Ahs Hotel When That Hotline Bling
This week's new episode of ' American Horror Story: Hotel ' -- which aired on Wednesday (Dec. 16) -- might've been titled 'She Gets Revenge,' but maybe it should've been called 'He Gets Revenge' instead because the main person getting the upper hand in this episode was most certainly male.
Yes, Donovan (Matt Bomer). As predicted after he overheard his dear Countess (Lady Gaga)'s motel-side rendezvous with her long-time true love Valentino, he steps up and puts his proverbial foot down to demand her heart once and for all.
But then, there's also the matter of that ending. That's a potential game-changer. If you say you saw that coming, you LIE.FX
A Clean Exit
After watching an elderly couple -- who've 'had a good run together' at 60 years, four kids, and nine grandchildren but one of whom has terminal cancer -- commit double-suicide, Liz Taylor (Denis O'Hare) is envious of their level of undying, so to speak, devotion.
She tells Iris (Kathy Bates), who may or may not be more concerned about who's going to clean up all the blood and brains splattered on the wallpaper, that she doesn't believe there is love after Tristan, so maybe it's time to go. And lookie there, a gun. But Iris talks her out of it, saying that she probably has some unfinished business to attend to. She agrees; 'Just one. My son. I always wanted to put that right; tell him I’m sorry for leaving him.'
After that's taken care of, they can both skedaddle from the Hotel Cortez for good, together. We're not banking on it, TBH. Especially since Liz is scheming to bring the kid up to HC for some unknowable reason and he might not be prepared for all the changes in Liz's life.
Cheekbones for Days
Alas, Donovan does get wind of his GF The Countess's continued involvement with Mr. Valentino, and Natasha does decide to accept Countess' offer to do some closet-sharing. And things escalate pretty quickly from there.
Donny pays a visit to Valentino at the motel and finds him alone, naked, and not one bit afraid of his competition. After some parallel pecking between the pairs -- Valentino taunts Donovan with, 'You know your petulance is pretty common to pretty boys who are past their prime' while Natasha assures Countess, 'You think you love him? You love a distant memory. You love an image on a screen. You’re nothing more than a fan to him ... We don’t need you. You know nothing of my resourcefulness, little Mouse.'
But the tables turn quickly on the old folks because they aren't prepared for the 21st Century Problems aka the prevalence of pistols, and they both get taken out point-blank. And now they're officially star-crossed forever because she'll never forgive him for killing Valentino, although they do have some pretty great send-off lines.
Countess : 'You’re cheap. You’ve always been cheap ... Who’s the little Mouse now.'
Donovan : 'She’s gonna mourn over that pretty face. You’re not so pretty now are you? I had better cheekbones anyway. Cheekbones for days.'
So, that happened.
Liz Taylor's reunion with her long-lost son didn't exactly go to plan. When the boy -- now very grown up man, with a mortgage and a dead-end job and the works -- comes to collect on his free drink vouchers, he doesn't recognize Liz at all and spills his guts over a few cocktails to what he thinks is just a quirky barkeep.
He comes back the next day just as Liz and Iris are planning their 'escape' from the Hotel -- after gifting a joyful Ms. Evers with a fancy washer-dryer stackable set -- and guess what? He knows exactly who Liz is.
'Mom gave me a few clues. I put 'em together. She warned me I wouldn't recognize you. But I did. I do,' he says. 'There's plenty of room for another woman in my life.'
Is a change of exit strategy now in order for Liz? Um, yeah.
When she goes up to deliver the news to Iris, she finds that not only has Iris laid out an actual array of suitable self-kill tools, but she's also made the cheesiest tribute video (set to 'I Hope You Dance,' no less) as a 'beacon of hope for [her] three followers on Instagram.' Sad, sad Iris.
But Liz gives her some hope.
'You and I are women of a certain age. We have suffered more than our fair share. Dammit, we are the ones who should inherit the earth. We should freaking take over this damn hotel, spiffy it up,' Liz offers. 'We’re entitled to a second chance, glorious blazing final act, my friend. The best is yet to come.'FX
Just as Countess is greasing the wheel on getting the late Will Drake's fortune, he marches in all alive-looking and jovial and interrupts her interview with the detectives.
'Missing? No, no I was just exploring the new renovation on the seventh floor and got lost in the hallways for two days,' he explains of his absence.
As soon as they're alone, though, the fury-flinging begins.
Will notes that she murdered him ('You bitch!') and when she tries to pawn the plan off as a quickwit reaction to his mean comments about Bartholomew he rightly points out that this was always her plan.
When he pulls out his last card -- namely, that she's not on the will -- that's when Countess reminds him that his son is set to inherit it all and guess who's the legal guardian of his son? Oh, and he might never reach the age of maturity either.
'I don’t kill children, but I could make him a blood relative.' Sounds like a threat, and Will rightly takes it as such.FX
Mama Smells Appetizers
John Lowe (Wes Bentley) and his wife Alex (Chloe Sevigny) took a long road to get to this little reunion, but they finally unite over the common cause of protecting her and Holden from the vengeful path of Countess.
All those baby vamps Alex accidentally created have got to go, and she knows juuuust where they belong -- locked up in the impenetrable hell hall that currently houses Ramona Royale (Angela Bassett).
One person that's not happy about the lovely Lowe family reunion? Hypodermic Sally (Sarah Paulson), of course. She promises him, as he walks out arm-in-arm with his newly reunited family, that she will indeed kill him. And we have no doubt she'll figure something out because a woman scorned ... well, you know the rest.FX/Lady Gaga
It Can Only Mean One Thing
If there's one thing you have to give Donovan credit for in this episode, it's that he does not wuss out when it comes to facing the consequences of his actions. Namely, instead of running away and ducking the punishment for his execution of her one true love, Donovan waits for her to come home -- while grooving to Drake's 'Hotline Bling,' no less -- and confesses to everything without one ounce of regret.
But Countess being The Countess, she finds some beauty in what he's done to her. He confesses that despite his cavalier attitude about all of this, he definitely does care.
'I do. I do care. I just don’t mind. Dying is the only way you’ll let me love you. I don’t know how else to do it,' he pleads with those steely blues.
That's when she seems to cave. 'Beautiful boy. Willing to sacrifice everything for the love of me. What a beautiful thing I’ve made,' she purrs.
But that's when -- in the most WTF moment of the entire season, and that definitely says something -- Liz and Iris storm in, double-fisting revolvers and begin spraying the penthouse with punishment.
Sooooo, does that mean what we *think* it means? The previews for the next episode -- the penultimate of the season -- didn't show Countess or Donovan, so could this be the blaze of glory that was coming to take them down all this while?
Maybe. Countess did strike down Liz's one and only and Donovan has been a very bad son to his poor old ma, too. And approximately zero people would've predicted that the two most docile people in the Cortez would be the ones to take down the most violent of the bunch. What.