So everyone hates Kit Keller. Jessica Wakefield. Amy March. But, really, all of those women are angels in comparison to American Horror Story: Freak Show's worst sister ever, Pepper's sister, played by Mare Winningham with evil perfection. We learned back in American Horror Story: Asylum that Pepper was wrongfully committed to Briarcliff after being wrongfully convicted of murdering her sister's baby. But we had no idea just how much she was wronged by her own family. Until "Orphans," Thursday night's episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show, which proved Pepper's sister is perhaps the most freakishly horrendous person of all.
So let's run down exactly all of the terrible things Pepper's sister did to her during the course of the episode. She:
- Abandoned Pepper until Elsa brought her home
- Forced Pepper to care for her disabled baby...
- ...while mixing her cocktails
- Plotted with her equally terrible husband to kill her own "Frankenstein" child
- Allowed said husband to murder said child
- Framed Pepper for the crime
- And committed her to the horrors of Briarcliff
My god, even Bloody Face himself would shudder looking at this list.
Still, there's something so delicious about watching so evil a character on American Horror Story — particularly when said character is played by Winningham, an actress who looks more like your friend's kindly mother than a murderer. But considering all of American Horror Story's characters hold similar traits through each season (Jessica Lange's characters' obsession with aging, Denis O'Hare's penchant for lurking creepily at all times, Evan Peters being as dreamy as possible), we shouldn't have been surprised to see how horrible Pepper's sister was. After all, the last time we American Horror Story fans saw Winningham, it was in American Horror Story: Coven, in which she played loving mother to Peters' Kyle Spencer. Well, perhaps too loving of a mother.
That's right — in her previous AHS iteration, Winningham molested her son. And in this iteration, she helped murder her own child. A far cry from the Winningham people saw in St. Elmo's Fire and Turner & Hooch during the actress' early career. No, seriously — can you imagine this teen idol face committing the crimes above?
So though TV fans will recognize her as the good mother in Grey's Anatomy — in which she played Meredith's stepmother and surrogate mother — American Horror Story has proved that she should stay far, far away from all children, at least in Ryan Murphy's universe. But then again, considering Winningham is #winning so hard at playing evil... why shouldn't Murphy invest in another person we love to hate?
Hope to see you again next season, terrible, terrible person.