[For American Horror Story – Hotel “She Gets Revenge” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]
She Gets Revenge Alex enlists John’s help in containing an outbreak; Donovan learns The Countess’ true intentions.
This has been a particularly fun and thrilling season for American Horror Story and “She Gets Revenge” is a glorious example of why. Funny and smart, thrilling and fresh, this is as good as it gets for the franchise. Wait… do you see a shark jumping over the Hotel Cortez? Well, we certainly hope not because we’re having far too much fun on this ride. Even if you didn’t love Gaga before she became The Countess (But, c’mon we know you did – Her pain is real, Bro) this turn of her career for certain has you loving her now. She’s pure perfection in this role, a master of self parody and deadpan delivery. It’s possible she’s dead for real at the end of this episode but we hope not. We love her villainy so.
We begin the episode with Elizabeth Taylor pining away over the beautiful love that led a couple to double suicide in the Cortez. Liz weeps for how they loved each other to their mutual end. In fact, Ms. Taylor misses Tristan so much she wants to end it all herself. Then Iris reminds Liz that if you die in the Cortez you’re stuck there forever. Besides, doesn’t Liz have unfinished business? Liz says yes, her son whom she hasn’t seen in thirty one years. Iris says speaking of sons, hers (Donovan) doesn’t love her and that’s all she ever really cared about. Sigh. So, the droopy doomed duo make a plan to take care of their respective unfinished business and then off each other just like that suicidal couple. This all makes for a tidy show opener, except for the bloody mess from the couple blowing out their brains.
Next Liz bribes Ms. Evers to call her son, Douglas, and arrange for his visit the Cortez. Liz pays off the whiter-whites-obsessed Evers with the modern technology of Oxyclean detergent and the latest washer/dryer. The subsequent thrill Ms. Evers get from these gifts is more believable than any of the orgasms we’ve seen thus far in American Horror Story – Hotel. She’s free at last from wringing out sheets by hand day and night.
Then Liz Taylor finally sees her son when Douglas comes to the Cortez and sits down at her bar. Doug’s a khaki-clad, ordinary, and super nice guy. They chat amiably and he even compliments Liz on her glitzy dress. Douglas dreams of a day when he can leave his traveling salesman life, move to Boulder, and create a kayak company. Liz encourages him to follow this dream and when they see each other again later that day, his son says Liz inspired him and he’s going for it. But more importantly, Doug kindly declares that he recognizes Liz as his father. Douglas wants to build a connection with his father, Elizabeth Taylor. Liz is impressed and Doug explains that he’s cool with it because he really learned something when Pedro died on The Real World. It shows, Bro.
Meanwhile John Lowe visits with Alex to confront her about all the Holden-related lies. Alex says she did what she had to do to be with her child. John reminds her they have another child too. Alex says she hasn’t forgotten about Scarlet but they both admit to being the world’s worst parents and anyway maybe Scarlet’s better off without them. Then Alex confides how The Countess is going to kill her and Holden if she doesn’t fix the child vampire mob she created when she saved Max from the deadly measles. They’re on a rampage and drawing media attention to The Countess virus. So, John and Alex go to the child vampire home base where they’re quickly surrounded by voracious child vampires. But one of them, Kimmy, dies from the measles amalgam Max passed along when he gave them the virus. Alex can’t save Kimmy. She dies.
This loss helps Alex and John convince the kids to come with them back to the Cortez where the couple immediately lock them away with Will Drake’s body and hungry Ramona. Nighty night, kiddos. John and Alex get turned on by this small victory and go to bed where they discuss their imminent divorce in between banging. Alex admits she’s interested in “this new John” before leaving to go take care of Holden. Sally calls out to John in the shadows of his hotel room after Alex leaves. She’s all envious reprimands about how he treats her like a whore and lied when he said he loved her. Sally tells him Alex isn’t the answer because she’s not gonna like that he’s a serial killer. They pseudo bang and argue back and forth until he finally leaves and Sally comes after him with a knife. He gets away so that he and Alex can collect Holden, which makes John happypants McGee. Alex and John leave with Holden, two vampires and a serial killer headed home to join innocent little Scarlet. Sally’s not pleased to see the trio walk out hand-in-hand and shrieks that she’ll kill John Lowe. We’re looking forward to that showdown because her maggot looking drill-bit-dick friend hasn’t really been around lately and we’d like to get a good look at that action. Given Lowe’s killing talents, Sally’s going to need that extra help to murder him.
Meanwhile Iris has made a tribute video of herself holding a cat framed in pumping pink hearts with a country music soundtrack. Proud Iris explains to Liz that she needed to leave behind “a beacon of hope for her three followers on Instagram,” but then Liz says she can’t go through with the suicide pact after all. Ms. Taylor’s son wants her in his life. So, she’s bailing on their death deal. But then Liz Taylor gets on a pep talk roll and says instead of dying they’re gonna live and inherit the earth. “We women of a certain age are entitled to a second chance,” Liz inspires Iris to join her in a glorious blazing final act between friends. They should take over the hotel and make it wonderful, together… Iris lights up at the thought.
Donovan killed Valentino early in the episode, pointing out that he has better cheekbones anyway, “cheekbones for days,” actually. There are many witty lines in this scene and it’s clear the American Horror Story – Hotel writers mock how The Countess picks the same man over and over just to drain them of love, kill them, and move on to the next carbon copy. When Donovan tells the Countess the devastating news of how he brutalized her beloved she runs out to Valentino’s motel to weep over her allegedly one true love’s final demise. Meanwhile, in her suite at the Hotel Cortez, Donovan dances hilariously to Drake singing Hotline Bling and smokes while waiting for her to return. When she’s back The Countess is surprised to see he didn’t run and pissy that he killed her maker, her lover, her everything. Donovan just doesn’t measure up as far as The Countess is concerned. But he does know exactly how to deal with a narcissistic psychopath. Donovan says go ahead and kill me because “dying is the only way you’ll let me love you. I don’t know how else to do it.” After all, one thing narcissists love is when you make them God then sacrifice yourself upon their alter. The Countess is in bliss. She thinks Donovan’s super duper romantic and gets all touched in the tiny hole where her heart used to be. But right when she’s kvelling her way to kissing him Thank you, Liz Taylor and Iris blast in, packing iron and blazing bullets at them. After all, what have Liz and Iris got to lose? They were committing suicide only a few minutes ago.
This season of American Horror Story just keeps getting better with just the right mix of campy glamour and fresh irony to deliver an enthralling story week after week. It’s got layers, baby! We’re loving it and as the other shows all wind down their Fall seasons it’s a real treat to have this one continue cooking along to keep us wanting more.