TV Review: American Horror Story: Hotel – Episode 10: ‘She Gets Revenge’

Despite lasting all of 25 seconds, this recent episode of American Horror Story’s ending has to be the best scene of the entire season says

Image: Prashant Gupta/FX

Image: Prashant Gupta/FX


This review contains spoilers

A Liz Taylor-centric episode of Hotel is always a wonderful thing, and ‘She Gets Revenge’ does not disappoint. I’m delighted to confirm that the “she” from of the episode’s title is indeed the lovely Liz, along with her pal, Iris. Revenge, it seems, is a dish best served strewn with bullet holes.

The episode opens with an elderly couple checking into the Cortez. They’ve been together for sixty years, but the woman is dying of cancer. Unable to face life without each other, the pair sip the champagne they’ve ordered, exchange one last, loving look, and then shoot each other in the head. “Have you ever seen anything more beautiful?” asks Liz, in awe of the couple’s dedication to one another. She’s been struggling to cope ever since Tristan’s death, and, inspired by the elderly couple’s final act, picks up one of their guns to join her lover in the afterlife. Thank god for Iris, who is there to talk Liz out of it. Instead of killing herself then and there, the two of them make a suicide pact. Iris, who has realised that Donovan will never love her, will tidy up her affairs, while Liz puts things right with her estranged son, and then the two heartbroken women will kill themselves together.

This plan goes awry, however, as Liz’s meeting with her son, Douglas, does not go as expected. At first, it seems that he doesn’t realise that Liz is his parent, and so the two of them just sit at the bar making friendly conversation. Following this, a guilt-ridden Liz is ready to end it all, but is mercifully interrupted by Miss Evers, who informs her that her son is waiting at the bar.

It turns out that, even after 31 years, Douglas does in fact recognise her. More than that, he accepts that she is a woman and wants her to be part of his life. Iris, who is still set on killing herself, is angry that Liz is dropping out at the last minute. She’d prepared an Instagram tribute video to herself and everything, consisting of pictures of cats and flowers set to “I Hope You Dance”. Liz appreciates her friend’s creative efforts, but tells her that neither of them should kill themselves, as she has another, much better plan in mind. “We’re entitled to a second chance,” she muses cryptically, “the best is yet to come…”

Meanwhile, Donovan and the Countess are both out destroying their respective love rivals. If this episode can teach us anything, it’s “don’t bring a knife to a gunfight”. Indeed, Valentino and Rambova do exactly this, and both end up being shot dead. “I have better cheekbones, anyway,” Donovan gloats over Valentino’s bloodied corpse.

Unaware that the love of her life is dead, the Countess busies herself with covering her tracks with regards to Will Drake. She’s doing her best impression of a concerned wife, when who should walk in but Drake himself! He isn’t dead, the ghost assures the confused police officers, he just “got lost in the hallways for two days!” The police somehow buy this explanation, leaving Drake and the Countess alone. He reminds his wife that she is not in his will, but the Countess is unfazed. She has plans to bump off Lachlan before his 18th birthday, you see, thus inheriting her adopted son’s fortune.

The episode also unfortunately treated us to another appearance from the human equivalent of drying paint, i.e. John Lowe. To sum up, John needs to commit one more murder so that he can complete the Ten Commandments Killings. It seems like this might not happen, however, as the episode sees him and Alex making up, and walking out of the hotel with Holden in tow. The family who kills together stays together, I guess? However, this is not before Alex finally does something about those pesky vampire kids she made a few episodes ago, by which I mean that she seals them up in that secret corridor of the Cortez, where a bloodied Ramona Royale greets them with the line “Mama smells appetisers!”

With the Countess having discovered Valentino’s bullet riddled corpse, it seems like the episode is going to end with her exacting revenge on Donovan, who she interrupts, bizarrely, dancing alone to Drake’s “Hotline Bling”. Just when things are looking especially bad, however, it appears that Donovan’s pathetic devotion to the Countess might just save him. “Beautiful boy,” she coos, stroking his face. Donovan might just be about to win back the Countess’s love. That is, until Liz and Iris burst in. Packing two revolvers each, the pair fill the room with gunfire as “Hotline Bling” resumes in the background. That song will never sound the same again.

Liz Taylor is quite possibly the most loveable, sympathetic character AHS has ever had, so watching her storyline this episode go from tragic, to touching, to triumphant was immensely satisfying. Despite lasting all of 25 seconds, that ending has to be the best scene of the entire season. Indeed, while I’m not convinced that we’ve seen the last of Lady Gaga’s character, it was nonetheless incredibly enjoyable to watch Liz give the Countess what was coming to her.

Hotel returns in January, meaning that we have to wait a whole three weeks to find out Liz and Iris’s next move. Cruel as that is, I’m pretty confident that whatever the two women have in store will be worth the wait.

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