'AHS: Freak Show' exclusive: Pepper is back! | EW.com

TV | American Horror Story

Yes, fan favorite Pepper will return to 'American Horror Story'

AHS Freak Show Pepper

(Michele K. Short/FX)

This season of American Horror Story: Freak Show is shaping up to be one of the most memorable so far, in part due to one majorly terrifying clown, conjoined twins, and a gal with three boobs. But now EW can exclusively confirm a rumor that fans have been buzzing about for months: AHS: Asylum fan favorite Pepper, a Briarcliff patient played by Naomi Grossman, will indeed appear on Freak Show.

In late July, what appeared to be an AHS call sheet leaked and listed Pepper, which sent fans into a tizzy. Well, it turns out all the rumors were true. “She is in this [season],” confirms co-creator Ryan Murphy.

Pepper is one of the members of the titular group of entertainers, managed by Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange). Explains Murphy, “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.” This season of AHS takes place in 1952, a good 12 years before the events of Asylum. So Freak Show, according to Murphy,  “is sort of like what happened to Pepper before she went to the asylum.”

This is the first time in four years of American Horror Story where a character from a previous season has popped up in another, and Murphy says he and the producers did not make the decision lightly. Admits Murphy, “We thought about it long and hard and we decided that it was interesting to do.”