“Orphans” was all about revealing secrets — from how Elsa arrived to America and started her Freak Show to Pepper’s connection to both this season and Asylum. We’re still emotionally unpacking all that happened, so we figured it best to break the episode down by its saddest moments. Brace yourselves, guys: This one was a doozy.
Pepper’s main squeeze Salty dies and it’s really hard on her.
We open up the episode with Pepper sobbing on top of her husband Salty’s dead body. He died of an apparent stroke, and Pepper’s having a really hard time coping. (Remember the sun’s IRL gift Ma Petite was Pepper’s daughter figure in many ways. With Salty dead, she essentially has no one left.) The troupe can’t get through to her, even Elsa — who is distraught over what to do. Con-artist and “freak slayer” Stanley dangles the prospect of Elsa going to Hollywood and starting her television career while he looks after the freaks (i.e. he kills them because he’s a psychopath who wants to sell the freaks’ body parts to a museum). But she refuses to leave; she’s too upset over Pepper’s breakdown. Turns out, Pepper was Elsa’s first freak she recruited when she moved to America in attempt to get hers, break free from her German chorus girl life, and start her own show. Elsa found Pepper in an orphanage, where her sister — who is actually the worst person in the world, but more on that later — dumped her. From then on, Elsa was determined to make Pepper the happiest chick on the planet. When Pepper started feeling maternal, Elsa gave three cases of Dr. Pepper to a powerful far Eastern ruler and received Ma Petite in return (WTF?!). When she was aching for some lovin’, Elsa tracked down Salty and married them herself. But now that everyone close to Pepper is dead, she feels it’s best that she returns home to her sister. By the way, Elsa: This is the worst idea in the history of bad ideas.
Feels factor: 7.9
Maggie Esmeralda is drunk, upset and kinda pulls a Gretchen Wieners.
After Dandy framed Jimmy for slaughtering the tupperware housewives (like a psycho), he’s now locked in prison and Maggie’s hitting the sauce hard. But she has to snap out of it quickly when Desiree and her new squeeze Angus saunter into her tent and demand a psychic reading about their romance. Maggie starts out nice: She says Desiree and Angus will find blissful lovey-dovey happiness in a house with a white-picket fence out West. But then, she stands up all
glossy scotch-eyed and goes on some Gretchen Weiners-type rant about how Desiree and Angus’ relationship will go to shit because that’s what always happens. Hmmm, smells like Maggie’s projecting her own relationship woes onto Desiree. And that’s exactly what Queen D says to Maggie when she finds her boozing it up on the merry-go-round. So, what does Maggie do? Admits that Stanley and she are con-artists who have been pickpocketing the box office every night (in other words, she only told half the truth). Desiree believes the con artist bit, but alleges that Maggie and Stanley are involved with all the “freaks [that have] been dyin’!” She then pulls a Marie Laveau and threatens to kill Maggie if she finds out she has anything to do with their deaths. Icon.
Feels factor: 4.8