SHOCK recaps last night’s chilling episode of AMERICAN HORROR STORY: HOTEL.
Remodeling has begun on the Hotel Cortez. The construction guys are alarmed that they found a steel wall hiding something that wasnt on any blueprints. Will doesnt care and instructs them to tear into it. Behind it the construction workers find a long-abandoned hallway that smells like death. Something moves in the background. In a second, the men are set upon by two severely malnourished vampires. Who are these vampires? How did they get there?
To find out, we must go back to 1925. The Countess was a movie extra, desperate to leave her mark on the world by becoming a star. She is flattered when the films star, Rudolph Valentino, invited her back to his house that night. He is married, but the rumor mill claims he is in the middle of a divorce. The Countess arrives at his home, completely in awe of Valentino. Before they dine, they dance a seductive tango when Valentinos wife, Natacha Rambova, comes down the stairs. They both calm the Countess, promising that their divorce was at the behest of the studio. The Countess is taken with both of them. The tango continues with all three, and before long they end up in bed together.
A few months later, the Countess attends the swanky opening party of the Hotel Cortez with an actress friend of hers. She has been carrying on with the Valentinos in private, and her friend is dying to know who her new beau is. Mr. March makes a toast to his new hotel, and catches the Countess eye. A man bursts in with a newspaper, screaming that Valentino is dead, and the Countess runs from the room. Her world is falling apart, as she was truly in love with both Rudolph and Natacha, and she prepares to fling herself out the window. Before she can, March grabs her from behind and promises never to let go.
Shortly thereafter, the Countess marries March in a simple ceremony in the hotel lobby. She only married him because she needed to be taken care of, but she admits she was attracted to his dark side. They have rough, choking sex, and one night she walks in on him carving up a hobo. Rather than be horrified, she is turned on. The Countess encourages him to kill wealthier victims, so that she may get their jewels – then they both win. And one more thing: next time, she wants to watch.
Months go by. The Countess shows up to Valentinos crypt every day, dressed in black veils, to deliver a single red rose. (A mysterious woman in black used to do the same at the real Valentinos crypt.) This time, Natacha is there to greet her. The Countess is offended that she hasnt heard from her former lover since Valentinos death, but she has a bigger surprise: Valentino isnt really dead. Rudolph steps out from the shadows to reveal himself to the shocked Countess, and tell his tale.
While touring the country to promote his final film, The Son of the Sheik, he noticed a strange man eyeballing him. He was not part of the press, and he never said a word to Valentino; he just watched him from afar. Valentino began to think he was losing his mind. But the man finally revealed himself to Valentino. This was German director F.W. Murnau. While researching his masterpiece, Nosferatu, he went to the Carpathian mountains where he discovered the blood disorder – in the middle of an insane orgy, naturally. Murnau had been watching Valentino and wanted to bestow this gift of immortality to him. Valentino accepts. When he returned returned home, his studio reported he was ill, bringing Natacha to his bedside. He bestowed upon her the gift and faked his own death. Buried in his tomb is his stunt double. Now, Valentino and Natacha want to give the Countess this gift and travel the world together. She agrees.
But unfortunately, March was watching from afar.
On the day that Rudolph and Natacha were to meet the Countess at the train station, March showed up at their house with a couple of goons, who beat the pair unconscious. When they wake, they find they are in a room at the Hotel Cortez. The window has been bricked up. Out in the hallway, they discover every other room in the hall has been bricked up. And the end of the hall? Hidden behind a thick sheet of metal, behind more bricks and drywall. March has sealed the vampires in the hotel.
So it was Rudolph and Natacha who attacked the construction workers. They then attack a real estate agent, but they are still hungry and weak. Across the hall are three big Thunder From Down Under performers. After drinking them all down, they finally feel sated. Dressed in sleek new clothes, with a healthy glow, they stroll out the front door of the hotel, with Iris watching them curiously.
The Countess and March have an arrangement: monthly dinner dates. This solution seems to be a happy compromise between the two – but the Countess doesnt know about her sire. She requested their dinner a week early because she has an announcement: she and Will are getting married. He fakes support and enthusiasm, but asks that when she murder him, to do it off property. How uncomfortable would it be if they kept running in to each other for all eternity? She suggests that she might not kill this one, and tells him that she never loved him, which she has never kept secret. This enrages March and he takes great pleasure in telling her what happened to her first love.
Elsewhere, John has checked himself into the West Los Angeles Health Center, a public psych ward. Alex wants to put him into a nicer, private hospital, but John is fine here. It turns out that he is fine here because this is all a ruse. He had gone back to the department to do some more work on the Ten Commandment Killer. John tried to find out from his partner who the suspect was they had in custody. When Hahn doesnt answer, John tries to beat the information out of him. In the melee, he sees West Los Angeles Health Center in one of the files.
Now that he is here, he knocks out the single security guard in charge of the criminal unit and goes to room 153. Using stolen keys, he opens the door to find a young girl standing there, motionless. She introduces herself as Wren, and she and John seem to be having two separate conversations. She doesnt want to feed anymore, and John, thinking she was at the scene of the crime and in shock, insists that she doesnt have to be scared, that he will protect her from the man who did these horrible things. Of course, we know that it was Wren who did those horrible things. She was there for all the murders, and says she wasnt forced to do anything, but promises to take him to the mans house if he gets her out of there. She repeats that she is tired of this and the feeding and basically of all the vampire stuff – without being oblique enough for John to pick up on what is going on. John bonds with her by telling her about the trouble with his own daughter. This warms Wren up enough to tell him about her creepy father, who used to tell her that he couldnt wait for her to grow up. The things he said, and the way he said it made her stomach hurt. One day (in 1986) he went into the Hotel Cortez and left her in the hot car. She was ready to die, but suddenly the glass shatters and the Countess is there. We see this in flashbacks; John thinks her dad is the killer, but Wren assures him he died long ago.
John and Wren sneak out of the hospital. Now he wants to be taken to the killer. We need to go home, to the Hotel Cortez, Wren insists. John promises to kill the man if need be. Wren really likes John. I hate to see it end. She runs into the street and is flattened by a big rig.