Everything’s coming up Gaga on ‘American Horror Story’ … for now

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

American Horror Story Just Revealed How Sarah Paulson Connects Season 1 to Season 5 in a Big Way.

Mere hours after The Countess’ fraudulent nuptials she gleefully watched her new husband played by Finn Wittrock get eaten alive by Ramona Royale [Angela Bassett]. Lady Gaga’s stunning sucker of blood took center stage in this week’s episode of American Horror Story: Hotel, after warming the bench in last week’s “Ten Commandments Killer” reveal — and the results are about as bloody brilliant as vampirically possible for the “Paparazzi” singer turned actress. The Countess with the help of James March made an impenetrable fortress to conceal her crimes, but scorned Ramona was planning to ‘take down’ The Countess. Countess Elizabeth reveals in a show-opening monologue that her heart is literally Grinch-sized — pre-happy Whoville ending — thanks to decades of eternal existence, which means that every bit of emotion contained within her heart carries more meaning. “It means everything,” she stresses. There’s the Countess (Lady Gaga) scheming to get Will Drake’s (Cheyenne Jackson) money for the hotel; Donovan (Matt Bomer), Iris (Kathy Bates) and Ramona (Angela Bassett) teaming up for revenge against the Countess; John Lowe’s (Wes Bentley) mental decline upon finding out he’s the 10 Commandments Killer; and oh, yeah, remember those murdering vampire children?

Ordering a contractor to seal up The Cortez’s once-secret wing—not just seal it up, but outfit it with a high-security entrance after installing a dozen cameras for remote observation—by tomorrow, she brushes off his objections. “Details don’t interest me, boo. On a visit to her home Donovan called his relationship with The Countess ‘an addiction’ that he could ‘never satiate’ so they collaborated in a revenge plot. And everything the Countess does in this episode is in service of her Everything — in this case, Rudolph Valentino, the second Finn Wittrock role of the season and Elizabeth’s original lover. Results are the only thing that matter.” A lot of the details in “She Wants Revenge” seem beside the point, too little too late, and uncomfortably low on results.

The Countess is now a century old, and she’s feeling pensive ahead of her wedding to Will, which she’s only doing to get his riches after he dies. With the departure of Jessica Lange, Paulson has become American Horror Story’s most regular leading lady, but back in Season 1 her part was relatively tiny. She played Billie Dean Howard, alleged psychic and close friend to Lange’s Constance Langdon, and according to Entertainment Weekly, Billie Dean is coming back. Marrying hotelier Will Drake (Cheyenne Jackson) after weeks and weeks of seduction, only to sentence him to death within the Hotel Cortez in order to secure all his money and power for herself. For the moment, Elizabeth has everything she could possibly want, from deeply loyal servants to an equally deep bench of sexually powered lovers at her disposal, not the least of whom is the great love of her life.

It’s nice to see Ramona Royale fleshed out a little beyond a revenge-flick archetype, but this episode piles more clichés onto the clichés already invoked. Her voiceover contrasts with where she ends up by the end of the episode: sitting in bed, drinking blood, and watching Ramona Royale kill the Countess’ new husband. No, on third thought, Ramona wants vengeance because The Countess is—um, somehow— to blame for Ramona’s sorrow over infecting her father, then suffering through 20 more years of his unaging, unending dementia. Even Elizabeth’s lovers are likely to turn on her; who’s to say Rudy doesn’t have a new perspective on his former lover, having spent decades and decades trapped behind a wall? Reprising characters is something that creator Ryan Murphy has played with a little bit in seasons past, but as the show goes on, the threads between the seasons seem to grow even more tangled.

Just as the deliciously unhinged Miss Evers predicted, the Countess planned on killing him all along — but after Will insults the Countess’ tiny little alien baby, she couldn’t wait any longer. Making her father immortal to save him from Alzheimer’s disease is so obviously shortsighted, only an actor of Bassett’s caliber could make it relatable instead of infuriating. Donovan, too, could find himself in league with Ramona again, now that he’s confirmed The Countess’ tryst with the Tristan Duffy lookalike with his own two eyes. The grief and pain on her face as she soothes him, cleans the blood from his chin, and gravely, firmly, lovingly pulls him under the water almost washes away how foolish the plan was.

While The Countess stands tall as the obvious victor of the hour, there’s more than enough praise to wash over the other American Horror Story players. Consider Bassett’s breathtaking turn as Ramona, chewing through her backstory of grief and loneliness, watching her father’s dementia take hold of him over the course of decades. Ironically liberated by the blood virus, she explains that she’s tired of being an enabler, and the victims of her new mindset are a couple of pornstars who go to the hotel for a shot. Consider also Bates as an actualized Iris, filled with renewed confidence as a self-described Dirty Harriet, punishing bad hotel patrons who belong at “the douche bag convention” next door rather than the Cortez itself. She’s no longer the broken mom waiting for her long-lost son to come home; now she’s the woman who will do what’s necessary to save her son from himself.

She’s always manipulating other people into doing the deed for her, whether it’s Donovan luring in their prey, Miss Evers cleaning up the mess, or her little coterie of toe-headed children who provide her with blood. Her end game seems to be securing her future with Valentino, who is living in a crappy motel somewhere in the valley, waiting for the coast to clear at the Cortez. She wants to hole up with him and avoid modern life, which makes sense for her totally-over-it character, but it certainly doesn’t mesh with her wardrobe choices. When she spurns him, March thinks up another plan, showing Will Drake the secret son—the secret abomination—The Countess keeps closeted in one of The Cortez’s rooms. And there’s James March (Evan Peters), full-stop, sublimely sinister in every one of his scenes. (How about the fact that he stumbled to the ground after losing grip of his cane?

When he sits at the bar, asking Drake (who stands behind it) for an armagnac, he casts the bridegroom as the functionary he is: a bankroll, a blood bank, and now a bartender. Ramona Royale’s interlude with her sick mother and father is essentially a distraction from everything else, an attempt to make us feel sorry for her because she had to drown her father, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. (Are we supposed to noticed that he died the same way Whitney Houston did, in a bathtub on too much Xanax?) Then, Ramona wakes from her stupor thanks to Hulu and people watching her movies for free. She demands Liz Taylor order flowers for her wedding, even taunts her with the “genuine hope that you someday may find true love.” The Countess knows how cutting those words are—or, if she doesn’t, that disregard cuts deeper still. When Donovan double-crosses Ramona and his mother, Iris pleads with him to see reason. “The three of us together, it’s the only way we’ll have a chance to destroy her.” But there’s a different trio who could destroy The Countess.

It’s lit and shot better than porn, so it does have that going for it, but otherwise, it’s still an elaborate fantasy that invites the less fortunate to feel better about themselves for a short period of time. Urging Will Drake to call off the wedding to “that poisonous leech of a woman,” she warns him, “No one survives her.” Miss Evers didn’t survive The Countess, but she’s been watching her for nearly a century. I completely forgive the entire stupid porn storyline, though, because it also gives us a shirtless male porn star who appears throughout the episode.

Will Drake marries Gaga, Matt Bomer plays a straight dude, and now I’m thinking about spending some gentleman’s time with a porn movie starring the hottest man I’ve ever seen and a real, actual, biological woman. Miss Evers, Liz Taylor, and Iris know The Countess as well as anyone could, and they know the simplest reason for revenge: love snatched away by someone who takes a lover or a life as lightly as a paying customer soils a pillowcase or demands another drink. John Lowe, because why would the show bother sustaining the story of the man it just revealed to be a notorious serial killer beset with memory lapses?

She’s distracted Natasha by giving her a credit card and allowing her to run free through Beverly Hills, something that must be liberating for someone who has been locked in a hotel for decades. It seems like there’s some sort of mutated version of the measles, combined with the vampire virus, that’s extremely virulent and will infect anyone nearby. In a small ceremony in the hotel lobby, the Countess enters wedded bliss with Will, despite Liz’s protests to stop the wedding “because she’s a bitch.” But all is far from well in paradise.

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