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.

American Horror Story: Hotel : Flicker

Alright What plot points will remain from last week’s episode. Will the writers remember the The Countess has a baby? Will they remember that Sally is still on the show? Will they remember Tristan is dead?

Let’s find out.

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Will Drake (Dayyum, Cheyenne Jackson is foine!) and son are touring the hotel as deconstruction begins. He tells his son about marrying Countess. The construction workers have a problem, though. It turns out to be a secret corridor with monsters that eat the construction workers. Are they vampires? Cannibals? Just crazy gray haired senior citizens?

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John is undergoing psychiatric evaluation  at a hospital, after shooting up his kitchen last week. He confesses to feelings of entrapment, confusion and overwhelming events. He was nearly fired after he attacked his partner at work, a guy I recognize from Supernatural, once again,he’s  playing a cop.

Iris shows the bodies and hidden corridor to Countess and even she’s scared of what’s there. The hungry ghosts, or whatever they are, attack another guest.

Flashback to The Countess in 1925, on a film set with Valentino, who is the spitting image of Tristan, conveniently. I thought that was the last I’d seen of that actor, but hey!keep him on the show doing something.

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She’s enamored of the handsome actor. Shes so cute! And Gaga really pulls off the wide-eyed innocent waif act and even back then she was a snappy dresser. He seduces her in his home, until his wife, Natasha, shows up. They double team her, there’s the required sex scene and then cut to…three months later, when she’s been vamped.

James March opens hotel Cortez, when The Countess hears of Valentino’s death she is overcome with grief. I guess I’m supposed to believe by this reaction that she possessed some overwhelming love for him and his wife.

It turns out the he isn’t actually dead. He and Natacha are both alive. They ask her to travel to Europe with them.

She leaves them to marry March, and she later discovers, he is a serial killer. Well, this explains why she’s got commitment issues.

(Flashback once more, as  Valentino tells her how he came a vampire, shot in the style of the 1922  Nosferatu, by H W Murnau, who was himself a vampire. He decided to change Valentino as he has predicted the demise of silent films.)

John discovers the restricted ward at the hospital and decides to investigate Andrew Hahn in room 153. He finds a little girl named Wren instead. She’s a witness to one of the serial killers crimes. She also killed the security guard who interrupted the killer, which is why she’s locked up.

After which ensues the weirdest but most boringly important/unimportant conversation in television history, with the two of them whispering at each other. Well whattaya know? Wren is somehow acquainted with The Countess too. What. A. Surprise!

Nevertheless, Wren promises to help John catch his killer, if he gets her out of the hospital.

Ya know, at some point ,we are going to have to have the writer stop pulling plot points out of his ass, or maybe I’m just feeling grouchy because tonight’s episode was especially tiresome. It’s not a bad episode but none of my favorite characters have showed up, nobody did anything egregiously stupid, that i can yell at my TV about, and nothing astonishingly crazy happened, The writers remembered that John is looking for a serial killer, and that aspect is the least interesting plot of the show.

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At the end of the episode, its revealed that March bricked up Valentino and Natacha in the hotel, and those are the two people-eaters who were released at the top of the episode, and have since been chowing down on various guests.

The Countess goes to have dinner with James March, who confesses that he had  Valentino and his wife confined inside the walls of the hotel, because he was jealous. The Countess is appropriately horrified as she probably thought that Val and Natacha had left her. This explains her attitude towards the vampires she makes.

Natacha and Val leave the hotel, as Iris  watches and wonders who the Hell they are.

John and Wren escape the hospital. Wren, one of The Countess’ many vampire children, throws herself in front of a truck after telling John his killer is at the Hotel Cortez. So, I guess that conversation was important after all, as Wren confessed she was really tired of  “all of this”.

Tonight’s theme was very obviously “Love Hurts”!

American Horror Story: Room 33

Okay, tonight’s episode, I’m firmly convinced, was entirely pulled out of the writer’s butt. There’s all manner of things going on this particular episode that weren’t hinted at in any of the previous episodes.

Let’s start with:

We are dimly aware that something lived in room 33 of the hotel, so I’m not too put out at the idea that the creature living in that room turns out to be The Countess deformed vampire baby. At least we got a tiny heads- up with hints that something might be in that room. The Countess is shown giving birth to the baby, which like in the movie Its Alive, immediately kills and eats the nurse. Okay, that part was kind of gory, awesome.

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Later, the baby, Bartholomew, escapes from its room, when Ramona, intent on revenge by killing all of The Countess offspring, (in collusion with Iris), breaks in, and sets it free. Bart gets out of the hotel by stowing away in John’s suitcase, when John decides he can no longer stay at the hotel after nearing a nervous breakdown.

Okay, the reason John has a nervous breakdown is because  of the first two tourist girls, we saw in the pilot episode, who  are now ghosts roaming around the hotel. Donovan has told them that they can’t leave and that they now have to find a purpose. The two of them try murdering the hotel guests but that doesn’t seem to satisfy them. Alex, John’s wife, is very helpful. She tells them that gas-lighting the hotel guests is probably a lot more fun and that they should start with John. I’m guessing there’s definitely some divorce papers in their future. Well, anyway, John and the girls have a threesome during which they  cover him in blood of  their  murder victim. John, totally freaked out, runs naked out of his hotel room and encounters Liz Taylor in the lobby. Liz, more than used to the various shenanigans at the hotel, is completely unfazed at the sight of this naked man, covered in blood and  streaking through the halls, and she escorts him back to his room.

I’m not sure if that was meant to be funny but I laughed my ass off at that scene.

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Well, Bart gets out of the hotel, via John’s suitcase,  and makes his way to John’s home, where Scarlett chastises her Dad for being absent. When Bart gets loose in the house, John fires his gun at him, scaring the shit out of Scarlett, who then decides she needs to be somewhere her Dad is not. Bart escapes to the outdoors where Alex finds him, in the bushes,  and takes him back to the hotel. I forget why Alex was lurking outside her own home.

The Countess, still trying to get into Will Drake’s pants, had gone with him to Paris. She returns to find Alex cuddling the baby in room 33. Earlier, The Countess tried to get Tristan to help her have sex with Will, who is insistent that he is very gay, too gay to sleep with her. Tristan, of course, says he is not gay and won’t touch him, which is a surprise to me, because in an earlier episode he was all up in Will’s bidness, and we got some hot, man on man, action before The Countess interrupted. On the other hand, thiis the first backbone I’ve seen Tristan display.

The other thing that came out of left field was Liz Taylor’s relationship with The Countess’  Tristan. I guess none of us were paying attention because I totally did not see any of this coming. Liz tells Tristan they need to confess their great love (the greatest love ever), to the Countess, an idea I knew was a mistake the moment I heard it,  so yeah, the stupidity of the characters continues, unabated. Liz makes a very eloquent plea to be allowed to have Tristan because neither of them are in love with each other and this is LIz’ big chance to have a grand love of her own. But The Countess does not share, (she doesn’t do love either, or so she says), and she kills Tristan in front of Liz by cutting his throat. Yep! Saw it coming!

This is the same mistake The Countess made with Ramona, that has Ramona coming up in her rearview, right now. I wouldn’t be surprised, if at some point, Iris, Donovan, Ramona and Liz,  team up to take her ass out. Although, knowing how this show works, the writer will probably forget all about this angle, the same way the writer has forgotten about the Child-Vampire plague he just released into the NY suburbs. Will we see a resolution to that, I wonder?

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Tristan is gone, more or less. He will probably become a ghost in the hotel too, unable to leave and trying to find a purpose. How much do you wanna bet he’ll fall into March’s murderous intentions? Or not. He could just haunt Liz, which would be awesomely tragic for her.

So this episode was all about everyone’s great love and the things they’ll do to keep it. Alex is willing to drive her husband insane, so he won’t find out about Holden and her. The Countess seems to very much love Bartholomew, and is willing to hitch her wagon to a man who is not attracted to her and who she doesn’t love, which is bad enough, but she also makes a habit of depriving other people of their great love. Iris, Ramona and Donovan are all about the revenge, having lost their great loves to The Countess’ complete lack of empathy. Except in the case of Alex. Alex is about the only person she seems to sympathize with, and not just because she stole Alex’s child.

There were a lot of great lines and scenes in this episode. Liz offering Oscar Wilde books to Tristan. The admonishment to never drink the water on the fifth floor, by Donovan, because one of the hotel guests haunts that floor, after she slit her wrists  in a bathtub, and the bonding scene between Ramona and Liz.

I like how the show gives its female characters plenty of background and time to talk among themselves and not always about men. In fact, the cast is almost entirely women  and I like that they  are shown supporting each other and having each other’s back. Liz and Iris, Ramona and Iris, and even Alex and The Countess. Liz Taylor is still my all-time favorite . She gets all the best lines and some of the best scenes, too.

I think my greatest hope for Liz, is for her to be killed in the hotel, so she can spend eternity with Tristan.

American Horror Story : Room Service

Okay, this is the point in  the season when things start to get worse and some direction begins to emerge. Up to this moment, we’ve had characters making one bad decision after another, but now all those decisions start to bear fruit. (Maybe. I stopped trying to predict what these writers would do a long time ago.)

I know John Lowe should never have chosen to stay at the Hotel Cortez, Donovan should never have chosen to turn his mother, Alex should never have been vamped, and I’m pretty sure there will be some repercussions for The Countess and her new boy toy. We’ve had enough of James March and Co. Let’s see what fresh Hell all these other characters are getting up to on Devil’s Night.

Alex starts a vampire plague at an elementary school. This is, I guess, how things start to go horribly wrong. While these other characters are all in the hotel, making their little personal life choices, some real shit is about to go down. Alex, having been  turned by The Countess, goes to her job as a pediatrician and turns a terminally ill boy. He goes on to kill his mother before heading off to school, where he turns one of his classmates, kills his teacher, turns the entire class, and urges them to eat the staff, but not before the staff can call the police for help.

The police arrive and usher all the infected children out of the building and  into the loving arms of the parents who will all be dead, by the next episode.

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See, this is what I mean by the Countess not being the brightest penny in the wrapper. She’s just turning people into vampires, willy-nilly, , essentially creating more competition, and not having any control over how her “Gets” are behaving themselves. Once her blood-children are out of her presence, she doesn’t have any idea what they’re doing or who they’re turning.She gave no thought to the idea that Alex has access to lots of sick children and when Alex made her choice, all she thought about was being with Holden. I’m holding both of these dill weeds responsible for the apocalypse that’s’ about to befall NY.

Oh, alright! In Alex’s defense she was out of her mind with hunger and not thinking straight, although that’s mitigated by the fact she wasn’t thinking straight when she wasn’t sick.

Donovan, the little schemer, takes his sick mother to see Ramona. The he and Ramona  hatch a plan  to use Iris to get close to the Countess .Iris, once again gets no say in this.(Gob forbid anyone ask her what she wants.) I’ve developed an actual liking for this character, now that I’ve been provided with some of her backstory. Yes, Donovan hated her, but Donovan has his own issues and is probably more than a little biased. We only ever got to see Iris through his eyes. Now that we can hear Iris’ assessment of herself, she turns out to be a lot more sympathetic as a character. Although. my sympathy for all these characters is mitigated by the thought that they are all murderers.

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Iris goes back to the hotel and tries to avoid being detected as a vampire by the Countess but Liz Taylor knows right away what’s happened to her. Now I know why I love this character so much, after Liz Taylor gives her  backstory. The Countess did two good things. She hired  Liz to help run the hotel, after encouraging her to embrace her true self as transgender. Its fun watching Liz and Iris  bonding. Liz tells Iris her story, only after Iris admits she was scared of broaching the subject, and insulting her. Liz tells her she can’t hurt her feelings, because she’s been insulted by people who made it their life’s work. It occurs to me that Liz is right. She would be well used to people trying to hurt her. Liz can handle herself just fine.

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John Lowe gets fired after his night out, after raving about people pretending to be famous killers, in his boss’s office. Later he wakes to find Sally in his bed. She plays the spurned lover, when he tells her to get out. her face is always dripping lots of tears. That’s just weird. You’d think her tear ducts would’ve locked up by now, and refused to produce anymore.

After two pretentious young guests keep giving Iris hell, Liz encourages Irisnot  to take any more of their shit, embrace her inner bitch and let loose. Liz does for Iris ,what the Countess once did for her. Iris, after realizing her unique position, takes Liz’ advice and kills them both. I was kind of rooting for her too.I don’t often cheer for the violent deaths of innocent people but I really, really hate the rude, and those two guests were written to be professional assholes.

Alex is reunited with Holden.The Countess hires her as the children’s nanny. Can I just roll my eyes harder and harder at Alex’s dumb ass. One of the least sympathetic characters in the show and that’s a remarkable feat when you consider how highly oblivious of everything John is.

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If we’re lucky, maybe we’ll get to see the vampire apocalypse The Strain should have been.

Okay I was half right. Things have started to get worse but I have no idea where the writers will take this. For all we know they might just as soon forget all about the vampire plague that happened at the school, in favor of making us watch the Countess have have sex with Ramona.

Who knows?