American Horror Story - Hotel: Season 5, Episode 9 - "She Wants Revenge"

Leyla Hamedi

Completely foregoing the Detective John Lowe story really allows the entertaining and interesting plot lines to shine in this episode.

American Horror Story: Hotel

Airtime: Wednesdays, 10pm
Cast: Lady Gaga, Kathy Bates, Wes Bentley, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Chloe Sevigny, Denis O'Hare
Subtitle: Season 5, Episode 9 - "She Wants Revenge"
Network: FX
Air date: 2015-12-09

Mama, we're all crazy now.

"How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is, to have a thankless child." King Lear may have been talking figuratively about his ungrateful daughter, but the quote takes a bittersweet poignancy when applied to vampires and their bite-y ingrate spawn. All the mothers have had it, from Alex Lowe (Chloe Sevigny) to Iris (Kathy Bates) to the Countess (Lady Gaga). Even Ramona Royale (Angela Bassett) wants what's hers, and these demon goddesses represent all the mothers that are finally answering back that age-old whine, "I didn't ask to be born".

Except... when you're a mother and your mother has had enough of you, too. That's when it gets a little complicated.

The Countess has had it with her little toys revolting against her, so she decides to use her dearly departed but cheerily haunting husband James Patrick March's (Evan Peters) secret in-between-the-walls lair as a permanent dollhouse. She makes up with her old flame Donovan (Matt Bomer) and enlists his help. Meanwhile, Bomer's biological mother Iris has decided to be the strong, independent woman who needs no heartbeat to be what she always knew she could be. Her first foray into reasserting that feminine mystique; getting rid of the cheap porno actors and beautifully named director, Stormcock, filthy-ing up her hotel.

Donovan returns to Ramona to proclaim the Countess took him back, so they have the perfect opportunity to get her. She doesn't trust him but he doesn't trust her either. Why did it take 20 years for this need for revenge to boil over? Ramona recounts how she returned home to nurse her broken heart and ended up turning her father into a vampire. He was suffering from Alzheimer's and thought the vamp virus would cure him, but it only halted the disease's advancement. She was stuck having to hunt and take care of him until she had to let him go. When she freed him, she freed herself.

Which is all very sweet and nice, except Donovan’s playing the turncoat and helping the Countess trap Ramona in Rudolph Valentino's (Finn Wittrock) old prison in the bowels of the hotel. Iris is distraught that the she-bitch has her claws in her son again and warns him that she's still using him. He discovers this to be true when he follows her and finds the love nest she made with Rudy and his wife, Natacha (Alexandra Daddario).

Everything is coming up Millhouse for the Countess; she marries millionaire Will Drake (Cheyenne Jackson) and neatly traps him with Ramona in her dungeon when he insults her little Quasimodo Bartholomew. Plus, she plans an unfortunate accident for Natacha so she and Rudy can be forever together. The future doesn't look so bright for Donovan. But with all her minions either actively revolting or silently plotting, it's still anyone's guess who will come out on top. It bears mentioning, though, on top is the Countess' favorite position.

Not a mother to be ignored, Dr. Alex also finally has to deal with the creative liberties she took with her Hippocratic Oath. The army of undead children are committing bloodthirsty crimes that aren't going unnoticed by the police. She tells the children she's the one who made them, and that they need to come to the hotel where they'll be taken care of. That's a tall order, because why should they listen to their virus blood mother when their first order of business was to kill all the actual blood parents? It's a battle royale between children and parents (and technically, grandparents) and since age over beauty really doesn't apply, it's a pretty good cliffhanger as we wait to see who gets the ultimate revenge.


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