AHS: Freak Show "Orphans" Review: The Last Temptation of Pepper (PHOTO RECAP)

American Horror Story S04E10: "Orphans"

When people mistakenly cite Murder House as American Horror Story's best season, I always redirect them to Asylum, the increasingly undeniable crown jewel in Ryan Murphy's finest headdress. Whereas Murder House only seemed to figure out what it was supposed to be (let alone how it should be filmed and edited) halfway through the season, Asylum arrived fully formed, just jam-packed with intention and ambition. Some would argue (as I occasionally did) that its tone was almost too unpleasant to be entertaining, but there's no denying it: THAT was horror. Coven was, minute-by-minute, the most hilarious and engaging season, but its story felt too loose and sprawling to effect the same impact as Asylum's focused moments of emotional devastation. Still though, Asylum DID afford moments of humor and weirdness—"The Name Game" scene alone was one of the most wonderful scenes in TV history, which is saying something considering it sprung out of a truly horrible scenario. 

In that same vein, the Pepper character stood out as something that would become an AHS trademark: Differently abled characters initially presented as aesthetic decoration but later revealed to be complex, sympathetic human beings with furiously beating hearts. We had a lot of fun with Pepper back in those days—I bordered on obsession with her—and that very easily could've been attributed to how strange and audacious her presence was in that grim world of institutionalized sadism. She was a bright spot and at the same time so peculiar. What was her deal even? WAS she actually a baby-killer who deserved to be locked up? Flash-forward two years IRL and Freak Show decided to take a break from its aimless murder buffet to actually give Pepper the episode we needed. And, guys? This episode WRECKED me. Yes, an episode about a character who can barely speak and seems mostly comprised of rubber prosthetics moved me more than almost anything I've seen on TV this year. A lot of that was due to Naomi Grossman's next-level performance. Can you imagine trying to do any kind of acting under all that makeup, let alone flawless, wordless emoting? She was truly great in "Orphans," great in a way I maybe never expected but should have. What a master stroke casting someone with a background in improv comedy to play such an over-the-top character, but the truly inspired part was AHS's writers transforming Pepper into one the most tragic characters of the franchise's entire run. "Orphans" was extremely wonderful. I'm still devastated.

Let's talk about it!

Uh, the episode BEGAN with Pepper clinging to an already-dead Salty, whom she'd discovered dead in his bed (of natural causes, for once).

I mean. Six seconds in and I'm crying. She tried to wake him up with his favorite toy!

It had apparently been days since Pepper's soulmate had died and people were starting to get a little freaked out.

Fortunately Stanley offered to help out...

Ugh, Stanley. That elephant-penised jerk. But whereas Stanley was up to his usually shady business, the circumstances of Salty's death actually served to bring out the best in almost everyone. The biggest revelation was how affected Elsa was, as we learned just how profound and deep her connection to Pepper was. 

And then there was this moment, when Desiree read The Velveteen Rabbit to Pepper:

On its surface: What a weird scenario! A three-breasted Angela Bassett reading a bedtime story to a grown pinhead woman in a dirty circus tent. But then why did it hurt my heart so much? Say what you will about this series or this season in particular, but we CARE about these people. The actresses for sure, but also the characters. While she's no Marie Laveau, Desiree is increasingly becoming an incredible force. She's strong and no-nonsense but then there're these moments of sincere love that make her truly likable. I really loved this scene when she tried to leave to go perform in the show and Pepper threw a fit:

Desiree looked genuinely anguished before getting it together and telling Pepper to "clean all this shit up!" Oh man, exactly. Desiree for President. (Pepper for Vice President).

So back to Elsa, she then treated Desiree to a story about the time she adopted Pepper. Back when Elsa was younger and slightly more CGI'd, she was sort of a German-accented Nomi Malone, just sort of tripping other showgirls and getting ambitious about stardom. 

But then one time she was working at a sideshow and realized that when WWII started the draft would leave behind only "freaks," and so that's the kind of show she should put on. So the next thing we knew, she was window-shopping for pinheads.

Even though Pepper was a grown woman, a local orphanage was letting her live there, and it wasn't long before Elsa was winning her over by stacking blocks and playing GIANT checkers with her.

Then when Elsa tried to adopt her the orphanage was like, "Uh, just take her."

Thus a family was born! But then Pepper started wanting to be a mommy or whatever, so Elsa made her next acquisition:

Yes, that's Ma Petite on a leash, why do you ask?

But her owners would not sell her... 

Until, of course, Elsa offered them three crates of Dr. Pepper and it was GAME ON.

So that solved the problem of Pepper wanting a child (even though Ma Petite is a 20-year-old woman), but the next problem was that Pepper was reaaaal horny. Fortunately Elsa had a solution for that too:

Aw, Pepper and Salty fell in love at first sight and got married! Definite a happily-ever-after scenario, except for then Salty died and now Pepper was devastated and despondent. But that's always where everything's going, isn't it? Sorry Pepper, life is a prank sometimes.

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Jan 11, 2015
hmm..Pepper surviving 10 more years and then looking just as young in Asylum was kind of a loophole for me but what an amazing episode nevertheless..also I was hoping Pepper would have a sort of transformation, like she should have had a full set of thinning hair in the orphanage that Elsa would then sort out for her for the Freak show and give her the new look.
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Jan 06, 2015
... Naomi Grossman, am I right?

Yes, please.

... Did Jimmy really sell his hands?

I doubt it. His hands have seen more pussy than any man's dick, so why would he? Sentimentality 'n all.

... Is Desiree about to sort everybody out?

Hope so. Somebody needs to 'clean aaaallll this shit up!"

... How many cases of Dr. Pepper are YOU worth?

This is a trick question! No one can put a price on a beverage as divine as Dr. Pepper, don't be silly, now.
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Dec 30, 2014
That last scene broke me. This season may be a little uneven but this episode just made up for all of that.
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Dec 29, 2014
Was the baby actually deformed? I missed that part. I thought Pepper's sister was just disenchanted with being a mother and how it took away all her "me time".
PS Did you think of Thing from The Addams Family when they showed a sideways CU of Stanley's disembodied hand snapping twice? I'm sure that was an intentional ref.
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Jan 06, 2015
Granted, Pepper's sister was a selfish ass. Well, although we never saw the infant, I assumed it was born with microcephaly like Pepper.
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Jan 09, 2015
Yes, she was. But again, what actual evidence of that was there in the show that I'm not recalling? I don't remember her reacting to the baby in that way. I just thought she couldn't handle the stress of taking care of a new baby.
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Jan 13, 2015
Didn't the father say something about "its big ears," or something? The hints were subtle and we were never shown anything. Anyway, I think the mom absolutely couldn't handle the stress of a new baby and the fact that something was "wrong" with it didn't help.
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Jan 04, 2015
I would think with the sister being up there in age, the baby had some complications. Maybe downs.
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Jan 09, 2015
Possible, but what specific evidence was there of that in the show? I just thought the mother was using Pepper as a free nanny, and, being "up there" in age, didn't have the energy to deal with a screaming baby.
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Dec 27, 2014
First of all,Thank you for this review!!! I thought i was being emotional.... Coz I was crying and weeping so badly :'-(( and still devastated...
Naomi Grossman should seriously get nominated for some award....
I'm really wondering that how are the writers gonna connect seasons with all the same Caste people with different characters???????
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Dec 27, 2014
Elsa sang "Is there life on Mars?", then we saw that Elsa Mars was on Life. I hope AHS's other revelations aren't cheesetastic like this one. And thank god it was uber-talented Jessica Lange managing those vast chunks of blablabla exposition. AHS:Backstory? AHS:Lifetime Biopic? Ugh.

Naomi Grossman should get every Emmy this year -- I almost stopped missing Kathy Bates and the woefully underutilized (in Freak Show) Frances Conroy. Nice to see Angela Bassett chewing up that scenery in the slow scenes but dropping the tough girl act and really letting us feel the loss and horror when Desi sees her dead friends. And so good to see Lily Rabe as Sr. Mary Eunice! And Mare Winningham as the worst sister ever, omg, amazing!
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Dec 27, 2014
And by the way, fabulous recap!!! If only the AHS writers used images and words so economically.
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Dec 25, 2014
I actually agree with most of you, season 4 of American Horror Story is definitely not the best one compared to the previous three (if not the worst), but this episode was amazing and it was really sad that I got teary eyes while watching it. Looking forward to the final three episodes.
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Dec 24, 2014
this was the BEST episode of the season and possibly of in the shows history! I love Pepper and always will. Tragic story but HUGE pay off, great writing. It had it all. Also Lily Rabe and Angela Bassett are hands down amazeballs!

Finally reviewed it now that I had some time, check it out here: http://mikeydislikesit.com/2014/12/23/american-horror-story-freakshow-orphans-review-always-one-of-a-kind/


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Dec 23, 2014
I hope next season, whatever it may be, features segment of a tv with an episode of "The Elsa Mars Show" playing on it.
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Dec 23, 2014
All I care about is NPH in the last three episodes.
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Dec 22, 2014
I'm wearing my Christmas nightgown today and feeling kind of like Pepper. Anyone want to read "The Velvetine Rabbit"?
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Dec 22, 2014
Poor Pepper! It was good to see some backstory for her and Ma Petite. Angela Basset is fun to watch and it was also good to see Sister Mary.
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Dec 22, 2014
At least 2 cases
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Dec 21, 2014
OK Mr. Peterson, I know you're different, but sometimes you go way over the top about it. Some things should remain private, believe me 'cause I know what I'm talking about. BTW, thank you very much for an amazing review/recap.
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Dec 24, 2014
One of the things that should have remained private was this extremely rude comment. "I know you're different..." GTFO.
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Dec 20, 2014
this episode was so incredibly sad! it's been driving me crazy - who was the actor who played Pepper's brother-in-law (Mare Winningham's husband)? i know he is often type casted as a "jerky" guy! again, this had to be the biggest scumbag he's probably ever played! poor Pepper! :(
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Dec 22, 2014
The actor's name is Matthew Glave.
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Dec 21, 2014
don't recall the actors name, but he was Drew Barrymore's (Julia) scumbag fiance in The Wedding Singer.
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Dec 20, 2014
Clever connections to Asylum. But I was disappointed not to see Dandy, he creeps me out in so many ways, yet he intrigues the heck out of me. I'd totally love to see con-artist-man trying to murder the twins, then Dandy go all murdery on con-artist-man, but I'm guessing that honor will go to Desiree and her lady avengers gang.
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Dec 20, 2014
One thing I really want to say about this season is that it highlights a problem with television in general. Where are our special needs people represented? This season has shown us some real talent. I would love to see the actor who plays Paul in another show. He's talented and proven he can handle the material. So, he's differently abled, what of it? I wish I lived in a world where actors like he and Jamie Brewer could be seen on mainstream shows.
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Dec 19, 2014
I've been all over the map about AHS this year. I don't like the singing (it slows down the action), and after Twisty it was a long time before there was any horror in American Horror Story. It will seem to find its direction again, and then veer off down Exposition and Back Story Lane until I go looking for my gun to put myself out of my misery. I loved it, then was bored with, and then began planning to quit watching.

Last night is a good example. The story is finally moving ahead moving ahead smoothy, brakes off, toward whatever end is coming,and then FULL STOP! Let's spend a looooong time in the past with Pepper. Don't get me wrong, the actress who plays her is quite good, on par with all the excellent performers we've seen on this show. (It does have quite the stable, doesn't it?) But, we've heard it all before. We knew she ended up with her sister and that her brother-in-law framed her for murdering their baby. The only thing I really learned was that Elsa really loves Pepper. But, sheesh.

When Elsa starts with that whispering voice that accompanies her flashbacks, I just want to scream.

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Dec 19, 2014
... Naomi Grossman, am I right?

You are right!

... Did Jimmy really sell his hands?

Nah...

... Is Desiree about to sort everybody out?

Yes.

... How many cases of Dr. Pepper are YOU worth?

hahaha......

I loved this episode. Enjoyed the review.
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Dec 19, 2014
Yes, overall I have been disappointed with this season, but this episode gave me hope. I think it's like you said, in Asylum, how it was only great when it had finished, and now it can all be wrapped up. Since we're nearing the end, it should all make more sense and feel more cohesive. So I'm hopeful again, but I wish we could have seen the underlying plot thread throughout. That's kind of my usual problem with AHS. When each season is different, it needs to be super tight. Also, I think we're all worried about Jessica Lange leaving.

Speaking of, you mentioned how Pepper must be confused with all the body doubles. Indeed, me as well. What's that about? Are they all related somehow? Are there only so many different people in the universe? Are we just looking at the world through AHS goggles where everyone is played by the same cast? I don't know, but that's disturbing.

Yes, Angela is The Best this season. There has not been enough of her, and even if the rest is all her, it still won't be enough. I know it's unlikely, but I want her to have a happy ending with Theo.

Basically, I was crying throughout Pepper's whole story. I mean, people in the 50s sucked, apparently. Mare Winningham is great, though I keep picturing her with dreds molesting her son. Loved Mary Eunice, my fave part of Asylum.

I loved seeing how Pepper, Ma Petite, and the male Pinhead were included. Dr Pepper is delish by the way. I kinda wish this season was set up more that way, flashbacks for each character to flesh them out better. One per episode. What about the Amazon? What about the tattoo guy? Also, Angela's backstory. I mean, in the 50s, wouldn't it be weird for her to be with Michael Chiklis, race was such a big deal last season in the 21st century, but in the 50s it's not even a thing for a mixed couple?

And I wish we got this glimpse into Elsa earlier too, it would have softened her and made us like her more earlier, but it feels a bit too late.

I can't believe that museum, I mean they must know people are being murdered. And that's fine with them? And people would rather see dead freaks than live ones performing?

The classic debate- which season is best?

Season 3 was the most light-hearted and pleasant to watch throughout. The characters interacted well and worked off each other. The end kinda fell apart for me though.

Season 2 was excellent, the plot, the darkness, the themes. But it was a little too difficult to watch at times, and it was only having watched the whole season that you could truly appreciate it to it's fullest. It felt pretty torturous until then. That may have been the point, but it doesn't make me want to rewatch.

Season 1 was raw and disjointed, but it also felt super fresh and new. I was truly fascinated by the characters, how they interacted with each other, and was pleasantly surprised by the different timeframes showcased, flawed characters you rooted for, and craziness that just worked. Not perfect or polished, but def rewatchable.

Season 4 is so far a let-down. I do expect that these last episodes will put it together and it will all be worth it, similar to the Asylum chapter, but still. You have these great characters, but for me, they all seem rather separate from each other. Until this episode, I haven't really felt like they were in it together, like they were interacting, and that is a problem for a show featuring a fascinating ensemble of characters.

My verdict- Season 1 slightly edges out Season 2, just based on enjoyability. Though I agree Season 2 was more polished and tight. Feel free to disagree, I could discuss this all day.
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Dec 19, 2014
Oh, and just a question...what ever happened to the "Revenge from all man in Earth" Desiree? Lol

Seems Ryan Murphy continues with his episodic plots where he just simply begin with a story and then completely forgot about it. Sad, because...it not only ruins the season, but also the credibility of the characters. Or maybe I've lost some unbeliavable plot twist with her last episode, but I don't think it's the case.

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Dec 19, 2014
I also expected more action from Desiree. When she saved Dell, I thought she did it because she wanted him to suffer more.
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Dec 19, 2014
"When people mistakenly cite Murder House as American Horror Story's best season"

Well, I also think Asylum is the best, but wins just by a bit from Murder House. In general, MH felt more organic, well planed and more consistent, just saying. (Yes, I'm saying that because of the Alien plot, and Adam Levine's ludicrous participation).
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Dec 19, 2014
My theory is that the baby WAS Pepper's. Here's why:

1. As Sister Eunice so delicately pointed out, Pepper's sister was nearly 50, "a little mature to be having a baby." And let's not forget that Pepper's sister told Elsa she couldn't have babies because her, "tubes are blocked."

2. They baby had a deformity, which is genetic. It's possible for Pepper to pass on a deformity to her children.

3. Pepper's sister says to her husband in the scene where he is taking Pepper and the baby downstairs to watch tv, "you just can't wait to get alone with her," which implied jealousy. Jealousy that could have come from him having had sex with her to get her pregnant in the first place.

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Dec 19, 2014
I heard that, but just dismissed it as her being a nasty drunk. I think her husband made it clear that Pepper repulsed him.
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Dec 19, 2014
I too think you are correct. Thanks for reminding me.
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Dec 19, 2014
I feel dumb for not having thought of this while watching it, myself. Of course, you are correct.
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Dec 19, 2014
I Thought so too! That's why it's an even more devastating story! Pepper finally got her own Child, after years of wanting to have her own family, but the father of the Child and Pepper's sister kill that Child. Lucas was probably the result of a relationship Pepper never wanted, but she loved the baby. That's why this story is so heartbreaking! Pepper's real, 'normal' family members were the freaks and Monsters, While Pepper, her baby and adopted family of 'freaks' were the heroes.
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Dec 19, 2014
It doesn't matter who's baby it was. Pepper still loved the baby like her child and witnessed it get murdered, which was heartbreaking.
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Dec 19, 2014
I felt like this episode was a waste of time, the story that was conveyed with Pepper could have been done in about a third of the time and let the rest of the scenes be longer, all of which were really super short and it felt like there was maybe five minutes of stuff besides the Pepper plot, which is a problem for me. This episode should have come much sooner in the season or not at all, we're in the home stretch here, this season overall has just taken too long to get anything going. It failed to make me care about Pepper because I was so irritated we were getting an entire episode devoted to a character we barely know this late in the game and the episode was her last.
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Dec 19, 2014
A lot of people love Pepper and the producers know that. So IMO they gave the audience what they wanted. We (I) have always wondered about Pepper, how can she be so loved but at the same time be a baby killer. And I think it took a lot of time to explain that. Pepper was one of my favorite characters in Asylum and she didn't get a lot of screen time. So I think this was her "turn". I agree with you, this should have happened earlier. It's too late in the show to give us an episode like this. They should have given us a really action packed and cliffhanger episode since we have to wait so long for the next one. And, yes, this show is going at a snails pace and we only have a few episodes left :(
This is not my favorite season, but it's getting better.
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Dec 19, 2014
We knew she wasn't a baby killer because she told us so. After her alien abduction she was no longer retarded and she explained that her brother-in-law had killed the baby and blamed her.
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Dec 19, 2014
This episode makes me want to watch Asylum all over again. I actually like that season and I miss Sister Jude lol
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Dec 19, 2014
wtf? 47 comments in and Im the first person to click "like" on this review? Come on, guys..
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Dec 19, 2014
The show seems to use dates pretty intentionally. Since Elsa's Life cover came out in 1958, Pepper was looking at a copy that was about four years old. It seems a bit weird that AHS just so happens to be in its fourth season. Regardless, if Pepper's Freak Show arc didn't wrap until 1962, then I doubt Elsa will be spared a tragic ending following her fame in 1958.

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Dec 19, 2014
Someone pointed out to me that Oct. 31, 1958 was a Friday, Elsa’s TV night. Very possible that Edward Mordrake will be claiming Elsa’s soul on National TV...
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Dec 19, 2014
Wow, yeah that's very likely. It was announced that Mordrake and Twisty would be appearing again. If Elsa does happen to die on national television or very publicly, it would mirror the same kind of tragic fame that she had in Europe when her snuff film circulated.
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Dec 19, 2014
After having read up on Edward Mordrake, I believe his character was wasted. His real story is so much more twisted and sad than they let on.
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Dec 24, 2014
Hang on a minute - Edward Mordrake really existed??
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Dec 24, 2014
Yes. Google him. It is a very, very sad (and creepy) story. It's MUCH more interesting than the way AHS used him.
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Dec 19, 2014
I cant help but also praise Jessica Lange for her acting. Her portrayal of Elsa was devastatingly awesome, allowing us as viewers to having a crazy emotion rollercoaster watching AHS: Freak Show.
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Dec 19, 2014
The actress playing Pepper did a splendid performance portraying Pepper.. and Price, thank you for dedicating a whole 2nd paragraph of this review showcasing how much you appreciated and enjoyed the character and the performance as much as us audience. It was well written and Pepper certainly deserve it.
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Dec 19, 2014
I'm only worth about 5 cases of Dr. Pepper but like 15 THOUSAND cases of Diet Dr. Pepper.
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Dec 19, 2014

It would really be amazing if Dandy was Bloody Face, it would make a lot of sense. i just dont know how they'd connect things to Murder House


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Dec 19, 2014
I have to disagree. I think Dandy and Bloodyface couldnt be more different. Dandy is a spoiled brat with too much money to burn and has no affection for humanity. Bloodyface cared for humanity but used it to his own advantage and was brought up in a terrible environment.
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Dec 19, 2014
Plus their back stories couldn't be more different. Bloody Face was a child of the System. His mother gave him up.
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Dec 19, 2014
I had a feeling Pepper had something to connect them because her name is Pepper in both seasons. I had another guess, but i feel like its too wrong.....i had thought about Dandy being Bloody Face.....he said he only hurts women so did Bloody face, it would be simple for him to get a therapist job and change his name. It seems to far fetched though....just a thought ;)
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Dec 19, 2014
Best episode of this season hands down (literally...sorry Jimmy)
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Dec 19, 2014
Dammit, this show can piss me off and make me cry at the same time. Pepper joyfully bathing the baby, the look of sublime bliss on her face as she "remembered" the feel of Elsa's kiss on her hand. Jesus, this episode was almost too much to bear.
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Dec 19, 2014
... Naomi Grossman, am I right? She's wonderful.
... Did Jimmy really sell his hands? Nope.
... Is Desiree about to sort everybody out? Yes.
... How many cases of Dr. Pepper are YOU worth? A bottle. :/
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Dec 19, 2014
That was surprisingly great and emotional. Pepper never seemed important and the backstory isn't completely necessary but it was a nice change of pace. I'm also glad that it suddenly jumped into a timeskip. Though I don't know what's still to come there was hardly anything happening quickly anyway.
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Dec 19, 2014
OMG Imagine the first time Pepper sees Sister Jude and she is just like…. Wait….
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Dec 19, 2014
Asylum is my favorite season so far and this episode was an awesome break from the present "I don't know where I'm going" season. Even though it was not a visually intense episode, like the ones from Asylum, it had a pretty heavy atmosphere... and even only muttering a few words, Pepper could make me feel for her more than I felt for the other characters this entire season
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Dec 19, 2014

So we see that both Asylum and Freak Show exist in the same world. So are all four seasons existent in the same world? I wonder if we'll see the antichrist born in season one pop up in a future season.
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Dec 19, 2014
Ryan Murphy has confirmed some time again that yes, every season takes place in the same universe.
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Dec 19, 2014
Sir, that would be amazing...
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Dec 19, 2014
Such a moving episode. Couldn't help but feel for Pepper. So that's how she wound up in the asylum. So great at getting the right emotions out of the audience.
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Dec 19, 2014
I didn't quite put this together last night, but yeah, this was almost like an Asylum episode and that's likely why it was probably the most coherent episode of the season. I mean, while I got as much of a kick out of Bloody Face as the next person, it was always kind of cool when you'd see the future and then just Oliver creeping in the background. So, Dandy, missed you, but not really.

Heck, Evan Peters wrongfully imprisoned, that probably should have tipped me off.
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Dec 18, 2014
“Orphans” was nothing like the fall finales we are used to. It didn’t progress the story and it didn’t leave us at any cliffhanger. It wasn’t fast pacing, startling, gory or horrifying. Focusing once again on the greed and selfishness, on the darkest traits of human nature, managed to create the contrast to highlight the most human, heartfelt story that a freak show could ever tell. It was a treatise on orphanage. Pepper, Jimmy, Esmeralda, even Rita, Stanley and Elsa suffered of their own case of orphanage; some of biological and some of emotional orphanage.
It was one of the most emotional episodes of American Horror Story. Pepper’s story covered most part of the episode and it was a moving, silent story. A story vividly told by Grossman’s stellar performance. Her whole body, posture, facial expressions and eyes composed the most eloquent tale of pain and loss, ever told. Pepper is twice a winner. Regardless of her misfortunate life, beyond her appearance, in spite her biological orphanage she remains one of the most human characters. In the passing of the years she suffered a lot, lost even more, some was taken from her, but she never lost her emotional wealth.
Jimmy is a “simpler” case of a biological orphan. Isolated in a cell, away from his biological father and his “foster” circus family, agrees in giving up his hands in desperation for lawyer money. Exploited and abused, stripped by his identity, remains to be seen what happens of him in the next episode.
Elsa, Stanley, Esmeralda and Rita are more complex cases of orphans. They are emotional orphans. Their misfortune, the tragic loss of a parent or parents deprived them of their humanity. Losing their humanity made them lose their power over life, over achieving their dreams. Losing their humanity deprived them of their emotions. They cultivated an illusionary self identity, became selfish, manipulative and evil; they turned into predators of other people’s humanity. They lost the meaning of the word self-sacrifice, compassion and love; and consciously sacrifice others on the altar of their shattered lives and unfulfilled dreams.
This show moves in so many levels and succeeds – in a horrifying way – to delve in the worst aspects of human nature. And while it explores the violence and horror fueled by human greed and envy, it manages to culminate at a point where a ray of true human potential shines.
It was a great episode! An exceptional season finale!
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Dec 19, 2014
Wtf is Rita?
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Dec 19, 2014
Pepper's sister
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Dec 21, 2014
Ohh that b!tch... Yea her & her husband are the ones need to be in the asylum, getting sh!t thrown on them by that one patient & being experimented on by Dr. Arden
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Dec 19, 2014
It did leave us with a little cliffhanger with pepper seeing elsa and then jimmys claws
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Dec 19, 2014
But it was a great episode. One of the best!
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Dec 18, 2014
This episode was hands down the best, most moving, emotional, human, and heartbreaking episode ever… Really really beautiful. Im going to admit that i teared up a bit :'(
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Dec 29, 2014
"Hands down" good word play
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Dec 18, 2014
I was not expecting this kind of story last night, nor was I prepared on how much I blubbered as if I was watching a Hallmark movie.
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Dec 19, 2014
And Pepper (Naomi Grossman) better win an Emmy too because she was just outstanding
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Dec 19, 2014
I haven't seen anyone more deserving in years, and I'm a huge Jessica Lange fan, but Naomi was simply amazing.
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Dec 19, 2014
Love your avi! (I kill you!)
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Dec 20, 2014
Silence!!!
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Dec 18, 2014
This episode was so. damn. emotional, I cried! It was IMO the most emotional and heartbreaking episode of the whole show, and I loved it, especially the fact that they keep Ma Petite around via flashbacks! Sure, it was less about scary horror (even though I haven't been scared since season 2), but it was like Pepper's personal horror show! Naomi Grossman was the shit in this ep! My heart is crushed, I'm sad af, and it's just a few days till Christmas! Thank you, Ryan Murphy, thanks effin much!

And I'm just gonna pretend that Pepper sees Sister Jude through her eyes, so she (and we as audience) sees Elsa/ JLange. Works for me. :P
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Dec 19, 2014
Maybe I don't understand the Indian culture, but I thought untouchables were literally untouchable, as they would make the higher cast person impure if he touched them.
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Dec 20, 2014
Technically yes, the Untouchables are the lowest caste, who get treated like shit, like slaves, who are considered to be "polluting", so that people even avoid touching their shadows to not become impure. They're called Dalits. BUT "Untouchables" is a very imprecise word, meaning that not every Untouchable is a Dalit. Most Untouchables are Jatis, still a low caste, but not the lowest and actually able to rise in society and career. That's why I can only assume that Ma Petite was a Jati and hence able to be a "pet", and not a Dalit. Otherwise she probably wouldn't have been allowed to be with Elsa and the Maharaja in the same tent, or not even to be in their presence. :)

Funny though that her name is Mahadevi, meaning "great goddess"... XD Love this paradox.^^
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Dec 20, 2014
Thank you for clearing that up. Is there any way to visually tell the difference between the two casts?
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Dec 22, 2014
You're welcome. :) And as far as I know no, there's no special appearance between the castes. You can't distinguish a Dalit from any other person, they all look the same in skin color, clothing, etc. You can only identify a Dalit if he/ she tells you or if you look at their caste certificate.
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Dec 18, 2014
There was something beautifully innocent in Pepper's story. The episode also started redeeming Elsa and although a bit late - Maggie as well.

The timeline convergence with Asylum is intriguing - curious to see how it develops.

The whole episode was really good! The dramatic scenes from Pepper's story had an amazing combination of excellent music, camera shots and surreal lighting - it was perfect!
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Dec 18, 2014
Kinda bummed that I'm sitting here crying on my birthday, but this was such an amazing and touching episode!
Pepper rocks!
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Dec 20, 2014
my brithday was yesterday to
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Dec 20, 2014
happy birthday buddy!
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Dec 19, 2014
happy birthday!
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Dec 19, 2014
Happy Birthday. You made a good decision to end the evening watching AHS :)
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Dec 19, 2014
Happy Birthday (Sorry Im Late)
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Dec 18, 2014
Happy birthday, though! :)
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Dec 18, 2014
It was a nice change of pace episode that I really enjoyed.

I was initially angry they waited until almost the final 5 minutes of the hour (on commercial TV) to show Lily Rabe's character, but then was extremely delighted that the episode continued for almost another 20 minutes of her and Pepper. Naomi Grossman was super great in this episode as well, often alongside an Emmy Award-winning actress. (Congrats Naomi! :-)

I don't claim to know the "overall story arc of this season" (if there even is one), but this episode provided the strongest vibe yet of "this is how this particular 'freak show' ends". Very touching, not only Elsa on the LIFE magazine cover, but Pepper's reaction to it.
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Dec 18, 2014
(I probably should have mentioned Oscar-winning and Golden Globe-winning. for Jessica Lange as well.)
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Dec 18, 2014
Best AHS episode in a long time, and one of my fav television hours of 2014. as simple as that.
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Dec 18, 2014
What a great, touching episode. After the insane senseless murders of the previous episodes, this was just so touching and heartbreaking. Naomi Grossman knocked it out of the park. So nice to see Ma Petite again.
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Dec 18, 2014
I enjoy that Ma Petite has appeared in not one, but all 3 episodes since her death
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