Friday, January 8, 2016

American Horror Story, Season 5 (Hotel), Episode 11: Battle Royal

Last week we had Liz and Iris, being the only characters on this show I gave half a damn about, deciding to murder the Countess.

But Donovan gets in the way, which is kind of what he always does, and the Countess is merely badly wounded. Liz is all for hunting her down but Iris is more focused on her dying son whose dying wish is not to die in the hotel and become one of its many over dramatic dysfunctional ghosts. They grant that wish and drag him out to die on the pavement before burning his body so Iris can roll around in the ash

Though that is every bit as disgusting as it sounds, Iris does an excellent job of selling it as tragic.

The Countess was saved by Sally who feeds her her own little vampire kids. I guess this is sad but compared to Iris’s tragedy it doesn’t even touch the sides. Especially since her sadness is interspaced with Sally’s awful backstory of heroin, threesomes and human centipedes because we really needed that.

Anyway, Sally has saved the countess because she wants her to go out, find John and bring him back so he can be murdered and become her eternal ghostly companion. As ever, this show doesn’t even try to be subtle and is sure to really beat us over the head repeatedly with the fact Sally has abandonment issues

Really? You think?

Iris and Liz have to turn to Plan B which means releasing neglected plot point Ramona and throwing her at the Countess. Neglected Plot Point Ramona is willing to get over the issues she has with Iris and Liz and decides that she’ll get on board with the whole Countess killing plot. But first she needs some blood to recharge

Enter enraging cameo from Queenie. Yes, that Queenie. Because the terrible storylines of Coven wasn’t problematic enough, clearly it’s necessary to bring her back, have her appear for 5 minutes before being brutally murdered (because her human-voodoo power doesn’t work on ghosts and James March intervenes). Seriously I thought Ramona was underused, but this is ridiculous. To bring her back to murder her so quickly! It’s an appalling abuse of an already much abused character.

It’s almost impressive that they managed to make this terrible portrayal even worse.

James is helping them bring down the Countess because he is also obsessing over her. Which is kind of the obsessive point of this entire series which has been driven home without even a hint of subtlety – obsession. Sally for John. The Countess for her vampire actor. Donovan and Ramona for the Countess. Iris for Donovan. Liz for Finn. This is the whole heavy handed point of the show.

That obsession also means that Ramona can’t actually kill the Countess she’s still obsessed. The countess bargains, offers the hotel and finally seduces Ramona into sparing her. Note the fade to black when we manged explicit threesomes with overdoses and sewing before, I am sadly unsurprised.

Meanwhile John, trying to play vampire happy families, and it all goes wrong because his family is captured and used as leverage for James March to get his last murder to complete the 10 commandment murders. Now I, and probably everyone else, thought that this would involve John killing himself since the last piece is “Thou Shalt not Kill”, and Sally is desperate to have John murdered and join her for ghostly eternity.

However, in a switch John, instead, kills the Countess – thereby getting James his bride for all eternity. Even as a ghost she doesn’t seem to like him very much – or at all, so I don’t see this working out

It does, however, break Hazel who finally rants about how she gave him up to the police because she wanted to be with him forever. This confession, unsurprisingly, doesn’t convinced him to declare his eternal love for her and he banishes her. Hazel responds with surprising dignity and I’d love to hope that James severely regrets this when he realises just how much he relies on Hazel to clean all the things