I’m only a tiny, little bit disappointed at the season finale of American Horror Story: Hotel, for going out with a whimper instead of a bang. It’s like the writers chickened out and decided that everybody deserved happy endings, even though a lot of them had been acting like total shits all season.
Don’t get me wrong. I had feels, everybody’s stories got wrapped up nice and neat and Denis O’Hare gets to steal the show as always, but I really did want the hotel to be burned down so all the ghosts could be free. The writers decided that’s not a good idea, though.
So, the Queen is dead! Long live The Countess! In the aftermath of The Countess death, she’s a ghost who can no longer leave the hotel and a more fitting end, I wouldn’t have written myself. The hotel has now been taken over by Iris and Liz, who sell off the Countess’ art, to fund their redecorations and grand reopening.
The reopening attracts travel critics, who quickly get offed by the hotel’s ghosts. Namely Sally, who is bitter and unhappy and Will Drake, who is bored because he’s dead and trapped in the hotel.
This is too much for Liz and Iris, who decide to hold an intervention to beseech the ghosts to stop killing the guests. If they keep killing the guests, the hotel will go out of business and the building could be destroyed. James March comes down on Liz and Iris’ side in the debate because if the building isn’t condemned by 2026, then it will be declared an historical landmark, which can’t. After which the ghosts can kill all they want, I guess. This meeting is also notable because you get to see that they have become a kind of community, who care about each other.
Drake and Sally refuse to cooperate and Iris and Liz decide they need some one on one attention to get them on their side. Iris introduces Sally to Twitter and Snapchat, after which she blossoms, realizing she need never be alone again because of social media. Perfect! That is not a solution I foresaw, but it makes perfect sense. After all, Iris found a new life that way, too. It’s hilarious as Sally really gets into it. She takes pictures of everything but herself, she writes a blog, she cries with happiness, rather than pain now, and even throws away her junk.
Good job, Iris!
Liz makes the point that the ghosts need the living because the living are their bridge to the outside world and relevance. So maybe let them live, and stop killing them for shits and giggles.
Liz agrees to help Will Drake rebuild his fashion empire, which has been languishing since his disappearance, by becoming it’s figurehead. This is a success and Liz makes arrangements for Will’s son to be housed at the Thatcher Boarding school, although Drake doesn’t believe he should ever see him again.
But Liz isn’t quite as happy as you’d think. She still misses Tristan, and Iris, concerned for her happiness, hires a psychic (Sarah Paulson in a dual role) to talk to him in the afterlife, but Tristan refuses and won’t say why. On the other hand, Donovan, who managed to escape being trapped in the hotel, is in a happy place and wants Iris to know he loves her.
Liz, disappointed with Tristan’s cold shoulder, gets on with her life, witnessing the birth of her grandadaughter and being a part of her daughter-in-law’s life, until she discovers she is the only woman in LA who is in the late stages of prostate cancer. She tries to make the best of things, by asking the community of hotel ghosts to kill her, so she can spend eternity with them because they’re her friends, and Denis O’Hare is so good at this, that I almost teared up.
His friends are about to get started brutally killing him but the Countess shows up to deliver the coup de grace. She and Liz reconcile before the deed, as they damn well better, because they’ve got to spend all of eternity together now. Staring down at her dead body, Liz is surprised by the appearance of Tristan, who says he didn’t want to contact her because he wanted her to have a full life and not live in the past with his memory.
Hold on! I’m a little verklempt! Talk amongst yourselves! Query: Where the Hell is the Countess’ mutant baby? And who is taking care of it? Discuss!
Many years pass. The psychic comes to the hotel again. This time she wants to contact John Lowe, The Ten Commandments Killer. John shows up and we learn that he is dead, but can only come to the hotel once a year along with all the other killers, Aileen Wuornos, Richard Ramirez, Gacy and Dahmer. It’s also the only time he can see his vampire family, except for Scarlett, who has grown into a remarkably well adjusted young lady, after being shipped off to the Thatcher School, too. Scarlett can visit her little brother and never aging Mom anytime, but Dad can only be seen on Halloween night. It’s a bittersweet reunion.
Having gotten her wish and interviewed the TCK, the psychic gets drugged and accosted by the other serial killers. They agree to let her live if she never tells anyone about them, and Ramona, who can leave the hotel and terrorize her anytime she wants, is there to let her know she’ll be watching her. She runs out of the hotel and doesn’t darken its doors again.
Overall, I liked this season. It was uneven, and more concerned with spectacle than plot, but then AHS is always like that. I really wish there had been more depth and more artistry. The show really needs to play up the unreality and dreamlike state, the way it did in the first season. I enjoyed this season more than the last one, which was kind of depressing. This was a more joyful season, even if was full of pretty people being stupid and doing awful things, and I was kind of disappointed that many of them did not get their comeuppance, but I can live with happy endings, too.
Angela Bassett was hilariously bad as Ramona. She was the worse actor and obviously having waaay too much fun with that character. The scenery is just totally shredded by the time she’s finished talking. I think she needs to stick with movies, if possible because television is just too small for her. Denis O’Hare was awesome as Liz. I didn’t even know who Denis was before this, having paid no attention to his career. As for Liz’ wardrobe! Dayyum! She was totally rockin’ those frocks, the bald head and the high heels! She was the epitome of style and grace, holding her own in every scene against Ramona and Iris. I have to give a shoutout to Kathy Bates too. Every season she brings her A game, and so she did here. It was a quieter role than Liz and the Countess, much less glamorous, but that’s why her character arc was so lovely.
I’m given to understand that Lady Gaga won an award for this show. I don’t begrudge her that. I was very happy for her, as she did some great amateur work, and this is a good beginning and good encouragement if she wants to keep acting. She shows some promise, but Denis deserved “all teh awards”. Denis O’Hare and Kathy Bates had the two most touching character arcs and the finest performances of the season.
And that was worth watching, if no other reason.
So long American Horror Story, until next season.