Spoiler Warning for this week’s episode of “American Horror Story: Hotel”
The blood keeps flowing on the latest episode of “American Horror Story: Hotel.” The episode was not without its problems, however many of the more interesting storylines became the central focus. Some of the major questions that viewers had were finally answered, mostly in regards to certain characters. Last week’s “Devil’s Night” was a massive step in the wrong direction for the season, but “Room Service” managed to put everything back on track.
A major theme of the episode is the transformation of characters. Alex Lowe begins to feel the effects of the vampire virus after being turned by The Countess in last week’s episode. One of her patients, a young boy named Max (Anton Starkman) is suffering from measles while his mother (Mädchen Amick) fears that her son may not survive. Alex is physically weak due to the fact that she has not fed on blood recently, and the hospital’s supply becomes a feast for her. After realizing the hopeless situation Max is in, Alex decides to turn him by filling his IV with blood; the vampire virus makes the host immortal. The consequences of this action are absolutely dire, but sets up the main plot line of the episode.
Max is released from the hospital, much to his mother’s joy. The need to feed on fresh human blood drives Max to kill both of his parents, then head off to school dressed in his Halloween costume. At school everything appears to be normal until Max and a friend, sneak away from their class Halloween party. A domino effect situation occurs where Max infects his friend; the two quickly begin turning the rest of their classmates. Max’s teacher and several faculty members become a feast for the newly turned vampire children. All of the scenes at the school were not only frightening to watch, but also incredibly disturbing. With a whole class of vampire children on the loose, the virus is sure to spread at a rapid rate. Who will be the next to be infected?
The character of Iris also received much of this episode’s spotlight. Iris is now also a vampire, although she is much less inclined to kill people in order to feed. Throughout the episode, she becomes progressively more weak while trying to balance various issues that arise. Donovan introduces Iris to Ramona Royale to help with taking down The Countess, but this story really only lasts one scene and has no real effect on the episode’s plot; this is one of the major problems with this episode.
The rest of Iris’ story revolves around two rude guests (Darren Criss & Jessica Lu) that check in to the hotel. The two guests overload an already weak Iris with difficult requests regarding the room and food. Over the course of the episode, Iris slowly begins to break down and crack following advice from Liz Taylor and Taylor finally receives some much needed character development and backstory this episode. The story of how Taylor came to be the Hotel Cortez’s signature bartender was finally unraveled. By the end, Iris snaps and kills the two discourteous guests. The acting talents of Kathy Bates and Denis O’Hare are once again put on display in their scenes together.
Overall, “Room Service” serves as a highpoint of the season with much of the episode focusing on the vampire virus and its rapid spread. If this season is going to succeed, the primary story needs to remain focused. This episode, while not perfect, does give the season a mighty boost. The evil nature of the hotel is now seeping out to the general public. Who will be the next victim? Be sure to tune in to “American Horror Story: Hotel” next Wednesday at 10 p.m. on FX.