Friday, January 8, 2016

American Horror Story: Hotel - Battle Royale

With just two episodes left in the season American Horror Story is starting to wind down the story and thin out it's cast. Lots of twists, turns, and death in this penultimate episode. I'll start this recap with the usual warnings that.... there will be spoilers. Now let's talk Battle Royale.

After that insane ending from last week (the one where Liz Taylor and Iris rushed into the room with two guns EACH shooting up everything in sight to Hotline Bling) I was not sure what to expect.

We are treated to a flashback of Iris and Liz planning their ambush. They agree to go in guns blazing and not stop until Countess is down. They rush into the room (no Hotline Bling this time though) and start shooting. Donovan, being stupid, dives in front of Countess to protect her and pushes her down. Iris realizes her son is there and that they are killing him as well and calls for Liz to stop but it's too late. Donovan has taken a majority of the bullets. Iris rushes over to him and Donovan accuses her of murdering him (which, kind of hilarious). Iris assures him they were aiming for Countess. During this exchange the Countess makes her getaway much to Liz's dismay. Liz demands they follow Countess and finish it, but Iris does not want to leave her son. Donovan begs them to take him outside the hotel before he dies (being stuck for eternity with the love your life's exes would be really awkward). Liz and Iris move him outside, and as Donovan lays dying his only concern is a heartbreaking one.

After Iris assures him that he is safe (meaning out of the hotel and thefore it's safe to die) Donovan thanks her and calls her mom before passing away. I am still very angry at you Donovan for Valentino's death BUT this was really sad and touching. You have to feel at least a little something for him and I am surprised to find that I am glad he's found some eternal peace and isn't stuck in the Cortez.

Lucky for the Countess she's been rescued. Sally has taken Countess to her lair in the basement (which is as twisted as you would expect for where Sally would reside). She's removing the bullets and sewing the Countess back up (not gently either). Sally has severe abandonment issues and seems obsessed with getting assurance that the Countess will not leave her like everyone else. There is this vibe between them that had me questioning if they ever hooked up (which would not surprise me). Sally decides that she is going to share her tragic backstory with Countess while she has a captive audience. Sally was a drug dealer for a lot of people back in the day including some band. Sally fell in love with both members of the band and the three quickly became lovers. One night they checked into the Hotel Cortez and did a whole lot of drugs and in what is seriously the most brutal, gross, unforgettable sequence we learn why Sally sews people into mattresses. During their drug fuelled sexytimes (which included Sally shooting a needle full of drugs into the guy's penis *shudder*) she decided it was a fantastic idea to sew them all together. Yup, she sewed herself to her lovers because she was so in love with them. Unfortunately, both of her lovers overdosed and Sally was stuck with them for 5 days after they died (Miss Evers decided to leave her there, and come back later to clean up the mess). We also learn that the Addiction Demon showed up on the second day and tortured her for three days before she ripped herself away from the bodies. This entire scene is easily the most scarring thing American Horror Story has ever done, and that is saying something.

Turns out that Sally really doesn't care about Countess. She's only saving her because she wants Countess to help her get John back. Tells Countess that he, Alex, and Holden have left. She throws the fact that they took Holden in Countess' face a little bit. Sally is obsessed and wants to make sure John dies in the hotel and needs Countess to do it. Countess points out the obvious fact that she's in no position to help anyone. Sally promises to bring Countess all the blood she could need to get well. Countess tells her that she needs vampire blood, not regular blood (not even sure why, but okay) and asks for Donovan so she can drink from him. Sally tells her that Donovan is dead and Countess actually looks a little sad about it.

Remembering that they have another child John and Alex bring Scarlet home. She wants to know how they are going to explain that Holden hasn't aged to everyone. John tells her that nobody needs to know that Holden is back. They explain to Scarlet that Alex and Holden have to take 'medicine' now to which Scarlet sassily replies "you mean blood?" and demands to know if they are going to eat her like Holden did the dog. They assure her that nobody will be eating her and that John is going to bring food for them (so John is still very much okay with being a serial killer). Scarlet is going to have so many therapy bills. This poor child.

Sally decides to bring two of Countess' blonde vampire children for Countess to drink. Countess refuses because she'll drain and kill them. Sally tells her that the kids are dead either way because Iris and Liz will kill them if Countess dies. The kids tell her that it's okay and tenderly call her mommy. Countess is obviously distraught as Sally sets up the intravenous that will drain their blood into her. This episode is really sad and dark. I did not ask for these feelings. I am still in mourning over Valentino! I don't need this too!

Liz brings Iris a container that holds Donovan's ashes. Iris asks for a minute by herself and proceeds to spread Donovan's ashes onto the bed. She says a lovely goodbye to him and rolls around in his ashes, I guess. They never really tell us how but she ends up covered in them. She demands Miss Evers vacuums him up and goes on the roof to let some of the ashes still on her be lifted away by the breeze. It's a lovely bit of acting by Kathy Bates, but otherwise not a crucial element of the plot.

Liz and Iris decide that the best course of action is to free Ramona because she wants Countess dead as much as they do. They go into the chamber and realize Ramona is already free because of the dead bodies strewn around (most of them the child vampires Alex was responsible for). They convince Ramona not to kill them by offering her revenge and food. As they head out to bring someone back to the hotel for Ramona to eat they run into a familiar face attempting to check into the hotel - Queenie! Yup, Queenie from Coven. Turns out witches are out to the public and appearing on CNN. They check Queenie into a room that has Ramona waiting in it. This scene shows why I love American Horror Story. We get to see a vampire and a witch that is basically a human voodoo doll fight each other. This fight is incredibly fun to watch with Queenie hurting herself and the damage manifesting itself on Ramona. While it seems that Queenie has the upper hand, Mr March steps in to tip things in Ramona's favour. Turns out a ghost cannot be impacted by Queenie's talents because they are already dead. He stabs Queenie, and Ramona drinks her blood. Witches blood is apparently quite good for a vampire's health as Ramona feels invincible. Mr March is delighted because he wants Ramona to kill Countess. He doesn't want his hand to have any part in it though as it would risk his happy ending if he just killed her himself. Everyone is so obsessed with the Countess that I am beginning to wonder if she has a magical vagina or something. Seriously. 

John is still making bad life decisions and abducting people. He's bringing food home for Alex and Holden like he promised but discovers them missing. A room key for the Cortez is left as a clue to where he can find them. John, showing a little bit of smarts, figures Sally is to blame and rushes to the Cortez. He demands she tell him where his family is, but Sally explains it was actually Mr March who had them brought to the hotel. She reminds John that he still has one murder left to complete the promise he made to Mr March. She assures him that his family is safe... for now. John is all "fine, let's go kill someone" and sets off to find a murderer to kill for "Thou Shalt Not Kill". 

Ramona is eager to enact her revenge and goes off to find Countess. Having been restored by the blood of her vampire children, a very distraught Countess is in her room mourning everything and everyone she's lost. She's weak and would be easy prey for Ramona. When Ramona enters the room Countess immediately senses her because of the scent of her blood (walnuts). Countess remarks that Ramona looks incredible, and Ramona tells her that it's the witch's blood. This scene is rather mesmerizing. Both Angela Bassett and Lady Gaga hold their own as the two circle each other. Countess talks her way out of being killed however by pulling the pity card. She calls herself a curse, and that everyone that gets close to her is destroyed. She tells Ramona that she is trying to apologize and offers Ramona the hotel in exchange for her life. Countess admits she stayed at the hotel because she liked living in heartbreak, but she's done with that now. Ramona admits it is easier to kill Countess when they are not in the same room because Countess manages to humanize herself. They start making out and Countess tells Ramona that all she wants it to leave the hotel with her baby but she wants to have sex with Ramona first. 

Ramona must accept Countess' deal because Countess is on her way out of the hotel and about to get into the elevator. When it opens however, she finds John waiting with a gun. He shoots Countess and this time she doesn't have Sally to save her. This ending is rather fitting. John, whose life was destroyed by Countess, enacts a sort of macabre revenge and uses Countess' head as the last trophy. There is even a little smirk on his face as he pulls the trigger. Mr March is, obviously, delighted because he got exactly what he wanted. As he congratulates John on a job well done Sally goes to kill John. Mr March stops her because he still has big plans for John that require him to be able to leave the hotel. He threatens Sally with 'his Addiction Demon'. So, did Mr March bring forth the demon? I need to know the origins of this thing. If this is Mr March's way of keeping Sally in check it's a pretty awful way to do it. John has zero patience for their bickering though and demands to see his family. 

Mr March (who knows if he took John to see his family...) is getting ready for Countess to join him for dinner. He and Miss Evers discuss being ghosts and how confused they were at first. Mr March wants to be Countess' rock during this transition as he expects she'll be similarly confused. Wait! Wait! Wait! If vampires can become ghosts.. where the heck is ghost Tristan?! He died in the hotel, and was a vampire just like Countess. I hope that his absence is explained because that is a huge plot hole. Countess arrives and Mr March inquires how she's feeling. She explains that while there is no pain she feels empty. There is no passion or fire inside her. Miss Evers makes a snide comment about passion being right in front of her face, but Countess not opening her eyes to it. Mr March explains that he can now finally forgive Countess for turning him into the police. In an unexpected plot twist it is revealed that it was actually Miss Evers who turned him in all those years ago. She wanted them to commit suicide together so that he could see just how much she loved him. She points out that Countess resented each minute she spent with him, while she was spellbound by his every word. She tearfully asks him if he can see how much she loves him now and if he returns that love. Mr March is, understandably, pissed. He banishes her from his presence. You can literally feel Miss Evers heart shatter as she removes her apron. She has an almost resigned freeness to her as she leaves the room. I doubt this is the last we've seen of her even if part of her is happy to be free.

Mr March sits down to continue their dinner. He is ecstatic that he can now have dinner with the woman he loves every night for the rest of eternity. Countess, however, is less than enthused.

Countess basically views this as her own version of hell and is not happy. I wonder if she'll try to escape this fate somehow in the finale. It is a rather fitting ending for her, though. A woman who ruined so many lives doesn't really deserve a happy ending and this is a fate worse than death for her.

The cast has thinned out quite a bit with the deaths of a few major characters. Where is John? Hopefully they answer that next week. Will Miss Evers go quietly or will she be back? I hope she is! Will we find out why we haven't seen ghost Tristan? I hope so! 

At this rate it seems that the only people who might get a 'happy' ending is John, Alex and their family which is not something I ever thought would be the case.

See you next week for Be Our Guest, the finale for this season and these recaps. Until then... enjoy your stay. 

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