American Horror Story: Hotel–5×03: ‘Mommy’

Are your parents followers of The Parents Television Council? Did they learn how to access the parental controls on the TV and block American Horror Story: Hotel? Fear not; we wrote you a recap.  PS: move out of your parents’ house; you’re 33.

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 1.31.35 PMLast night’s episode focused heavily on family, but started off with Tristan having a titillating conversation with James’ March’s ghost about murder.  Tristan did some research via the Internt about March and now professes himself to be a huge fan of his.  Tristan even told March that he Google’d him.  Being an early 20th Century man, March doesn’t know what Google is.

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 11.14.26 AMScreen Shot 2015-10-22 at 11.14.39 AMTheir conversation is cut short by Will Drake and his fashionista gal pal Claudia (played by Naomi Campbell) entering the room and discussing plans to gut the floor to rebuild it into something fabulous.  Will is less than pleased to see that Tristan is in the room, or even in the hotel at all.  He’s also perplexed because the last time he and Tristan had seen each other, Tristan had made a deep, scarring cut in his face– and now, the cut is gone and Tristan’s complexion is flawless.  When Will and Claudia leave,  Tristan, eager to prove himself as March’s number one fanboy, promises to stop the destruction of the floor.

We switch over to Alex.  She’s treating a patient who has a severe case of measles.  His mother had ignored Alex’s advice (and all leading medical research) when her son was born and neglected to get him vaccinated.  In the last episode, Alex called her out on her nonsense, and the mom felt too awful about herself to call her when the child’s fever spiked to over 103°. Alex informs the mother that her child needs to be hospitalized, and a couple of EMTs take the kid away in an ambulance.

We then get a glimpse into Alex’s backstory, narrated by Alex herself. She had an unhappy childhood and made it her life’s mission to heal other people’s children.  She admits that the first time she felt a profound sense of love was when she gave birth to Holden, and that, while she loved John and Scarlett, Holden was everything to her, and she felt intoxicated by his scent, which she described as lavender.  A flashback reveals that after Holden’s disappearance, she tried to commit suicide by slitting her wrists; the attempt was thwarted by John.

Back to the present: Alex, John, and Scarlett are in a therapy session with a family counselor.  Alex thinks that Scarlett made up the story about seeing Holden to hurt her; the therapist disagrees and interprets the tale as Scarlett wanted to heal her family.  Scarlett tells them that they’re both wrong and that she’s telling the truth.  She goes on to describe the secret room and says that Holden has changed; he doesn’t have “normal feelings”– and he smells like lavender.

Meanwhile at the hotel, Claudia loses cell reception in her room during an important phone call. After seeing terrifying visions in the bathroom, she goes to bed, and a pair of hands bursts through the mattress and start to strangle her.  Claudia jumps up, and Gabriel emerges from the mattress and stabs her to death.

Cut to John, who is dealing with a different bloodbath (no shortage of carnage on this show!).  He and his fellow detectives are investigating a crime scene where four online journalists have been murdered– with their tongues nailed to their desks.  John’s partner worries that it’s another Charlie Hebdo situation, but John quickly dismisses this line of thinking because the victims were writers for a gossip site.  “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” he says.  He’s quick to link this to the Ten Commandment murders.  John returns to the hotel and literally runs into Gabriel, who is hysterical and covered in blood.

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 12.00.55 PMWill enters his room to find Tristan, who knows how to pick locks.  He even spent six months in jail due to breaking and entering.  Tristan reminds Will that they used to be quite friendly.  He then proceeds to seduce him.  As they’re making out, Tristan takes out a knife and is about to stab Will when he sees Elizabeth standing in the doorway.  She signals for him to cut it out– the murdering I mean.

We then cut back to John.  He accompanies Gabriel to the hospital, where the doctors confirm that it’s someone else’s (Claudia’s!) blood that Gabriel is soaked in.  They also tell John that he’s experiencing severe heroin withdrawal.  With his dying breaths, Gabriel tells John that he’s sorry and didn’t mean to kill Claudia; he thought he was killing “the junkie whore”.

John goes back to the hotel to arrest Sally.  “Why are you wasting your time with junkies?” she asks, “We only hurt ourselves.  It’s not like breaking one of the Ten Commandments.” After some repartee, John arrests Sally.  She tries to seduce him in the flickering lights of the elevator, amidst quick flashes of the Addiction Demon (you know– that humanoid creature who hides in mattress and rapes addicts with a drill bit dildo).  John exits the elevator to find that Sally has escaped.

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 12.22.17 PMDonavon enters the hotel and is greeted by Iris.  Mommy Dearest is overjoyed that he is no longer in a relationship with Elizabeth, and has started looking for two bedroom apartments on Craigslist.  Donavon tells her, in no uncertain terms, that he would rather live on the streets than anywhere with her.  We get a few insights into their relationship: Iris felt that Donavon’s father wasn’t an adequate parent and kicked him out, opting to raise him as a single mother; she dabbled in a cult, forcing Donavon to join as well; Donavon hated and resented Iris so much that he thought that death was a more appealing option than having her in his life, and is furious that Iris couldn’t even respect his wish to die.  Iris seems to have based her entire identity on being Donavon’s mother; Donavon advises her to kill herself.  He leaves to go drink the blood of drug addicts and is captured by Ramona Royale (played by Angela Bassett).

Alex meets John at the hotel to talk, have a drink, and serve him divorce papers.  He has a panic attack and tells her that he thinks he’s losing his mind.  Alex takes pity on him and tries to calm him down in his room.  They acknowledge that they are both still in love with each other, and are about to have sex, when John blurts out one of the biggest mood killers known to humankind: “Let’s have another baby.”  Alex comes to her senses and realizes that sex with an ex is ill-advised.  She leaves the room and runs into two people in the hotel: Claudia’s blood-covered ghost, who promptly criticizes her outfit, and Holden, who greets her with an emotionless “Hi, Mommy.”

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 12.49.41 PMCountess Elizabeth is getting busy herself– with Will.  He’s gay, but still finds himself undeniably attracted to her.  They don’t have sex.  Elizabeth knows how to play the game and make herself irresistible to him.  She lays out the details of her ultimate plan for Tristan: she’s going to marry Will, take all of him money, and then kill him.  This course of action is necessary because Bernie Madoff left her penniless. A small detail about this scene that may have gone unnoticed: Countess Elizabeth is left-handed.  I’m almost positive this detail will be revisited later.

The next scene is between Iris and Sally.  Iris seems to have taken Donavon’s advice to heart and wants to die.  Sally agrees to kill her, on the condition that once Iris is dead, she won’t haunt the hotel.  Sally is apparently stuck in the hotel, thanks to Iris.  Sally injects her with an overdose of heroin to kill her.

We immediately cut to Donavon, who has been hooked up to a Dialysis machine by Ramona.  We get Ramona’s backstory: she was the star of blaxsploitation films in the 70’s, and quit because of the racism in Hollywood.

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 1.08.48 PMShe was turned into a vampire by Elizabeth and the two had a passionate affair.  But even the best relationships end, and Ramona dumped her for man– a rapper who was staying at the Hotel Cortez.  Elizabeth killed him and everyone in his recording studio.  Ramona explains that Elizabeth can’t stand to have her heartbroken; she only wants to be the heart breaker.

Ramona then tells Donavon that her revenge will consist of killing Elizabeth’s vampire children.

Donavon returns to the Hotel and has a drink at Liz Taylor’s bar.  Liz calls him out for being horrible to his mother, and he goes to apologize.  He goes upstairs to find Sally suffocating Iris with a plastic bag; the drugs didn’t kill her.  Donavon, in a desperate attempt to save her, cuts his wrist open and force-feeds her his blood, turning her into a vampire.  Sally ends the episode with this brilliant one-liner:

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