American Horror Story : She Wants Revenge

 

 

This was an incredibly frustrating episode to watch, mostly because I kept yelling at the TV. These are some of the dumbest, most venal characters on TV right now. Not one of these people attempts to make any effort at trying to be better whatever-they-ares. They’re  not dumb in the sense of, “nonsensical motives, nobody knows what the hell they’re doing and neither do we” sort of way, like in The Strain. No this is the, ” they’re motivations are completely understandable, but you really wish they’d make another, better choice”, type of way.

Or in other words, why don’t any of these people walk the hell out of these situations instead of making it worse? Yeah, the reason why is because these characters are stupid and petty. They’re the better dressed versions of  the worst kind of  “trailer park people”. Given a choice between acting on their better natures and achieving some sort of peace, and acting according to their basest and most petty instincts, they always choose their basest instincts, which only worsens the situation:

Lets take inventory, shall we.

 

Donovan:

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Instead of moving on with his life after the Countess kicked him out of the hotel, he has decided to seek revenge. He could move on and forge a life of his own, instead of leeching off the Countess largess, but he decides to team up with Ramona to kill the Countess. After he has a one-night with the Countess, he changes his mind and betrays Ramona, because he is so desperate for the Countess love. When he finds that the Countess is playing him with her maker, Valentino, he kills Valentino to eliminate his rival.

Side note: Matt Bomer and Cheyenne Jackson need to team up for Magic Mike XXX. Seriously!

 

Ramona:

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She had the opportunity to move on and forge a life for herself, too. After the Countess killed her lover we find, in a beautiful and touching flashback, that she retired to her family home to care for her aging parents. She makes the mistake of trying to save her father from senile dementia by making him a vampire but it does not go well because dementia cannot be cured by vampirism. Eventually she has to kill him. Afterwards, she has the choice of whether or not, after twenty years, to move forward and make a new life for herself. She doesn’t do that. Instead, she decides she needs to get revenge on the Countess. She teams up with Donovan, who betrays her at the last second. She gets locked in the armored hall that was used to imprison Valentino and Natasha and tortured with UV lights, in an Iron Maiden.

Side note: This week’s episode has done so much to deepen this character and I really like her, but I still don’t understand why she has decided to come after the Countess, after waiting twenty years.

Will Drake:

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The oblivious Will Drake and new owner of the Hotel Cruz. He’s almost as dumb as Tristan because he’s so enamored of the Countess’ charms that he can’t see anything but her. He hasn’t noticed any of the weird goings on at the hotel  and knows nothing about the Countess other than what she has told him, which is of course,  nothing. They get married in the lobby of the hotel. When the Countess goes to check on the status of her monster baby, he interrupts and reacting with repugnance, says some nasty things, which pisses her off.  She imprisons him in the armored hallway, which she has had  equipped with cameras, so she can watch whatever happens. Drake, thinking Ramona to be  an ally, and not knowing that she  is a vampire, frees Ramona from her restraints. She promptly eats him.

Side note: It don’t make no sense for a man to be that damn pretty!

Liz:

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Liz has an opportunity to leave the hotel and make a new life for herself but chooses instead to sit around the hotel, sniping at the Countess, whenever she wanders into orbit and is resigned to waiting for the Countess to eventually get tired of all that and snap her neck. Nevertheless, despite her fatalism and depression, which is understandable, she still manages to look magnificent. Seriously, she is one of the best dressed characters on the show, rivaling even the Countess. I wonder where she’s getting her frocks because her taste is impeccable.

Side note: Dennis O’Hare is tearing it up in this role and I love this character.  He never resorts to making her comic relief and Liz is always elegant, just like her namesake. Dennis knows exactly when to make her warm, bitchy, or funny. In fact, some of the most touching and beautiful moments in the show are supplied by Liz.

Iris:

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She mopes around the hotel, pining after her son, Donovan, occasionally killing any of the guests her get on her nerves. Donovan discovers her in the aftermath of one of her killings and is surprised and delighted at his mother’s new attitude. But when  he tells her he has changed his mind about the revenge, and is back with the Countess, she becomes depressed because she still believed she could have a life with him, outside the hotel. She still loves her son but he long ago chose the Countess over her and she’s never come to terms with that until now.

Side note: Iris is my second favorite character. Her story closely parallels Liz’. She has come into her own, as a woman, far too late in life for her to truly enjoy it. It makes sense that it is the two of them who would  become the closest friends, but not until after Iris’ death. Of all the relationships on the show, theirs is the most genuine. The two of them are real  with each other in a way none of the other characters try to be.

Alex:

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Has decided to abandon her daughter and become a vampire, working for the Countess, so she can be with her first great love, her lost son, Holden. To that end she gas-lit her husband to make him flee the hotel, so he wouldn’t discover what she’d been doing or what she was. On her first night back to work, she turns a young boy into a vampire. He goes out into the world and transforms his classmates at school. They go on a killing spree, which the Countess hears about  and holds Alex responsible for stopping.

Side note: Alex is one of the least understandable and less sympathetic characters on the show. She’s supposed to be a doctor but she makes dumb decisions, that I don’t understand. Its almost like she’s starring in a different show than the other characters..

The Countess:

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Wow! I don’t even know where to begin with her. Its true that she has known a significant amount of pain in her hundred years but her way of handling it was to make one bad decision after another, living according to whatever whims took her fancy, thereby causing herself more pain. She is largely the architect of most of her own problems, a beautiful woman who won’t get out of the way of her own happiness. From marrying a serial killer to turning Ramona and killing Ramona’s lover, to turning Tristan and discarding Donovan, after she gets him to fall in love with her, and  killing Tristan after he’s fallen in love with someone else, this is a woman who doesn’t seem to know how to make any other kind of decisions except bad ones, for herself and anyone who wanders into her orbit. Sooner of later its all going to come down on her, as she does not seem capable of making and keeping friends.

Side note: I know this is hard to believe, considering how much shade I’ve thrown her way,  but I actually like the Countess. True, she’s not very bright and hasn’t matured one damn bit since she was turned, except to become more cynical, but now that the show has progressed in its characterizations, her motivations are entirely understandable and I’m actually beginning to feel for her.

March:

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The serial killer who lives in the attic . One can make the argument that March is the person who set all this shit in motion by being an asshole, building a hotel that traps ghosts, and  imprisoning his wife’s lovers in the  walls of the hotel. It was their disappearance that sparked the Countess fatalistic attitude, believing that Natasha and her maker,  Valentino, had abandoned her.

Side note: March is definitely the villain of the show. In fact ,the show wouldn’t be the show, or as weird as it is, if he wasn’t the mastermind behind most of the tragic consequences in the hotel. On the other hand, he’s a one note character, without much depth. He’s diabolical because he enjoys it.

Hazel Evers:

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Her mistake was falling in love with March, who dumped her for the Countess. She remains eternally loyal to him and the hotel. Of course it helps that she can’t leave because she’s a ghost.

Side note: Hazel is obviously the shows comic relief. She gets the funniest lines and  is always, always cheerful. She’s the world’s happiest specter. Make no mistake, she is a villain, though. She happily participated in March’s killing spree when he was alive and makes no effort, whatsoever, to warn or protect the guests in the hotel. She’s  too obsessed with cleanliness, it seems, to have room for much else in her personality.

Sally:

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Her biggest mistake is falling in love with John Lowe, though he’s married and doesn’t actually love her at all. Of course,  becoming a drug addict and ODing in March’s hotel, was probably not the best use of her decision making skills.

 

John Lowe:

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John is too messed up to analyze wit any kind of accuracy. He’s a serial killer who doesn’t remember being a serial killer. He’s a cop who was assigned to solve his own serial killer case. The  best you can say about John is that he’s largely a victim, as he’s  always being manipulated by someone. He was manipulated by March into being his successor as the Ten Commandments Killer, his  wife, Alex, tried to drive him insane, (I think she succeeded), and Sally and the other hotel employees  were in on the secret of who and what he is and never said anything.

Side note: John is still one of the dullest serial killers ever seen on TV, except for his hair, which is much more dynamic than he deserves. There’s just no there there.

That sums up,the characters for this season, which wasn’t as crazy as some of the past seasons. Its calmed down a bit since episode one and become more cohesive. I really did think it would lose it’s way and wander off for a bit, especially after the last two episodes.  I just couldn’t see the direction the writer was heading. New threads kept being introduced without any tie-up, but the writer has managed to rein it in very nicely, since then.

I can much more clearly see some of the plot threads joining together, although I still feel the writer has a tendency to just whip some new plot point out of his ass. None of those new things have impacted badly on what we’ve seen so far, though.

The show will return for its final two episodes in January.