In a move that could completely disrupt the internal logic in a show that had any, American Horror Story has announced that it will bring back a character from a previous season, for the first time in the anthology series’ brief history. Not surprisingly, it’s a character that many already assumed would reappear, ever since it was announced that the new season would be set in a freak show: Pepper, the microcephalic “pinhead” played by Naomi Grossman and last seen in season two’s Briarcliff mental hospital. Ryan Murphy tells Entertainment Weekly that this season—which takes place 12 years before Asylum—is “sort of like what happened to Pepper before she went to the asylum.”
As Murphy explains, Pepper is part of the troupe managed by Jessica Lange’s character Elsa, saying, “What Elsa has done for 20 years is she goes around to hospitals and jails and rescues these ‘freak’ circus performers who are going to be shipped away to asylums and she signs the waivers and she becomes their guardians.” What Murphy does not explain is whether Pepper wouldn’t then be confused that her new guardian at Briarcliff, along with so many of its residents, resemble people she encountered years ago at the circus. This is because it’s American Horror Story, and it doesn’t matter. Maybe the entire series takes place inside Pepper’s head? Seriously, it doesn’t matter.