This American Horror Story: Hotel review contains spoilers.
American Horror Story: Season 5, Episode 9
Last week’s American Horror Story, while excellent, didn’t really do much to advance the overarching narrative of the season. “She Wants Revenge” rectifies that by tying up a bunch of loose threads and moving the story along. To be honest though, the show was better served last week when there was one strong character-driven narrative as this week’s episode, in an effort to play catch-up, bounces around like a pinball — pinball, by the way, was a game your parents played way before Mario ever stomped his first goomba- from story to story.
We finally find out what happened to the vampire school kids; apparently they have been traveling in a small group around California murdering homeless people and pizza delivery boys alike while adopting a “no adults allowed” Lord Of The Flies/Girl Who Owned A City aesthetic. What remains to be seen is if Alex is going to deal with her mess in any capacity beyond just offering all of these undead ragamuffins a home at the Hotel Cortez. I’m sure we’ll find out soon.
The Countess finally gets Will Drake to marry her for as he explains to his son, he is a bisexual now! Yeah, okay, his son sees right through that bullshit and calls him on it. Will Drake is gay and whether he is marrying the Countess because of some sort of glamour she has him under — ala vampires of old — or because he feels some societal pressure to be “normal,” it’s definitely not because he magically has an equal attraction to both men and women now.
How Hotel can handle one LGBT character like Drake so badly when another like Liz Taylor is so perfectly defined and represented I’ll never understand. That just seems to be the dual nature of the show: for every bad rip-off there is a loving homage. For every juicy bit of scene devouring acting (*cough* Evan Peters *cough*) there is a line delivery so wooden and stale you’d think the person giving it was some sort of half-marionette, half-saltine hybrid creature. I’m going to go ahead and safely assume that that is the first time Lady Gaga has ever been compared to a cracker puppet by the way.
We also catch up with Ramona and Donovan and Valentino and Natacha. What a soap opera mess these four are involved with. Let’s see, Donovan takes the Countess back, but she’s getting married, but she’s going to kill her husband so it’s cool. But he’s only pretending to take her back so Ramona and him can get close enough to the countess to murder her. But wait, nope, he’s only pretending to be pretending to take the countess back so that they can murder Ramona. Oh, but Donovan sees the countess with Rudolph Valentino so maybe he is really going to dump her?
I care so little about this part of the show right now it’s frightening. I kind of only care about what happens to the Lowes, Liz Taylor and James March at this point and really only the first two because March is dead so I already know his fate. I know that seems wrong but I just can’t muster up interest in characters that I don’t find appealing and that’s most of the vampires it seems.
Speaking of which, the vampirism itself on this show is so ill defined it’s frustrating. In what was easily the most superfluous of all the flashbacks this season it’s shown that vampires can be killed by drowning which added to all of the other ways that they have been dispatched so far means that they can be killed in pretty much the same fashion as any normal human. And yet Ramona says that she wants to stab the Countess in the heart and cut off her head to make sure she “stays dead.” If all of the other vampires have died so easily why is the Countess any different?
And the vampire virus can mend bones but not synapses — apparently it’s picky about what it heals. We find out that it cured one kid’s measles, except when the other kids fed from him they got measles along with the vampire disease. The measles stay at bay as long as the kids feed but…why? None of it seems to stay constant, sometimes they seem bothered by sunlight other times it doesn’t bother them remotely. Sometimes they seem stronger than humans but James March and his goons are able to subdue Valentino and his wife with no trouble whatsoever.
One more quick complaint while I’m being nitpicky, does the whole “getting married and then gaining your spouse’s fortune when they die days later” thing actually work in this day and age? Does a two-day marriage still entitle you to all of your spouse’s belongings? Without a will won’t the son get some money, and unless I missed something, doesn’t Will Drake mention a pre-nup in this very episode?
Needless to say that this wasn’t the best episode of the season, far from it. Still with Will Drake gone that’s one less storyline that needs to be focused on in the remaining few episodes. No John Lowe or Sally tonight and not much James March either. It seems like the episodes that Gaga has to carry end up being the weakest with this and Flicker as my least two favorites of the season so far. Hopefully next week will be better, which — judging by the IMDB synopsis — it will be.
Random Thoughts About Tonight’s Episode
Liz Taylor getting fierce with the Countess when she asked Liz to order her flowers was priceless.
Clothed sex is weird. Why is simulated intercourse okay, but nipples will corrupt young minds? If I did let my kids watch this show — which would be a big if — I can’t see myself saying “All of this murder and blood and moaning and thrusting is fine but if you see a tiny dime sized pink area on that otherwise fully exposed breast I’m shutting the TV off. That’s where I draw the line.” I mean, it’s ridiculous — in what world would Lady Gaga wear pasties to bed???
Slim pickings on the great lines tonight:“I’m gonna stab her in the heart and then cut off her head, make sure she stays dead.”“All she talks about is shopping and uber”“Uh yeah, because she’s a bitch with no conscience no class and no soul”