Recap: AHS Hotel - Be Our Guest

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@lcfremont recaps...


After what’s been a pretty stellar season, we have finally reached the AHS Hotel season finale. After the death of Donovan, the banishment of Miss Evers, the completion of the Ten Commandments killings and the Countess becoming a permanent guest at the hotel, what more could there possibly be? Liz Taylor and Iris, of course. Everyone’s favorite fierce, middle aged divas have taken over the Hotel Cortez with dreams of getting a four star review on one of those internet travel sites. As Liz tells us at the beginning of the episode, “It was supposed to be the perfect ending” In a lot of ways, it will be, but it wouldn’t be a Ryan Murphy jam without the addition of something completely unnecessary.

The resident ghosts want nothing to do with the new image of the hotel and are taking glee in killing anyone who checks in. Liz and Iris have put far too much time, effort and money into making the Hotel Cortez a beautiful place for people to find refuge, so they hold a meeting. This is kind of fun because we get to see everyone from the handsome lumberjack to Marcie one last time. Sally and Will Drake have some seriously bad attitudes and it isn’t until Mr. March shows up and explains that they will all stop killing the guests: on August 23rd, 2026, the Hotel Cortez will become a historic landmark and it can never be torn down. It is in everyone’s interest to protect the hotel because where will they go if they aren’t trapped in the hotel? Will they be forced to move on and pay for their sins? Shudder to think.

Iris comes up with an especially clever plan that will make Sally happy and distract her from killing: she introduces her to the world wide web. Via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, Sally is able to connect with the outside world and her particular brand of negativity is a hit. She now feels a part of something and is happy to comply with the new no killing rule.

Meanwhile, Liz Taylor cooks up a scheme to rescue the Will Drake brand and she takes over his company like the fashion forward queen that she is. Building on the mystery of the now reclusive Will Drake, they hold runway shows only at the hotel where the ghosts are used as models because no photos or video are allowed. Really, this is quite a clever plan and the financial future of the hotel is now secured. Well done Liz, well done. It all felt a bit too ham fisted for this show, but it was fun to see everyone have a hand in saving the hotel and securing it’s future. Despite all of the nasty behavior, it’s nice to see this group of people get a happy ending.

I think we can all agree that we wished for a happy ending for Liz Taylor. Enter Billie Dean Howard, the psychic from Murder House. It’s been fun having Murder House make so many appearances and it was nice to see Ms. Paulson have non atrocious hair this season. Iris brought Billie to the hotel in hopes of reuniting her with Tristan, but Tristan gives a hard NO when he’s contacted. Though Tristan plays hard to get, there is another ghost present and he is loving his blueberry pancakes. Yes, Donovan is here and he’s living an afterlife full of Saturday mornings complete with Iris’s blueberry pancakes. This was very touching, especially after the tumultuous relationship Iris and Donovan had in life.
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Liz may not have been able to speak with Tristan, but she did repair her relationship with her son, bond with her daughter-in-law and get to be present for the birth of her grandchild. If you weren’t having the feels after this, perhaps Liz’s revelation that she has cancer made you a little weepy? Liz chooses to exit life on her own terms and asks her friends to kill her so she can be reborn and live in the hotel forever. Just when you thought it couldn’t get more emotional, the Countess walks in, declares that Liz was always her fondest creation and she wanted to be there to help Liz transition. Listen, if you weren’t having serious feels by this point, just turn around and leave the room now. Just leave and don’t back come back. After I thought I had completed my Old Yeller level of crying, Tristan shows up and tells Liz that he didn’t want to speak to her through Billie because, ”Darling, you had more living to do. I couldn’t get in the way of that.” Liz Taylor was the heart and soul of this season and she absolutely deserved her happy ending.

Well, TV Babies, I don’t know about you, but this was a perfect ending to a wonderfully creepy, macabre and emotional season. Oh, wait. We’re not done yet. We still need to add another ten minutes of unnecessary crassness to bring down the mood.

Flash forward to October 30, 2022 (I kind of hate flash forwards). It’s Devil’s Night and the Hotel Cortez is now a hot spot for Billie Dean’s television show. She really, really wants to speak with the infamous Ten Commandments Killer and John Lowe is going to finally fulfill that wish. Initially, this is useful because it allows for learning what became of John, Alex, Scarlett and Holden. Alex and Holden shall live in the hotel while Scarlett goes away to school and grows up to be a lovely, well adjusted young lady. One evening while John is out getting dinner for his family, he is finally taken down by the police. Unfortunately, he’s killed outside of the hotel and he now only see’s his family on Devil’s Night when he returns for the annual gathering of serial killers. After sharing this story with Billie, John takes her to Mr. March’s annual get together and this is where the finale shits the bed.

All of the wonderfully emotional moments that we had previously experienced are now sullied by a completely unnecessary and distasteful scene. The Devil’s Night dinner wore out it’s welcome the first time around and it didn’t need to be included in the finale. Ramona could have just threatened Billie without the help of the dead serial killers. Basically, the finale could have been an episode devoted to tying up all of the loose ends and finding happy endings for everyone. Which it did, but why they felt compelled to insert a crass scene celebrating mass murderers once again is beyond me. It completely killed the mood and served as a blunt reminder that they just can’t seem to be happy with subtleness on this show. Oh well, at least I got to see Mr. Bentley again.

Overall, AHS Hotel has been a fun ride. Really, the best thing about American Horror Story is it’s anthology format. Each season is a new gift to be opened. Sometimes you get that My Little Pony you were hoping for and sometimes you get a pair of socks. For me, Hotel was a Cenobite My Little Pony. (Where do I find one of these, by the way?) Murder House is still my Queen Bee, but Hotel may have just kicked Coven off of it’s second place perch. Sure, the rape scene was completely, totally unnecessary, the Devil’s Night dinner was met with very mixed reactions and the vampire children were another unnecessary, throw away storyline, but the characters this season were all so wonderfully flawed that it was impossible not to invest in them and become attached to the really special ones. Denis O’Hare has, once again, proven that he is the most underrated character actor on television, Kathy Bates is the BOSS of anything she does, Angela Bassett is, basically, the baddest bitch of them all, Evan Peters has an uncanny knack of making an, otherwise unsavoury character, not just likable, but straight up charming, Matt Bomer is so much more than just a pretty face, Wes Bentley is diligently working his way back to this Ricky Fitts days of glory and Lady Gaga is the leader of them all. No matter what your feelings towards her were before this, you have to give the woman credit for filling Jessica Lange’s shoes. For better or worse, Ryan Murphy has managed to assemble an enviable group of actors who love working for him and he always manages to create characters for them that really allow their individual talents to shine. Color me anxiously awaiting the next season of American Horror Story. I just hope it’s not another Freakshow.

How did you feel about the season finale and this season, overall? Please, reach out to me on Twitter and let me know.

Sidenotes:

Best line of the episode goes to James March. “I’m not familiar with your military friend and his fondness for poultry.”

The gentleman that meets the Countess at the end of the episode is handsome, but he’s no Matt Bomer.

Lisa Fremont

Twitter: @lcfremont

Article first published at HorrorHoneys.com

Images: IMDb & Variety.com

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