Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

'American Horror Story: Hotel' recap: 'Battle Royale'

Posted on

Ray Mickshaw/FX

American Horror Story

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
tvpgr:
TV-MA
seasons:
6
run date:
10/17/12
performer:
Sarah Paulson, Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, Cuba Gooding Jr.
broadcaster:
FX
genre:
Horror

So Iris and Liz Taylor come barging into the penthouse guns blazing. Their bullets hit the Countess like once, but mostly they hit Donovan, who goes full Clint-Eastwood-in-In-the-Line-of-Fire and body-protects his lady love. Donovan, fair to say, is a bit surprised to find out that his Mom was the one who wound up killing him. “You can’t let me die in this place,” he says. Iris does him a final kindness and carries him outside. He thanks her and calls her “Mom” and dies.

Liz and Iris only wanted to kill the Countess. They walked into the room specifically trying to kill the Countess. Naturally, they didn’t kill the Countess. Sally saves the Countess, fixing all her wounds up with her druggie medical knowledge. “They don’t call me Hypodermic Sally for nothing,” says Sally, who I can’t recall ever being called Hypodermic Sally, but maybe everyone was just being nice.

RELATED: American Horror Story Stars: Then & Now

Sally flashes us back to 1993, before she gave Donovan a nasty heroin overdose. She meets a couple hardcore rockers, and they all go to the Cortez, and they have so much fun between the drugs and the sex, and then Sally decides to sew themselves all together because she is so happy. Need to repeat that, I think: SALLY DECIDES TO SEW THEMSELVES ALL TOGETHER. Naturally, the other two die of a drug overdose; naturally, she is tormented by the sex demon; naturally, she keeps coming back to the Hotel Cortez, until she can’t leave ever again.

Now, Sally nurses the Countess back to health. That nursing requires the sacrificial death of her “children” — she needs pure blood, and she sucks them dry. Meanwhile, Iris says goodbye to Donovan, now reduced to ashes. She tells the maid to vacuum up the residue. “I’ll have him all scooped up in a jiffy!” says Mare Winningham, god willing winning an Emmy this year.

Iris and Liz need help. They need someone to kill the Countess, without getting sidetracked by little things like “not being able to point guns straight” and “carrying your vampire son outside to die where his ghost won’t haunt.” They go into the prison block to free Ramona. Ramona has thirsted on all the little vampire kids, but she needs more. She needs to hunt. She needs to kill.

Enter Queenie.

NEXT: Exit Gaga.[pagebreak]

Remember Coven? When we left the third iteration of American Horror Story, the few witches left alive were launching their New Orleans witch-haven into a brave new era. Cordelia Foxx was the Supreme: The third iteration of Sarah Paulson, oft-blinded and ultimately redeemed. At her side was whoever Taissa Farmiga was supposed to be, and Queenie, “the human voodoo doll.”

In the fullness of time and cinematic universes, Queenie shows up at the Hotel Cortez. She’s there because she’s going to be on The Price is Right. Liz Taylor knows exactly who she is. (Apparently, in the American Horror Storyverse, the Coven has gone public with TV appearances.) Queenie gets bad vibes from her room, and then Ramona attacks her. Or tries to: Queenie’s special abilities give her the upper hand. “The Price is Right is waiting!” Queenie declares, as she prepares to deliver the killing blow to Ramona. And right then, James Patrick March strikes Queenie dead. “You see, I am not alive,” March explains, as Ramona feasts on Queenie’s bloodstream. “You may be a witch,” says March, “But I’m a ghost.”

So: VAMPIRE < WITCH < GHOST, turns out. Not sure where ALIEN fits in there, but we'll no doubt find out later this year when we watch American Horror Story: Flying Saucer.

Meanwhile, the Lowe family is adjusting to a new reality. Holden is an immortal blond vampire kid, and Mom won’t age, and Dad’s a psychopath killer, and the daughter has this weird fixation on grandma. But otherwise, they’re doing great. Except that John Lowe comes home with a bloodbag victim for his family, and there’s nobody around. His family has been kidnapped! He needs to satisfy March’s mad Commandments plan: He has to kill someone who has committed murder.

Right then, Ramona confronts the Countess. Gaga surprises everyone: She declares that she just wants to leave the Cortez with her little baby. Ramona agrees. The Countess calls for an elevator. The doors open — and then John Lowe kills her dead, dead, dead. He puts her head in his trophy case. Sally tries killing John, trapping him in the Cortez, but March has bigger plans.

March! James Patrick March! How all occasions do inform towards him: He finally has his lady love, trapped forever. Or so he thinks. The ghost of the Countess shows up, freaked out and crying. She tells him the truth: She never informed on him. Turns out it was Hazel. Hazel, who has always loved March; Hazel, who never dreamed the Countess would stay in the Cortex forevermore. March banishes Hazel. “I feel strangely free,” she says. “There are more stains on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” That’s a reference to Hamlet, one of the most famous ghost stories. Fingers crossed the series finale ends with a climactic sword fight and then everyone besides Fortinbras dead!

Comments