Friday, November 13, 2015

American Horror Story, Season 5 (Hotel), Episode 6: Room 33

Los Angeles, 1962 and the Countess – under a different name – approaches THE MURDER HOUSE. Yes the house from season 1

I suppose if I regarded the first season nostalgically rather than treating the memories of it as proof that I haven’t drunk enough booze to kill off those brain cells, I’d be happy about this.

As we know from season 1, this house was run by a doctor who practiced back alley abortions. “Mrs. Johnson” claims to be 3 weeks pregnant while obviously much much further along. They operate on her and remove… a ravenous demon foetus which kills his nurse. This doesn’t put off the doctor who is happy to deliver the boy (and say congratulations and hand it over to the mother – I think he rather forgot the purpose of an abortion somewhere along the way.)

In the present little vampire Holden enjoys playing mind games with his dad Detective John and show him to the glass cousins. Where he sees Alex.

Cut to Liz and Tristan having sex. Afterwards Liz has also got him books – appreciating Tristan for more than being beautiful and realising he can appreciate books. Tristan asks Liz if she loves him – and Liz says she doesn’t now while Tristan says he’s certain. They’re very very romantic together. Finn points out he’s not gay and Liz makes it clear he’s not – and nor is she: she’s a straight woman. But Liz has the guilts over the Countess.

Who is busy having sex with Will – an actual gay man who is not sexually attracted to women. So she invites Tristan to come join. She wants Tristan to help “fluff” him and isn’t taking no for an answer.

Alex has dealt with her soon-to-be-ex husband finding her playing Goth Snow White by drugging him and appealing to Liz for help. Liz agrees despite not being a big fan of Alex – and they dispose of the coffins so Alex can pretend it was another of John’s many many dreams/visions/hallucinations. He insists on go checking. Naturally he finds nothing.

This requires more random – Countess saying goodbye to her baby in a crib in room 33. A baby we don’t see and, frankly, the mystery better be that it’s NOT the evil demon foetus from the opening because what is the point of this mystery? Anyway she’s off to France

And now Romona and Donovan visit (hey remember their plan to seek vengeance against the Countess because this show needs 8 gajillion storlines?). They’re there to kill the kiddies.Donovan opts out because either he’s not into kiddie/slaying or over Countess. This leaves Iris and Romona to go kill some vampire kids who have fortuitously been moved with the coffins. Iris is also very very ruthless and plans to hunt down the kids – as a mercy killings. While Ramona heads to room 33.

To hunt down the baby – Bartholomew who moves like a blur.

The baby gets out after slicing Ramona’s face and gets lost somewhere in the building. Liz rather classily tells Ramona how silly she was. She also wants Ramona to back off now Liz has her true love Tristan and how she’s totally sure the Countess will understand. Ramona realises the obvious – Liz is playing with fire.

Meanwhile Donovan provides some exposition – the hotel creates ghosts and lots of people, including the annoying hipster kids and the Swedish tourists – are all haunting the place. He tells the story of one suicide who managed to stop reliving her death by “finding her purpose” and apparently killing/terrorising guests. Donovan also mopes about the Countess.

The ghost Swedish tourists decide to seduce and murder random hotel guests to try and break their cycle and find their purpose. Alex happens to be passing and tells them that the murder totally didn’t work – they need to break minds instead… and she promptly directs them at John

John is busy pushing into crime scenes despite being fired to find another 10 commandment murder only to be given his marching orders by his former Partner Detective Andy Hahn,

He goes to the hotel to drink and mope and be looked after by Liz who tries, unsuccessfully to talk some sense into him before Agnetha and Vendela, the ghost tourists arrive. Another sex scene follows with an ocean of blood from somewhere, possibly the last victim – and John goes running to Liz, naked and covered in blood. “Looks like that breakdown is going well.”

John takes Liz back to his room where Hazel chides him about the blood stained sheets and Agnetha and Vendela leave, happy to have found their purpose. Just to finish off John’s descent, James appears – and then disappears.

John finally decides to leave the hotel and go home to his daughter Scarlett – and how Alex has vanished for 2 days. Scarlet is not a happy kid for good reason.

While John focuses on his daughter we get to see that Bartholomew the murdering foetus has stowed away in John’s luggage because why not? John is disturbed by blood stained luggage and, rightly (but nonsensicaly) suspects a stowaway. Because something tiny hiding in his luggage makes way more sense than, for example, his shirt being stained

John’s attempt to shoot Bartolomew causes Scarlett to freak out even more - this kid is going to need all the therapy in the world.

Alex and Andy discuss his condition and John is left in Alex’s hands – which doesn’t work as John knows she is staying at the Hotel. She also finds Bartholomew in the bushes.

The Countess returns from Paris and Liz tells the Countess she has fallen in love. The Countess says no, she doesn’t share – after she’s done with Tristan, maybe. Liz points out that waiting is much easier for the Countess than Liz. They arrange to speak to Tristan together – to talk about betrayal. Tristan rants because he has perfectly seen what the Countess does – she finds people, gets them to love her, makes them immortal – then ditches them knowing they’re pining after her

Hey, Tristan figured it out way faster than the others.

They beg the Countess – and she agrees to let Liz have Tristan. Then kills him. “He’s yours, bury him.”

Oh, Countess, you’re racking up a few too many enemies there.

She goes to Room 33 and finds Alex there and is moved that Alex saved little baby Bartholomew.

Of many things wrong with this show, the way Liz responds to absolutely everything with class is stellar

And her romance with Tristan – despite the tragic ending and other issues, was actually surprisingly good. There was genuine respect and love – Them both willing to face down the countess, the giving of books, the genuine declaration of love. As well as the assertion that Liz is a straight woman (clearly confirming she is a trans woman) and that them being together does not mean Tristan is gay

There were annoying elements – jokes made at Liz’s expense (“has more balls”) and that crack about her being a mother and father

Of course, there is an ongoing major problem with trans women being depicted on screen by cis male actors – these roles need to be played by trans women not cis men.

I do not like the Countess and Will together – what is with this storyline’s obsession with trying to get a gay man to sleep with a woman? And yet again we have more damn rape on this show – with Finn being forced to have sex with Will for the countess’s amusement.

The storyline has that standard problem with American Horror story, too much shit going on. The Countess feeding on heartbreak and her vampiric creations gathering together to bring her down? That’s a story. Serial killer hotel owner and their ghosties? That’s a story. The 10 commandements killer and John investigating? That’s a story. All three are not needed or need to be made more coherent. Alex, in particular, feels so very out of place – going from normal human doctor to fully immersed with serial killer ghosts and vampire babies and trying to break John within a week

Though I don’t want a fourth story, the vampire-kid apocalypse is, presumably, still happening.