Monday, December 14, 2015

American Horror Story 5x09 "She Wants Revenge" (It Gets a Little Soap Opera-y) [Contributor: Melanie]

"She Wants Revenge"
Original Airdate: December 9, 2015

I’d like to start this week’s recap with an important question: who is naming these episodes? Like, seriously, Ryan Murphy?

Anyway. This week finally put an end to the massive amounts of exposition and backstory we’ve been getting (except for a fifteen minute venture into Ramona’s past) and finally turned focus back to the present. Lowe is nowhere to be seen in this episode (not that I’m complaining), which revolves around the Game of Thrones-style love triangles (squares? Pentagons? Who knows, I stopped keeping count) between the Countess and her several lovers. This is one aspect of the show that I like: seeing the vampires’ strained interpersonal relationships and how they intertwine with the secrets of the hotel. It’s more interesting than the ill-conceived serial killer plot, and Gaga carries her role as the person standing in the middle of this web. But unfortunately, I know this won’t remain the show’s focus moving forward.

The show did hit a good note during a quick discussion of Drake’s sexuality. Not unlike the excellent exchange about Liz Taylor’s gender identity, Drake tells his son he’s bisexual, but knows that to many people, it’s a “dirty word..” So rather than deal with miscommunication or misunderstandings, he instead tells people he’s gay. We’ve had plenty of gay characters on Ryan Murphy shows (and across TV), but blatant bisexual characters are hard to come by (the biggest example for me was Buffy’s Willow who was deeply in love with her boyfriend for years before falling in love with a woman, at which point she referred to herself as strictly gay). Drake’s comments quickly prove there is room to be more open-minded and accepting of less clear-cut sexual identities.

The only lament I have here is that it had to happen on a Ryan Murphy show. But, here’s what happened this week...

The episode opens with Elizabeth distraught about her aging heart and lack of control as she examines the hole in the wall, which held her former lovers. She then vows to “not be ruled.” Later she and Drake disagree on wedding plans, but she ultimately convinces him to have a small wedding. Liz Taylor refuses to help Elizabeth with the wedding, and she continues her inner monologue, now lamenting her loss of friends and betrayals she’s endured. She then goes to a motel where Valentino is hiding out, and resumes her physical relationship with Donovan, who asks for a monogamous relationship. She agrees, then informs him of her plan to kill Drake after the wedding.

Later, Iris greets guests who claim to have a reservation under the name “Stormcock” and intend on making a porn film. Iris, in her own inner monologue (because everyone gets one now, apparently), notes that several filmmakers have used the Hotel Cortez as a set, and now that she is a vampire she plans on stopping it. She arrives at the room and murders the cameraman and actors. Donovan finds the bodies being drained and congratulates his mother, who warns him the Countess is angry about her son getting loose and might be aware of their plans with Ramona. Donovan insists she stay quiet and allow the plan to unfold.

Drake is getting his son ready for the wedding, and during their aforementioned conversation about Drake’s sexuality, he mentions that he’s happy the Countess understands and accepts him. Miss Evers arrives and warns Drake against marrying Elizabeth before admitting that she was in love with March before he married Elizabeth. Drake dismisses her. Elsewhere, Elizabeth is meeting with a contractor to help build an archive in the hole in the wall before March arrives, claiming to be her silent partner, and insists the contractor can get the job done in her tight time-frame of 24 hours. Elizabeth, however, is enraged by his presence and orders him to leave.

Donovan drags the male porn star to Ramona who berates him, though he insists he’s been “newly motivated” by his overwhelming desire for her and inability to satisfy the “craving.” He reveals he drugged Elizabeth’s drink but is unwilling to kill her himself and Ramona agrees to do it herself. While they’re draining the porn star, Ramona reveals her bloodlust for the Countess was the result of loneliness and anger after being left by Elizabeth and a failed attempt to rescue her father from Alzheimer’s.

That night, Alex watches as a pizza deliveryman is let in at a house. She follows him and finds a pile of dead bodies, on which a group of newly turned vampire children from the hospital are feeding. Alex insists they follow her to the hotel for safety but they reject the offer. Meanwhile, The Countess is passed out in her suite, thanks to Donovan, as Ramona approaches her with a knife. However, Elizabeth wakes and Donovan tazes Ramona. Donovan reveals he and Elizabeth planned to lock up their enemies as Iris bemoans his attachment to her and his impending heartbreak in the process. Later, Elizabeth and Valentino discuss their options while Natacha takes to modernity. Elizabeth suggests they use Drake’s money to create a bastion of their own in the Cortez, and then invites Natacha out for a girl’s night at the hotel. As she leaves, Donovan spots her.

And then it’s time for her wedding, which goes remarkably without incident. While Elizabeth gets changed so they can leave for their honeymoon, Drake gets a drink at the bar. March offers him a drink in congratulations before revealing that the Countess has her own hidden son.  He confronts his wife, but she grows angry at his insults so she knocks him out and deposits him in the same room as Ramona. When Drake eventually wakes up, he frees Ramona before searching for a way out, ultimately realizing the chamber is soundproof and doorless. Ramona attacks him to feed as Elizabeth watches through a camera.

Check back for the final episode before the winter break!


Post a Comment