Orphans
American Horror Story Freak Show

92%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 12
Critics Consensus

A deeper look into the sad story of Pepper makes "Orphans" one of the more heartfelt episodes of Freak Show.

Episode Info

The death of a Freak sparks troubling behavior in Pepper. Elsa reveals the history of the Freak Show. Desiree grows suspicious of Maggie. (C) FX

Critic Reviews for Orphans

Now Freak Show-which originally had more of that Coven-style celebration of "otherness"-has boomeranged back into the dour and joyless air of Briarcliff.

Jan 20, 2015 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's the best episode of the season so far. By a lot.

Jan 21, 2015 | Full Review…

With "Orphans", as it sometimes has in the past, American Horror Story zeroes in on the rarely seen sincere side of its characters, and the results are oddly affecting.

Jan 21, 2015 | Full Review…

The Pepper stuff didn't add anything to the main carny chaos. It just made the episode a bit better than it would have been.

Jan 21, 2015 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

"Orphans" presents the strongest profile of a character that I can remember on the show and the result is a touching, beautiful look at one of AHS's side characters-one who is so much more than we thought.

Jan 20, 2015 | Rating: 8.8/10 | Full Review…

Yes this season has been a southern-fried soap at heart, but whenever AHS sprinkles these moments of sheer humanity into its cauldron of turmoil, it always lands like a sucker punch. Sorry for all the mixed metaphors but poor Pepper!!

Jan 20, 2015 | Full Review…

On a surprisingly touching episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show ... we got a look at how the freak show came to be, the sad tale of Pepper...and a tantalizing glimpse at the future

Jan 20, 2015 | Full Review…

Sadly, there wasn't as much death as there was a lot of talk in Freak Show's fall finale, but there was enough intriguing bits to make us impatient for new episodes in 2015.

Jan 21, 2015 | Full Review…

In a show known for its spectacle and excess at the cost of emotional realism, Grossman's almost wordless performance strikes a ringing note of feeling.

Jan 21, 2015 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Freak Show really ramped up the bloodshed in the previous episodes but things slowed down a bit in the winter finale, "Orphans," which upped the emotional stakes for the last bit of the season by revealing several characters' backstories.

Jan 21, 2015 | Full Review…

Anyway, this season doesn't seem to be jelling into some greater whole, so I'll just enjoy these fun stories when we get them.

Jan 20, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

"Orphans" is an unexpectedly generous Christmas gift that proves what American Horror Story can still be, when it dares to sidestep inane smart-assery and go for the heart, in addition to the throat.

Jan 20, 2015 | Full Review…