American Horror Story: Hotel S05 E11: Battle Royale

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American Horror Story has always served up generous portions of horror and craziness on their series, but this season’s Hotel is freaking awesome. On the last episode: Alex tricked the teen vampire brigade into coming to the hotel; Liz made peace with his son; John, Alex and Holden go home; Liz and Iris go Rambo on the Countess and, someone new checks into the hotel. Justice at the Cortez will be promptly served.

Seconds to Die

Iris and Liz had enough guns and ammo to take over their own Federally Preserved land. It was awesome watching Liz and Iris bust in on Donavan and the Countess with bullets blazing…but, Iris is a mother first and when Donavan shields the countess with his body, Iris goes to her son giving the badly injured countess time to skedaddle.

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Donavan’s dying wish was to die outside of the hotel; smart move. He doesn’t want to become part of that hell hole for all eternity. Iris and Liz do grant Donavan his wish, then Liz uses the hotel furnace to do a DIY cremation.

It’s during scenes like this that American Horror Story shines. In the midst of an attempted bloody coup there is still time for a mother to say goodbye to her only son. Iris did love her boy, maybe a bit too much. After Liz delivers the ashes to the grieving mother, Iris dumps them onto the bed. All through this season, it has been Denis O’Hare’s Liz and Kathy Bates’ Iris that kept the plot, which often sagged like an old mattress, going strong. All heartfelt emotions of love, pain, and loss were delivered succulently by this dynamic duo. They are the show.

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Even grieving her son, Iris makes us laugh out loud when she tells Miss Evers to use the new vacuum to pick up Donnie’s ashes. Not all of Donavan is in the upright vacuum. Iris did allow the wind to blow away what was left of Donavan from her clothes when she went to the roof.

Iris and Liz still have the countess to handle, but they can’t do it alone. They turn to the only person who hates the countess as much as they do.

The Countess

Bullets can kill the vampires of AHS, and the Countess is badly injured. Why is Sally plucking all those bullets from a woman she has no love for? Sally wants something. Sally always wants something, most of all; Sally doesn’t like people running out on her. Sarah Paulson has played her character, Hypodermic Sally, as a selfish, hateful creature with abandonment issues. But, even though we find ourselves hating what Sally does, Sarah Paulson is able to elicit our sympathy. That is what I call great acting.

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Lady Gaga is given a chance in this episode to show her character’s vulnerability. Without Sally, the Countess would die, so she listens to Sally’s prattle about her stint in the record making business with Grunge artists Nick Harley and Tina Black. Sally is a sick kitten. She was bad before she ever stepped foot into the Cortez. Why else would she stitch herself to her two drug-addled friends? I told you she has abandonment issues. We do get to see that freaky Addiction Demon beat up on Sally as her friends overdose.

The Countess needs to feed to heal and Sally gives her the only available blood around, the little blond toddler brigade. Lady Gaga played this scene convincingly as the horrified mother forced to feed on her children. The Countess will soon learn that she has more enemies than friends.

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While the Countess laps up the last of her brood, Iris and Liz go searching for Ramona. They need her help to finish off the Countess. This scene, because of Kathy Bates’ and Denis O’Hare’s electrifying performance as the dynamic duo with a quest, was actually kind of funny. Ramona agrees to kill the Countess but she needs to eat. She’s already gone through the entire pre-teen vampire brigade and the unfortunate Mr. Drake. Once again, Liz and Iris go searching for dinner.

John

Poor Scarlett returns home from grandma’s house to learn that mommy and brother need blood to survive and daddy has specimens to collect. John goes out for some fast food; a frightened man in the trunk and, an order of Chinese for Scarlett, but the house is empty. Someone took the kids. Sally got her wish. John is back at the Cortez and to get his family back, he has to supply the last specimen.

Queenie

What a sight for sore eyes to see Gabourey Sidibe back as Queenie, the part she played on American Horror Story Coven. I wasn’t sure if Sidibe would be playing the part of the witch, but when she entered the hotel and signed in, I knew we were in for some fun. Queenie wants to be a contestant on “The Price is Right” and meet the host, Drew Carey. Iris and Liz waste no time sending Queenie to her room where a hungry Ramona is waiting.

Conclusion

I have two complaints about tonight’s show. I wish the writers would have given Queenie more time on the screen. In case you’ve forgotten, Queenie’s magical powers cause anyone that attacks her to suffer similar wounds. Ramona was in over her head and it was fun watching the battle between witch and vampire…but it was cut short by a ghost. Mr. March also wants the Countess dead, so Queenie quickly becomes dinner for Ramona. I just feel like too many things were going on in this episode and it would have been nice to have Queenie last longer than a few minutes.

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Ramona, strong on witch’s blood, goes after the Countess, but nothing happens. The Countess and Ramona make up and we’re actually tricked into thinking that the Countess escapes…but the Countess has enemies.

Ramona allowed The Countess to leave, but John didn’t. As the doors to the elevator opens, John comes out shooting. Before we can digest what has happened, John is placing a specimen jar on a shelf. Inside the jar is the head of the Countess. The Countess is dead, but she is now a ghost who is forced to have dinner every night with a man she despises. Mr. March has won.

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My second complaint is that I worry with all the unfinished business that needs to be tended to and, with only one episode remaining; we might not get the satisfying ending that we have patiently waited for. What happens to John’s family? Will Iris and Liz make the Cortez a Five Star Hotel? Will the other witches come looking for Queenie? Your guess is as good as mine. See you next week.

 

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