[For American Horror Story – Hotel “Devil’s Night” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]
Devil’s Night John receives an invitation to attend an exclusive Devils Night Soiree.
“Devil’s Night” opens with notorious LA serial killer Richard Ramirez signing the guest book for his standing Devil’s Night reservation at the Hotel Cortez. He then takes his usual course of killing and climbs the fire escape to smash hotel guests sleeping in their beds with a lampstand. One of them starts to get away but James Mason catches her for Ramirez, so he can kill her too. Then John Lowe wakes up to his hotel room phone ringing. It’s Scarlett and she doesn’t feel like trick or treating this year. As he hangs up John sees a giant bloodstain growing on the corner of his ceiling. Something died a bloody death up there for certain.
Speaking of dead, Ms. Evers is scrubbing a bloody sheet when she’s transported back to 1925 and taking her son trick or treating. He’s unhappy with her costume for him – a sheet with two holes cut in it for eyes. Then Ms. Evers talks to another parent and takes her eyes off her son. Then POOF her son disappears but Ms. Evers doesn’t notice until it’s too late and he’s driving away in the back of a car. Then it turns out Ms. Evers is the source of that wretched bloodstain on John’s ceiling. John bangs on the door and she sits with him to tell the tale about losing her son. Turns out it was a killer who took her son and this being the anniversary of his death, she’s quite upset. Then Ms. Evers gets all weird and manic, oddly jolly even. She says she’s got to get to work for the annual Autumnal banquet – Devil’s Night.
It’s interesting to note that Ms. Evers appears to feel terrible for playing a complicit role in the death of her son with her neglect, a similar role to John’s in the loss of his son, Holden at the Carnival. Ms. Evers then perpetuates this pattern of assistance to a killer when she goes to work for James March. So, Ms. Evers believes herself destined to a compliant role in meaningless murder, even if only her unconscious is her guide. John, on the other hand, made his mission in life catching killers but seems to see himself as an impotent victim to their whims over and over. Can the guy catch a killer already? Not yet, it would seem.
Meanwhile Alex has taken the pale and stuck-at-six Holden home. He says the light is too bright in their living room. She hugs him and says he’s finally home when Holden says he’s thirsty. Uh oh. Alex doesn’t get it, though, and goes in the kitchen to pour him juice. When she comes back he’s sucking blood out of the family dog’s furry white neck. She stops him doing it and Holden says he wants his mommy. “I am your mommy,” Alex replies to which Holden adds, “I want the other one.” Then Alex brings him back to the Cortez and watches as he returns to the comfort of his coffin. Offscreen The Countess says, “You must have questions. I have answers,” her voice creepy as F***.
The Countess sits Alex down for a chat and declares herself the savior of neglected children. Alex asks what she did to Holden and The Countess says he now has an ancient virus, a blood disorder that results in vitality and everlasting life. There’s no cure but she can join him, The Countess tells her. All Alex has to do in return is work for The Countess. Alex initially turns down this offer and leaves. Then we see John sitting down at the Hotel Cortez bar. He says his soon to be ex wife told him he was never an alcoholic – that he’s just a control freak. So, totally not being an alcoholic at all, John orders a double martini and downs it.
He’s soon joined by Aileen Wuornos, the female serial killer that Charlize Theron portrayed in the movie Monster. John thinks it’s a costume (Wuornos died via lethal injection in 2002) and is appropriately impressed with how devoted this woman is to the role. Aileen takes him up to his room for a roll around but instead of sexual it gets pretty brutal – not surprising given Ms. Wuornos’s history with cops. She wasn’t called a monster for nothing.
John goes to the front desk to call the cops on Aileen and Elizabeth Taylor tells him about Devil’s Night, the very exclusive annual party James March throws for serial killers and realizes that for some reason John’s invited to the Soiree this year. Elizabeth gives him the invite. When Lowe returns to his room there’s no sign of Aileen but Ms. Taylor has left him a tux for the fancy party and even laid it out on the bed for him. He puts it on like a good boy and heads to the party. Aileen apologizes when he comes in and says she’s just got issues with cops… and men. James March serves them each a glass of Absinthe then introduces himself. John says James March died more than eighty years ago. March gets annoyed then and says that’s what’s annoying about cops; they only care about evidence.
Then each weirdo at the table introduces themselves. First John Gacy then Jeffrey Dahmer, and then John points out the Zodiac killer. John also recognizes Ramirez because they’re from the same hometown. March explains how he built the hotel specifically to hide evidence and he brought John to this dinner to educate and help him. Then Gacy handcuffs John to his chair and the killers talk about how each of them visiting “The Master” in this Hotel educated them too. Clearly “The Master March” helped each of them become better killers.
March then asks Ms. Evers to bring out the amuse bouche and she enters with a young man for Dahmer. He gets his drill and explains that this is how he makes his victims a part of him. Then Dahmer dodges a bullet from John’s gun before drilling the young man’s head. The bullet does hit Dahmer but because he’s already dead, it barely slows his process. He then puts acid in the young man’s brain, turning him into a type of zombie. Meanwhile outside Hypodermic Sally flirts with a hot businessman and gives him an eightball before bringing him to the party where he will play the role of “dessert.” Gacy now has a clown face on for an extra layer of creepitude and each killer then takes a large knife in hand and stabs the businessman in manic tandem.
But then John it shifts as John wakes up in a dusty dark room where Sally says he’s just hallucinating. “Is anything real?” he asks. “I am,” she says. “But you disappeared on me last time,” John remembers. This reinforces John’s pattern of impotence on two levels. He was just watching the killers get to work, unable to do anything about it. Then he doesn’t even know if what he saw was real and with Hypodermic Sally as his source of clarity, John may never again know what’s real and what he can hold onto.
In the final scene The Countess dresses all in red for a ceremonial meeting with Alex. It seems she’s come around on the whole making-a-deal-with-the-devil prospect. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to have Holden back. The Countess tells Alex to surrender completely, kisses her, and then cuts her breast for Alex to drink the dripping blood. The Countess says when Alex wakes she can be reunited with her child for eternity. It’s a pretty quick and no nonsense interaction… The last shot of the episode is Alex laying her head down on the Countess’s lap with a bloody mouth much like what a baby would look like after feeding, just replace the milky mouth with blood.
This is an excellent way to leave us hanging because now we’ve got machines churning on all sides. John’s drinking again, hallucinating, and hot for Sally. Alex is a vampire, and Holden’s back in the arms with his Countess mommy – no clue his other mommy is about to emerge anew on his side of the world this time. Seems like the perfect recipe for mayhem at the Hotel Cortez.