American Horror Story: Hotel S05E01 – Checking In

The first series in the post-Jessica Lange era for American Horror Story, Hotel, kicked off on Wednesday night with the aptly-titled “Checking In”. FX has been generally pretty liberal with the show, as well as Sons Of Anarchy and even The League, in terms of what they let them get away with. Hotel takes that up a notch within 30 minutes. Let’s go…….

-We open with these two blond tourists getting out of a cab, and they don’t speak English and the countdown is on to some shit happening to them. They walk into the Hotel Cortez, and man, is this set ever beautiful. It’s really old-school, but classy, and I’m looking forward to seeing some flashbacks of what is like before mufuckas started dying there.

-Oh, did you not know that mufuckas was gon’ die in this hotel? This must be your first AHS series. Welcome. Mufuckas gon’ die in this hotel.

-They get to the check-in counter, although they do note that there is NO ONE in this giant lobby. After ringing a bell twice, they’re greeted by Iris, who is played by Kathy Bates, and in true Kathy Bates form, she is not here for their shit. They’re not getting refunds, they ain’t got no wi-fi and Iris says this place is a cell-phone dead zone, which is clue #2 to get your ass outta there.

-She takes them to their room, which is dark and shady in the first place, and when the girls ask for ice, Iris tells them it’s down the hall. They have like, two small mickeys. Fuck do you need ice for? Anyway, one of them (Vendela is her name) goes to find the ice, where she walks by a laundress who is steamcleaning some bloody sheets from Room 51; clue #3, we’re at now. Then she sees kids at either end of the hall, but when she goes to find them, they’re gone. I’m not counting clues anymore. They deserve what they get.

-As Vendela is scooping the ice, a metallic glove creeps up on her and seems to touch her hair, but again, she turns around and there is nothing there. She gets back to the room and her friend, who is named Agnetha, says that the room smells like a dead animal. They demand to get another room, like Iris gives a damn about what they are demanding. Agnetha looks at the bed and notices something weird about the mattress; it’s like it has been stitched up through the middle. Vendela is the bold one who cuts the mattress open, instead of, you know, getting the fuck outta there. And out pops a….I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s naked, whatever it is, and it has messed-up teeth. A demon? A ghoul? How about some shit that lives in a mattress? That should be enough.

-I’m not sure how AHS hasn’t even been nominated for an opening-credits Emmy, but anyway, the shit is outstanding like it is every season. There is plenty of shit with mattresses, and kids with gas masks and a whole boatload of blood. It’s about to get real.

-After the first of 27 commercial breaks, we return with the girls walking with Iris, who acts like nothing just happened and tells them they’ll be arrested for evasion if they leave. I don’t even know how that works. But they don’t question it, they just go to another room to wait for the police instead of, you know, trying to get the fuck outta there. She takes ’em to room 64, which the camera lingers on and the homegirl Lindsay was like, mmmmmmhmmmm, that’s the killin’ room. Extra emphasis on that when Iris says that they never rent it out. After an hour, there are still no cops, and instead of tryna leave, they’re going to leave a bad review on Yelp for the hotel; if only they could get service. After more hours of waiting, Vendela had fallen asleep and Agnetha is nowhere to be found. She searches around the room and finds her friend in the bathroom, being eaten by the children she saw in the hallway. You wanna know what? At this point, fuck it, b. I’m out.

-The paramedics are rushing into another hotel, where a woman and a man were having sex, but she has been impaled with a pole, both of their hands have been nailed to the headboard, and his eyes and tongue have been cut out, but he is still alive. He is tryna ask them to speed up the process, and that he is still inside her, but that shit has been super-glued. Turns out that these two were married, but not to each other. Some anti-Tiger Woods fan is going after the cheaters, apparently. The main detective is John Lowe, played by Wes Bentley, who was Edward Mordrake in Freak Show. Good to see him in a bigger role. Also, his partner is Malik Yoba, who you may not from Empire going all the way back to New York Undercover, which was fucking AWESOME.

-John goes to his office to work on the case, which includes looking at other cases. This also includes one where a dude was anally raped with something that left traces of gold paint chips. The pictures were graphic as shit. And that’s not the last butthole reference in this episode. But he stops to talk to his young daughter, Scarlett, so they can read “Little Women” before her bedtime. He refuses to take a call related to the case, and then when he leaves the office, that person (with a disguised voice, of course) tells him to go to the Hotel Cortez, where he is in room 64, and he also killed that woman and left the man alive. He also says he’ll kill again, so John obviously has to go.

-At the hotel, some douchebag is waiting at the counter and asks for a room, and not only does Iris give him room 64, she charges him $150 instead of the $30 it says on the sign. He is obviously there to do drugs, so now we get to meet Sally, a strung-out junkie played by Sarah Paulson, and if you have ever read these and/or spoken to me about AHS, you know that I ride HARD for Ms. Paulson. Personally, I think she’s the best part of the entire series, and now we get to see her as a “bad” person (because good and bad are so relative in AHS)? I’m in. She calls dibs on douchebag, so that can’t be good for him.

-He gets to the room and breaks out the drug stuff, and soon he is in his own world. He sees a shadow, then he sees the laundress from earlier and before he realizes what is going on, he gets jacked by, um…..so this thing has no face, like it’s in a body-length suit, but the suit is made of skin. Then the thing (it’s different from the thing that came out of the mattress earlier) proceeds to flip the dude over and rapes him with what we think is a drill-bit or something. It’s metal and spiky and jagged, and it doesn’t look very fun.

-John walks into the hotel and Iris immediately guesses him for a cop, and he wants to go to room 64. Iris sends him up with Liz Taylor, played by Denis O’Hare, who was Stanley in Freak Show and the creepy butler in Coven. Liz is a man, but dressed in drag, and could be transgender, but he might have both sets of genitals, or none at all. Because, AMERICAN HORROR STORY.

-Dude is still gettin’ his rape on upstairs and Sally wants the victim to tell her he loves her, and it’ll all be over. He does, and then he dies, and the rapist is gone before Lowe gets to the room. But yeah bruh, we saw that rape. Like, all of it in a mirror. Honestly, I was more bothered by the heroin use. I HATE NEEDLES. Yay for desensitization!

-Anyway, John gets to the room and no one is there, but he does a half-ass job of checking shit out. Doesn’t even look under the bed, instead, he lies down on it and decides, hey, this would be a good time for a nap. Good grief. Had he looked under the bed, he probably would have found the victim, whose name is Gabriel, who wakes up, but John doesn’t hear him gasp.

-Remember the time, 2:25, dunno if it’s AM or PM. Lots of bad shit seems to happen at that time. That’s when Vendela woke up to find her friend getting buffeted. John wakes up and sees one of the children from earlier and he says, “Holden”, who you can assume is his son. He chases the child, who disappears, as they’re known to do.

-And here we go. We hear some music, which is “Tear You Apart” by She Wants Revenge, and there is a woman getting ready to go out, and a man in a bath. She does one of the largest bumps of cocaine in recent TV history, joins her man and the two, dressed to the nines, head out. Her name is Elizabeth, and it’s the first appearance for Lady Gaga, and when this part was cast, a lot of people were skeptical, especially with Lange gone. But I think she’ll do alright because she’s just off enough (her persona, anyway) that she should fit into AHS nicely and she is very talented, whether you like her music or not. Anyway, they’re off to see “Nosferatu” at an outdoor cinema, where they flirt with another couple there, and eventually, they take them back to the hotel for an orgy that seems to go on forever. FX is really not giving any fucks about nudity or violence this year, because Gaga’s tits are basically out except that her nipples are covered, but I mean, we know what they’re about. Anyway, Elizabeth and her companion, Donovan, use their metallic gloves (like the one that crept up on Vendela) and slash their throats, so they can drink their blood. Of course…..”Nosferatu” is a silent movie about vampires. BAM. Gaga will be just fine on Hotel. She’s the least of my worries.

-John goes home after sitting outside in his car being creepy, and you get the idea that he and his wife don’t really get along. She’s mad because he is late, which made her late for some house calls as a doctor, and after she leaves, John takes Scarlett for sushi because fuck the dinner you made, apparently.

-Iris takes dinner to the two tourists, although we saw one of them being eaten, but it’s AHS, so whatever. She has a feeding tube for their food and Sally wants Iris to show them some compassion as she yells at them, calling them “Swedish meatballs”. But it seems like she is feeding them to fatten them up, or help their wounds, so they might actually be dead at this point. Sally says something about Iris being here for 20 years, and Iris blames her for everything. Iris says Sally can do her job, but warns her about having to explain to “her” why they tastes like shit. “Her” seems to Elizabeth, also known as the Countess, so yeah, Iris traps people and feeds them to the vampires.

-Then Sally goes off the rails after Iris leaves to feed something else, and screams at Vendela to run after letting her out of her cage. Vendela runs while her friends cries not to be left alone, but you know Vendela is fucked. She is running and running and gets to the front door, where Elizabeth is waiting, and slashes her throat. She then tells Iris that this can never happen again. So Elizabeth is the leader of all this weird shit.

-Over sushi, Scarlett tells John that she has been having dreams of her brother, the Holden that he referred to earlier, but they leave dinner when he gets a text from his wife asking for help at some random address. They go there and there is a cop waiting, and John asks the cop to watch his kid, but of course, he gets drawn away by something. The voice he spoke to earlier calls him again, and John finds a shadowy figure in the house, while Scarlett wanders in to find two men strung up with their guys hanging out. She screams, so the man gets away as John runs to her. Shoutout to that cop for leaving a little girl in a car by herself. Well done.

-Through a flashback, we learn that John was with his son, but he turned his back for a second and Holden was gone. This is a point of contention between he and his wife Alex, who is scared out of her mind as she didn’t text that message to John, so the voice had hacked into her phone. John says that he’ll leave, but there will be cops there to watch them. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. They do such a great job as is.

-Back at the hotel, we meet Will Drake, his son Lachlan and Marcy, a realtor who is negotiating Drake buying the hotel. You might also remember Marcy from Murder House, as she sold the house to the Harmon family. There is your first intra-season connection and after the end of Freak Show, you can expect to see a few more in Hotel (there was one nod to Asylum that I can’t remember right now). Anyway, they meet Iris, who doesn’t know anything about a sale, and they find a naked Donovan, who also doesn’t know about it and when he finds out, he isn’t happy. Lachlan sees the thing with no face, but decides not to tell anyone about it because why would you do that?

-They also meet Elizabeth, who is quite charming when she isn’t killing people, and as Marcy continues her tour with Will, Elizabeth takes Lachlan to a secret room, where all of the other children are, including Holden. Shit has video games and unlimited candy. You know what? Hotel Cortez might not be all that bad.

-Iris and Donovan are discussing the hotel sale, and the dots are connected. In 1994, Iris followed Sally and Donovan (who is Iris’ son, we learn) here as he was scoring drugs from her, and Donovan dies from either a dirty needle or an OD. Iris is pissed and pushes Sally out of a window to her death, and then returns to the room to find Elizabeth, stroking Donovan’s face and telling Iris that her son has a jawline for days. Gaga looks an awful lot like Alexandra Breckenridge, who played the young nanny in Murder House and she was in a couple episodes of Coven as well. This show fucks with your head like that.

-John leaves his house and heads straight to Hotel Cortez, because why not and if you’re gon’ go back, might as well stay in room 64, right? “Hotel California” by the Eagles plays us out and ends the episode on a fitting note, “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave”.

There was a lot packed into this 90-minute (including those 27 commercial breaks) episode, but the synopsis of Hotel so far is that people die there and their ghosts feed off anyone who comes in. The only one who isn’t a ghost is Iris, who is there because of her son, although we still don’t know what’s up with Liz Taylor. American Horror Story went for the gusto with the Hotel premiere, and there were a few stories wondering whether or not Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk went too far. Those people haven’t watched this before. In a couple episodes, we’ll be asking, “remember how tame the premiere was?”. Welcome to the wonderful, insane world of American Horror Story.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “American Horror Story: Hotel S05E01 – Checking In

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s