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TV Review: American Horror Story Hotel (Season 5, Episode 10)

12.17.2015by: Jake Dee


THE SCOOP: As John and Alex reunite inside the Cortez, Liz's suicidal tendency is quashed by the return of her son. Meanwhile, The Countess has trouble dealing with the death of her newest beau.


THE SKINNY: Well now, ain't that dish a motherf*cking cold one! A week after the searing set up of "She Wants Revenge," we're now treated to the promising follow up, "She Gets Revenge." Of course, the comeuppance referred to is that which is exacted toward The Countess on behalf of jilted exes Ramona and Donovan, though only the latter still seems most intent on serving it. More on the recompense in a minute, as the activity gets going this week with a really dour note involving Liz Taylor and a pair of suicidal elders who smear their own brain matter across one of the Cortez Hotel rooms. Iris tries to console Liz, who had in turn had tried to console the old folks. And by console I mean Iris agrees that life is no longer worth living, and like the old folks, is willing to go out with Liz in a double-suicidal blaze of glory.

Remember, both have been turned blue by the loss of loved ones...Iris Donovan and Liz her estranged son. Strange days indeed, especially around Christmastime. Stranger yet is how Liz desperately wants to see her son one last time before doing the deed. A very interesting scene follows suit showing this, however, only Liz knows it's her son Douglas, Douglas just thinks he's talking to strange barkeep. Yet somehow, issues sort resolve themselves and Liz gets to harmlessly learn a little more about and impart advice to her son. In the end, we learn Douglas knew all along Liz was his dad. The two reconcile in a nice if tonally offbeat moment of compassion.

The return of John Lowe this week was a pretty seedy and sordid one, as he still entertains the vile depths of Sally's entertainment. The two chill out in a lair of excised ears that have been stored in some kind of liquid and proudly displayed somewhere deep in the recesses of the Cortez. And if that isn't offputting enough, Lowe happens upon March even further down in the cavernous hull of the hotel. There he finds the certifiably insane James March flame-roasting a random stranger, just for fun...just to keep up the practice. As you'll recall from two weeks back, Lowe is now March's Ten Commandments Killing disciple, there to follow every beck and call of the ghastly hotelier. One thing, Lowe wants to see his wife Alex first, a wish that is granted seconds later. Both have deep and dark secrets they've been hiding from each other...John's a serial murderer, Alex an immortal vampiress.

Well, like any good relationship, communication is key, and soon Alex spills her guts about being taken under the Countess' wing. John vows his undying love and asks what their line of recourse should be. And what is it? Now united, they decide to go home and quell the ghoulish kids that infested the joint last week, including CPR given to one moribund little girl. The remaining tykes are soon rounded up and let loose inside the Hotel, where they run into a bloody-maw Ramona and the fetid corpse of one Will Drake. John and Alex embrace, putting their divorce on hold for awhile. Hypo Sally ain't too pleased, trying for one last lustful advance before Lowe walks out on her scabby ass for good.

As for The Countess, her presence is felt instantly when seducing Natacha (the always delectable Alexandra Daddario) while Donovan occupies Rudolpho. And by seduce and occupy, yes, we mean they ultimately pop a cap in the foreheads of both antiquated 20s film stars, which volumizes the blood-spill quite early in the hour. Nothing wrong with that. However, Will Drake soon appears (confusingly, moments before his rotting corpse is found by the kids) in high dudgeon for being whacked by his so called wife. He vows to get her back, yet she ensure him that she'll liquefy the Cortez and walk away an even richer bitch. Donovan shares a dinner with The Countess, reassuring her that indeed her new boy toy Rudoplpho is six feet under (why she forgot is anyone's guess). Upon seeing for herself and returning to do in Donovan, he confess his undying love, and just as she decides to take him back, wouldn't you know, Liz and Iris' plans of suicide turn into homicide, as the two enter the Penthouse, guns a blazing, and presumably lay waste to The Countess and her pretty boy toy Donovan. Talk about vengeance of different stripe!

Okay, so what did you all think about "She Gets Revenge"? I thought that all three storylines we're compelling in their own right, and worthy of the extra ten minute runtime this week. Props to genre vet James Wong for scripting such a dense, action-packed episode that not only remained unpredictable, but came full circle in the end. I really dug the Liz and Iris storyline, as Bates and O'hare are most likely the two most seasoned actors on the entire show. Genuine empathy has earned by Denis O'hare as Liz, estranged from her son yet so desirous of seeing him again before she dies. Even more likeability comes when Liz and Iris cold blast the f*ck out of The Countess' penthouse to end the episode. Shite was Lethal Weapon 5 up in there!

I also really dug the scenes between John and Alex (Bentley and Sevigny). How they're going to pull the emotional strings back in their favor is going to be tricky, but no less wickedly fun than anything else. One question, will Alex receive the news that John is a serial killer with the same open love as he did when hearing she's now a bloodsucking fiend? And though to a lesser degree, I also liked Donovan's ploy to exact revenge on The Countess. For me though, the weakest parts of the show (and the season) is Lady Gaga's attempt at serious acting. Not buying it. Not for one iota. Anytime she's saddled with heavy monologues, the show suffers. She's clearly Acting, trying way too hard to be cool in role that hardly needs it. That said, I do wonder if her ass escaped catching a hot bullet from Liz and Iris. Oh well, we shall in two weeks when "Battle Royale" hits the shore!

KILL OF THE WEEK: A bit of a cliffhanger, so we'll see, but if Donovan at the very least got caught with a stray from Liz and Iris, then his death, in terms of characters, is the most consequential. I say he lives though.

BLOOD & GORE: Brains splattered on the wall from a gunshot. Knife stabbings to the chest, abdomen and sternum. Slashed throat with same knife. Two gunshots to the forehead, requisite blood leaks. A singed and charred dead body. A zombie bloodbath, floor caked in gore. A small lake of gore surrounding Rudolpho's crushed skull.

WTF CHARACTER MOMENT: Definitely confounding how The Countess seemed so shock to discover Rudolpho dead. Didn't she watch Dono cold blast the dude square in the dome piece? WTF?

MOST BIZARRE SCENE: Anytime Hypodermic Sally is onscreen, in constitutes bizarre. Her last ditch effort to keep John as a lover surely falls into that category. Even when she threatens death upon him in front of Alex.

Extra Tidbit: Thoughts on this week?
Source: AITH



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