This week's episode had the storylines spiral quickly with everything rushing to it's finish line, and included plenty of jaw dropping moments. I'll start this recap with the usual warnings that.... there will be spoilers. Now let's talk She Gets Revenge.
Liz kicks off our episode via sad voice over. She lists of all the ways forgotten hotels can still be useful - drug deals, sexual indiscretions, and suicide to name a few. An elderly couple checks in and Liz notices that they seem happy and content. It's their wedding anniversary. They've been married 60 years, have children and grandchildren. The wife, sadly, has cancer and the husband cannot picture his life without her. It's obvious they have a suicide pact. Liz lingers by the door after leaving, almost wistfully. Denis O'Hare does so much with so little. That moment perfectly captures what Liz is feeling. She understands why they would do what they are about to do. Someone (Liz I expect) has given them champagne and the couple toasts themselves before saying goodbye and shooting each other.
Liz and Iris enter to clean up the mess and Liz asks if she's ever seen anything more beautiful. Iris, however, only sees the mess she'll have to clean up. Doesn't see why it has to be her problem. Liz starts crying and mentions that it's been more difficult than she imagined living in a world without Tristan. Plus, it's only a matter of time before Countess slits her throat so what's the point? Liz grabs the gun and goes to shoot herself, but Iris stops her. Iris reminds Liz of the consequences of acting rashly. Mainly being stuck in the hotel forever as a ghost because of unfinished business. Liz admits that she does feel that there is some unresolved issues with her son that would haunt her. Iris tells her to get her affairs in order before killing herself. If Liz does, Iris will happily join her in a suicide pact. Iris has realized that Donovan doesn't love her, and that he never will (way to go, Donovan) so she's okay with dying. Liz agrees that they can do it together. I honestly love these two as BFFs and I will be very sad if they don't end this whole thing alive, happy, and with all the purple eye shadow they could need.
Liz enlists Miss Evers' help in contacting her son in order to try to make amends. Miss Evers calls up Liz's son and invites him to the Cortez on Liz's dime. The son agrees to come. Miss Evers, however, decides to be an awful human being and inquire if Liz is really sure she wants him to come. She thinks Liz is asking her son to be very understanding and accepting since he hasn't seen Liz in over 30 years. She's rather insulting but makes a good point that he may feel abandoned. Liz is not having it though and tells Miss Evers to get out. Before she goes, she asks for her payment which turns out to be laundry detergent. Only Miss Evers could go from insulting someone to gushing over laundry detergent. She's rather adorable about cleaning supplies.
Meanwhile, John has struck another of the Ten Commandments off his list. He killed some people who worshipped false prophets and took their ears as a trophy. Yup, ears. Gross, John. Honestly. That means only Thou Shalt Not Kill remains and I am pretty sure that John is going to use himself for that one. Now that we know John is the murderer we get to see him commit the crime and it's brutal. Sally, however, is happy because it only means one more and John is free. Does she think he'll just stop being a serial killer when he's done? Pretty sure it doesn't work that way, Sally. At all.
This next scene is shot rather cleverly. It's Donovan and Countess each confronting the people they see as rivals for the objects of their affection. It's powerful, dizzying, and rapidly paced as they intertwine the two storylines together. It also shows how similar Donovan and Countess actually are.
Donovan wastes no time in rushing into the motel room after Natacha leaves. He sneaks in a window and Valentino immediately asks him who he is. Donovan replies 'I'm you, asshole' and tells Valentino that he loves 'her'. Valentino's reply to this is amazing and so perfect for this character.
Donovan taunts that Valentino wouldn't last two days with the Countess out in the real world, once she realizes he's scared of everything outside the motel. Valentino takes insult and grabs a sword which causes Donovan to laugh.
I see why though, especially when Donovan has a gun. Valentino literally brought a knife to a gun fight. My poor, sheltered, naive Valentino did not stand a chance. That's right, Ryan Murphy took away my Christmas present and had Donovan kill off Valentino (even uttering a line that Countess used with Tristan as he did so). So that's twice this season that they've killed off Finn Wittrock and it is very much not a trend I want to see continue in future seasons.
Back at the Cortez, Countess welcomes Natacha and the two immediately start making out. However, Natacha is smart and immediately calls her out. She tells her that she's not interested in any of her cast-offs (as Countess got her there under the pretence of looking at clothes) but she muses that Countess is sure interested in her cast-offs (meaning Valentino, I imagine). She taunts Countess by saying that what Countess feels for Valentino isn't real. Countess loves an image on a screen and that he sees her as little more than a fangirl. There is still something sexual about their interaction as the whole scene is basically them climbing on top of each other while on a bed. Countess reacts to Natacha's insults by calling her cheap. She says that Natacha has always been cheap. Turns out that 1920's vampires did not get the memo that knives are pretty much useless against guns because Natacha pulls one on Countess and this is how that works out for her...
However, my only concern was that Valentino was dead. That beautiful face had been shot. Donovan was also very obsessed with Valentino's face (which, fair). He wanted to make sure Countess mourned that beautiful face so he shot it a few more times for good measure. He also decided to kick a man while he's dead by taunting him after. This part was so in character (and a great throw back to earlier episodes) that it almost made me not mad any more (almost, but let's be real here).
Also, it's jawline, Donovan. JAWLINE FOR DAYS. Geesh, get it right. Matt Bomer killed this scene though (and as a fan it was fun to see Matt get Finn back for the brutal death scene in Freakshow).
Elsewhere, Mr March has restrained the contractor. Turns out the modifications done to the chamber were not to Mr March's liking so he decides to SET THE GUY ON FIRE. I get that Mr March is straight up psycho but this still managed to make my jaw drop. I think because of the humour you forget that he is a raving lunatic. John comes in and Mr March is very excited to tell him all about the plans he has for them. John is only interested in finding Alex though. Mr March is basically all "Pffft. Wives ruin everything" and goes back to talking about the dreams he has for them (all of which involve murder, naturally). John threatens to walk away unless Mr March helps him find Alex so James relents. He even has Miss Evers set up coffee for them. John immediately tells Alex that he knows she kept Holden from him and that she tried to make him think he was crazy. Alex admits that she did both of these things but only did so because Holden has changed and she had to make a choice. She chose Holden. John suddenly recalls that they have another child (poor Scarlet) and that he and Alex are the worst parents in the world. Alex agrees with him on that fact. Turns out that only Alex has seen Scarlet recently and it's only been twice during this whole time. Literally, THE WORST PARENTS EVER. Alex muses that perhaps it'll be better for Scarlet when she's dead. Turns out that Countess knows about the child vampires Alex created and has given her a chance to fix the situation or she'll kill Alex and Holden. Alex asks John for help and he agrees. He also seems to be very much back in love with her (and Alex seems into him, too).
With everything going on I almost forgot that Liz's son was arriving. Miss Evers tells her that he's arrived and Liz gets sweetly nervous. When her son arrives she only introduces herself has the bartender. They have a pretty good conversation and Liz even offers up some life advice to him. She tells her son to take the risk and follow his dream of opening a kayak company in Boulder, Colorado. It's a great start to what is hopefully a mended relationship. I really want this for Liz, and that feeling is something this show has managed to create effortlessly. You care about Liz, therefore you care about the outcome of this.
John and Alex go back to the house that Alex had seen the kids in previously. They are still there, and some of them are dying (guessing it's the ones who are refusing to eat). The kids are less than thrilled to see Alex again, until one of them convulses and dies. John manges to convince the kids to come back to the Cortez with them (by brandishing a gun in their face). They bring the kids back to the Cortez and trick them into getting in the chamber with Ramona. This may just be the smartest thing they've ever done. She might actually be the only person capable of turning these kids into functioning vampires (if they ever get out of captivity). She's the authority figure they need.
Again, with all the excitement of this episode (and me being in mourning, again) I forgot Will Drake is now dead. After killing Natacha Countess decides to report Will missing to the police so that people will not ask questions or suspect her when he doesn't turn back up. However, while she's speaking with the police Will walks in. Turns out he's a ghost now, but obviously the police do not know this. Will tells them that he got lost up on the seventh floor in the hallways for two days. He offers to show it to the police, but Countess quickly rushes them out apologizing for wasting their time. After they leave Will calls her a bitch for killing him. Countess tells him to get over it. He deserved it for what he said about Bartholomew. Will calls her out on the fact that his death was the plan the entire time. Will reminds her that she's not in the will, so she'll get nothing. Countess, however, reminds him that his son gets everything and she is now Lachlan's legal guardian. She taunts that she could turn Lachlan in to a 'blood relative' so that she'll always control his money since he'll never age (and therefore never get to be 21). She tells him to go see Lachlan and put his mind at ease. As Will rushes off, Mr March shows up to have his I told you so moment. He reminds her that he told her not to kill Will on the property. He has a point. Now she's going to have to deal with him all the time, or move so that he can't follow (but good luck getting Lachlan to go without his dad).
After locking up the child vamps, Alex and John go back to his room and end up having sex (because nothing brings a couple back together like solving problems together). John wants to give their marriage another try. He wants to be a family again. Alex admits that John seems different, and that she likes this new and improved John (so she's totally into him when he's a self aware serial killer). A very pissed off Sally shows up when Alex goes to check on Holden and the vamp kids. She yells at John for reuniting with Alex. He tells her that while he cares for her, it's an addicts high. Sally attempts to make him see that only she can love him because she accepts that he's a serial killer. She doesn't think Alex ever would. They have this intense back and forth where they go between making out and wanting to kill each other. It's all rough kisses, choking, pushing, scratching. They are totally toxic and dysfunctional. John tells her that he wants to try to make things work for Holden and Scarlet. He owes that to them. She calls him a liar, and says it's for him. He agrees that it is if he's being honest. Sally reminds him that she's the one who supported him the last five years, not Alex. John finally leaves while apologizing to her for how he's hurt her. Sally, however, goes to stab him in the hallway (because she's crazy). John disarms her, and tells her to stay away from him. Sally threatens to kill Alex as a parting shot though, and I do not think it's just an idle threat of a woman scorned. Alex should probably be scared.
Iris and Liz are still getting things in order for their suicide. They have given Miss Evers one last gift. A high tech washer and dryer set that sends her into fits of bliss. She's seriously adorable about anything to do with laundry. Megan Winningham is delightful in this role, and she walks that balance between the various sides of Miss Evers beautifully. Liz thanks her for being nice to his son and helping them reconnect. She and Iris head off to kill themselves but Miss Evers stops them to tell Liz that her son is down at the bar. Liz goes down to see him and they have another amazing talk. One where her son reveals that not only is he taking Liz's advice, but he knows Liz is his father. He tells Liz that he has more than enough room for another woman in his life, and is all together a sweet, kind person. Seriously, my heart swelled. Dennis O'Hare is brilliant in this scene. This show is unique in that it can balance the outlandish with the high calibre drama and make both feel true.
Countess needs to ask Donovan a favour so she invites him to dinner. She wants him to go retrieve Will's body and put Ramona back in her cage. Donovan decides to instead share that he killed Valentino. He relishes inflecting this wound on her and even makes some taunts about Valentino being unable to communicate via FaceTime. Countess has to rush over and see for herself and completely breaks down upon finding her love's body. I feel you, Countess. *cries*
Meanwhile, Iris is ready to die. She's made her own tribute video (for her 3 Instagram followers) and has provided an abundance of methods for them to kill themselves with. Liz, however, has a new appreciation for life. She has her son to live for now and isn't sure she wants to die any more. She wants to be a grandmother. Iris says that Liz is just another person who abandoned her so what's the difference. Liz gives an inspiring speech of how they should inherit the earth, but she'll settle for the hotel. They should take things into their own hands and forge their own happiness. It's a rallying cry and one that sways Iris. Kathy Bates is phenomenal here. She shows Iris going through a million different emotions during this brief scene and it just reminds you why she's so revered. She's freaking Kathy Bates. Seriously, the range in this brief scene is mind blowing.
John and Alex have decided to leave the hotel with Holden. They are going to give being a family another try. She warns John that there is no going back once they do this. This is the first time that a TV show has made me cry over a serial killer but Wes Bentley destroys the scene where John sees Holden again. The way his face just expresses the hope for the future, the sadness for all that's been lost, and the relief to be holding his baby boy again. It's powerful and just showcases the talent that is on this show. This episode alone is filled with fantastic performance from so many of the cast.
Seriously, he does this laugh/cry thing that is just impressive. He deserves all the award nominations he's gotten for this role. John's had quite the journey and it seems that his journey is now taking him home. He walks out of the Cortez hand in hand with both his wife and son. Sally decides to send him off with a promise to kill him, however, so I doubt happiness is in his future.
Countess is obviously going to be pissed that the love of her life is dead. I would be. So what do you think the first thing Donovan did after telling Countess was? If you said go into hiding, you would be wrong. Donovan did not go into hiding. Donovan instead decided to have a dance party to Drake's Hotline Bling and get drunk (because obviously).
It goes without saying that this moment stole the show. I mean... how could it not?! Matt Bomer killed it.
Countess comes back and interrupts the party though and asks why he didn't run. Donovan says that she'd have found him anyway so what would have been the point. Countess tearfully tells him that he's wrong.
She reminds him that she couldn't find Valentino for almost a century. She says that during this time she didn't know if Valentino was dead or if he'd abandoned her. Instead it turned out he was trapped in the hotel the whole time. Donovan reminds her that Valentino wasn't the only one who was trapped. They all were. At least now Valentino is free. Countess asks if that is why Donovan killed Valentino, so she'd free him in return. Donovan says he knew what killing Valentino would mean because he knew instantly what he meant to her. He knew that she had moulded him after Valentino. Countess bites back that he was never Valentino, and that he could never be him so he destroyed him instead. Countess realizes that Donovan doesn't care if she kills him. He tells her that he's accepted it as the price he has to pay to love her. He tells her that dying is the only way she'll let him love her, and that he doesn't know how else to do it. Countess gets all soft and gooey as Donovan kneels in front of her and puts her glove blade to his throat. She seems enthralled that he is willing to sacrifice everything for her love. She calls him a beautiful creation and they are seconds away from making out when Iris and Liz storm in with TWO guns each shooting like crazy (while Hotline Bling plays in the background). It is so over the top and outlandish that you're stunned. Part of you is fist pumping because HECK YES! You want Liz and Iris to get their revenge, and the other part cannot stop laughing because WHAT THE HECK DID I JUST WATCH?! It's insane and only American Horror Story could get away with it.
We leave the last episode of 2015 on a cliffhanger of sorts and with me in mourning again. Did they seriously just kill off all the major vamps? Are we honestly just left with Ramona and Alex? It is unlikely that Donovan or Countess survived but will we see them as ghosts? If so, we better also see Tristan is all I am saying.
I think John will be dealing with a very 'Fatal Attraction' like Sally, and that things are not going to end well for the Lowe family by the time the season is done.
Until 2016..... enjoy your stay (just don't piss off Sally)