Wow! I’ve got all kinds of feels about this episode, especially The Countess, so lets get started.
Right up front, we learn that its been Hypodermic Sally sewing her victims up in the hotel’s mattresses. These people are neither dead nor alive, I suspect. I’m pretty sure we saw her last victim die, after his rape by the faceless latex monster, last week. Sally appears to resurrect him, before sewing him into one of the room’s mattresses. Why?
We learn that the little, pale-haired dickens from the first episode, are being fed blood from unwilling hotel guests. After which, they are decanted of their blood, which Iris (Kathy Bates) then gives to The Countess. Apparently, she has been collecting, and vampirizing, these little children, for some time. I wonder if The Countess is a parallel to Elizabeth Bathory. Her name is Elizabeth but she claims to be only about a 100 years old. She could be lying about that, though.
Iris tries to see her son, but Donovan is having none of that. The Countess wants to go hunting, but Donovan says he’d rather binge watch House of Cards, so she goes out alone and seems a little pissy that he didn’t want to come with her, which may explain what she does to him later. She’s wearing a brilliantly gorgeous red dress and this scene is very well shot. The creators are still emphasizing the beauty of the hotel but without as many overhead shots, it seems.
Will Drake, the man who is trying to buy the hotel, decides to host a fashion show and Naomi Campbell, as herself, sees John Lowe, (The Detective) and invites him and his daughter. Considering the kind of shit people get up to in the hotel, this is soooo not a good place for his daughter to be. Hypodermic Sally tries to crash the afterparty and is given the heave-ho by the bouncers, even though she lives right there, in the hotel.
At the fashion show, John’s daughter meets Will’s son and he shows her the hidden place where the vampire children sleep, in tiny glass coffins (because The Countess probably thinks that’s funny. She just uses blackout curtains and a bed.) The little girl comes face to face with John’s son, the little brother she was told had gone missing, several years ago. She has the presence of mind, when she meets him again later, to take a selfie with him.
During the fashion show the badboy model, (Do they actually have these? I mean he’s cute but not enough to to have to put up with his bullcrap), played by Finn Wittrock, who also played Dandy last season. He meets the eyes of The Countess, who is immediately taken with his “rage”. Or as I would prefer to call it, “his dumb assholery”, because seriously! this guy has the brains of tapioca and a less attractive mullet than Eugene’s from The Walking Dead.
And the Countess isn’t much smarter, if she finds that sort of thing attractive enough to turn a man, as soon as she meets him. Naturally this does not sit well with the guy she’s already humping, Donovan, who is probably smarter than both her and Tristan combined. Donovan is at least capable of intropsection, of some kind. But not enough, because having been the center of her affections for about twenty years, it never occurred to him that she didn’t love him, and it should have.
John’s daughter comes home and tries to tell them about their son but, of course, they don’t believe her. I feel like she should have led with the picture, rather than simply screaming that he’s alive, but it doesn’t matter because the picture just shows a blurry face. I did suspect that might happen because all the lore states that vampires cannot be photographed.
And they are actually vampires, I guess, because during one of the unsexiest, sex scenes in television history, The Countess explains the rules and regulations, of whatever they are, to Tristan, before Donovan bursts in and tries to kill him. They can be killed like ordinary people but she tells Tristan, if he is careful, he will be immortal. What do you wanna bet that Tristan isn’t careful? He doesn’t even look like he can successfully spell that word.
At one point, Tristan runs into Mr. March, in one of the rooms of the hotel, a wealthy, ascot wearing stereotype of a rich guy, from the thirties. March claims to feel a kindred spirit with him. March is played by Evan Peters, the same actor who played Lobster Boy last season, with an affected American accent that’s very distracting. He tries to get Tristan to turn to the dark side but Tristan has just enough sense to run away.
The Countess explains to Don that its best he not love anyone or anything too much, (naturally, she says this after he’s fallen in love with her, something she encouraged, in the first place). This is a philosophy she should have shared with him, when she turned him, rather than waiting until she replaced him with whatever Tristan is to her now. This is a philosophy that is probably going to get her killed. She thinks she’s being careful by only turning people she probably thinks are dumber and weaker than her, (junkies like Donovan, and self destructive buttwipes like Tristan, who won’t last long enough to be a problem) and making sure they fall in love with her, except she has left a string of jilted ex- lovers behind her, and sooner or later, that is going to come back and bite her on the ass, because even though they may have been weak when she found them, people grow up and some of them grow smart. Smarter than her, maybe.
And just like that, Don is out on his ear. I think I can guess that the rest of this season is gong to be about ousting the Countess from her role, especially when Angela Bassett’s character, another ex-lover, shows up.
The hotel cleaning lady is played by, of all people, Mare Winningham, who I’m absolutely certain is dead, unless Iris is lying about her origins. While being served drinks by Liz Taylor, Iris tells John about the history of the hotel, when he attempts to arrest her for, heck if I know!…shenanigans, I guess.
The Hotel Cruz was created by Mr. James Patrick March, a serial killer, (styled after the Murder House creator named H.H. Holmes,) who killed several people and dumped their bodies down a special chute he had built, that led to the basement. When the police caught on to him, he took his own life after, shooting his happy enabler, the cleaning lady. This part of the show is incredibly graphic, so if you’re offended by gore, I’d suggest another show. Iris also tells him that March’s room number was 64, the room that John is in now. After this, John makes the connection between March and the Ten Commandments Killer, he’s currently hunting, and who has threatened his family.
The episode ends with The Countess and Tristan bleeding out some stranger he found online. I’m pretty sure I don’t like that they just killed some random gay guy from a dating app, and I hope this comes back to bite at least one of them on the ass.
<Sigh> We’re probably going to have to look at Tristan’s stupid ass for the rest of the season, though. The two of them are a perfect example of why certain people should never be immortal. They’re the kind of people who are solely interested in the next spectacle, or grand gesture. They have little interest in improving themselves as people, are easily bored and tend to create unnecessary drama, when they are. Exactly the kind of shallow people I have little patience for in just this short, real life. Donovan at least appears capable of love, and of entertaining himself without resorting to murder. The Countess and her new toy, lack these skills. All that avoidable and unnecessary drama will eventually catch up to them, I hope.