Is Pepper Gone for Good on 'AHS'?

I don't know about the rest of you, but I am still not done crying over this week's Pepper-centric episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show . Not only did "Orphans" explain Pepper's heartbreaking backstory, but it also delivered the first real taste of AHS 's connection between Asylum and Freak Show . Basically, it was a lot to digest. However, it only further deepened my unrelenting love for Naomi Grossman's Pepper character. But is this the last we'll seen of her this season? Is there any chance that Pepper could return throughout these last remaining episodes? Given Freak Show's pattern as of late, I'd say it's more than likely that she will.

You see, if I've learned anything throughout this most recent season it's that 1.) blood baths are great for the skin, and 2.) Ryan Murphy loves a good flashback. He may have promised us that character deaths would stick this season, and so far that's technically been true. However, flashbacks have offered him a useful little loophole, allowing now-dead characters to still appear even weeks after their death. So why not use the same tactic in Pepper's situation? Even Grossman herself suggests that she may not quite be done with this character just yet.

During an interview with E! Online, Grossman lamented about how hard it was to say goodbye to Pepper for good "short on some flashback or something like that." Could she be saying that fans may still be able to get one last Pepper fix even now? "You never really know with American Horror Story," she cryptically remarks. Of course, her reemergence would be just the latest in a growing list of characters we thought had departed for good, including Ma Petite, Ethel Darling, and the puppet version of Frances Conroy's Gloria Mott. And let's not forget that Edward Mordrake and Twisty are also scheduled to return at some point as well, so a Pepper sighting could still be in the cards.

Thanks to Elsa's recollections this week, Freak Show proves to have a compelling origin story, though I'm betting we've only just scratched the surface of its rich history. And since Elsa was surprisingly fond of Pepper, as was made evident throughout this episode, it seems more than possible that she'll grow to miss her "first monster" a great deal and think back on the days when Pepper was still around. Or maybe she just has a little too much to drink one night and ends up conjuring a fantasy version of Pepper in her mind like what Jimmy did with Ethel. Either way, I am ALL for this. I like my AHS like I like my steak — with more Pepper!

Images: Michele K. Short/FX; junglejimmydarling4322/Tumblr; Wifflegif