Iris and Liz Taylor make a pretty good team

By Jessica Derschowitz
November 05, 2015 at 06:36 AM EST
Doug Hyun/FX
  • TV Show

Bet you’ll think twice before ever ordering pâté from hotel room service.

That room-service request (and the awful, so-terrible-you’re-glad-to-see-them-go hipsters who made it) gave this week’s episode its title and also brought Iris and Liz Taylor closer together. But there’s also that little problem of tween bloodsuckers — not the sparkly kind — outside the Cortez’s walls.

That new development is courtesy of Alex, who is making her hospital rounds while not looking too healthy herself. Her temperature? A cool 70-something degrees. She visits Max’s room, where he’s taken a turn for the worse (PSA: Vaccinate your kids!). She vows to his distraught mother that she won’t give up on him, and as they hug, we can hear her blood pounding in Alex’s ears.

After drinking her fill in the hospital’s blood bank, Alex draws some of her own — I thought to run tests on this ancient virus, but instead she injects it into Max’s IV. His heart starts racing, his body shakes, and then, suddenly, his eyes open very wide. He recovers in seemingly miraculous fashion from his illness (though Alex, of course, knows better), and he’s allowed to be sent home.

Elsewhere, Donovan pays an early-morning call to Ramona Royale, with a now-turned Iris in tow. Ramona isn’t happy about the company and says Donovan is useless in her plan for vengeance, but he says his mother can be the inside man (er, woman) she wants at the Hotel Cortez. Iris argues the Countess will know the moment she sees her, but Donovan scoffs that no one ever sees her. Which, Ramona adds, makes her the perfect for the job.

She returns to the Cortez, where Liz Taylor serves her a drink and then says it’s from the Countess’ special stash (“I’m drinking blood?” Iris asks. “With a dash of triple sec,” Liz replies). It’ll hold her over for a few hours, but then she’ll need to find fresh blood. Lucky for her, some prime candidates will be there soon.

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Home from the hospital, Max takes getting breakfast to go to a whole new level, feeding on his parents (and, it looks like, killing them in the process) before casually hopping on the school bus in a pirate costume. It is Halloween, after all, and a classmate dressed as a witch sneaks off with him to an empty room. They kiss, but Max startles her by biting her lip hard enough to draw blood. He then bites his own and says she can taste his blood, too. 

Their teacher finds her writhing in pain and rushes to help, but Max slashes her throat and instructs his new vampire pal to drink. Another teacher finds his classmates covered in rashes on the classroom floor and Madelyn drinking from the bloody body (“It’s not my fault,” she says plaintively, before bending down for more). Max cuts his throat and tells the other students to drink, but he escapes down the hall, where other school officials see him and put the school on lockdown.

Police vehicles rush to the scene, television crews and concerned parents gather outside — a scene we’ve seen far too many times on the news. Cops go into the school, find the blood-soaked scene, and bring the children out to safety, including Max, Madelyn, and their other (seemingly all now card-carrying vampire) friends. They say a man wearing all black and a mask carried out the attack, and Max assures the police he can tell them exactly what happened.  

NEXT: Happy Halloween, Hipsters! (And the story of Liz Taylor) 

There are some new guests checking in at the Cortez — Darren Criss and a female companion spouting one obnoxious thing after the next. They want a room (and a special rate for “influencers,” since Will Drake has liked a “s–t-ton” of his Instagrams) because they’re soooooo over spending Halloween at home. “Our neighborhood used to be kinda rad, but now it’s just Strollerville,” he laments, which means too many trick-or-treaters ringing their doorbell. When Iris puts them in a room, they whine about the polyblend sheets and subpar towels, speaking to her slowly as if she doesn’t understand.

She leaves them and goes back to the lobby (where she passes a Marie Antoinette-costumed Countess with Tristan, who notice something is different about Iris but don’t say whether they realize what it is or not), when her New Hipster Pals call down asking for artisanal cheeses and organic, non-GMO grilled romaine or, at the very least, some “goddamned pâté” from any of the hip new restaurants in downtown L.A. And that’s is what they get, courtesy of Liz Taylor and a can of cat food: “Bitches want pâté; pâté they shall have.”

The pair bond over their moment of food revenge, and Iris remarks they’ve worked together for 20 years and have never spoken as much as they have tonight.

“I look at you, and all I see is questions,” Iris says, and then we get the backstory of how a “married man from Topeka” came to be our Liz Taylor of the Hotel Cortez. In 1984, Liz Taylor (known then as Nick) was a medical rep traveling for business who slipped on a slip, fur coat, and heels after closing the hotel room door — and is taken by surprise when the Countess appears in the room. “You dress like a man, walk like a man, but you smell like a woman…not your skin, in your blood,” she says. “Let me help you…become who you were born to be: a goddess.” It’s all prime Lady Gaga, “Born This Way” territory.

So, that’s how Liz Taylor became Liz Taylor (and the crude, homophobic business-trip buddies were easily dispatched with a flick of the Countess’ glove). The Countess hired her — but didn’t turn her — and she’s been at the Cortez ever since.

Liz Taylor encourages Iris to not take trouble from anyone anymore, starting with teaching the hipster duo some manners. She brings up their room service, and they complain about the lack of romaine but dig in to the pâté (ugh). Criss’ character and his friend berate her and the state of the hotel until she finally goes for the wine opener and then the knife, dispatching the two of them in quick, bloody fashion. Liz helps Iris clean up, and they dump the bodies down one of March’s mystery chutes and share a toast. “It’s ironic,” Iris says, “I never leaned how to live until I died.”

And Alex, seemingly not aware of what her medial experiment at the hospital has wrought, is back at the Cortez with Holden. The Countess says she can stay as long as she likes, as long as she obeys the rules and acts as a governess for him and the rest of her tiny blond minions. She agrees, and is rewarded by getting to go to fall asleep with her beloved son, in a glass coffin big enough for two.

Additonal hotel charges:

  • John Lowe gets fired from his job after telling his boss about the Devil’s Night dinner and its list of purported serial-killer attendees. Post-firing, he wakes up in bed (and covered with scratches) after a night with Sally that he doesn’t seem to remember.
  • Do you think the hipster duo will haunt the hotel now that Iris offed them? If so, what locally sourced, artisanal room service should they order? We already know they like pâté…
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    An anthology series that centers on different characters and locations, including a haunted house, an insane asylum, a witch coven, a freak show, and a hotel.
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