Friday, October 23, 2015

American Horror Story (Hotel), Season 5, Episode 3: Mommy

Tristan is now going looking for James March, the ghost/reborn/undead serial killer – only now he’s totally a fan since he now really loves killing people. James March, in addition to being bemused by Tristan’s modern language is all about showing off his fun murder palace.

Of course, new owner Will arrives (and James vanishes so I’m going with ghost) and is put out that his plans to massively renovate are interrupted by Tristan, an apparent squatter - though he’s recognised quickly as a model – and both he and Claudia (from Vogue I think) are impressed by how quickly his face healed.

Ghostly James and the Laundress are most displeased with the plans to alter the building

Claudia in true horror story clichés, strips to her underwear before being murdered by the guy sewn into the mattress.

Tristan goes to Will who has found that the plans for the hotel don’t actually match the hotel itself while Tristan does his best to seduce him. He kisses him – and almost stabs him – but the Countess stops him – he leaves, leaving a very confused Will behind

She takes Will to her own apartment where he makes it clear he’s gay and not interested. And how he has lost his inspiration to create (he’s a fashion designer). And she seduces him anyway because let’s not the pesky fact of a character being gay get in the way of some heterosexual sexing

They’re interrupted by Tristan who is all jealous after knowing the Countess for one day and protests “all he has is money.” The countess is basically “yes… and? Your point would be?” See the Countess isn’t a rich as she was thanks to Bernie Madoff. She intends to marry Will and take all his cash.

John has another murder to investigate with Detective Hahn. A mass killing of people from a gossip site, all of them with their tongues mutilated. It’s another 10 commandment killing which is less a homage to Seven and more a blatant copy

He returns to his hotel and runs right into blood-covered-mattress guy.

John takes him to the hospital where he doesn’t look good and hears him both confessing to murder and that Sally is the one who left him in this state – he calls her a “junkie whore”. John returns to the hotel looking for Sally.

He confronts her and she is completely uncaring “why do you care about junkies, we only hurt ourselves” before making a reference to the 10 commandments – which feels like a reference to the serial killer – especially with her addition that not all killing is murder. He arrests her. And she gropes him in the lift. He says he wants to help her as he pulls away – only to go back to kissing her as the lights flicker and some strange mummy monster appears behind them.

When the lights come on mummy and Sally have vanished.

Donavon was kicked out by the Countess last week and now his mother has been house hunting – for them. Donavon is completely against moving in with his mother and says some in vicious terms. Their family drama bubbles over with him saying how much he hates her (and everything she does is to serve the image she has of herself rather than him and who he actually is). She hates his dad, he doesn’t – more drama between them including the terrible decisions she made raising him and her throwing out both “I gave you life” and “I saved your life” which doesn’t mean much to someone who wanted to die.

It’s all dramatically awful. He turns to leave and she says “I don’t know who I am if I’m not your mother.” Which kind of makes his point – and he just viciously tells her to kill herself.

He then goes out and feeds on a homeless person after getting them high – then he picks his next victim, and is tased and dumped in the boot of a car for it.

He wakes up in a fancy mansion with her blood (and drugs) being extracted by another vampire, Ramona Royale, a former actress in old Blaxploitation films – who never got to star in anything but B movies because she is Black – and the Countess seduced her and turned her into a vampire. They were together for a decade – until she fell for a guy and turned him into a vampire. Countess took exception – killing him and all his workers (while crying): there can only be one queen

Now she’s out for revenge – by killing the Countess’s vampire kids with Donovan’s help – except he’s useless to her since he was dumped.

He goes back to the hotel to have a pity part in the bar because he has nowhere to go and is read the riot act for not knowing how lucky he has, having had life much easier than Liz and how, while Iris is indeed a terrible person, she still loves him more than anyone else ever will.

Iris goes to Sally and asks her to kill her with a needle. Sally pushes to ask why – and Iris says she has no reason to live. Before she plunges the needle Sally wants to check if Iris has unfinished business because she doesn’t want to be haunted

Iris is resilient and Sally resorts to a plastic bag. Donovan intervenes all regretful – and turns Iris into a vampire.

On to Doctor Alex monologuing about motherhood and how she never intended to be a mother, about her unhappy childhood and suddenly being converted to the joys of motherhood and how she developed a super-duper attachment to Holden which eclipsed her feelings for husband John and daughter Scarlett. Then how she managed to deal – or not – with Holden disappearing, including her attempted suicide and ongoing depression and pain.

In between all this, she’s treating the kid very sick with measles because his fool parents didn’t vaccinate him. Who has compounded her incompetence by not calling a doctor when the kid’s fever spiked.

And all of this monologue happens in her head while a therapist urges her to share it with her husband and daughter. I’m with Alex – she may need to say this to a therapist but does her young daughter need to hear it? They’re all there because Scarlett still insists she saw her brother alive (or undead) at the hotel – but mentions that he smelled of Lavender which is something Alex mentioned in her monologue.

She joins John at the hotel, telling him to have a drink - she says he isn’t an alcoholic, just has control issues- but also says he needs a drink even before her news. She wants a divorce – she finds life so much better without him, thinks that his presence and them continually grieving is why Scarlett is telling stories and generally paints divorce as rosy while he crumples into tears and begs her to stay while telling her he’s seeing things. Ouch, now what could have been a genuine cry for help now feels like a blatant manipulation.

She drags him up to his room complete with the murder wall and puts him to bed – he now apologises for not keeping the family together, accepting blame for not finding Holden. They kiss passionately before she realises what she’s doing and leaves.

To run into a blood stained Claudia – and vampire Holden.

On Alex’s monologue: I’m torn. On the one hand I’m not a fan of monologues for exposition (recap maybe, but not exposition and feelings) – I think they’re lazy. On the flip side I think that this was well done and nicely slotted in. Then going back to the negative, I also think it was an excuse to force in a lot of detail about this character without actually spending much time developing her or with her on screen beyond her giving well-deserved lectures to anti-vaxxers.

Donovan and Iris’s fight was much more dramatic and natural way of dumping emotional history and past and doing a lot to explain both characters. They are both utter trainwrecks and their ongoing relationship is going to be one of this very real yet utterly awful spectacles.

So, on LGBT representation – we have a bisexual Countess and a bisexual Ramona. Their relationship is far from healthy, ending in tragedy and pain, but lasted for 10 years with obvious affection on both sides – but is now turning into a plot all about vengeance… it could go very bad or not… but since we have a raging bisexual women wanting to kill kids for vengeance? I’m leaning towards the bad

We also have a gay man murdered by Tristan who squeezes in a “no homo” but looks like he’s going to make a habit of using the same tactic. And Will who is gay, makes it clear he is gay and not bisexual – yet is seduced by a woman (who makes a point that he is hard as well). So we have gay conversion vampires. And now we’re getting a storyline based on making a gay man marry a woman? This does not bode well.

We have a more definite indication that Liz is trans rather than a cross dresser – but so far all she’s done is stalk dramatically down the halls and serve drinks.

The show continues to hit addiction themes hard -but other than throw around the word "junky" the main direction seems to be people's unhealthy obsessions rather than drug addiction

Why introduce Claudia if she is going to be so casually killed off and tossed aside, she was barely a supporting character if that? Why bring her in to dispose of her? Hopefully her ghost hanging around means she’ll get more of a role.