The season finale of “American Horror Story: Hotel” is finally here and, I’m still waiting for Lady Gaga to belt out a song or two before it’s time to check out of the freakiest hotel in history. On last week’s episode, the Countess lost her head and, thanks to Mr. March, a coven witch is dead. Can Iris and Liz turn the Cortez into a Disney attraction? Nothing will surprise me with this show.
4 Star or Bust
The Cortez is sparkling with new carpets, fresh paint and, of all things Japanese, a self-cleaning toilet. So far, thanks to Liz and Iris, the hotel is on its way to collecting the coveted 4 Star Rating. There’s just one itty bitty problem. They need to hide the stink of death and decay with some incense, and maybe, stop the ghosts from killing the guests.
After Sally and Will Drake kill the couple who can guarantee a great review for the Cortez, Liz and Iris call a meeting. All the ghosts agree to play nice except Sally and Will. Mr. March reminds them that the hotel is their home and if it goes under, they will be forced to meet their maker and that means a trip to hell. So how do we get the Cortez to stay open and become a Historical Landmark? No more killings. Evan Peters has practically grown up in this show, and to me, his portrayal of Mr. March is his masterpiece. He took to this role of Mad-Hatter-killer and, made it his.
Even the threat of spending time with the addiction monster won’t make Sally promise not to kill, but a smart phone does. Iris understood that Sally was lonely and that she missed John. Iris’s gift was a way for Sally to connect to the world through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sally now has followers who adore her. Sally, who is never lonely anymore, gives up the drugs and the killing. Social Media saves the day.
Liz knew that the spoiled and rich, Mr. Drake would be harder to convince, but the gift of a sketch book has Will Drake drawing fashion designs again and, Liz takes control of his company. Will Drake, we realize, really loves his son much more than his money and fame. The boy is sent away to live at a private school, keeping him from the death that is an intimate part of the Cortez. As the Cortez begins to draws in more affluent guests with private fashion shows, the hotel ghosts get to do their turn on the runway.
Denis O’Hare’s Liz was, for me, the barometer of what was happening at the hotel. Liz was the voice of reason and, the one who I always looked to for that snappy comeback or sarcastic observation. Although Liz has made life inside the hotel bearable, he is unhappy. He misses Tristan. Iris comes up with a solution and a connection to the Murder House. Enter Billy Dean Howard (Sarah Paulson) to speak to the dearly departed.
Billy is a Medium. She can feel the spirits and she can talk to the dead; she calls on Tristan. What people, who don’t do ghost investigations, don’t realize is that ghosts have free will. You are in death as you were in life. If a ghost doesn’t want to talk to you, you can’t force them to talk. Liz’s desire to speak with Tristan is in vain. He refuses. Iris, on the other hand, receives a message from Donavan. The boy is happy eating pancakes.
Liz realizes that love sometimes comes in small bundles when he becomes a doting grandmother to little Isabella, his son’s child. Everyone is happy, but even in the best of worlds, death is there waiting to hand you a ticket to ride. Liz is diagnosed with prostatic cancer.
Devil’s Night Part 2
The hotel has a reputation for being a hot spot and when people know that a place is haunted you get all kinds of weirdos showing up. I should know. Billy was supposed to bring recognition to the Cortez, but there are just too many crazies showing up to see a ghost. John Lowe, who is now a ghost thanks to a shootout with the police, has a plan to scare away the Medium. John can only return one day a year, and since he is a serial killer, John can invite Billy Dean to Mr. March’s party. Will a room full of serial killers scare this persistent Medium away?
We’ve seen the connection between Hotel and Coven and Hotel and Murder House, but what is the connection between all the seasons? My mentor at Biff Bam Pop, Glenn Walker, sent me an article that hinted at a theory that made absolute sense. What if the five seasons, as Red Herry theorizes, is a stairway or a level into hell? What if Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show and Hotel were examples of Dante Alighieri’s epic poem Divine Comedy? This freaking theory blew my mind and, it made sense not only to understanding American Horror Story, but to understanding why real ghosts sometimes decide to hang around. Is Earth a purgatory?
But, if American Horror Story mirrors Dante’s Inferno, the first part of Alighieri’s poem, then why did tonight’s season finale end so happily? Sally no longer wants to kill, Will Drake is happy making fashion history, and Iris knows that her dead son loves her.
Once a year, every Halloween John, Alex and little Holden are able to spend the day together as a family. But the happy moment only lasts until John falls asleep. Scarlett, who is a grown woman, sits with John until he closes his eyes.
Even Liz has found happiness. How do you fight cancer? If you are Liz, you give your friends an assortment of weapons to kill you, but it is the Countess who gives the much loved character a chance for rebirth. The show ends with Tristan returning to Liz.
Although Lady Gaga didn’t belt out a song for the season finale, it was fun to see her win the Golden Globe award for Best Actress in a TV Movie or Miniseries. So in the end, all is well.
See you next year.