In the American Horror Story Hotel Episode, “Devil’s Night” the Cortez summons some of the most infamous serial killers, beginning with Richard Ramirez (the night stalker) checking into the dangerous location on Halloween night. He enters a room while a couple sleeps and brutally kills one, and the other is sent screaming into the hallways where she is caught by Mr March – who as it turns out, has planned these arrivals. A flashback sequence takes us to 1925 with Ms Evers dropping off her young son Albert in his Halloween costume, but he is kidnapped right under her nose. When the killer was found, she’s informed his Halloween costume was all that remained. We return to the present wit Ms Evers recalling and sharing her loss that annually causes a Halloween based trauma. John and the housekeeper seemingly bond over their collective guilt and losses, with her calling them “kindred spirits”. Ms Evers changes her tune abruptly and says that tonight is an important night that needs preparation or Mr March will be displeased…
After last week’s huge reveal for Alex, she has taken her son Holden home without sharing her unusual discovery, and tries to make sense of how he could still be in the shape he is. Holden tells his mother he’s thirsty (uh-oh) and when she returns, he’s feeding from the family dog. Not cool Holden, children can be too much to handle – especially vampire children. He asks for his “other mommy” and Alex returns with him to the Cortez for answers. Holden leads her to the room with their glass coffins, and enters as if the scenario was completely normal. The Countess appears out of the blue and informs Alex that she has answers she’s (definitely)been seeking. Sometime later the Countess sits down with Alex and tells her that both her and Holden could feel his mother’s love radiating non-stop, and Alex angrily states that she had stole their son from them. The countess disagrees and says she “saved” him, something common for the children she collects. She then explains the vampiric virus and offers Alex the same gift she’s given Holden – as long as she remains loyal to her. Alex pulls a gun and threatens to tell police, but Tristan appears to provide a sucker-punch that sends Alex to the floor. The countess confidently lets her depart, and explains to Tristan that she wouldn’t risk losing her child again.
John wanders to the bar again, (for a ginger ale) and decides to say f*** it, ordering alcoholic beverages after the past few days/weeks. Aileen Wuornos finds herself at the Cortez bar, and Lily Rabe portrays the killer with one of most memorable performances yet! John assumes it’s a Halloween costume (Wuornos died in ’02) and begins to learn more about the sociopaths state of mind. Seriously people… Lily Rabe is such a talented actress she never ceases to amaze me, and Rabe captures a personality unlike any of her previous roles. At one point during the conversation, she knocks John out and when he wakes up – he has been tied up and prepared to be tortured. She tells him welcome to “Devils night” and John swiftly headbutts the woman, breaking free from the chair. A scuffle ensues and John comes out on top proceeding to handcuff her to the bathroom sink. He realizes she is actually Aileen by finding an ID and confronts Liz Taylor for answers. Hardly any major answers are actually offered – but as it turns out, John has received a handwritten invitation from Mr March himself to join the dinner party of evil. Speculation time – what’s the connection with John and these attendees? Is there something more to his character that we may not have realized initially? Is he the commandments killer perhaps? So many questions!
John prepares for the event, to discover the gathering of some of the most publicized killers in American history. When the guests all arrive, Mr March insists that they ask sit where their name cards are selected and we are introduced to each individual. John Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer , Richard Ramirez, and the Zodiac killer all are included – and John points out the fact that they are all dead (or unknown like Zodiac). John feels that he’s the punchline to a Halloween joke, but as tensions surface he clearly becomes concerned by his surroundings. Mr March is shown to be very influential to these different murderers having assisted or taught each one and moments later, John is handcuffed to the table before he has an opportunity to make a move. Richard puts a record on and some begin to dance, while Dahmer prepares a human meal at the table to appease his disgusting cravings. The atmosphere of the room feels eerie, dangerous, and unsettling, with each different psychopath having time to show their frightening attributes – one dinner party I have no desire to attend!
With it being Halloween (we’ve established that in season 1 spirits can roam that one day a year) Sally leaves the Cortez and finds a business man she begins to pick up on. The two flirt, but he ends up asking for whatever she’s “selling” and drugs/prostitution takes away from her overall quest for love – poor Sally. In the Cortez, the spirits of serial killers that wandered to the Cortez continue to enjoy their sadistic party, and Sally brings the now drugged up business man as their dessert. Gacy (now in his trademark clown garb) and the others begin to repeatedly stab him with John screaming and pleading for them to stop. The next scene shows John awaken in the room with Sally finding him in tears. She claims he must have been drinking and that nothing he referred to was legitimate, taking him back to his own room while we are shown the dinner party has resumed. The connection between Sally and the drill-bit/commandments killer along with her interest in John is becoming more suspicious as the season progresses.
An emotional countess has persuaded Alex to join their kind, and prompts her to succumb to the transition. She uses her son as a bargaining chip by saying they’ll spend eternity together. Alex agrees and drinks from the Countess while she weeps over the emotional mother. Make that another vampire courtesy of the Countess! This scene is very different from her relationship with others, and I’m wondering if she bears any resemblance to Alex in her own past possibly? All of the offspring additions recently are certain to spark rivalry and tensions throughout the Cortez! Next week AHS continues, and we will learn more about what’s to come from the hotel of malicious energy and death at every turn!
Overall Grade: This week’s episode continued to connect with season one mythology which was definitely enjoyable, and the depiction of real-life serial killers was a nice twist inclusion to AHS Hotel. Episode 4, “Devil’s Night” receives a ‘B+‘
Aedan’s Final Thoughts:
-Lily Rabe returns in an impressive performance for a brief appearance; we always need more Lily Rabe!
-The evil dinner party was the strongest part of this week’s episode, and the extremely different personas gathered in one room makes a fascinatingly creepy dynamic to view.
-Alex continues to get deeper into the Cortez which will surely bring more issues to the Lowe family.