Last night’s episode focused a little less on spectacle and a little more on story, which included backstories on the new players at the hotel, how the Countess lost her money and some interesting developments between Iris and her son Donovan, with the theme being Motherhood.
But we start off with Tristan’s dumb-butt cozening up to the ghost?, revenant?, shade? well, whatever James March is, and agreeing to kill Will Drake, the new owner of the Hotel Cortez. March wants him dead because Will wants to rearrange the design of his “Murder House”, and he can’t have that. As in The Nancy Collins, Sonja Blue books, the hotel is designed, I think, to be a kind of ghost trap. It’s the reason Hypodermic Sally can’t leave. I find that all hotels have this maze like quality to them, since all the hallways and doors look alike, and it’s very easy to believe that you might be trapped into wandering the halls forever, unable to find your room, or the exit. Ghosts, not being the brightest of creatures, would definitely have trouble with a hotel that’s actually meant to be confusing.
Tristan, who as I said last week, is not very careful, is a fan of murder (and this is why), agrees to kill Drake and almost succeeds after we get the pleasure of witnessing some hot, male on male action,(Will is a stunningly lovely man), which is a lot less hot when one of the men is a complete moron, (I think we know who I’m talking about), but The Countess puts a stop to that. She has plans for Drake that do not include murdering him, just yet.
Next we’re on to Alex, John Lowe’s wife, and her long suffering over the death of her baby/soulmate, Holden. There’s a long backstory on this. It’s mostly annoying because she goes on and on about how she didn’t even want kids and then she got pregnant and Holden became the end all, and be all, of her entire human existence, blah, blah, blah. I don’t want to seem heartless, but she is quite possibly the most boring, trite character in the show. There’s nothing wrong with the motherly bond with her child but this could have been better written. It feels like the person, who wrote it, heard of the “Motherly Bond” mostly through hearsay. I didn’t give one flying frack about her woes and tribulations, regarding the loss of her son, but feel I should have, so now I feel guilty because I didn’t. I listened to her backstory because its something that is important later in the episode..
John Lowe is still investigating the Ten Commandments Killer case. This time the killer has murdered two people at a gossip rag and nailed their tongues to their desks to illustrate the theme, Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness. In other words, they were liars. Like the killer from the movie Seven, he’s not just punishing, he’s preaching. Although, I mostly think he’s preaching to John.
Sally’s last victim, who is alive or dead or something,(I’m still not sure what the Hell is going on in this hotel), wakes up in the mattress, in the room of Naomi Campbell’s character and, in a panic, cuts her throat. So now she’s a ghost and imprisoned in the hotel with all the other ghosts who can’t leave. I know she’s a ghost and that March is a ghost because we definitely watched these people die. The junkie is rushed to the hospital where John is called in. John tries to talk to him but all he can get out of the man before he dies, for real this time, I guess, is Sally’s name. I don’t think anyone knows Campbell’s character is dead, as she hasn’t been discovered and the junkie never said.
In a huff, John encounters Sally in the elevator of the hotel and threatens to arrest her too, but stops when she starts feeling him up and then she vanishes, like a …well, like a ghost. He is so shaken by this that he spends the he rest of the episode looking shells-shocked,(or confused as he’s not the best actor, I can’t tell). When Alex comes to see him and serve him the divorce papers, (she just decided this on a whim), he has some kind of panic attack. That’s understandable because this is the second person he’s tried to arrest at the hotel and both times his perps distracted him with stories about the hotel.
But my favorite part of the entire evening is the entrance of Ramona Royale, a former lover of The Countess. But first some backstory on Donovan, who is in an interesting dilemma. Having come to the hotel as a penniless junkie, being taken care of and housed at the hotel as the Countess boy-toy, he has now found himself in a bad way. After The Countess dumped him he has come to the sad revelation that he owns nothing, has nothing and is nothing. Without even the ability to drive, he goes trawling the dark corners of NY, to procure a meal from among the junkies and homeless, which is where he encounters Ramona, who is lying in wait for him when he attempts to prey on her.
She kidnaps him, puts him in restraints, cleans his blood of impurities and questions him about The Countess. Her backstory is awesome! She used to be a Blaxploitation actress, from the 70s, like Pam Grier, but when luck, and the good roles, passed her up, The Countess came to her rescue and made her a vampire because she loved her movies. They spent nearly 20 years together. Now, I was expecting the same sort of story that happened to Donovan, but no, this one is slightly different. Ramona never claims to have loved Elizabeth, but she does claim to have loved one man, a rapper she met in the early 90s. This whole sequence from the 70s to the 90s is shot in the film and musical styles of those periods, which I greatly enjoyed. When Ramona decided to turn this “fine Black brotha” to the dark-side, Elizabeth objected to this betrayal, killed him and his entourage and then dumped her. People fall in and out of love so fast on this show, that you really have to pay attention.
This goes some way towards explaining Elizabeth’s shabby behavior to Donovan, though. He was the toy she picked up in her immediate grief over Ramona betraying her. So the situation isn’t as black and white as it would seem.Ramona explains that she wants revenge for Elizabeth killing her lover, by killing all those little children she turned into baby-vamps. As far as I’m concerned though, everybody’s wrong.
Which complicates things some more because one of those baby-vamps is Holden, who Alex meets in one of the maze-like hallways of the hotel, after she puts John to bed, after his strange panic attack in the hotel lobby. I did get concerned at this point because Holden does recognize her as his Momma and it made me wonder if she was going to get turned into a vampire. He did try to feed off his sister, so Mommy is fair game, too.
Later, The Countess comes to Will Drake and tries to strike him up, too. Apparently, this is the episode in which an extremely pretty man gets sexually assaulted by various people, so there’s your spectacle. He keeps reminding her he’s gay but she doesn’t seem deterred by that and is insistent that they would be wonderful together. She later tells Tristan that this is all part of her plan to marry Drake and then kill him, so she can inherit his money. It turns out, she’s as broke as Donovan, after Bernie Madoff made off with her fortune, in the 90s. Yeah, she’s not the brightest bulb in the cupboard either. As I said last week, she’s a person who has too many stupid weaknesses to be giving in to them, and its a wonder she’s managed to live as long as she has.
Donovan, confesses to Ramona that he was dumped by The Countess and Ramona releases him back into the wilds of NYC, where having no place to go, he goes back to the hotel, where he has a long argument with Iris about her about how she emotionally abused him as a child,she’s a selfish person, and how much he hates her. This conversation is enlightening because up til now, we’ve had no clue why he was shunning her. He was trying to commit suicide to get away from her. Fed up with his mother’s demands, tonight though,he tells her she should kill herself.
Hurt by this statement, this is exactly what she proceeds to do, enlisting Sally (the woman she blames for killing her son) to help her off this mortal coil. Sally’s conversation with her is interesting because it gives us some backstory on their relationship. Apparently, Sally blames Iris for killing her and trapping her at the hotel and she admonishes Iris not to get trapped too, because she does not want to spend the next hundred years looking at her. Sally succeeds in killing Iris only to be interrupted by Donovan.
Donovan was in the lobby, boo-hooing over his lot in unlife to Liz Taylor, (who is not having that shit in her bar and gives him a stern what-for), realizes that he probably needs Iris and should make amends to her. He gets to the room just in time to resurrect Iris with his blood.
Yeah, that’s not good.
ETA: Take note, during Sally’s seduction scene with John in the elevator, that her eyes are always wet. Every time I’ve seen her, in every scene, she appears to be crying, about to cry or has just cried. In the elevator scene, she is actually crying but it seems as if she doesn’t notice it. Creepy, no?