American Horror Story: Hotel – Room Service Review

The new episode of American Horror Story: Hotel proves the old adage: there's a bloodsucker born every minute

This American Horror Story: Hotel review contains spoilers.

American Horror Story: Hotel – Season 5, Episode 5

American Horror Story can be a frustrating show to watch. One minute it’s relying heavily on cliches and tropes and the next it’s being genuinely creepy or emotionally touching. Say what you will about last season but I dare you to watch the episode “Orphans” -which focuses on Pepper and what happens to her between Freak Show and Asylum — and not get choked up and misty eyed.

And then there are times when the show is  just plain ridiculous. Take this week’s episode for instance. “Room Service” had one of the dumbest moves I’ve ever seen a character in any TV show pull when Alex — who so far knows almost nothing about her burgeoning Vampirism — decides it would be a good idea to give some of her blood to a boy with measles. Why on Earth would she do this? She may be a vampire now but she’s still a medical professional who should have thought twice before infecting an innocent child with a virus she knows next to nothing about.

Then on top of that, when the child’s measles “miraculously” go away she tells the mother she can bring the kid home. What? A child makes a full recovery from a deadly disease in a matter of hours thanks to your vampire blood — the consumption of which, you KNOW causes a person to become a blood drinking monster  — and you don’t think maybe you should keep them another night for observation? Alex’s foolishness leads to a whole school full of children becoming vampires, which was a cool sequence to be honest and a highlight of the episode but I can’t help but think the writers could have found a less clumsy way to get there.

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Meanwhile over on the cliche side of things our other newborn nosferatu Iris needs to make her first kill to satiate her bloodlust but the show still wants her to be a sympathetic character: enter the hipster/yuppie douchebags who’s rotten attitudes about everything will make us cheer their death. This trope pops up anytime writers want a character to commit a murder without losing the audience’s favor. Somehow making the victim obnoxious and boorish is supposed to negate the fact that the murderer just committed an evil act. It’s a tired idea, that in the age of complex characters like Walter White, is unnecessary and should be put to bed. We don’t need every bad thing that our main characters do to be morally justifiable.

Just when you think the episode is going to be all dumb doctors, and hipster death, we get Liz Taylor’s backstory and it’s beautiful. Cross-dressing has long been considered nothing but a form of comic relief, either a masculine character has to resort to dressing like a women to escape some sort of crazy predicament or the cross-dresser is a flamboyant drag queen who calls everyone honey and says “fabulous” a lot in an effeminate tone. Rarely is a character like Liz Taylor handled so respectfully and realistically.  Not everyone who dresses up as the opposite sex is gay and not everyone who identifies as transgender wants to get surgery. Some men like Liz have a wife and kid but just happen to like dressing up in women’s clothing and wearing make-up. It was easily my favorite part of the season thus far and almost makes up for Lady Gaga trying to cure Will Drakes of being gay a couple of episodes back.

On the John Lowe/ Ten Commandments Killer front, it’s looking more and more like John might be the killer. We find out in a scene ripped almost directly from Fight Club that John blacked out and got freaky with Sally but remembers none of it afterward. What else could John be getting up to when he’s blacked out?

No Evan Peters whatsoever this week but also barely any Gaga and approximately one second of Finn Wittrock so I guess it kinda evens out.

Random thoughts during tonight’s episode:

  • Does the vampire virus give the infected a sort of cultural knowledge about vampires? The first vampire kid acts like he’s not shocked at all by his new thirst for blood, nor about the way to turn others.

  • The vampires turned waaaay too fast. I get that for the school to be overrun it had to happen that way but jeez guys, slow down, you’re not zombies.

  • What kind of a dick criticizes a kid’s picture?

  • OK, at this point I’m convinced that the sun doesn’t do shit to these vampires.

Favorite lines of the episode:

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  • “Bitches want pate’? Pate’ they’ll get!”
  • “I can’t understand how cat food can smell worse than cat poop.”
  • “You almost cut off my toe, are you Alzheimer’s?”
  • “I hope this isn’t plasma.”


4 out of 5