American Horror Story: Freak Show S04 E10: Orphans



Last week’s episode of “American Horror Story: Freak Show” was a bloody mess especially with Dandy’s version of bath time. No rubber ducky for you, Dandy! And when our little sociopath isn’t bathing, he’s causing a ruckus at a neighborhood Tupperware Party. Back at the Freak Show, people are dying left and right and Maggie suddenly comes under scrutiny. What effect did the disappearance of Ma Petite have on the other performers? We’ll have to take a trip back into time for that answer.



Another death at the sideshow, but this one is due to natural causes. Poor Salty has died in his sleep. Maybe it was a stroke as Elsa suggests. She tells Stanley that most pinheads don’t live past forty. Poor Pepper (Naomi Grossman) is inconsolable and won’t leave the body. Using the lure of Hollywood again, Stanley tells Elsa he’ll take care of the funeral arrangements for Salty and suggests cremation. What is that sidewinder up to and why is he visiting Jimmy at the jail?

Birth of a Freak Show

Finally, we learn how Elsa began to collect her freaks and, we can thank Hitler for that. With the war coming on, Elsa, who was working at a Gypsy circus, knew that most men would be consigned to war and she wanted to start her own sideshow. So where does one go to find the unfortunate soul trapped in a freak’s body? Elsa does her shopping at the local orphanage.

Pepper was Elsa’s first monster. That’s what Elsa calls Pepper, but this statement is said with love. Elsa? Love? Yeah, hard to believe that Elsa can be unselfish once in a while, but she takes Pepper out of the orphanage and into her heart. Pepper’s mother was dead and her sister was unable to care for her. Elsa took Pepper under her wing and dotes on her, but Pepper had needs; woman’s needs and somehow those needs tie in with how Elsa acquired Ma Petite.


Pepper had maternal wants which brings us to how a wealthy Maharaja came to visit the sideshow with his entourage and his pet. Yep, Ma Petite was on a leash and treated as the man’s pet poodle. Elsa offered to take Ma Petite off the Maharaja’s hands. He refused. Elsa offered him something he couldn’t refuse. After bartering with a few cases of Dr. Pepper, Elsa gets a new member for the sideshow and Pepper gets her child. Elsa later arranges a marriage for Pepper and another pinhead, Salty. Pepper and Salty were truly happy. I guess Elsa isn’t that bad after all.


Maggie is hurting. Jimmy’s in jail and she’s had a bit too much to drink. When Desiree drops by with her new beau, Maggie goes into her fortune teller mode and gives a reading. Are fortune tellers real? There are people who truly have the gift, but more often than not, a fortune teller is using the same clues that an FBI profiler uses. It’s really a science. Behavior science that is. Your body language gives you away. It’s called a ‘tell’ and con artists know how to zone in on any telltale that gives you away.


Maggie is checking out the way Angus is dressed and how he talks. Maggie is reading him and using his body language to tell Angus and Desiree what they want to hear. But, how can Maggie talk about love and marriage when Jimmy is in jail?  Maggie purposely upsets Desiree with a bad reading.

Desiree confronts Maggie who tells Desiree the truth. Stanley and Maggie are grifters, con men and crooks. Maggie was an orphan and easy prey for Stanley. When Dot and Bette offer their surgery money to bail Jimmy out of jail, Maggie decides to show Desiree the truth about Ma Petite.


Pepper has microcephaly, a disorder an abnormality of the circumference of the head. The majority of people with this disease have a decreased mentality, but as we see with Pepper, their hearts and soul are not deformed and, they are able to love you with all their heart. I don’t know why Elsa thought that Pepper would be safer living with her drunken sister, Rita. The woman didn’t want Pepper before, so why would she want her now? After Rita gives birth to a deformed son, it is Pepper who loves and cares for baby Lucas. Rita’s husband wants the baby and Pepper gone.

Sister Eunice (Lily Rabe) is back. Everything about “American Horror Story” is connected; everything. After Pepper is falsely accused of killing Lucas, she is delivered into the bowels of the asylum and into the hands of Sister Looney-Tunes. Poor Pepper. Who will protect her now?


Maggie and Desiree visit the Museum of ‘Body Parts R Us’ where they find the bottled Ma Petite and Salty’s head in a jar. But when the curator uncovers a new specimen, Maggie faints. Hell no! Are those Jimmy’s hands?

“American Horror Story: Freak Show” returns on January 7th with a new cast member, Neil Patrick Harris, and if you’re wondering about Pepper, dear Sister Eunice has her organizing her office and it seems that Elsa did make it to television land. See you after the holidays, my little lot lice.

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