Spoiler Warning for this week’s episode of “American Horror Story: Hotel”
Following last week’s dull and uneventful episode, “American Horror Story” finally begins to tie up loose ends and bring the major storylines together. The more interesting characters take the center stage and help to deliver one of the season’s best episodes.
Much of the episode revolves around betrayal and how it affects each character. The Countess is shown to be preparing for her wedding with Will Drake; she is only marrying him for his money and plans to kill him afterwards. Will, completely unaware of the plans of The Countess, wishes for a grand and elaborate wedding, however, The Countess shares she believes they should keep it simple. She also manages to seduce Donovan back into her life by promising the two will be together after Will is dead. Rudolph Valentino comes back into the story as yet another love interest for The Countess. The episode truly highlights the fact that The Countess is willing to manipulate a person’s love to get what she wants.
Iris is given a decent amount of screen time as she attempts to rid the Hotel Cortez of some “filth.” A pair of pornstars and their cameraman check into the hotel, prompting Iris to brutally murder them. Donovan walks in as Iris is cleaning up her mess and reminds her of Ramona Royale’s plot to kill The Countess. This particular story arc has received very little attention prior to this episode. Angela Bassett has also been horribly underused, but finally is given a considerable amount of screen time in this episode.
Through flashbacks, viewers and Donovan are told a depressing tale about Ramona’s history. In 1992, Ramona moved back into her parents’ house only to discover her father suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Ramona’s mother eventually succumbs to her own personal illness; this death effects Ramona’s father greatly. Fearing that she will lose her father, Ramona infects him with the ancient “vampire” virus with the hopes that it will reverse the affects of his disease and cure him. Unfortunately, the virus only stops the Alzheimer’s from worsening and leaves her father “frozen in amber.” Unable to hunt for himself, Ramona provides her father with fresh blood from her hunts. The pain of seeing her father in such a state causes her to put him out of his misery by drowning him in a bathtub. Ramona later shares that after his death, she was also left “frozen in amber,” but managed to snap out of it and use her father’s strength to heal.
A disturbing sequence picks up with Alex and the mysterious vampire children from several episodes ago. Alex discovers the children are now on the run from the police after murdering and feasting on several innocent people. The group of children are led by Alex’s former patient who suffered from measles; many of the children are now fearful of what will happen to them. Alex comforts the children and warns them the police will eventually catch up to them. She invites them to the Hotel Cortez and promises there are others like them. This particular storyline needed to be addressed, but felt somewhat out of place in this episode. However, this will likely become more relevant as the story progresses. What awaits the horde of vampires at the Hotel Cortez?
Back at the hotel, Ramona makes her move to kill The Countess, but is shockingly betrayed by Donovan, who has once again fallen under the spell of The Countess. Ramona is locked in a neon cage surrounded by cameras where she will be “hate-watched.” Iris warns Donovan of the path he is taking and claims that The Countess will only hurt him. The Countess also begins to plot against Natacha so that she may have Valentino all to herself. Meanwhile, an enthusiastic Will Drake prepares for the impending wedding, however, Miss Evers alerts him that The Countess only has sinister intentions. She very clearly lays out exactly what will happen to him if he goes through with the wedding. Will refuses to listen and banishes Miss Evers from the hotel.
The intimate wedding takes place with only Drake’s son, Lachlan, and Liz Taylor in attendance. After the ceremony, The Countess savagely declares that Liz will find love one day and hands over her bouquet; following the murder of Taylor’s love, Tristan Duffy, this moment only sparks more animosity between the two. At the hotel bar, Mr. March introduces himself to Will and reveals that The Countess has a secret infant son, Bartholomew. After seeing the baby in the nursery, Will is horrified and is knocked unconscious by The Countess. He wakes up confused and frightened next to Ramona’s cage. He releases her, but realizes that the two are trapped in a soundproof hallway. Suddenly, Ramona slits Will’s throat and feasts on his blood as Miss Evers gleefully watches over. Satisfied, The Countess also watches over the cameras. Now that Will is dead, who will The Countess betray next?
“She Wants Revenge” demonstrates this season’s ability to deliver a truly great episode. By focusing on the more interesting characters and storylines, the narrative begins to converge the major individual plot points. This episode is packed full with shocking moments and character development. As the end of the season nears, what does the future hold for the Hotel Cortez? Be sure to tune in to “American Horror Story: Hotel” next Wednesday at 10 p.m. on FX.