The tenth episode of this fifth iteration of American Horror Story is titled “She Gets Revenge.” It’s not initially clear which “she” we’re talking about here. The Countess? She kills somebody, but it isn’t really a “vengeance” killing. Iris? I guess the whole world done her wrong, but her act of violence feels gloriously unmotivated. Ramona? Trapped in the prison corridors. Sally? Sound and fury, thus far signifying nothing.
No, the “she” of the title has to be Liz Taylor, revealed in these final episodes as the true soul of Hotel‘s hotel. Liz welcomes an older couple to the Cortez. The old marrieds are the picture of happiness: together 60 years, four kids, nine grandchildren. But her cancer is spreading, and he can’t live without her. They share a bottle of champagne, count backwards from 3, and blow each other’s beloved brains out.
Liz considers following them, but Iris convinces her otherwise. Can’t die in the Cortez with unfinished business. And Liz still has one task left unfinished: Her long-lost son, left behind in her old life. Hazel calls up Liz’s boy and gets him to come to Los Angeles for a few nights free at the Cortez. (You may ask yourself why on Earth Liz would bring her son to a Hotel Hell filled with serial killers and ghosts and killer ghosts and viralized hedonists.) In return, Hazel asks only for some updated cleaning products.
We’re in the home stretch of the season, so it’s time for some death. Donovan visits Rudy Valentino just as Natacha visits the Countess. It’s a glorious crosscut between bitchfests: Natacha argue-copulating with Gaga, Donovan and Rudy having a chin-off. Rudy pulls a sword on Donovan, who does the Indiana Jones thing and just shoots his romantic rival. (Gaga does the same with Natacha, when she pulls out a knife.) Donovan doesn’t mourn his rival’s death “I have better cheekbones anyway,” he says. “Cheekbones for days.”
Meanwhile, our pal John Lowe has gone cuckoo crazy. He’s got nine commandments down, and just one more to go. His galpal Sally is so proud of him. His mentor James Patrick March is proud, too. But John hasn’t forgotten his old life. He wants his wife back. He finds Alex in the Hotel, and they reconnect. She has a problem, and she needs help. See, there’s a pack of vampire kids that need dealing with…
…and deal with them they do. John and Alex go all True Detective, hunting down the pack of viralized commando-kids and convincing them to return to the Cortez. Because no one should ever come to the Cortez, the kids wind up trapped in the prison corridors with one dead body and one living Angela Bassett.
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Speaking of that dead body: Will Drake’s ghost haunts the Cortez now. He’s not happy — but at least his eyes are wide open. He asks Gaga what she was thinking, killing him. Will she take control of his empire? “I thought I’d dissolve the empire,” she explains. “Convert it to cash.” Oh, she’s not on the will, but she is little Lachlan’s legal guardian until he turns 18. Maybe he’ll never turn 18, one way or another.
Now the Countess has two dead husbands wandering the halls of the Cortez. Not an easy situation — but at least that’s a bit cleaner than the romantic triangle John finds himself in. Fresh from their mission to take care of the little bloodsucking children of Los Angeles Elementary, John and Alex rekindle their romance. Well, half-kindle: She still wants a divorce, but she sees something solid behind John’s eyes now. “You finally got it together, John,” she says, before leaving him for the evening. (The Season 5 Derriere Club welcomes Chloë Sevigny!)
Sally’s not so happy about this. “She doesn’t know about you,” she tells John. “Not the way I do. How’s she gonna take it when she finds out the truth?” Truthfully, it’s hard to know what Alex will think. She’s an immortal blood-being now, their son will never age, and their daughter has the incredible ability to vanish for weeks at a time. How much weirder is a serial-killer cop husband?
NEXT: Liz Taylor, Proud Grandma