy parallel universe, Batman!! What a genius twist this was, taking Pepper and turning her basically into Bruce Wayne with this origins story. Consider my mind blown. Anyway, Pepper’s sister goes on and on to Sister Mary Eunice (not possessed yet), weaving a terrible web of lies about what Pepper’s been up to while living at their house. In reality, Pepper took care of the surprise! pregnancy baby when it came out deformed and slung cocktails for dear ol’ sis, all while begin yelled at by Ike Turner (aka Pepper’s brother in law). To put the cherry on top of the ‘she is crazy’ cake’, Pepper’s sister says that she killed the little newborn deformity which couldn’t be farther from the truth. The husband was the one to think of the ‘kill two birds with one stone’ plan, locks Pepper out of the baby’s room, stabs the baby to death, and then pins it on Pepper. Who are these sick people!?
Anyway, the story comes full circle when Pepper is admitted to Briarcliff, under the care of pre-exorcist Mary, who, can tell that Pepper shows actual remorse in her eyes for what she did to the baby. Oh boy. Tears are welling. What really got me in this episode, is towards the end. Sister Mary coins Pepper as her ‘special project’ and has her start working in the library by tiding up and separating the magazines. When she begins to do this, we see her well up, put her palm to her face (same one that Elsa kissed) as she looks down at a copy of Time magazine, with Elsa on the cover. WHY?! WHY DO YOU MAKE ME FEEL ALL THE FEELS RYAN MURPHY!!?? Not only do we see that Pepper’s life might not be so bad (and know what happens to her in ‘Asylum’) and that Elsa, her closest friends dreams finally comes true, it seems like there may be some happy endings in store for our freaks yet.
So there you have it, the fall finale of ‘AHS: Freak Show.’ I thought it was a pretty bold choice to center an entire episode around a not so popular character, but they really pulled this one off.
Let us know in the comments section below what you thought about the episode and catch us back here when AHS picks back up on Jan. 8th!