Mental notes taken while watching the third episode of American Horror Story: Hotel: Check your mattresses extra carefully before getting into bed, and don’t even think about haunting Sally’s hallways.
The death count — and undead count — grew even higher this week, plus we saw the arrival of Angela Bassett (we’ll get to that in a bit) and even a Ponzi scheme, for good measure.
(And no, you’re not seeing things — I am not Darren Franich. But I am filling in for him this week, and I once stayed in a hotel on a summer camp overnight trip that I’m convinced to this day was haunted, so I’d like to think I’m especially qualified to pinch-hit here.)
The episode opens with Tristan strutting around the hotel like he owns the joint, and making nice with Evan Peters’ ghostly James Patrick March. “I know everything about you,” he tells him (How? Google, of course). Flattered by the psychotic praise, March encourages him to put all the Cortez’s secret murder hallways to good use (there’s a glimpse of a “Black Closet” I would not be surprised if we visit again at some point this season, if only in my nightmares). But they’re interrupted by Will Drake and his fashion editor pal Claudia, who marvel at Tristan’s new youthfulness and the lack of scar on his face before turning their attention to how they want to renovate the hotel. Tristan tells March and Miss Evers not to worry, because he’s going to take care of it.
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Turns out, the Countess also has a plan for Will Drake, and it involves equal parts marriage and murder. She lost everything she had to Bernie Madoff (a different sort of vampire, one of the financial variety) and wants to marry Will for his money before killing him. So Tristan will need to put his bloody plans on hold, at least for now.
Someone else with a plan is Ramona Royale (Angela Bassett, making her entrance to this AHS season). She’s a badass B-movie star who wants to cross over into mainstream Hollywood. A meeting with a producer leads to her crossing paths with the Countess, who seduced her and then passed on the ancient blood virus. They stayed together through decades (and clothing trends) until 1991, when Ramona falls for a rapper named Prophet Moses. But when she turns him with her blood so they can be together forever, she falls on her ex’s bad side in a big way — the Countess follows them to a recording studio and kills everyone, Ramona’s new love included. Seems the Countess isn’t a fan of her creations creating their own undead creations. Now, Ramona wants revenge, and she wants Donovan to help.
NEXT: Mothers, dearest?