American Horror Story: Hotel Review – “She Gets Revenge”
Liz Taylor reconnects with her son after forming a suicide pact with Iris. John and Alex clean up their messes and their marriage. The Countess attempts to solidify her future with Valentino while Donovan dances to Hotline Bling.
December 16, 2015
Lady Gaga as The Countess
Kathy Bates as Iris
Sarah Paulson as Sally
Evan Peters as James Patrick March
Wes Bently as John Lowe
Matt Bomer as Donovan
Chloe Sevigny as Alex Lowe
Denis O'Hare as Liz Taylor
Cheyenne Jackson as Will Drake
Angela Bassett as Ramona Royale
Special Guest Stars:
Finn Wittrock as Rudolph Valentino
Mare Winningham as Hazel Evers
Alexandra Daddario as Natacha Rambova
Anton Lee Starkman as Max Ellison
Happy endings abound in “She Gets Revenge,” the final episode of the year before Hotel returns in January for its final episodes. The ‘she’ in question is none other than everyone’s favorite bartender: Liz Taylor.
Liz, after discovering an elderly couple’s suicide pact in one of the Cortez’s seedier rooms, enters into his own pact with Iris. Immortality isn’t something Iris is into after all, and she wants to end it. However, they can’t leave any unfinished business as they would just be doomed to haunt the hallowed halls of the Hotel Cortez. (No one thought maybe just go off campus?)
Iris’s unfinished business is a tacky Youtube memorial video with plenty of Cat Tax. Liz’s only unfinished business is her son. With the help of a giddy Miss. Evers, Mare Winningham still having the damn time of her life, she invites her son to the Cortez, free of charge.
Meanwhile, The Countess is having a showdown with Natacha in the penthouse while Donovan is having a cheekbones war with Valentino in the motel. They both shoot their victims in the head and The Countess thinks she has finally won the love of her life. Donovan has better cheekbones anyway (debatable).
The police come to The Countess’s suite to file her missing persons report on Will Drake. By the way, The Countess is totally looking like if Brienne of Tarth was a kindergarten teacher. Then Will barges in (I feel like I’m repeating myself now. This could have been avoided if you just went to the police station, Gaga), stating he just got lost in the hotel. For two days. Again, the inept LAPD take this as a logical answer and leave, probably passing Sally in the hallway passing out tickets to the Ten Commandments Killer’s vault. Drake (no, not that Drake… at least not yet) tells The Countess his son is to inherit all of his money, not her. Countess Olaf cackles incessantly as she threatens Lachlan’s life.
Just down the street, John and Alex have to convince the vampire kids to come back to the Cortez where they lock them up with Ramona to let them all starve and die of measles. Hope you’re vaccinated, Ramona. John and Alex rekindle the flame in their marriage, Alex is totally into her well-adjusted serial killer hubby again and John is all about vampires as long as he gets Holden back. They decide to take Holden and go home to their daughter, whom they swear they haven’t forgotten about (pretty sure the writers did for a bit there). They are at least able to agree on the fact that they are the World’s Worst Parents.
On their way out Sally screams at John for abandoning her. She swears she is going to kill him, “I DESERVE BETTER THAN THIS!” Art imitating life there, Paulson. But I hear she is reprising her role from the first season during this go-round as well, so there’s that.
Liz’s son arrives at the hotel and is given multiple drink tickets to be sure he interacts with his estranged father. The two bond, Liz is happy to hear he is extremely well adjusted, has a family and a career. His wife is even trying to convince him to start his own company and move to Colorado. Liz tells him he should.
For a bit this seems to be enough for her to follow through with her suicide pact. Only the next time she interacts with him, she doesn’t need to come clean. He already knows. He was able to put the pieces together from a few clues his mother told him. He also never forgot her face. Liz’s son tells her he is going to take her advice and start his own business. He already told his wife, and then tells Liz, “there’s plenty of room for another woman in my life”. And I told myself I wasn’t going to chop onions at eleven o’clock at night anymore.
In one of the seedy suites upstairs, Iris lays out their options on a bed, to which Liz replies, “You look like an arms dealer.” But Liz has another plan. She wants to take her own advice now that she has an open line of communication with her son and his family and start her own business. She’s a goddamned grandmother now and she isn’t going to let Iris’s sad iMovie montage be the last thing she sees. It’s time they take the hotel.
The Countess returns from discovering Valentino’s corpse in the motel room. See? Donovan did something right! Kill the people outside of the hotel, no one haunts. Congratulations Don, you finally did something right. The Countess returns to find Donovan dancing to ‘Hotline Bling’ by Drake. She turns off the record and is ready to kill him. He’s also ready to die, which is just perfect because before The Countess can do it, Arms Dealer Iris and Liz Taylor burst through the door, guns literally blazing. ‘Hotline Bling’ fades up as they empty their clips into the two vampires. And the world cringed.
The only real red flag in this episode was the music. Usually the music is spot on. The music team adapts scores from horror films and manages to make them fit perfectly in the scene. So far this season they’ve been pulling inspiration from the 80’s electronic scores of John Carpenter and even the score for It Follows. This week, for some reason they chose to adapt the theme from Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love? The issue is that it was playing during all of Liz Taylor’s scenes. The theme, and the movie it comes from, is a masterpiece. But it doesn’t fit the tone of Liz Taylor’s scenes. She isn’t looking for love, she’s looking for closure. Then when she gets it she realizes she doesn’t need to die, she can move on with her life without romantic love because she has the love of her family. If they wanted to use such an iconic score it should have been in one of The Countess’s scenes with Valentino.
Then there’s Drake.
If ‘Hotline Bling’ should have been used anywhere in this episode the last place it should be is while Iris and Liz Taylor are pumping lead into The Countess and Donovan (which Iris, did you really mean to be shooting your son?). It’s not a funny scene and that song and its video has created memes all over the internet so there are going to be comedic overtones in whatever scene it plays in. If it had just stopped when Gaga turned off the record everything would be fine. Sadly, ‘Hotline Bling’ and me, we just don’t get along… going places where it don’t belong.
Oh well. I’m just happy Liz Taylor is happy. Her son needs to get out of there quick though, because if The Countess and Donovan really are dead, they’ll be coming back for revenge since Iris and Liz KILLED THEM IN THE HOTEL.
Tears for Liz Taylor
Valentino and Natacha are dead
Iris pays Cat Tax
Liz and Iris taking the hotel with force
John and Alex are actually better as a couple now
Gaga serves kindergarten teacher Brienne of Tarth realness