‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ Latecap 5×03: Goodnight Mommy

In which we learn that the Countess is ironically terrible at counting cash money

Angela Bassett as a badass vampire. (FX)
Angela Bassett as a badass vampire. (FX)

Holy moly, American Horror Story is on Wednesdays now? I could have sworn it was on Thursdays. Oh well, maybe, like Ryan Murphy’s disregard of the seemingly arbitrary rules of show length, I can just give myself an extra day to file these recaps? We are all Art Monsters here after all: we cannot be beholden to the schedules of mere mortals.

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So, how about that episode last Wednesday night, huh? A lot of things happened…well, not really. Hypodermic Sad Sally listened to more Hypodermic Sad Stories as her glycerin tears oozed down her face. I do want to point out that in Jessica Lange’s departure, Sarah Paulson has done an adequate job with the scenery-chewing. We’ve seen her as the wallflower supreme Cordelia, the joyless ambition-machine that would become Lana Winters, and some deranged duet as Bette and Dot Tattler in last season’s Freak Show, but have we ever seen her do this much “Acting?” Paulson has always been the solid counterweight to Ryan Murphy’s more flamboyant creatures of the night, so it’s nice to see her shed some of that sanity and go totally bat-vampire-shit on Kathy Bates for throwing her out of a window.

Speaking of which: was is Sally’s deal again? She’s not a vampire, right? As far as we can tell, vampires can’t make their teeth crumble out of their mouth to scare the kids; they don’t even get fangs! (Boooooo!) Sally’s warning to Iris not to come ghost up the Hotel Cortez just because she was going to be murdered on the grounds also seemed a little portentous. Perhaps Sally is merely a ghost, like Mr. Marsh seems to be. His ability to disappear and reappear at will is a little reminiscent of Tate’s “Now ya see me, now I’m wearing a latex suit and impregnating ya motha!”* act from season one.

*Side-note: I’m aware that Evan Peters didn’t get that terrible Shutter Island accent until playing Kit Walker in Season 2, but gawd, wasn’t that awwwwwfuhl? (It’s one of, but far from the only, factor in my hundred page dissertation of the AHS franchise that I’m writing with the working title: “Why Asylum Sucks and You Sucked if You Liked it More Than Coven.” Look for it this fall on ThoughtCatalog.com!) Mr. Peters, we get it: you look kind of like Leo during his better days. That doesn’t mean every season you have to do a different DiCaprio mashup each season. I imagine poor Evan getting the script for Hotel and sighing as he tries to ignore the giant blinking Context Clues in Murphy’s increasingly labored character descriptions:

“Enter Mr. James March: He’s a Gatsby sort, with a side of Howard Hughes’ joie-de-vivre. Catch Him If You Can: he’s Django Unchained from this mortal coil, but will “never let go” to his hotel until he’s paved all the (Revolutionary) Roads with Blood (Diamonds). He’s a fancy man from a bygone era; he’s been at the Cortez since its inception during the pre-J Edgar years. It’ll take all the Gangs of New York to discover his Bodies of Lies, and only with the Wolves of Wall Street at the door will he reveal what’s behind The Man in the Iron Mask.”

I bet this is exactly what it said in the script, and when Evan Peters calls his agent to complain, he’ll be sternly reminded that Ryan Murphy has single-handedly made his career, gave a starring part to his lady so they could be together while filming, and then after their breakup, created a whole other horror franchise to serve as an Emma Roberts vehicle so she wouldn’t come to set and punch him in his beautiful, beautiful face. Evan Peters owes Murphy everything, you see. EVERYTHING. Even his own soul.

Sorry, what happened? Sometimes I go into a fugue state and wake up to find that I’ve written 300 pages of Quicksilver erotica. James Marsh was barely in this episode, but we DID find out that he’s a Scorpio, which “LOL, MAKES TOTAL SENSE, BRUH” according to White Rufio, aka Tristan.

Tristan is still a baby vampire, and a total douche besides. When Will Drake discovers him squatting in the hotel after his epic modeling career *mic drop* last week, he’s got nothing prepared to explain how his face scar healed up so quick. Oh well, Tristan will just murder Drake and problem solved, right? Uh-uh: the Countess needs to marry the gay art hotelier and get his millions before they off him, since she lost all her money to BERNIE MADOFF.*

*Millennial Explainer: Bernie Madoff is a historical figure who stole people’s cash. Ask your parents Siri about him!

What else? Oh, Donovan done got captured by Ramona Royale, a 70s Blaxploitation film star who was turned by the Countess, but became her (im)mortal enemy after the Countess killed her lover–an early Biggie supporter–while she was in the process of turning him. (The Countess killed this guy with a bullet to the head, which seems a little artless for a goddamn immortal vampire. Then again, she’s an immortal vampire who GAVE ALL HER MONEY TO BERNIE MADOFF, so…)

Also good to note: vampires get fucked up if they suck on junkies, which I guess means at least some of the True Blood rules still apply here. Donovan goes back to his hotel after being kicked to the curb by Ramona, and after a dressing down Liz Taylor, decides not to arbitrary despise his mother; instead turning her into a vampire right before she kicks it from Hyperdermic Sad Sally’s fail-proof “bag over the head” assisted suicide trick. Hooray question mark? It’s unclear what Iris has done to warrant such loathing from her son, other than kick his deadbeat dad out, which is exactly why mothers shouldn’t let their sons grow up to be sniveling little bitches. Donovan is Dandy without the showmanship, or Tate minus all the things that made Tate great. Actually…I’m starting to see a trend here…

TOO LATE. we’re onto the next plot line! Chloe Sevigny–uh, Alex–wants a divorce, but not before she yells some more at Shelly from Twin Peaks about not vaccinating her child. Her husband John Lowe, is too busy living in a weird hell hotel and solving the case of “Who David Fincher Should Sue,” but its #fresh since all the violence is being done to bloggers. Oh no, gig’s up folks! Naomi Campbell was maybe-murdered when it was discovered that her mattress with stuffed with Schmidt. Alex sees her baby boy in the hallway of the Cortez, so maybe won’t need those divorce papers after all? Can the Countess really kick out Donovan if that means Iris goes too? She can’t afford to lose the front desk help, and I doubt Liz Taylor and Miss Evers can hold down the fort by themselves. It’s so hard to kill good help these days!

Final note: Of course, even though Will Drake is totally 100 percent gay, of COURSE he immediately falls under the Countess’s spell and gets a make-out boner. I doubt she even needed to glamor him…this is Lady Gaga we’re talking about, after all.

‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ Latecap 5×03: Goodnight Mommy