TV Recap: AMERICAN HORROR STORY: HOTEL Returns! Episode 511 – ‘Battle Royale’



AHS:HOTEL returns with a vengeance.

Liz and Iris take on a badass walk as they sashay through the halls, into the Countess’ room, and open fire. The Countess takes a few bullets, but Donovan throws himself in front of her, taking most of the heat. When Iris realizes what has happened, she stops and rushes to her son. Liz wants to finish the job, but Iris won’t leave her baby boy. Donovan knows he is going to die and begs they take him outside so he isn’t trapped in the Cortez for all eternity. The Countess has disappeared, so the ladies take him out into the street. Iris promises he is safe, and Donovan thanks her before he dies.

The Countess has been rescued by Sally and taken to the basement. Sally takes great pleasure in digging the bullet fragments out of the Countess with her bare hands. The Countess is surprised that she is trying to save her, but Sally needs her. For once, she doesn’t want to be left. She relates to the Countess a story of her human life.

It was 1993 and she was a drug dealer to a pair of musicians, Nick Hartley and Tina Black. They were good to Sally, respected her, and liked her songs. The three of them head to the Cortez after a music session, and Tina and Nick fuck while Sally shoots them full of heroin. It turns into a threeway, and Sally loved them so much she just wanted to be close to them. She didn’t want them to leave. So she sewed the three of them together. Miss Evers comes in as Nick and Tina are near death (from an overdose, not from the impromptu handicrafts) and giggles, knowing the mess that will await her. She leaves them alone, placing the “Do not disturb” sign outside the door. Sally was a good little seamstress, and she was stuck between the two corpses for several days. The addiction demon shows up to torture her and after a few days she tore herself free.

Sally doesn’t want the Countess. She wants John, dead in the hotel, so he is forced to remain with her for eternity. She will bring the Countess blood and nurse her back to health. The Countess needs blood like hers, and wants Donovan. When Sally tells her he is dead, she seems to crumple, saddened. Instead, Sally brings two of her children in. The Countess initially refuses to feed off them, knowing that they will both die. Sally points out that if she dies, Liz and Iris will kill the children anyway, and the kids crawl into their “mother’s” arms and ask her to let them help her. She gives in, the kids die, and the Countess, though finally able to stand, is emotionally dead.

Liz and Iris have to move on to their last resort: releasing Ramona from the cage and pointing her in the Countess’ direction. The ladies enter the sealed-off wing and encounter a dozen dead children. This shocks them’ finding Will’s corpse does not. When they discover the empty cage, Liz panics and the two of them run. Their path out is blocked by Ramona, nearly feral from her time in solitary. Ramona thinks the two are there at the Countess’ behest, to finish her off, but Liz insists they are all working against the Countess. Liz sweet talks Ramona, but Ramona needs to take a life to bring her back to life. Iris promises that can be arranged.

Luckily, the ladies arrive in the lobby to see a new guest ready to check in: Queenie, from season three. Liz recognizes her – not from American Horror Story but from CNN, and knows she is a bona fide witch from a bona fide coven. They show her to a room, but as soon as they get there, Queenie senses bad juju. She wants another room. Iris tells her to wash up while she looks for another room – they are just about at capacity. Alone, Queenie steps into the bathroom and Ramona pops out of hiding in the shower. She cuts at Queenie, but is surprised when each injury pops back onto her own body. Queenie laughs at her, explaining she is a living voodoo doll, and jams a corkscrew in her hand, causing Ramona to drop her knife when a matching wound opens on her hand. The women fight, but someone stops Queenie with a knife. March is there, and since he is already dead, Queenie can’t turn her voodoo back around onto him. Ramona drinks Queenie while March explains why he helped her: he wants her to kill the Countess in the hotel, so that she will be forced to spend eternity with him.

The Countess is back in her suite, weak and limping, but alive. She pours herself a drink and smells Ramona behind her. Ramona, having been cleaned up by Liz and Iris, brags about the witch she just drank. The Countess knows she is there to kill her, and Ramona doesn’t hide that fact. She hasn’t decided how she wants to kill the Countess, but finds it immensely more difficult now that she is face to face with her. The Countess tries to apologize for the way she has treated Ramona all these years, and offers her the hotel. She doesn’t want to be here anymore. The Countess kisses her and asks that, if she must kill her, at least screw her first.

Meanwhile, the Lowes move home together, one big not-so-happy family. Scarlett knows that her mother and brother are vampires and worries that they will kill her. Alex promises that they will keep her safe. John is responsible for procuring food for his son and wife, and comes home with a scared man bound and gagged in his trunk. Before he brings him in he goes into the house to check on his family and finds the house empty. He does, however, find a key to the Cortez.

John takes his gun to the hotel and finds Sally waiting for him. He accuses her of doing something nefarious with his family; she reminds him that she can’t leave the hotel. She would have taken a hammer to his head the moment he walked in, but March wouldn’t let her. He has his family, but offers no explanation as to who helped him spirit away the Lowes. March wants him to finish their opus. There is one trophy missing: thou shalt not commit murder.

We don’t see Ramona and the Countess having sex; we only see the Countess leaving her suite with some suitcases. I assume she killed Ramona. When the elevator door opens, John is there, only momentarily surprised that the Countess is standing before him. He shoots her dead, and her head makes the final trophy in the Ten Commandments case. March is impressed by his choice and proud that John followed through. Sally tries to stab him, but March stops her. He needs John out in the world and threatens to make the addiction demon Sally’s constant companion.

March prepares for dinner, nervous and excited to be dining with the Countess every night. She arrives, stating that death offers no pain, but no passion. March is elated and promises he forgives her for turning him in to the cops. The Countess didn’t turn him in. “If I wanted you dead I would have killed you myself.” Miss Evers finally steps up and admits she tipped off the police. She knew March would kill himself rather than be captured, and she thought that, in death, he would see the depth of her devotion for him. March is not flattered by this and tells Miss Evers to get out, banishing her from his presence. She feels strangely free as she sniffles and removes her apron. March joins the Countess and toasts to their forever together. The Countess can barely hold back her tears at the thought.