TV Review: American Horror Story Hotel (Season 5, Episode 9)

Last Updated on August 5, 2021


THE SCOOP: As Donovan and Ramona continue their plan of revenge against The Countess, the soon to be married vampiress hatches a counter-plot of her own.


THE SKINNY: Well alright! Seven days after identifying the Ten Commandments Killer as our unreliable protagonist John Lowe, we now have a better understanding of why "She Wants Revenge." That's right, the 9th frame of American Horror Story Hotel kicks up with The Countess going through a bit of a century-old life crisis. See, she's about to get hitched to the upscale socialite Will Drake, even if she laments how men age more gracefully than even immortal women. Knowing she isn't truly in love with Drake, she reunites with Donovan and reveals that she plans to murder her new hubby hours after the ceremony is over, thereby inheriting his fortune and starting anew. But remember, Donovan is still hell-bent on serving the cold bitch a hot dish of comeuppance, along with Ramona and his mom Iris. Dono pays a visit to the latter, just after we see her gorily dispatch a pair of uptight porn stars who checked in to shoot in the hotel…goring them across the throat and in the sternum with a paring knife. Mama makes the boy proud!

Donovan soon recruits Ramona and tells her everything he's done to win back The Countess' trust. She retorts with a story from the past, as we then flash back to 1992, where Ramona's relationship with her ill father is revealed. After her mom died, he fell into a debilitating bout of Alzheimer's disease. She did her best to take care of him, including slitting her own wrist and feeding her papa TEXAS CHAINSAW style. The move only worked temporarily before turning the man into a diseased brained cannibal with nary a reason to live anymore…blood caked around the whole of his maw. So what does she do? Ramona clinically drowns her own father in bathtub after slipping him a sedative. The sexy gal, as a result, is the steeled and hardened badass we've come to know because of it. As she finishes telling the tale to Donovan, she vows to use the strength she drew from her father's last breaths to indeed bring The Countess down in a mercilessly just manner.

But wait, not so fast. Just as Ramona pulls a long knife and advances on the sleeping Countess, just as she plummets the blade, Donovan produces a taser and zaps the piss out of Ramona. He and Iris then trap her ass in a medieval bondage device, though the latter actually resents the action her son has taken. She warns her kin he's likely the next to die, in spite of what he deems favorable to the Countess. As for the wedding, the ceremony goes down inside the lobby of the Cortez. Liz does the procession. The ghost of March shows up and has a drink with Drake before showing him the Countess' deformed-mutant-demon-baby. Drake quivers, gets knocked out by the Countess and wakes up in the bondage hold next to Ramona. Unlikely bedfellows, right? Right! Ramona viciously slashes Drake's throat and ravenously gorges on the fresh entrails. The Countess looks on in delight! The other minor piece of the action this week, which felt totally out of place, came when Alex, fresh off a work-shift, returns home to find a room full of fetid cadavers and a house full of flesh-starved children feasting on a fresh corpse. They're classmates of Scarlett, learning how to survive on blood consumption. Some kids are rapacious, others reluctant, but Alex just wants the madness to go away from the place where she resides. She pleads for the kids to head to the Hotel, which they may or may not do next episode.

As for this one, what did you think of "She Wants Revenge"? I liked how it was a pretty concentrated and focused on one clear cut storyline about The Countess being the target of revenge on her wedding day. I liked it even more not knowing where it was headed, and how ultimately unpredictable the resolution was. I wasn't expecting Drake and Ramona to link up in any way, never mind how it all played out once they came together in that neon-drenched torture dungeon. And hell, I always love seeing Angela Bassett get a good amount of screen time, as she never disappoints. I just hope now that Ramona is unshackled, she can still exact some kind of vengeance on The Countess without her seeing it coming. What worked less for me this go around, aside from the call backs to the lame 20s actors that had been stuck in the wall, was the odd standalone scene with Alex and the cannibalistic kids. Very cool scene on its own, but clearly felt like it belonged in another episode altogether. Also noticeable was the absence of John this week, particularly after going through so much last episode. That said, the violence here was pretty par for the course, with the requisite throat gouging being the primary cause of death. Let's hope the spillage tallies even higher next time when "She Gets Revenge."

KILL OF THE WEEK: Definitely that of Will Drake, the groom to be. Dude had no idea what hit him when Ramona, whom he thought he was helping, suddenly slashed the lifeblood out of his throat before feasting on his fresh remains. Gnarly!


  • Throat slashing with knife.
  • Knife stabbing to the sternum, a faucet of blood-spill.
  • A room full of gruesome cadavers stacked on top of each other.
  • Blood splattered faces and mouths.
  • A gory corpse in the background.

WTF CHARACTER MOMENT: Why the hell did Donovan back out of his revenge plan against the Countess? Does he really think she loves him? She's obviously hung up on that suave 20s film actor played by Finn Wittrock. Moreover, I'd bang Angela Bassett over Lady Gaga any damn day!

MOST BIZARRE SCENE: Since it felt so incongruent with the rest of the episode, the scene where Alex happens upon a gaggle of bloodthirsty kids scavenging a dead body was the most bizarre. Where was Lowe?

Source: AITH

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Jake Dee is one of JoBlo’s most valued script writers, having written extensive, deep dives as a writer on WTF Happened to this Movie and it’s spin-off, WTF Really Happened to This Movie. In addition to video scripts, Jake has written news articles, movie reviews, book reviews, script reviews, set visits, Top 10 Lists (The Horror Ten Spot), Feature Articles The Test of Time and The Black Sheep, and more.