AHS Freak Show Thread: Orphans


It’s time for the much hyped and ballyhooed (not Bali H’aied) Freak Show post. Yeah, I know, I’m the only one who hyped it but narcissism is a vital component of blogging. I never thought I’d describe an episode of American Horror Story as poignant but Orphans was very poignant and touching and other emotions I pretend not to have. It’s bad for the curmudgeon business, y’all. I may even use the P word again after the break so beware, take care.

Pepper’s Story: P is for poignant and for Pepper the Pinhead.  Pepper seems to bring out the best in everyone, almost everyone, but more about that anon. We learned how Elsa adopted and nurtured her and even brought Ma Petite and Salty the Other Pinhead aboard to be Pepper’s kid sister and freaky husband respectively. I loved the whole trading Dr. Pepper for Ma Petite thing with the Majarajah of Malakastan. Elsa drives a hard bargain y’all. She’s the Bill Veeck of Freak Show impresarios, down to the wooden gams, and flamboyance. I suspect  Elsa would have gotten a kick out of disco demolition night. End of semi-obscure baseball reference. I did it for Doc.

Pepper is inconsolable after the death of her soul freak Salty. It was like breaking up Peter Lawford and Sammy Davis Jr. I’m not sure if Salty could dance the old soft shoe or croon Candyman but he was a stellar performer nonetheless:


Elsa consults with Desiree Triple Tits about Pepper, and she suggests that the grieving freak go back home. It’s a, uh, pinheaded idea, but Elsa goes for it. Elsa browbeats Pepper’s sister into taking her back and it goes okay at first. Pepper makes a mean martini and keeps big sister soused. But things go haywire when Big Sister gives birth to an unseen monster child. Eventually, Pepper’s loathsome brother in law, Larry, (never trust anyone named Larry, folks) literally drowns the baby in the bathwater and blames Pepper. That’s how she ends up in the Asylum and why we see Lily Rabe reprise her role as Sister Mary Eunice. It was before she was possessed by Beelzebub because she was only loopy in a pre-Vatican Council way. I was, however, disappointed that Lily didn’t sing Rhiannon but that’s so last season…

A Night At The Museum Of American Morbidity: Triple Tits and Maggie Ezmerelda the fake fortune teller bond in this episode. Mag Ez tells Desi *her* origin story and admits to being a fake as well as a con artist. She eventually fesses up to the whole sordid scheme with Stanley. Triple Tits now knows that freaks have been dropping like flies and ending up in Philadelphia. Hmm, I wonder what W.C. Fields would think of that? Of course, Fields didn’t place his threatened epitaph “On the whole I’d rather be in Philadelphia,” on his gravestone. Perhaps he anticipated the Philly Phanatic? Who the hell wants that Goober placing dead flowers on their grave?

Now that I’ve made my umpteenth Philly Phanatic joke, Maggie Ez takes Desiree to the museum where they not only see Ma Petite in a jar but Salty’s pinhead, and most distressingly, Jimmy’s lobster claws. That’s right, sports fan, Stanley gave Jimmy the Darling Lobster Boy the ultimate hand job. I feel so unclean after that joke…

Orphans is primarily an episode that gives the viewers a chance to take a deep breath before even more blood hits the fan in the last three entries. We don’t see Dandy and we only see Del Toledo briefly, acting all jealous over Desiree’s new man, Theo from The Cosby Show. Perhaps Del has gone to Ohio, hoping to meet Klinger, and borrow a frock or three from him. I think Del would look good in a strapless number..

The previews look exciting with Doogie Howser buying the Freak Show and falling for the Tattler Sisters. I’m not sure if Dot is over Jimmy the Darling Lobster Boy quite yet so maybe Bette is smitten by Neil Patrick Harris. I have the feeling that Dandy is going to be jealous and may even saw poor ole Doogie in half. Stay tuned.

Since I made a Salt and Pepper joke earlier, here’s the trailer for that Rat Packy proto-bro comedy: