American Horror Story: “Room Service” — Nov. 4, 2015
On AHS: Hotel, Alex uses alternative medicine to save a patient and Iris is pushed to her limit by an entitled young couple, but it works in her favor. Special Contributor Tracey M. takes a look at the episode in this recap. – David F.
Alex is finding pediatrics with a twist a bit of a challenge. The daylight is just the worst, and she’s constantly distracted by the pulsating veins of her clients. She can hear their hearts beating. She’s had to excuse herself a few times to splash cold water on her face. She raids the blood bank for lunch while contemplating how to help her measles patient, Max. Alex is still frustrated with Max’s mother. A simple vaccine, and none of this would be happening. Now here they are. Because of measles. They’re hoping for the best, but a staph infection along with pneumonia and measles has spiked his fever. His mother is frantic as she’s asked if she wants to sign an order not to resuscitate. As Max starts to seize, he goes into full respiratory failure. The feisty newbie thinks she knows how to help him.
The next day, Max is up and ready for discharge from the hospital. Alex’s colleagues tell her she has done the impossible. Max, the medical miracle, goes home, gets hungry, skips the Cheerios and Hot Pockets and goes right for mom and dad’s necks. See what can happen when you don’t vaccinate? Your kids try to eat you!
Iris and Donovan pay a visit to Ramona Royale in the wee hours. Donovan has a way to help Ramona exact some vengeance. He wants to use his mom as a mole to find out where the Countess is vulnerable. Iris feels weak, and is envious of Ramona’s beauty and vitality. Iris heads back to the hotel, wobbly and disoriented. Liz greets her in the lobby and immediately notices a change. She makes Iris a cocktail: the Countess’ private stash with a touch of triple sec. Iris is a little freaked out that she’s drinking blood but perks up and asks for a refill. She’s so unhappy to be immortal. She’d rather be forever young and pretty. She feels stuck and doesn’t like herself much. Liz tries his best to cheer her but she stubbornly remains bitter and twisted.
Max, the medical miracle goes back to middle school in time for Halloween. He’s a pirate! He confides in his girlfriend, Madeline who’s dressed as a little witch. He tells her how sick he was and how he almost died. He tells her he now feels amazing. They hide in a closet so they can kiss. Boy nips girl, and the two are soon slurping up members of the faculty. Max is a giver. He encourages his classmates to drink. There’s an unbelievable bloodbath — all of the children are thirsty, and all Hell’s breaking loose. They definitely don’t pay teachers enough for this!
The hotel Cortez is making John crazy, jumpy and distracted. He decides to confide in his sergeant. He talks of his dinner at the hotel with Gacy, Dahmer, Ramirez, and Wuornos. He thinks they belong to some copycat serial killers cult. Yeah, that’s it, John. His sergeant suggests John might need some time off. He reminds John of his breakdown after Holden’s disappearance. John says it’s different this time and begins to pace. He insists an investigation is in order, swears he’s okay and that all will be shocked at the big reveal. Okay, maybe he’s raving a little bit. The sergeant relieves John of his duties, promising him his pension will be safe.
Meanwhile, Iris is having her last nerve plucked by a pushy young couple at the front desk. They demand a room and treat Iris like she’s their servant. They’re a couple of pompous asses, and are rude to Iris. She gets them settled into their room, and heads back to the front desk.
Back in the lobby, the Countess runs into Iris. Boy toy, Tristan and the Countess sense something different about Iris, but she nervously laughs off that anything unusual is going on.
The couple upstairs are now on the phone demanding room service. They insist on some paté. Liz helps Iris out with a can of pate-style cat food. Iris has a heart-to-heart with Liz. She needs a sympathetic ear. Liz describes how he used to stay at the Cortez when he was a salesman and a married man with a son. It’s 1984 and Liz is known as pharmaceutical salesman Nick Briar. Out of town on business, Nick and his boozy coworkers check into the Cortez, and settle into their rooms. Nick Briar was transformed as soon as he entered his room. He had a secret, a silky camisole. He felt a freedom at the hotel that he never felt before. He needed to feel beautiful. The Countess found him and told him not to be ashamed to be himself. He was like a pet the Countess could play with. She helped him “become.” They played dress-up. She taught Nick to use makeup to enhance his beauty. She renamed him Liz Taylor, but never turned him. And Liz was okay with that. Just working at the hotel made Liz happy. He was free to be himself. After moving into the Cortez, his former coworkers came to town for another convention. Nick runs into two of them. Total homophobes, they bully him. Liz shouts at them and pushes them away. He insists he is not gay, and he’s not taking any crap. The Countess comes to his rescue and uses her sharp silver nails to cut their throats.
With a conspiratory wink, Liz tells Iris there’s a certain pleasure in watching someone get what’s coming to them. He reminds Iris how strong she really is.
The pain-in-the ass young couple finally receive their room-service paté. They complain to Iris about her attitude, and poor service, blah, blah blah. I’d have gutted them by now. Iris shuts them up with a corkscrew and carving knife. She releases years of anger with every blow shouting “I matter!” over and over. (You’ve gotta love Kathy Bates, she’s always so authentic) Iris finally has her first live meal. With her most important meal of the day done, Iris is not the same, she is better.
John wakes in his hotel room to find Sally in bed with him. He shocked, but starts remembering flashes from the passionate night before. There are scratches on his skin. He asks Sally to go. She’s hurt and doesn’t’ believe he can’t remember. She says it’s their destiny before storming out in tears. Note to self: why is Sally always crying?
Heading down in the elevator, Liz helps Iris dispose of the obnoxious young couple down the laundry chute. Iris confides to Liz that she finally feels alive, and she’s grateful for Liz’s companionship during her transition.
Alex is in the Countess’ suite getting a makeover. Holden is brought out to greet her. The Countess would like Alex to be of service to her and the children, as their governess. Alex agrees to anything to be with Holden. She worries that John might see her there. The Countess assures all will be well. She sends Holden off to bed and he leads Alex by the hand to his glass coffin. She climbs in with him, and stares at her beautiful boy as they drift off.
American Horror Story: Hotel airs Wednesdays 10/9c on FX