Review: American Horror Story Hotel – Room Service

The Halloween special episode Devil’s Night was the best episode so far in the show. Its follow up, Room Service, although focused on a couple of storylines, was much too slow paced but at least it gave the series an important plot point that will be developed. Room Service was really about the freshly made vampires in the show, of which there are now plenty. Firstly, we have Alex Lowe and her decision to be transformed by The Countess in order to join her son Holden for eternity. Then we have Iris, made into a vampire by Donovan not long ago, who has been recruited by Ramona Royale to be the “inside man” in Hotel Cortez. Lastly, we have a class of undisciplined, pubescent vampires out on the lose thanks to Alex’s terrible, albeit well-meaning, decision to save a boy’s life.

The pace of the show has been really uneven. It either tries to cram too much in or it lingers on ideas that aren’t as interesting as others. The Ten Commandment Killer (guess all the good names were taken) has had little to no significance in the plot other than as a tenuous connection to Detective Lowe. This vampire storyline also seems unnecessarily rushed and chances are it won’t have a well thought out conclusion either.

The idea of kids being turned into vampires driven purely by impulse is somewhat fascinating. Alex was just trying to save not only a boy from certain death, but also his mother. Alex knows what it feels like to lose a child and it’s understandable she didn’t want to put another woman through that pain. And the boy himself seems like he could be an interesting villain. He single-handedly turned his entire class. He made them see him as a leader and forced them all to tell the same lie. This will surely end in a bloodbath and hopefully it’ll be worth it.

As for Iris, Donovan and Ramona, their plan to take down The Countess is quite ambitious. While not particularly strong, The Countess knows how to manipulate and influence people. She’ll put up a fight. Seeing The Countess go up against Ramona will surely be one of the better moments Hotel will offer.

The best part of this episode, however, was finding out Liz Taylor’s past. She has been a fantastic character. Malevolent and sarcastic with some goodness in her i.e. she wants to help people be true to themselves rather than seeing them tormented by circumstance. Unfortunately this usually means there will be blood involved but, hey, it’s AHS. Liz Taylor’s story is pretty interesting. Living most of his life as an unhappy man named Nick Pryor, married with children, in a job he didn’t like, being friends with terrible, narrow-minded people. It was hell. As a travelling drugs sales rep, his only comfort were the solitary nights in the hotel rooms where he could unashamedly embrace his true self as a woman. The Countess saw greatness in her and she helped Nick become Liz. The Countess made Nick realise he was not only a woman but a goddess. It was a beautiful moment to see Liz bask in her newfound freedom. Of course, now working at Hotel Cortez, things can only end badly for Liz. But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it and not a minute sooner.

Room Service was interesting in setting down some important future storylines, though the episode itself was mediocre. The pacing was slow and the horror was quite watered down. We still have over half the season to go so it’ll be interesting to see how it’ll develop.

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