I was completely surprised! While the first episode was way over the top, I was almost disappointed in the second. That is, until I watched and rewatched it again. This episode gave us more backstory, (which is needed in my opinion), to understand more clearly. The pieces are coming together, as only Ryan Murphy can show us. The story is about the decadent and over the top life in LA. More and more we see signs of the elite and of money. Fashion shows, real estate, clubs, movies are all wound up in this season. The flashy Countess, who seems to long for the lifestyle and nightlife she once knew. The players, yes there are players in this game. Some are low down and dirty, scum, junkies, murderers, but some require another look.
Sally is busy sewing Gabriel into a mattress, telling him it’s his own fault, dying that is. She is a strange character. I don’t know whether to feel sorry for her tragic life, or shun her for it. She complains to Iris that the remaining Swede meatball is screaming too loud, she is currently being bled dry by the little towheads. Iris says not to worry it will stop soon, and it does as the Swede dies. Towhead Holden says, “Yuck, tastes gross”, Iris retorts, “that’s because she’s dead.”
Obviously, the towheads are being kept for a reason. They are shown sitting in their playroom, getting the blood taken from their arms. Iris gives them juice and cookies, how sweet. The Countess and Donovan are brought the fresh towhead blood to drink. She scolds him for not being dressed to go to town. All he wants to do is stay in and watch House of Cards. And the Countess is not happy and goes by herself.
Lowe seems to be losing his mind as he wakes up to creepy music on the alarm clock, at 230 a.m. every time. First it’s the maid asking if he wants turn down service, then the freak with the golden strap on, then when he is in the bathroom, 2 creepy decomposing people turn up in the shower having sex! Then he sees Holden in the hallway again and chases after him. It’s enough to boggle your mind. Are these dead people (ghosts), that are forever trapped in the hotel? What kind of madness this place holds. I know I wouldn’t even think of spending one night there.
Hotel Cortez dates back to the Hollywood empire. When James Patrick March built it, it was top of the line, no expense spared. It was filled with secret hallways, body chutes and doors that led nowhere. And all this for his little freakish murder game. March was a freak for art-deco, and an oil tycoon as well as a serial murderer. We get to see a little of his backstory. What a warped twisted man he was, is, as he still resides in the hotel. His maid, Miss Evers, a seemingly dim witted woman, who can get stains out of anything, is brilliantly played by Mare Winningham. I love how she is always there to clean up the very gruesome messes. She has been with March since the beginning, never complaining, always polite. In the backstory, we see that after a long time of his murderous ways, he gets sloppy and gets found out. When the police come to arrest him, he hides in one of his little chambers and decides to kill himself. Miss Evers shows up and happily asks to be his final victim. After killing her, he then kills himself. But what of the wife he has? Is she the one who turned him in, tired of all the murders, or does she just want his money? We see glimpses of her blond hair, but is she the Countess? Iris tells De.t Lowe this story, on a lonely night at the bar to which he responds, ““You should be writing for the movies.” In addition, Sally tries her hand at making Lowe understand her and her own tragic story, but he has nothing but repulsion for her.
Lowe tells us of a low spot in his career, when he investigates a murder of a wife and children, by a supposed psycho. It turns out the man had found his family dead because of a faulty heater and then killed himself. Lowe figured this all out, he is a damn good detective. But this really affected him, and he sees the world through strange eyes. The day he came back home from the investigation, is the day Holden disappeared. He tells Sally, “he can’t afford to get lost”. He goes to the precinct, and receives a box. Thinking it is a bomb, but finding out it is a blood covered Oscar statue! Does this hold some kind of clue to the serial murderer? Will Lowe figure it out? I have a theory about him. I will tell you in later reviews what it is.
We get to attend a special fashion show event, given by new owner Will. All pomp and circumstance and wild music and models. One model you will recognize for sure is Finn Wittrock, Dandy from the last season of AHS. Tristan Duffy, bad-boy male model drug addict and all around ass! During the runway walk, he gets involved in a fight, almost kills another person, but for the look that the Countess gives him. There is something going on here. During the show, Lowe’s daughter Scarlet, who is there for a visit, disappears with Lachlan. He wants to show her something but swears her to secrecy. He takes her to the now empty hotel pool, and there, all in a row, are four clear coffins. The towhead kids are asleep. and one of them is Holden. You can see the wheels turning in little Scarlet’s head. Later, Scarlet will take a bus into the city and visit the hotel, where she runs into ccreepy Sally, who scares the crap out of her by nashing her teeth together shattering them all, while the girls looks on horrified. She finds the play room and there is Holden. She talks to him and he remembers her. She wants a picture of him and when they get close, he smells her neck and attempts to bite her! She runs away and goes home. Her parents have been looking for her, thinking she has gone missing. She explains to Lowe how she found Holden and shows him the picture. But it’s blurred and Lowe can’t make it out.
Tristan is done with modeling. He cuts his face and takes off roaming the hotel, looking for more drugs. The elevator takes him to the basement where he runs into March’s room. Tearing it apart, March interrupts him. March has Miss Evers bring in a girl, where March instructs him to kill her. March shoots her and Tristan runs off. He is met in the elevator by the Countess, who takes him in, drugs him up and turns him. She explains the virus will keep him young and never change. Never drink from the dead, or the sick and sunlight should be avoided. We find out the Countess was born in 1904, and her favorite time was the 70’s. We see a flashback of her at Studio 54. When Donovan finds out, he is told it’s over and he has to leave. He is furious, but Countess has a new boy-toy now.
Lowe’s investigation pulls together quickly. He knows this is a Ten Commandment killer and this person has picked up where James Patrick March has left off. Meanwhile Tristan spots his first kill as a gay guy walks into the hotel. Taking him upstairs,under the promise of sex, the Countess is pleased as Tristan cuts the guys throat and they start drinking the blood. “Just because I’m sucking on a guy, doesn’t mean I’m gay,” he says while the Countess watches.
Meet Mr. March
Hotel Cortez – The Art
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