[For American Horror Story – Hotel “Be Our Guest” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

FX Summary:
Be Our Guest Iris and Liz oversee a new era; John and Alex struggle to adapt to life outside the hotel.

If you’re into American Horror Story Hotel for the sex you may find this season finale, “Be Our Guest” disappointing – because there isn’t any – and there’s only a tidbit of violence, comparatively. But when it comes to thematic resonance, symbolism, and tying up loose ends, this baby delivers with only one glaring exception. Also, don’t get too attached to the FX summary because we learn virtually nothing about John and Alex’s adaptation to life outside the hotel other than that it was a colossal failure and they returned soon after leaving. Gaga and Angela Basset make brief appearances in the finale but these vignettes are penetrating shots of glamour and poignance that make a lasting impact in this season’s final bit of glorious hotel madness.

We open on Liz and Iris, the new hotel management duo, as they attempt to mold a glamorous luxury destination out of this ghost-ridden fleabag. A year has passed since the last episode and they’ve liquidated The Countess’s art collection to pay for redecorating and even installed fancy Japanese toilets. Unfortunately, there’s an intrinsic glitch in their plan – they’ll never get rid of the murderous ghosts. So, though they welcome two hotel website reviewers for a grand Hotel Cortez reopening – they can’t ever get those coveted four gold stars. Sally and Will Drake make sure of it when they get all stab-happy and ruin the whole shebang, killing the reviewers before they even have a chance to sit down on the new furniture. Liz and Iris shake their heads in disgust at the cleanup that awaits and their hopeless situation. The Cortez will never get any stars at this rate! The duo call a meeting of the Cortez ghosts and Liz ding-ding-dings the side of a martini glass, calling it to order.

They ask the ghosts to stop killing the guests so they can make the hotel a luxury “destination” but Sally and Will say no. Hell no, in fact, murder is just too much fun. Then James March enters to give an inspiring soliloquy about how this is their HOME they’ve got to stop killing so it can become a historical landmark. But really, it’s probably just that he’s stopped killing and handed over the murder king crown to John Lowe. So, why should these minor league ghosts get to have all the fun? Iris and Liz say they have to become a destination because they can’t survive without the money that would make them. Drake’s is drying up now that he’s dead and not designing anymore. Sally gets pissy, saying the hell that awaits if they burn down the Cortez would be all the same as living there is now. She leaves the meeting to pout in her room but Iris follows and tells Sally she knows of a more permanent fix than going to hell – something with a real future. Iris advises her to become a literal ghost in the machine. She hands Sally a smartphone loaded up with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – the whole shebang and explains that she can create a whole new world for herself. Suddenly Sally’s inspired – she’s an artist after all. Soon Sally has a rabid online audience seeking her every tweet, photo, and video. Finally, the artist that’s been dying to be acknowledged inside Sally has a rapt audience. She becomes so popular and validated as SallyThatGurl online Sally throws away her needles and smack. Her online identity made Sally into somebody she can face in the mirror sober. After all who needs rehab when you’ve got fanboys and followers feeding your ego 24/7?

Meanwhile Will Drake lives the complete opposite lifestyle just down the hall. He hides from his adoring public and gets drunk all the time. Liz sent his son to a fancy boarding school and keeps tabs on the business; which, though not thriving, gets by on its fragrance and accessory lines. Ironically, his fans think he’s in rehab so Will could easily continue to create fashion from the Cortez and nobody would be the wiser. His biz could thrive again rather than just survive if only he’d participate in it again. Liz offers to help him do this and Drake seems truly intrigued, inspired even at the prospect. It makes sense, Liz was a salesman in her former life and bleeds Dior in this one. Who’s better equipped for a revitalization of a fashion brand? So, in the next scene Liz attends a Will Drake corporate board meeting and takes over the business helm while Will designs a whole new season of amazing Drake magic from his lair of mystery and thus they became eminently successful as a fashion team. Even still… loads of success on this fabulous fashion venture doesn’t make Liz happy. Then she realizes nothing really can or ever will because she still misses her beloved Tristan.

So, Iris hires a famous TV psychic, played by Sarah Paulson, named Billie Dean to find Tristan’s spirit. The trio do a calling out to him in Liz’s room where Tristan died at the razor-tipped fingers of The Countess. Billie Dean reaches what seems to be Tristan but he has no message and then Liz says it’s because she’s the reason Tristan’s dead – weeping. The psychic tells Liz to be strong and then suddenly starts to get messages from the manly spirit in the room. He smells pancakes, she says and watches Saturday morning cartoons. Um, that’s not Tristan, bitch. It’s Donovan and he’s there to tell Iris he loves her. Billie tells Iris not to worry and that Donovan is speaking to her from a beautiful place far from the Hotel Cortez. So, Liz never does get to speak to Tristan through Billie but in a following scene we see her become a grandmother as she attends the birth of her son’s new daughter, which makes her happy. Liz gets to leave behind her own legacy now.

In the next scene Ms. Taylor tells Ramona and all the ghosts she’s just gotten some horrible news. She’s the only woman in the world with prostate cancer and will die soon. So, she insists that they need to kill her and take her out of this misery. But the ghosts love Liz and don’t want to kill her …until Sally explains that because it’s the Cortez she’ll be reborn and can be with them forever. They’re just about to do the deed when The Countess (heretofore hiding) interrupts and says Liz was always her fondest creation and she wants to help. Then The Countess does her signature razor fingernail throat slash just for Liz this time. The good news is that as soon as Liz dies she’s reunited with Tristan. He explains that he couldn’t get in the way of her continuing to live her life to the fullest so that was why he stayed silent with Billie but, of course, he loves Liz, like always.

Next we’re transported forth to 2022 and the psychic Billie Dean now frequently uses the Cortez to film her TV show and discover all sorts of spirits and ghost stories. Billie’s main objective revolves around John Lowe, the Ten Commandments Killer. She sees him as the ultimate ghost interview. Speaking of John, he shows up (a ghost now) just as Ramona and Iris discuss shutting down Billie Dean because they don’t want all the creepy guests her show attracts to the Cortez now that Drake’s designer legacy keeps then in business money-wise. When Lowe shows up they appeal to him for help with Billie and he’s happy to oblige. He offers her an on camera interview. Billie says she wants to set the record straight and asks if his family knew he was a serial killer. He doesn’t really answer and just says he let them down. The Billie asks if he killed his family. Although it appears that he didn’t, John says to stop talking about his family. Which is a powerful parallel to all the past convos he’s had with Sally, also played by Sarah Paulson. Then we see a brief flashback to Lowe’s family showing back up at the Cortez after sending Scarlet off to the same boarding school where Will Drake’s son went. While the three of them lived at the Cortez, John kept killing at night on the streets of LA to collect blood for his wife and son. Then late one night after one such murder and blood collection, John gets shot by police near the outside of the Cortez. He wants to crawl inside but doesn’t make it. In fact, the only reason he can be there talking to her that night is because it’s October 30th.

So, then Billie asks him about the significance of the date and he tells her it’s Devil’s Night and if she’s willing to go with him without the cameras he’ll show her what that means. John takes her hand. Thus the cameraman’s perspective shows it floating in the air as Billie leaves the room with the ghost of John Lowe. They walk down the screaming hallowed halls just the two of them and then he brings her to the notorious serial killer party where she’s greeted by John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer, then Aileen Wournos, and Richard Ramirez. John asks her if she’s scared and she says no because she just surrounds herself with the white light of spirit to protect her, to which John sarcastically says, “Sure thing, sweetheart,” but Billie’s serious. Then she recognizes James March and half passes out. John drugs her and the killers collectively tie her to a chair then threaten to kill her if she keeps doing TV specials, tweets and interviews about the hotel. She’s gotta shut her dang trap. Billie says even if she promised they can’t hold her to her word because they can’t leave the hotel. They’re trapped. Ha! But then Ramona shows up, not dead, and says she’ll wqtch over Billie’s skinny ass to keep her in line. Billie flees the hotel then in a terrified state, presumably never to return.

After this scene John goes back to his hotel room and Scarlet’s there for a visit, much older now and looking about college age. Lowe says he’s afraid to go asleep because once he closes his eyes she’ll be gone for another year. But Scarlet tells John it’s OK, he should rest and he does. Then we see The Countess courting a young hottie that reminds her of Valentino in the hotel bar. She looks better than ever in a royal blue dress slit down to kingdom come and sparkling silver gloves with razor nails on each fierce fingertip. She uses one to trace his perfect bone structure and purrs,”You’ve got a jawline for days,” speaking a truth that resonates not only in that moment but seems to echo eternal through the halls of the Hotel Cortez. We’re right back where we started. It’s the circle of life… and death.

Thus we say goodbye to the fabulous limited series American Horror Story – Hotel. This one was a fun and glamorous romp with an extra dose of bloody lust, nudity, and drugs. One might refer to it as rock n’ roll horror but really it should always be known as the Gaga season because she made all the difference. Her Golden Globe was well-earned and we loved every minute of her onscreen. In fact, there wasn’t much we would change about this season. Although, we never really found out much about that maggoty drill bit dick guy, which is pretty ironic because who would think a guy that violently screws people with his drill bit loins would turn out to be nothing but a big ol’ narrative tease?

–Katherine Recap

[For American Horror Story – Hotel “Battle Royale” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

FX Summary:
Battle Royale Ramona draws vitality from an unlikely source and Sally uses her past to negotiate her future.

Put on your seatbelt because twists, turns and big changes are booking a night at the Hotel Cortez in this highly anticipated return after a two week long winter’s nap. It’s all gonna be different after this episode which isn’t entitled “Battle Royale” for nothing, baby. We open in the moments just before the last episode ended – so in a prequel moment of sorts. Liz Taylor loads a series of guns laid out on her bed and gets the report from Iris that The Countess is distracted. It’s time to attack, guns blazing, and never look back. They pack on the ammo, raise their guns in the air, and head for the suite where the two old broads shoot and shoot and shoot some more … but Donovan stands in the way to take most of the bullets for The Countess. Once they finally stop shooting Donovan begs Iris to take him out of the Cortez so he doesn’t get trapped there with The Countess’s other lovers. So, she and Liz Taylor carry him outside and leave beautiful, perfect cheek-boned Donovan on the street to die. Right before death he thanks Iris and calls her “Mom” so it’s a happy moment for her even though she’s watching her son die and knows it’s forever this time.

Meanwhile up in her filthy attic apartment, Sally pulls bullets out of the agonizing Countess while the Countess screams and writhes in agonizing pain. Heartless Sally just laughs. She sews and bandages the wounds then makes The Countess promise not to leave her because, “they always leave me”. The Countess says she’s not going anywhere – how could she? It’s true, the woman is wrecked, but still gorgeous being Gaga and all. Then Sally tells The (helpless) Countess her sad Hotel Cortez origin story. Two singers used Sally for her drugs and songs, though she thought this was love and that they considered her an “artist”. The three of them checked into the Hotel Cortez and shot drugs while screwing. Then in the sweaty meditative calm of the aftersex glow Sally sews the pair to her. She attaches the three of them by their nipples one singer on either side of Sally. But then the singers overdosed and left her like everyone else does. Sally explains that after they died she laid next to them for five days while their bodies rotted, still attached to her by their nipples. Then James March came and tortured her until she could take it no longer. She extricated herself – nipple rip and all. So this filthy cave became her spot in the Cortez – her version of hell; the grungy attic apartment where she sews up The Countess. So, now Sally wants someone to be with her that won’t ever leave, John Lowe. She wants the Countess to get Lowe, bring him to the Cortez, and kill him so she can have him with her forever. The Countess needs to get better if she’s going to do this deed and since she has to drink blood like her own Sally drains two of the kids from the video game/candy room even though it’ll kill them and The Countess protests. This makes The Countess sad but you gotta figure she’ll get over it now that she’s “healthy” again.

Speaking of John Lowe, he’s home with Alex and Scarlet explaining that they’re going to be a family now that they have Holden back. Scarlet knows what’s up and asks how they’ll explain Holden being a small child forever. “He’s supposed to be my older brother,” she points out. John acts as if this is easily remedied by simply not telling people. Sure, John. Nobody’s gonna wonder about your dead-looking albino kid that never ages. Then Lowe goes out to the trunk of his car where he’s got a guy bound with a duct-taped mouth. He makes the guy promise that he hasn’t taken any drugs in thirty days. Then goes back inside the house calling for Alex with a bag from the trunk in his hand. John doesn’t find Alex and Scarlet in the house but does find a key from the Hotel Cortez hanging from a light fixture. So, then he goes straight to Sally at the hotel. When he confronts her about Alex and Scarlet’s whereabouts Sally says he has to do his last commandment for March Thou shalt not commit murder. So, John says he just has to find a murderer to kill and Sally smiles saying that shouldn’t be too difficult. Take a hint, John! She also implies that March took his family but we don’t know if that part’s true.

Liz and Iris then seek Ramona’s help. But she’s been sucking on the measles children in the hidden vault-like suite and thus not exactly in a helpful mood when they approach her. They beg her forgiveness and Ramona says she needs to take a life to bring her back to life. THis makes for an amusing but where they ride the Cortez elevator together with ghoulish grins, a bat in one’s hand a revolver in the other’s. They’re about to head out to find dinner for Ramona but they don’t even have to leave because in walks Queenie (the amazing Gabourey Sidibe from the AHS- Coven season) to the hotel lobby. She’s in town for the Price is Right and explains that she knows she’s going to be “coming on down to be the next contestant” because her ticket is enchanted. She’s a witch from an ancient bloodline, after all. Then Queenie gets a dark feeling in her room and wants to change. Iris and Liz tell her that’s not possible but then it doesn’t matter because remember she’s the human voodoo doll, meaning anything Ramona does to her she does right back without even trying. Only there’s a technicality that makes Queenie vulnerable after all. James March kills her for Ramona. He can because he’s dead so her witch powers don’t work on him. Ramona gets to drink all that witch blood to makes her extra uber strong. March explains that he needs Ramona to kill The Countess and make sure she’s bound to the Hotel Cortez forever because she’s his one true love. Yeah, we know. This is the second repetitive theme of the episode thus far. First with Sally’s constant neediness and now with March and his Gaga obsession. You don’t have to bash us over the head with this stuff again, guys – we got it.

Next we finally see some new action when The Countess lietrally smells gorgeous Ramona at her door. Her blood has the scent of walnuts, apparently. They talk and walk gorgeous stunningly perfect glamorous lady circles around each other, their lust obvious. The Countess attempts to apologize and says she’ll give Ramona the Hotel Cortez as a peace offering. Then they start kissing, of course. So, Ramona’s head gets all warped with her love for The Countess again. Gaga smooches do that. The Countess says she has to either leave the hotel or die but Ramona must screw her first no matter which one she decides. Sounds like a pretty good plan to Ramona. So, she does and then lets her get dressed and packed to leave the Hotel Cortez forever. But just as the Countess gets to the elevator in her perfect floor length white coat who’s coming out the door to kill her …but John Lowe on a mission to fulfill his commandments for James March. He succeeds. The Countess is dead (boo hoo). James March is thrilled, of course becuse not only does this fulfill his Ten Commandments objective but it kills two birds because now he gets to keep The Countess at the hotel too. He puts her head into his morbid Ten Commandments exhibit. As March commends John for his success Sally tries to kill him, stabbing at Lowe from behind. But March prevents it. Then John says, “Take me to my family,” and thus Sally’s torment continues. Can’t a junkie bitch catch a break already?

In the final scene March and Ms. Evers discuss how unnerving it is when you furst find out you’re a ghost and that they must be kind to The Countess while she acclimates. Then in walks The Countess ghost, impeccable and pouting. She says there’s no pain, no passion… sigh. March says now he can finally forgive her for turning him into the police. The Countess retorts that she certainly didn’t turn him in. At first he doesn’t believe her but The Countess points out that she would have just killed him if she wanted him dead. It’s a solid point. She’s good at that murdering stuff. Then Ms. Evers admits that it was indeed she who turned him in. She did it out of love for him, she explains, so they could be together forever. Theme overload, dudes. March then says she’s banished from his presence. Evers replies that she then feels strangely free to not be waiting on him anymore. She leaves. Then March and The Countess sit across from each other at the table and he’s happy to have her finally. Forever. She, on the other hand, is bereft. So lovely in all her sadness. At least we still get to have The Countess around, even if she’s truly dead now rather than our preferred state of undead. Hopefully she’ll get over being Sad Sack Countess soon and get down to all that gorgeous villainy we love so much.

The lesson of this episode is rather uplifting, considering the franchise. Donovan, the one who loved without reservation – the guy seriously must have taken a course from Marianne Williamson – gets to rest in peace. Meanwhile the selfish bitches, Ms. Evers and The Countess, rot in the Cortez without their respective beloveds. For Ms. Evers hell is to exist without James March by her side and for The Countess the same holds true for Valentino. So, they’re both basically in the Cortez equivalent to hell. But it looks like Donovan’s unconditionally loving soul is finally free – heaven sent. While the other true lover, Ramona, now gets to take over the Hotel Cortez – no small reward for choosing sex over murderous revenge and you just know it was the good stuff, too. What’s hotter than rage mixed with makeup sex? That’s right, only Donovan knows the answer to that one.

–Katherine Recap

[For American Horror Story – Hotel “She Gets Revenge” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

FX Summary:
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.

–Katherine Recap

[For American Horror Story – Hotel “She Wants Revenge” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

FX Summary:
She Wants Revenge The Countess is reunited with her one true love; Donovan and Ramona take another stab at revenge.

American Horror Story shifts back to the Hotel Cortez and The Countess. She begins the episode poised at the entrance to the wing where Valentino was trapped all those years and says it’s time to construct something new and durable – steel and iron. The Countess starts this process by marrying Will Drake so she can finance the project with his money. Drake wants a flamboyant wedding while she wants simple and intimate – so small wedding it is. But her formerly loyal minion, Elizabeth Taylor, won’t help at all – still bitter that The Countess killed the love of her life. She says, “Buy your own damn flowers!” Then The countess drives to a motel for a rendezvous with Valentino. But before anything happens between them the scene shifts back to her at the Hotel Cortez with Donovan again now, screwing in only strategically placed sequin stars. She promises to love only Donovan… but mentions she’s getting married Wednesday. He gets a cranky look until she adds that she’ll be a rich widow on Thursday. Then they talk about making a fresh start and cleaning house, agreeing to make a list of all the people to “remove” ie; kill.

Then Iris stabs guests when Donovan walks in and flatters her that she’s certainly “come into her own” lately. Iris says she fears The Countess will figure out they’re in cahoots with Ramona to take her down and he says don’t worry. Donovan’s got The Countess right where he wants her, he claims. To this Iris knowingly asks if he’s hung up on The Countess again and Dononvan insists he’s in control.

Next it’s Wednesday and wedding time. Will Drake talks to his son about how The Countess is the one for him. But then Ms. Evers interrupts his delusions to warn Will that he shouldn’t marry her – it whall be his destruction. Turns out Ms. Evers feels like The Countess stole James March from her and never got over it. Meanwhile The Countess is pissed at March for what he did to her beloved Valentino – locking him away all those years. Now she’s turning the wing where he was kept into a vault-like chamber for her to hide within and watch the all hotel happenings with strategically placed video cameras. This is where she will live with her beloved Valentino by her side – that’s living the dream for The Countess.

Donovan brings a young stud to Ramona as a peace offering. He tells her they have to get rid of The Countess tonight. He’s already drugged her and she’s marrying Drake tomorrow so she’s certain to be distracted. They drain the young stud’s blood and talk about heartbreak and loneliness, despair… So, living in Los Angeles, basically. Ramona tells him how her last twenty years in LA passed like nothing happened. She was caring for her parents and not handling their deterioration particularly well. Turns out vampirism didn’t cure her father’s dementia. But Ramona is over all that now and and focused on how The Countess killed her lover. After telling him the story she and Donovan drink the young stud’s blood and toast to vengeance on the Countess.

Then we see Alex parked outside a house with a pizza delivery car out front. Inside she finds a pile of bloody corpses and that kid Max she “saved” with the virus along with all his vampire buddies. Alex tells them if they keep up their careless murderous ways they’re going to get caught. She suggests they all go to the Hotel Cortez where there are people like them who can help. But the kids are like hell no, that’s the last thing we need is for adults to tell us what to do. They have a point. It would really make the whole killing-their-parents thing moot.

Next Ramona and Donovan sneak up on The Countess while she’s sleeping. Ramona holds a big knife over her, all ready to get stabby, but it’s a setup. The Countess hisses at her, Donovan tazes Ramona’s neck and once again – she’s betrayed. Iris was right about Donovan, of course. A mother always knows. He’s too much of sucker for the love of the Countess. They lock Ramona into one of the iron cages.

The Countess and Valentino have breakfast and turns out Natascha has been out shopping all this time, thanks to The Countess’s black card. She wants Valentino all to herself and for them to turn the Hotel into a fortress against the modern world. It’s all part of her plan to recreate the love they had all those years ago when she was allegedly happy and in love. But then Natascha returns laden with shopping bags and The Countess changes her tune. She says Natascha has to come over tonight for girls fashion night and Valentino isn’t invited. Natascha’s imminent demise seems just around the corner at the Hotel Cortez – but at least she’ll be wearing the latest couture.

At the Will Drake and Countess wedding Elizabeth Taylor objects but can’t conjure a better reason than just because the bride’s a bitch, basically. The Countess says please ignore Liz, she drinks but the law requires a witness. Now that they’re married March visits Drake at the bar before taking him upstairs to “show him something.” There he introduces Will to The Countess’s monster child. Of course Will Drake, who cares deeply about aesthetics and little else insults the heinous creature. Then The (outraged) Countess knocks him upside the head. He wakes up in the cage room with Ramona still in the pink iron cage. The blue one stands open, awaiting Drake’s hot bod. Not knowing any better, Will frees her from the iron bars and then Ramona thanks him by feeding on his gorgeous face and neck. Ms. Evers stands over the bloody spectacle with arms folded and an I-told-you-so look on her face. All the while The Countess watches on remote video in her newly constructed vault-like chamber.

She’s been the most powerful force at the Hotel Cortez all along and seemingly remains unstoppable. So, what would a happy ending look like for American Horror Story – Hotel? Is it for The Countess to get her heart’s desire and spend the rest of her days with Valentino in a vault while the hotel continues on below, killing, torturing, and enveloping hostage after hostage? Or will John Lowe kill everyone, including The Countess? Then maybe Alex will become the new Countess and John the replacement James March as the Hotel sashays forth into a new era of deadly debauchery. Either way, it’s sure to be a glamorous, blood- soaked ride.

–Katherine Recap

[For American Horror Story – Hotel “The Ten Commandments Killer” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

FX Summary:
The Ten Commandments Killer John closes in on the Ten Commandments Killer; Sally’s arrangement with March is revealed.

“The Ten Commandments Killer” reveals John Lowe’s innermost secrets, not just to us but also to Lowe. He finally knows why he’s drawn to the Hotel Cortez, the identity of the Ten Commandments Killer, and even his purpose in life. What more could a boozin’ blue-eyed dreamboat want? Anything but these three things.. if you’re John Lowe.

After the little girl, Wren, dies in the street John runs back to the Hotel Cortez and demands to know where the Ten Commandments Killer is. He’s in the hotel, John says and they’ve all been hiding and protecting him. Sally says she’ll take John to the killer and walks him to room 64, John’s room. Uh oh, we had a feeling… There are answers waiting on the other side of the door, she explains. In fact, room 64 used to be James March’s office space and it was right here where he died.

Sally says John will find what he’s looking for behind the armoire. He pushes the armoire away from the wall to find a door that opens into an eerie blue-lit room full of body parts encased in glass: the hand of a thief for thou shalt not steal and so on. A commandment is engraved on the appropriate plaque on the base of each glass vessel. Sally says March had been waiting for his successor and then finally found him… in John. Lowe’s been doing all the Ten Commandment killings in his boozy blackouts. He picked up where March left off ninety years ago. That’s why he was invited to the serial killer dinner on Halloween. Sally says, “It’s always been you,” and comforts the dazed John with a rocking hug as the truth sinks into his murderous mind. He’s been hunting himself all along.

Being the self destructive type, John can’t wait to confess. He runs to the morgue where his boss stands over Wren’s body. Lowe suddenly remembers everything and it turns out he’s been going to the Hotel Cortez for five years, not just the few weeks we knew about. He was drinking back then and sought a martini at midnight the first time he went to the Hotel. Sally sat near him at the bar but it was Donovan who hit on him first. John isn’t feeling friendly, though… or frisky. Then Donovan tells him he can get truly blasted upstairs and the bar is about to declare last call. Next we see The Countess and March eating a dinner thus interrupted by Donovan and John Lowe at their door. March rages because it’s his one night a month with the beloved Countess. Donovan explains that Lowe had a wretched day and needs to drink himself silly.

Do life and death have no meaning anymore to John? March asks. Lowe replies that being a homicide detective he knows more than anyone that life and death are the ONLY thing that have any meaning. March’s eyes light up as he recognizes a kindred spirit and he releases The Countess and Donovan so they can go bone the night away. He’s intrigued by Lowe and gives him Absinthe. John drinks heavily while March tells him he sees his jet black rage-filled aura. It’s dangerous to keep all that inside because it’ll give him cancer. And anyway, March senses that John’s having trouble keeping it in check. Lowe admits this is true – he feels his own righteous sense of justice, especially at work. If only he was judge jury and executioner. Later that night March tells The Countess John has “once in a generation rage” and he’s finally found the man worthy to continue his work. If she helps capture John for the task March will give her one of the Lowe children. Because The Countess adores impossibly blonde children, it’s a perfect trade.

Remembering it to his boss now Lowe admits that he’s been going to the Hotel Cortez regularly and living a double life. Because time was different at the Hotel he could easily get away with it. Being with James March it was as if no time passed at all. They would talk for hours and March showed him all the wonders of the Cortez, like his trophy room with dead people’s heads right beside the animals. At first Lowe was a bit judgmental about such gore but his frustrations about societal injustices at work sent him back to March again and again. It started to seem to Lowe that he must do the job of justice himself – as March did, playing judge, jury, and executioner. It was like a dream come true for John – get out his rage and finally finding justice all in one bloody package. On his first murderous venture John hunts a guy March claimed a pedophile even though there’s no evidence other than concocted pics and stories. John beats the guy to death and then attempts to hang himself in the stranger’s bathroom but fails because Sally was there. Turns out Sally was always there – in John’s arms.

Sally and John have been having a torrid affair all these five years. Her character is a perfect, if a bit blatant, representative for addiction. About her John says she’s a bottomless pit of need and that when he’s with her, he’s someone else. But he keeps going back to her anyway. Sounds like she’s pretty addictive. Lowe couldn’t kill himself because Sally called March to come save John from his own suicide. March was mad at her for not cutting John down herself. He reminds her that she owes him. They have an arrangement where he protects Sally from a vicious demon, the drill bit maggot looking thing, and in return she does March’s bidding. Apparently Sally conjured this Addiction Demon and it has to feed so she needs March to feed it for her or she’ll be consumed.

John wraps up his confession to his boss with the story of how March advises John that he’s found his true purpose in life, killing and venting his rage – thus using his pain to make the world a cleaner place. Then he shares his Ten Commandments Project with John and tells him to finish the work he couldn’t. When Lowe says he might get caught March tells him to make himself lead detective on the case so he can’t get nailed. John’s boss still doesn’t believe the confession at this point but Lowe doesn’t care, he’s too caught up in the rush of his rage and storytelling. John stabs his boss and says it’s because he was coveting his wife.. one of the Ten Commandments, yes. But when it comes to John actually discerning his boss’s feelings for Alex, this was probably just a guess, at best. It’s all wrapped up nicely for John’s murderous mind, though. He returns to the Hotel Cortez now fully aware of who he is and his purpose in life – a man who is finally whole in this way can’t be stopped from his mission.

This episode revealed a lot about John and Sally, alive and dead versions of twisted addictions. Connected as if they are stuck in a vice made entirely of the other person – locked in it. Instead of halting the narrative, though, these revelations throw us forward into the unknown terror of tomorrow. Now that John is aware how will that change his story? He can’t kill Alex now because she’s got The Countess’s vampire virus. Will he get caught? Or will John die and be eternally stuck in the Hotel Cortez forever like Sally? March always has him do the Ten Commandment murders offsite from the Hotel Cortez. What’s behind that? American Horror Story – Hotel has been consistent and clear in delivering the answers to past questions, so we’ll find out soon. March tells John that death is his art and Lowe has only two killings left to complete the Ten Commandment masterpiece. So, what then for John and March – a showdown? It’s not as if two serial killers are going to share and play nice when the job’s done. March has the advantage of experience but John’s actually alive. It’s a tough fight to call. One thing’s for certain, though, conflict is inevitable at the Hotel Cortez and it’s gonna be to the death.

–Katherine Recap

[For American Horror Story – Hotel “Flicker” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

FX Summary:
Flicker Will Drake’s renovations uncover one of the hotel’s greatest secrets; John undergoes an evaluation.

Will Drake renovates the Hotel Cortez and, surprise surprise, construction workers unearth some uber old and mighty thirsty vampires in the process. Iris and The Countess then discover the workers’ bodies and it’s the first time Iris has ever seen The Countess scared. “Whomever did this must have been starving,” she says, voice trailing off. Then we’re taken back to Hollywood 1925 and Gaga (in a mousie brunette wig) plays an actress crushing madly on Rudolph Valentino. The feeling is mutual, it seems, and he invites her for dinner where Valentino says he sees greater things for Mousie than acting. But she thinks, “The flickers are the future – a true American art form,” movies are going to make her immortal, she claims. Valentino insists flickers are a phase and real immortality is something else entirely. They dance instead of eating until Valentino’s wife, Natascha, interrupts. Natascha, the cat calls her “Little Mouse” and explains that she’s been invited there because, “Gods have appetites,” and thus the awkward dancing continues as a trio. The three then have sex and Gaga’s happy to be the cheese in their mouse sandwich. In the next scene some time has passed and Mousie is now officially in love with Valentino. She attends the grand opening party for the Hotel Cortez when it’s announced that Valentino is dead. Mousie runs to the window to kill herself immediately but James March stops her from doing so saying, “I may never let you go.”

At Valentino’s crypt three fans gossip about a woman in black who leaves a single red rose on his grave every day. Turns out it’s the Mouse and here she comes, though no longer quite so mousie now that she’s platinum blonde – The Countess. Natascha comes up behind her to say Valentino’s not dead after all, it’s his stunt double in the crypt. And then out of the shadows… there he is. Natasha congratulates The Countess on her marriage to James March. She admits that she doesn’t love him but they have great sex and she likes his darkness – a 1920’s euphemism for murderous rampages. Valentino says he’s sad to see her suffer and she says she never suffers. Then Valentino tells her a story of the German director, F.W. Murnau who made the original 1922 Nosferatu. While researching that movie he’d discovered people with an ancient blood virus that kept them young and beautiful but with an infinite blood thirst. Murnau then turned Valentino into a truly free immortal – giving him the blood virus but also telling him to give up acting. It was all because the talking pictures were coming to “Kill the Gods” of the silent pictures. So, though Valentino the film star is dead, this guy The Countess loves lives after all, just a slightly diseased version. Then Valentino and Natascha say they want to give their virus to their little mouse. So, it’s time for a makeout bloodfest sex party right there beside Valentino’s crypt as they pass along the virus to The Countess. Meanwhile James March listens patiently nearby the whole time.

At the mental ward of an LA hospital John Lowe gets analyzed and admitted, his indigo eyes perfectly matched to his form fitting jeans. Alex offers to get him out but John believe he belongs in there, “I need professional help,” he says with great confidence and clarity. It’s because of a tough case at work, he explains, also his daughter’s lack of trust in him, and his wife leaving. Lowe neglects to mention the Hotel Cortez but keeps reiterating that he’s exactly where he needs to be. Later John’s wandering the mental ward when he eavesdrops on some orderlies talking about a psycho killer who’s kept in a “restricted area.” Being a detective with a self-destructive bent, he immediately steals a security guard’s keys and enters that restricted area. Once inside he finds a little girl named Wren in a british school uniform who won’t eat her dinner. She tells John she’s protecting the ten commandments killer because she doesn’t want him to get caught. Lowe tells her it’s not her fault the killer keeps killing but she insists that it is. Lowe sees her as a version of Scarlet. “But it’s me, not her and it’s him, not you,” he says about the dark behavior of men versus their little girls and Wren seems to understand what he’s driving at. She tells him a story about how in 1986 her father left her in a hot car and The Countess saved her. Lowe doesn’t really hear her when she talks about this part but when Wren says, “Get me out of here and I’ll show you where he lives,” about the Ten Commandments killer, John hears that part. They escape the asylum together and she says they have to go home to the Cortez. Will he kill the serial killer? she asks and then when he says he will she says, “I’d hate to see it end. I liked you,” before running into an oncoming truck and disappearing. John sees this and shrieks, thinking she’s dead. But we know better. When’s Lowe going to take a hint? Somebody needs to spell it out for him that blonde kids in british school uniforms are vampires. Maybe Alex could tell him except she’s a damn vampire too… and also she hates him.

Near the end of the episode we discover the two thirsty beasts that were unleashed in the first scene are Valentino and Natascha. It seems James March locked them away in a bricked up suite for all these years and now, unleashed they’re feeding on every Cortez guest they can find to revive their beauteous selves. One can only expect that their next step will be wreaking vengeance upon March. Then the Countess visits March and tells him she’s going to marry again – Will Drake this time. He recommends that when she kills this husband the Countess should do it off the property so she won’t have to keep dealing with his haunting annoyances for eternity. March then says he knows Valentino was the one love she ever really had and he’s clearly not over the fact that she never loved him, though he was her husband. Some people just can’t let stuff go… Then we see how March locked away Natascha and Valentino in a bricked off suite of the Cortez where they’ve been since 1925 only to be released now and he finally tells The Countess about it. She’s having feelings now just knowing that her beloved is nearby and likely seeking revenge against her haunted house.

This delightful episode brought us into yet another glorious origin story about the Hotel Cortez and its gorgeous, tormented inhabitants. There were many laugh out loud moments in this one and the show steamrolls ahead even as it looks back with reverent nostalgia. The coolest thing about American Horror Story is definitely Lady Gaga. She brings to glamorous life the inherent contradiction that comes with all ghost stories – yes remembrance of youth is glorious and beautiful but when we’re stuck in those memories we have to live with the indelible decay that comes from holding onto the past too tightly.

–Katherine Recap

[For American Horror Story – Hotel “Room 33” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

FX Summary:
Room 33 Ramona and Donovan enact their plan for revenge; Liz Taylor finds true love.

The title of episode “Room 33” raises the hairs at the back of one’s neck because in the first episode we heard Iris say she was “going to feed that thing in Room 33,” with a dreadful tone – an indelible detail. But the real fun of “Room 33” comes from the ways the episode follows through on this theme of three with titillating threesomes.

The episode begins with The Countess in 1926, when she was a mere Mrs. Johnson. Married and pregnant with a gargantuan belly, she visits a doctor to help her with this problem. She claims her husband somehow has no idea she’s pregnant and that she’s only three weeks along. So, her doctor/patient relationship is off to an honest start at least. He takes her to a dirty basement where a nurse shows concern about Mrs. Johnson’s temperature being only seventy five degrees. So, she must already be a vampire at this point, a pregnant vampire. The doctor then extracts the baby and the nurse whispers, “It’s alive,” in horror before the baby seemingly lunges at her. Then the creepy doc swaddles and places it on the pre-countess, Mrs. Johnson’s chest saying, “Congratulations, it’s a boy.” A bit later she visits the baby in a dark attic nursery and tells him, “Mommy’s going to Paris but then she’ll have lots and lots of money and will never have to leave you again,” thus providing this mysterious being with a lifetime’s worth of mommy issues in a mere one minute scene. We won’t see his face until the very last shot of the episode but soon find out his name is Bartholomew.

In the next scene John Lowe wakes up to find Holden in his bed and chases the vampire boy down the hall to his casket room in the empty swimming pool. There John sees the vampire kids in their clear coffins as well as his wife, Alex, who wakes just enough to see him seeing her. And yes, he sees her seeing him seeing her. It’s a trifecta of terror that perfectly encapsulates their marriage. They see each other perfectly well but inevitably deny they see anything, as will later happen when Alex pretends this incident never occurred between them.

Then Liz Taylor and Tristan are having great sex in Ms. Taylor’s bedroom. Liz gives him some Bronte and Oscar Wilde to help develop Tristan’s tiny starved model brain cells a bit. The better to fall in love with, Liz hopes. In fact, they talk about love and Tristan seems genuinely smitten with her. Part of it seems to be that he can still tell himself he’s not gay because Liz Taylor identifies as a hetero female though she still has a penis. She may even feel the same way about Tristan, Liz admits but she’s concerned The Countess wouldn’t approve of their relationship. So, there’s already a third wheel in their relationship at the very beginning. Speaking of The Countess, it’s now time for another, less industrious sex scene. What this sex scene needs is a third participant! The Countess tries to entice Will Drake but can’t get him off or even a bit hard because Will’s hardcore into dick. So, she texts Tristan asking him to come to her suite and fluff Drake a bit for her. Tristan insists he’s not gay but gets busy with Drake for her sake anyway. He’s such a trooper, that Tristan.

Alex then approaches Liz Taylor at the front desk for help because John saw her in her coffin so now he knows. Then she and Ms. Taylor “get rid of those coffins,” before Alex goes to John’s room. Lowe immediately confronts her saying he saw her in a coffin but she’s got a story about him calling her to say he was having visions. She tells John it makes sense because that’s the same story Scarlett told them. He’s just empathizing with his little girl by having the same visions she had. John then runs out on her and back to the coffin room to prove what he saw was real but, of course, she and Liz had removed everything by now… so, he’s back to his appearance vs reality conundrum. Time to hit the bottle.

Ramona and Donovan then visit the Hotel Cortez together. While they ride up in the elevator she’s pulls a shiny hunting knife out of her handbag, ready to slice up some vampire kiddies. Ramona’s excited and eager but Donovan’s a bit hesitant (still hung up on The Countess) so she says she’ll take care of the killing part herself. In the empty swimming pool she gets pissed that the kid coffins are missing now. Iris joins her and says she agrees the kids have to go first if they want to take out The Countess. Along with Bartholomew, they are The Countess’s only reason to continue living. Ramona then searches further for the vampire babies, especially Bartholomew. She finds the black-eyed-baby-monster-we-still-can’t-quite-see in a creepy bedroom. Ramona sing songs for him to come out and see “Auntie Ramona” while she holds her shiny hunting knife high and ready for stabby time. But then in the next scene she’s nursing a scratched cheek at the bar with Liz and asks if “they found it” about Bartholomew so the little monster somehow escaped her dagger and Alex has thus now been enlisted for the job of finding the baby monster. Ms. Taylor tells Ramona she has to get out of the Hotel Cortez right away because the sight of her will upset The Countess. Liz explains that things need to be calm right now because she’s in love with The Countess’s hottie, Tristan. She wouldn’t be able to negotiate with a fired up and feisty Countess.

Meanwhile Donovan is all up in The Countess suite, sniffing panties and such, until interrupted by the dead swedish model duo who are realizing that they’re dead. He tells them they have to find their purpose or they’ll be like hamsters on a wheel. That’s the hotel’s power over dead guests. Donovan tells them the story of a guest named Cara who killed herself in a Hotel Cortez tub. She remained aimless for months until she found her purpose – terrorizing guests of the hotel for kicks. That’s her reprieve from the hamster wheel. Her fun. So, they have to find their own kicks. In the Swedish duo’s first attempt they sex up a guest before killing him – threesome time! But it’s ultimately unsatisfying and they clearly haven’t found their purpose yet… Then they encounter Alex and she tells them killing isn’t where the fun’s at. They’ve got to mess with men’s minds. Alex proposes the perfect scenario. She knows this guy who’s always wanted two girls. Um, yeah Alex, pretty much every guy on the planet meets that criteria. But, of course, we know she’s talking about John and wants to mess with his mind so he forgets she’s now a vampire.

John’s already messing with his own mind, drinking out of a bottle in the hallway. Liz Taylor approaches him and tries to help but Lowe screams that he’d rather just have his breakdown, THANKS. After Liz leaves the two Swedish model types sidle up to him and before he knows it they’re headed to boner town – threesome time again! It’s all quite delightful until the Swedish duo start slicing each other up and bleeding everywhere, spilling blood all over his body while they still gyrate on his every skin cell. When the blood finally overcomes his lust, John runs naked and covered in blood to the lobby where Liz says it looks like his breakdown is progressing well. Then they return together to his room where the Swedish dead duo are so happy now. They say they’ve found their purpose, messing with the heads of horndogs. Goodie for them. James March even makes an appearance to John just to say it looks like he’s finally making himself properly at home in the Hotel Cortez. This propels him to leave. John packs his bags and goes home to Scarlet.

Sad Scarlet tells him Alex hasn’t been home for two days. He promises to make things right again for her. But then it seems like something is pulsating in his suitcase and suddenly he’s chasing whatever it is, eventually finding and shooting it in the kitchen. But then it still gets away, three bullets later, leaving a blood trail. After the shootout Alex and the cops come to the house to help and John’s boss ends up driving Scarlet away in his patrol car while Alex attempts to comfort John who’s upset that Scarlet’s afraid of him now. He says he knows Alex is going back to the Cortez for the night but she won’t outwardly admit it. Then he goes inside and Alex pokes around their yard, still looking for monster baby Bartholomew.

The Countess returns from a blissful getaway with the Drake when she encounters Liz Taylor who finally tells her she’s in love with Tristan. Ms. Taylor calmly explains that The Countess is just playing with Tristan but there’s a real love developing between them. So, let’s all three talk The Countess suggests. The trio talk in Liz Taylor’s humble bedroom. Tristan says The Countess only orgasm come from the heartbreak she causes. She gets a thrill from the moving on part, he says. Then Ms. Taylor pleads with The Countess, “Please just let me have this one, “ and The Countess asks Tristan if this is what he wants as well. When Tristan nods she says fine that Ms. Taylor can have Tristan. But then she slits his throat and tells Liz, “He’s yours. Bury him,” and leaves. It’s unclear what will happen now with Tristan. Does burying him kill him? Or will he come back different? Time will tell. After this she goes to Bartholomew’s room where Alex is caring for her monster baby. The Countess seems grateful that she “saved my son,” and Alex points out that The Countess saved hers as well, although kidnapping and turning a child into a vampire is a fairly progressive definition of lifesaving in some circles. Then we see that Bartholomew lives in Room 33 before the camera finally reveals his face. Let’s just say it’s one that only a mother could love.

–Katherine Recap

[For American Horror Story – Hotel “Room Service” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

FX Summary:

Room Service Alex uses an unconventional treatment to save a dying patient; a Halloween-hating couple tests Iris.

The “Room Service” episode revolves around the theme of that special situation when something shows up at our threshold that ordinarily wouldn’t in everyday life. It works in a literal, symbolic, and horrific sense throughout. Because it’s American Horror Story this theme starts out with a bloody, messy, pock-marked miracle.

Alex’s measles patient, Max, lies close to death thanks to his mother refusal to vaccinate him. So, Alex does what any solid pediatrician would and sucks down numerous blood bags in the hospital supply fridge before injecting her blood into his IV. Who’s gonna make the next list of top Los Angeles docs? This miracle worker, baby! The next morning Measles Max awakens a new boy, healed and ready to leave the hospital. When he gets home a little later, though Max bites his mommy’s neck to death and leaves her on the kitchen floor to board the yellow school bus in a pirate costume. Max then turns his school into child vampire academy. It starts when he kisses a girl, Maddie. Then he bites her and when she’s cranky about it he bites his own lip then kisses her again. Maddie quickly becomes a vampire in the closet where they kissed and then Max starts a whirlwind of stabbing teachers and turning kids into vampires. Soon the child vampire-filled school is on lockdown. None of the adults become vampires because Max stabs them or slits their throats – it’s just undead kids and blood everywhere. Then cops surround the school and start herding blood-soaked kids out. The cops ask Maddie what happened and she makes up a story on the spot about a man dressed all in black. Max smiles when he hears her and repeats her story for the cops and news media.

Meanwhile at Ramona’s mansion Donovan serves up his own brand of room service when he delivers the answer to all Ramona’s vampire prayers – Iris. He tells Ramona how Iris can help her because she’s just the Hotel Cortez insider she needs. Ramona’s then intrigued by Donovan’s reckless sex appeal and the fact that he’s delivering her the solution to her troubles makes the hottest man on the planet all the more attractive.

Iris goes back to the Cortez where Elizabeth Taylor right away serves up the antidote for the wretchedness of being newly vampire – blood in a martini glass. Iris moans to Elizabeth Taylor about being damned to eternity in her crappy body and even worse life. Ms. Taylor suggests Iris try some violet eyeshadow as she heads back to work at the reception desk. While back at work Iris greets a pretentious and patronizing couple -potential guests who like totally deserve a discount for being cool. These douchebag hipster guests then call Iris for room service and demand a variety of unavailable fancypants items including paté. So, Elizabeth Taylor helps Iris put cat food on a silver platter for them.

Then they have a chat about Ms. Taylor’s backstory. He’s from Topeka. Back in the 80s he was a traveling pharma sales rep and married, with a kid. While on the road he dresses in women’s clothes and drinks champagne by himself… until one fateful night when he stays at the Cortez and meets the The Countess. She tells him his blood smells like a woman’s and he was born to be a goddess. Thus, the makeover begins and The Countess transforms him into Elizabeth Taylor. When he’s too nervous to go out and be seen but she convinces him to get ice down the hall. Ms taylor’s in bliss, gliding down the hall until two of his coworkers see him and accuse him of having AIDS. He screams that he’s not gay and then the Countess saves the day. She kills the bigots for Elizabeth and tells him we all have two selves and we’ve got to embrace the shadow self. Although The Countess didn’t infect him, he did start living that day, Ms. Taylor explains to Iris. He tells Iris she can’t let people treat her terribly and she should start with the wretched hipsters. Iris takes them the room service and they berate her to a horrifying degree until she stabs them repeatedly all the while screaming that she matters. Iris and Elizabeth Taylor dispose of the hipster bodies and then Iris is finally starting to feel better. “I never really knew how to live until I died,” she says.

Meanwhile John Lowe’s boss confronts him about what happened at Devil’s Night. He says it must be a copycat blood cult with people pretending to be serial killers. They’ve got to get cadaver dogs, a warrant and forensics team into the Hotel Cortez right away! But his boss doesn’t feel quite the same urgency and instead says he’s questioning John’s sanity. In fact, John’s fired. Next thing John knows he wakes up at the Cortez next to Hypodermic Sally who he was apparently screwing like a madman all night. Sally tells him it’s their destiny to do this together so they’ll do it again and again and again because you can’t fight destiny. So John experienced a different and more delightful brand of room service at the Hotel Cortez that night… and instead of being grateful he’s just plain old horrified.

In the final scene Alex finally gets to hang with Holden, who recognizes that she’s just like him now. The Countess explains that Alex will now play the role of governess to all the children of the Cortez. Alex expresses concern that John will see her at the Hotel and wonder what’s up. The Countess says Alex would be surprised by the wondrous possibilities that can arise with a simple, ‘Hello.” Kind of like how you never know what delight an order of room service might bring into your life, especially at the Hotel Cortez.

–Katherine Recap

[For American Horror Story – Hotel “Devil’s Night” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

FX Summary:

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.

–Katherine Recap

[For American Horror Story – Hotel “Chutes and Ladders” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

FX Summary:

Chutes and Ladders Will Drake brings couture to the Hotel Cortez; John learns about the hotel’s sadistic first owner.

This extra long episode begins as Hypodermic Sally rips apart the sewn up slit of a mattress to chide Gabriel for trying to cheat death then squeezes him back inside. The swedish blonde then dies in her neon lit cage with a vampire child biting her wrist. Ewww. It tastes gross. “That’s because she’s dead now,” Iris, the voice of reason, explains. The body gets dumped into the dusty basement down a trapdoor chute – reminiscent of Sweeney Todd. Then Iris drains the vampire child blood into a crystal decanter she delivers to The Countess and Donovan. They drink. The Countess wants to go out and hunt but beautiful Donovan wants to stay in and watch House of Cards. So Gaga glams up and goes alone. Surprise surprise… it’s just like every other relationship in the world.

Then we’re back at the Hotel Cortez where John Lowe wakes to see his little boy and chases after him crying “Holden” while running all the way to the lobby. Sally awaits at the bar there and immediately recognizes John as a recovering alcoholic. She explains that she ended up a junkie yes but used to be a poet – even wrote one for Patti Smith. John drinks ginger ale and listens. She asks John the story of his last drunk, so he regales a tale of woe. He was on a wretched case – a whole family killed in their home in a scene that wrecked John so much he boozed for two days straight while his family waited at home for him. Then Lowe tried to make amends taking them to a carnival and his son, Holden, went missing the next day. So, he stopped drinking because he, “Can’t afford to get lost.”

Next John’s at the police station where he immediately assumes a package addressed to him from the Hotel Cortez is a bomb. but when the bomb squad check it out they just find a bloody Oscar statue inside. Detective Lowe sends it to the crime lab, seemingly unmoved. Meanwhile, Back at the Cortez Will Drake throws a fashion event that inspires a visit from Claudia (Naomi Campbell) of Vogue Magazine in a fur bolero, nerd glasses, and the hots for Detective Lowe. During the runway show Scarlett, John’s daughter meets Lachlan, Blake’s jaded son. The model of the moment is a douche named Tristan Duffy (Finn Wittrock) and The Countess falls in love with his rage and drug-filled bod. After he hits the runway Tristan carves a slash into his cheek and declares he’s done with modeling. Then Lachlan shows Scarlett the child vampires in their day coffins. “Nothing wakes them,” Lachlan says right before vampire Holden opens his sapphire blue eyes.

Douche Tristan is on a rampage then, scavenging the hotel for coke in The Countess’s suite. He’s got a real nose for it, apparently. Donovan’s about to choke Tristan dead but then The Countess saves him instead. Tristan then saunters down a timewarp hallway that transports him to another era. It’s the 1920’s with FDR on the radio and the art deco designs of Hotel Cortez are fresh and new. Tristan starts to steal from one of the rooms when he’s discovered by James March (Evan Peters) who’s got a healed-over mortal wound on his throat and a propensity for murdering young, tied-up girls. Tristan then runs out of the room and right into the arms of the Countess.

Then we see Scarlett ride a city bus by herself into town to the Cortez where she returns to the child vampire coffin room and finds them empty. Winding her way through back hallways Scarlett finds the secret room with the child vampires playing on floor-to-ceiling video consoles. Holden sees her and says, “What took you so long?” and he even knows who she is. Scarlett asks why he hasn’t grown up. He doesn’t answer and doesn’t want to leave with her. Scarlett tries to take a picture with him but then he almost bites her neck and she runs away. In the hallway on her way out Scarlett passes Hypodermic Sally who chews her own teeth down to bloody nubs while laughing. This arouses deeply embedded archetypal terrors for anyone who’s had a tooth-crumbling nightmare. Scarlett, of course, runs away even faster.

Next thing we know it’s late at night and Scarlett walks down her street toward home where cop cars are a flurried collection of sirens outside. They’re all about her because she’s missing. John and Alex are all a twitter with terror. She tries to calm them saying she saw Holden at the hotel and wanted to surprise them by bringing him home. They’re understandably still upset and tell her Holden is dead. Back at the Cortez The Countess has made Tristan a vampire now. So he’s excited to sex it up with her out of gratitude while she explains all the vampire rules to him in between banging. Don’t suck on the dead, no sun, blah blah blah. She warns him not to get caught or fall in love. He pretends to listen.

The Countess tells Tristan she’s been alive since 1902 but the best days were the late 1970s when she was a disco queen. They’re lounging around the bed enflagrante when Donovan comes in all jealous and pissy. Donovan says he loves her and she tells him he’ll get better from this because that’s what makes us all better – heartbreak. Donovan’s shockingly ungrateful for this news. Then John Lowe comes to the Cortez pretty pissy himself that his daughter was able to roam the hotel halls without anyone stopping her. Iris tries to get him to drink so she can tell him why this hotel is so special.

Iris recounts the tale of James March, the sadistic pyscho original owner and builder of the Hotel Cortez. John has to understand the origin to understand the hotel, she says. In 1925 Mr. March, a filthy rich loon, was obsessed with art deco design and killing. His unquenchable bloodlust was perfectly suited for building a torture chamber with secret passageways, escape chutes and built-in alibis. He loved murdering so much that he even used it for sexual pleasure, much like The Countess. Turns out Ms. Evers, the laundress goes all the way back to James March. She’s been working at the hotel from the very beginning and has all sorts of magical methods for cleaning linens with love, as the eerie Ms. Evers loves to say.

But he was sloppy in murders outside the hotel, Iris explains, and once even left a bunch of bodies out in the road. Thus the police came after him. It was assumed his wife turned him in – the wife role a great candidate for The Countess – but not yet revealed. As soon as Ms. Evers announced to James March that the police were there he “does her the honor” and shoots her before slitting his own throat just as the police arrive. Thus, Iris has now told Lowe the story of how the Hotel Cortez is full of ghosts and ghouls. John sarcastic claps for Iris’s story before saying, “people do enough damage without help from the afterlife.” The man has a point it’s just he’s in the wrong world for making it.

Back at John’s office he’s in the straight world again, posting crime scene photos next to articles on his board of evidence. He points out a pattern and realizes the Ten Commandments are being expressed through these serial murders. Meanwhile Tristan is at the Cortez scamming a sexual conquest on Grindr. He takes the tasty man up to his room to kill him quickly after only a few kisses. The Countess watches and Tristan tells her, “Just cause I’m sucking on this dude doesn’t mean I’m gay,” which ends this extra long episode with the best line of quite a storied evening.

–Katherine Recap