‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ episode 10 review: The life and times of Pepper

American Horror StoryWell folks, tonight is the last episode of “American Horror Story: Freak Show” until the New Year and we expect some big things to happen tonight (there’s no way Ryan Murphy is going to end the year on a low note).

Stanley: Salty passed away in his sleep and Pepper is devastated. Elsa for some reason has let Stanley take care of Salty’s body, which he promptly chopped up and gave to the museum of curiosities. With all of the “freaks” Stanley has brought to the museum over the past few weeks, it’s surprising that they aren’t starting to wonder where they are all coming from. Also, we know Elsa wants to be a star, but Stanley has brought a lot of death and disappearance to her Freak Show… why hasn’t she sent him away yet? The promise of fame doesn’t seem to be enough at this point since he hasn’t actually shown her anything of substance yet.

Pepper’s past: We learned tonight that Elsa found Pepper at an orphanage, that Ma Petite was bought for 3 cases of Dr. Pepper and that Pepper’s husband (Salty) was found at another orphanage in Cincinnati.  Salty and Pepper fell in love at first sight and Elsa officiated the wedding giving Pepper a very happy life. After Pepper’s great loses, Elsa decides to ask Pepper’s sister to take Pepper in and care for her since she is going to Hollywood to be a big star. So does Pepper live happily ever after with her sister? Nope, she brings Pepper to the asylum we saw Pepper in during season 2 (and now we know how she ends up being at the asylum). She tells sister Eunice (nice cameo from Lily Rabe) that Pepper tried to seduce her husband and murdered their child,  when in actuality her husband murdered their son and framed Pepper for the death.

Jimmy’s hands: Bette and Dot take the money they’d been saving for the surgery and offer it  to Maggie for a lawyer to help Jimmy. Before she can use it to help, Stanley tells Jimmy that he knows a lawyer that will help him, but it’ll be expensive. When Jimmy says he has no money, Stanley says he can raise the money if he offers up his hands.

Maggie’s confession: While breaking down during a reading for Desiree , Maggie confesses to her that she and Stanley are in cahoots. Desiree brings up the fact that since Maggie and Stanley showed up that freaks have been dying and that if she finds out that Maggie had anything to do with the deaths that she will be next. Maggie wants to do the right thing and takes Desiree to the museum, showing her Ma Petite, Salty’s head, and to their surprise…. Jimmy’s hands.

After many seasons of Pepper popping in and out of episodes, it was great to have a whole episode with Pepper as the focus. She’s always been a mysterious character, and after learning all about her history and love story, it was heartbreaking to watch her lose Salty. Naomi Grossman made us cry tonight – and we love her for it. Episode grade: A

What was your take on this episode of “American Horror Story: Freak Show”? Share your quick thoughts and reactions now with a comment, and head over here to preview next week! Also, sign up to get some more TV scoop on all we cover via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: FX.)

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