The Hotel with No Exit; AHS Hotel Season 5 Ep 2 Chutes and Ladder

By in ahs, AHS Hotel, American Horror Story Hotel, Entertainment, H.H. Holmes, James patrick March, John Lowe, Lady Gaga, series, The Countess, Tristan, TVrecap
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AMERICAN HORROR STORY -- "Chutes and Ladders" Episode 502 (Airs Wednesday, October 14, 10:00 pm/ep) Pictured: (l-r) Lady Gaga as the Countess, Matt Bomer as Donovan. CR: Suzanne Tenner/FX
AMERICAN HORROR STORY — “Chutes and Ladders” Episode 502 (Airs Wednesday, October 14, 10:00 pm/ep) Pictured: (l-r) Lady Gaga as the Countess, Matt Bomer as Donovan. CR: Suzanne Tenner/FX

AHS:Hotel didn’t wait till the end of the season to give us some history. This week’s episode takes us back to the horrific origins that make it such a great stage for all of that dark energy the hotel attracts. We also get some development with John Lowe’s case, as he struggles with his personal demons. Most importantly, we get the scoop on the vampire rules. P.S. They don’t sparkle.

I can now say that I may have some insight on how the bald guy covered in sores ended up in the sown up bed. Gabriel, the junkie killed by metal strap-on  (I’m going to have to use names because their seems to be a lot of drug addicts in this show), has been sown into a bed. Sally kisses him and tells him he’s being punished because he cheated death. She sows him right into the bed. If he suffocates in there, he’ll probably end up smelling and looking as bad as the bald naked guy from the first episode. Sally really has strange taste in how she likes her men.

Sally can’t concentrate on her romantic date, because the last standing Swedish girl can be heard screaming for help from her dungeon. Sally heads down with much pleasure, to complain about these screams, actually warning that it can raise bells and whistles to the new resident cop, John Lowe. John has gone to work and Iris knows that the girl gives up screaming after awhile, so she’s not worried. The Swedish girl is a snack for the kiddies that nibble blood off her arms.

Holden complains that the blood is gross. That’s only cause she’s dead. Time to dispose of her body. Iris takes her to a back end linen shoot and pushes her through, where all the other bodies are disposed of. The maid is in there cleaning sheets like a mad woman, because there are enough blood stains on these hotel sheets to make you want to set the linen on fire.

Iris takes the children to their play room, where she hooks them up to an IV that filters their blood into a glass decanter. The Countess enjoys drinking the blood of her youth likes it’s a good aged whiskey. That’s why she recruits all the little young ones! I’m guessing there are some extra benefits from drinking the blood of children. Iris personally delivers Lady Gaga’s drink of choice, with a meager request to see her son. But as he did before the after life, Donovan makes a great effort to avoid her.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY -- "Chutes and Ladders" Episode 502 (Airs Wednesday, October 14, 10:00 pm/ep) Pictured: Lady Gaga as the Countess. CR: Suzanne Tenner/FX
AMERICAN HORROR STORY — “Chutes and Ladders” Episode 502 (Airs Wednesday, October 14, 10:00 pm/ep) Pictured: Lady Gaga as the Countess. CR: Suzanne Tenner/FX

Gaga decides that after this little drink, they will dress and attend an event, but Donovan has become quite the homebody. He’s more interested in binge watching House of Cards, then he is of going out to hunt for prey. If blood could be delivered like a pizza pie, he probably would have never stepped outside. Gaga doesn’t seem angry about his laziness, but it sets her off in a thoughtful mood. I wouldn’t displease the countess too much, if I was him.

John isn’t having the best sleep at hotel Cortez. He wakes up several times to dreams of the metal strap-on guy and even finding a dirty couple having sex in his shower. When he really wakes up, he hears voices outside and finds his hotel door open, with Holden watching from across the hall. The chase begins again, but he can never catch up to Holden. The immortal have quite a way with speed.

He ends up in the hotel bar, where Sally is lounging, looking like something that was trapped in a kitchen drain. Over a drink– she tries to force down his throat– Sally tells John of what her Heroine addiction means to her. She could see him looking at the tracks on her arm. Heroine was like going to heaven and she just needed a ladder or something. John obviously can’t relate. So she asks him to tell her of the last thing that ever drove him to drink.

John details a morbid story of a man found with a bullet hole in the head and a house full of dead children. At first sight, they figured he poisoned the blue faced children and then committed suicide. But after further investigation, John realized the man had bought a portable generator to keep his daughters warm and returned home to discover they had died of carbon monoxide poisoning. The only solution he had left was to shoot himself in the head.

This caused John to drink and get lost in himself for two days. To make up for his absence, he took Holden to the carnival at the beach. That was the day he lost him. “I can’t afford to get lost,” he tells Sally. In other words, Sally won’t be able to tie John to one of those lovely addictions she’s so fond of, no matter what he’s been through.

Alex has been called in to do a house visit to a very sick little boy. She’s a good doc with the kids but doesn’t have much patience for insolent parents. The kids mother is anti-vaccination and Max has caught the measles. What the woman doesn’t get is that the measles is a condition that people used to die from prior to vaccination and there isn’t much that could be done, except let the virus run it’s course. The benefits of the vaccination outweigh the possible things that could go wrong.

John heads to work and his partner informs him that the guy murdered during sex, had an almost lethal dose of male potency pills in his system and was in a coma. We also discover that the text messages sent between the man currently in a coma and his former lover with the bow in her stomach, were sent by a third party. They had never really arranged to see each other. The text messages were spoofed just like the message John got the night his wife text him. John sees the connection and the wheels start to turn in that little head of his.

John also gets news that a package from the hotel cortez was recently delivered. John screams for an immediate evacuation and the bomb squad, because he already knows cortez means trouble. (Even though he lives there) The bomb squad found nothing in the hefty box, except a trophy covered in blood. I don’t even have to wonder if it was blood or not, it couldn’t possibly be anything else. I definitely agree that John deserves an Emmy for his dramatics. However, this lovely piece of evidence will serve as a clue towards his next direction, when the results return from the lab.

Will Drake decides to host a fabulous fashion show in his new hotel. He invites his fave editor from Vogue, Claudia Bankson, who looks exactly like Naomi Campbell–because she is. As I watched the show, I kept saying to myself that I would refer to her as the Naomi Campbell lookalike in this review, until I read the credits. *hides shamefully under bed* Liz Taylor was having a great time teaching the people from Vogue, how to vogue. Will Drake makes poor Liz Taylor leave, but he doesn’t exit without giving Claudia some apparent much needed advice about fashion. Skinny jeans are out and Ponchos are forever?  LOL “Make a note,” says Liz Taylor, as he sashays away.

John arrives home to his favorite hotel and Will Drake graciously invites him to his fashion show. When Scarlett arrives for quality time with her Dad, Will Drake is able to convince him to stay, through the excited little girl. Scarlett will be a companion for Lachlen, Will drake’s son, who has already promised to show her something cool in the hotel. And by cool, he meant life threatening.

Not all the guests of hotel cortez are invited, Sally is escorted off the premises in tears. Her appearance doesn’t exactly match the theme of the fashion show. When she sees Scarlett, she gets stuck in a daze. I couldn’t figure out if Scarlet’s presence gave her concern or if she was mesmerized.

Like a graceful white peacock, Gaga makes an impressive entrance alongside Donovan. Gaga, like Claudia, finds John Lowe to be very attractive. She’s aware he’s a cop and not too fond of his presence in her hotel. (I mean Will Drake’s hotel but it’s clear she’s still running the place.)

John is bored with the runway show, but Claudia lets him know that it will soon become interesting, because Will Drake hired Tristan Duffy. Tristan Duffy played by Finn Wintrock (He played Dandy in AHS Freak Show), is a model that is into heavy drug use. I see a pattern of drug abuse in this season and it makes me wonder if there is some underlying moral meaning behind it. Are the demons of this place there to punish drug users for their sins or is there some valuable lesson to learn here, other then “don’t do drugs”?

Tristan is a hot mess sporting a punk styled two toned mullet. Backstage, he’s crushing pills and sniffing them in front of everyone. He hits the runway with a cocky stride and kisses someone in the audience on the way back, causing a male bystander to fight him. Tristan falls back on the runway, embarrassing himself in front of everyone, and catching the eye of the Countess.

Gaga and Tristan hold their gaze and make Donovan uncomfortably jealous. Gaga is intrigued by Tristan because she can smell the rage in him and it smells like copper, another reference to blood.

As promised, Lochlan takes Scarlett away from the show and to the cool stuff he’s been dying to show her. He takes her to the hotel pool, which is huge and empty. At the center, there are glass coffins where the resident vamp children sleep. Lochlan tells Scarlett that nothing wakes the kids. But when she bangs on one of the caskets, Holden opens his eyes and looks at his twin sister.

Will Drake gives Tristan a piece of his mind and Tristan says he’s done modeling, after cutting his own cheek. All that rage that Gaga can almost taste. Tristan breaks into Donovan’s suite wrecking the place looking for coke.

Donovan has stuck to a strict policy of not sucking on junkies, but he’s willing to make an exception for the obnoxious junkie he begins to choke out. Lady Gaga interrupts Donovan and allows Tristan to escape into the hallway and up the elevator.

The elevator sends Tristan on to one of those random floors no one is aware exists. He tries to scoop up some left over room service he finds on the floor but it ends up being covered in maggots. The maid can clean sheets all day but she doesn’t seem to have time to make it to this floor. He ends up in a room where music from another era is playing and meets James Patrick March (who is played by Evan Peters.) March wants Tristan to understand the joy of killing someone. Because thats what random strangers so, apparently. The maid, who has been at pro at cleaning blood stained sheets, enters with a young flapper whose hands have been tied.

March asks Tristan to shoot the girl in the head and when he refuses, March shoots the girl in the head without even flinching. The girl was a supposed whore, according to the maid, who is eager to clean the sheets–maybe even excited.

Scarlet cannot stop thinking about her brother. After watching some old home videos, she gets on a bus and returns to her the hotel cortez– by herself. She returns to the empty pool and the children caskets are empty. She finds the secret room where the vamp children hang out and sees her brother seated infant of the video game screen amidst the candy dispensers. Scarlet can’t get Holden to want to go home and she can’t understand why he hasn’t aged. Holden resembles the same age he was when he disappeared. Holden gets close to his sister like he’s going to take a bite out of her, so Scarlet makes a dash for the door.

In a mad rush to get out the hotel cortez, Scarlet bumps into Sally in the hallway. Sally begins to laugh and then grinds her teeth together until they break and blood gushes out. I personally don’t get it. She scared a kid, for what exactly? When Scarlet gets home her parents have called the police and a full investigation was beginning on her disappearance. Her entrance is greeted with joy and confusion as to why she would leave.

Gaga -The Countess- has taken it upon herself to turn wacko job Tristan into a vampire. As in all of her vampirism rituals, this is a sex scene that involves a huge tub and half naked bodies. After he drinks from her blood, it’s time for a quick lesson in vampire life. They don’t bite they cut. They don’t drink from the sick, feeble, or sick. And although they can be out in the sun if they like, it isn’t a good idea to go tanning, because the sun saps their vitality.

Tristan’s first idea is to go after Kendall Jenner for turning him down publicly. Gaga warns him that he mustn’t ever get caught. He also can’t fall in love and he belongs eternally to her. The Countess was born in the 1900’s. If she had to pick her favorite time period, it would be the seventies.

She headlong blonde hair and road into the clubs on a white horse like the queen of disco. The night life allowed for her to be around humans without any fear of judgement. And drinking blood in public must have been easy with all the dope heads passed out regularly. Donovan walks in during this little lesson and throws a lot of shade towards Tristan. He doesn’t think he can last a week in their world. But that’s just the jealousy talking. Gaga throws Donovan out.

John goes to the hotel to look for Iris because he knows the old snoop knows everything. He wants to know whats going on and how his daughter was able to enter the hotel without anyone doing anything about it. Requesting he buy her a drink, Iris gets John to sit across from Liz Taylor at the bar and gives him the history lesson of his life.

The Hotel Cortez was built by James Patrick March. He built the hotel with the idea of having secret passages, using different architects. At one point, when an architect noticed that the blue print had didn’t reflect what was actually in the building, March took him u to his office and stabbed him in the throat. There were secret shoots built into some of the rooms and hallways for the disposal of bodies and anything covered in blood that needed to be thrown out. There were hallways that had no exit not indicated in the elevator dials. The rooms were lined with asbestos to mute the sounds from within making it easy for screams to be muffled from others.

March went as far to tying up a girl into a dark room and covering the front with bricks. He was a sociopath and a sadist that enjoyed torture and murder, even going as far as cutting up a woman as he had sex with her. Apparently, March was married and his wife would at times be made to watch his torture sessions. Ms. Evers was the maid of the hotel and she was his loyal partner in the clean up department. She bragged that she could get a stain out of anything and took after cleaning up the blood that he left on sheets and in the rooms.

If any of this doesn’t sound familiar, I suggest watching the documentary H.H. Holmes: America’s first serial killer. H.H. Holmes built a hotel in Chicago during the worlds fair that consisted of the same torture chamber and cover-up that they created in the hotel cortez. I’m guessing the writers based this the hotel cortez off the worst hotel that ever existed and I applaud them.

 

Now the kicker in Mr. James Patrick March is that he would just about anything , but believed himself to be religious. He had some deep rooted issues based on his uprising, but still felt that his acts did nothing to the security of his salvation.

One of the people he killed brought him back to that connection to never having salvation. And when he disposed of bodies that he had killed, he cut off their hands and left them in a grove with bibles. He implied that the men were being punished for their sins. They were left in the grove on a sunday and that is the day of rest. As if to say, you came in to work on a sunday and now you must pay for your sin. This was probably to lead the cops off his scent more then the actual religious meanings he meant to imply.

Eventually, someone tipped off the cops about J.P March’s activity. Although we get to see that one of the dead bodies at the grove carried his initialed handkerchief. The cops showed up at the hotel and when Ms. Evers alerted March of the cops, he offered a knife and a gun as options. Ms. Evers chose the gun. (Good choice, quick death) But asked him to do the honors. As the cops knocked in the background, March shot Ms. Evers in the head and then cut his own throat open.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY -- "Checking In" Episode 501 (Airs Wednesday, October 7, 10:00 pm/ep) Pictured: (l-r) Kathy Bares as Iris, Denis O'Hare as Liz Taylor. CR: Suzanne Tenner/FX
AMERICAN HORROR STORY — “Checking In” Episode 501 (Airs Wednesday, October 7, 10:00 pm/ep) Pictured: (l-r) Kathy Bares as Iris, Denis O’Hare as Liz Taylor. CR: Suzanne Tenner/FX

John doesn’t believe any of the story, because there should be logical explanations for everything happening in the hotel and ghouls shouldn’t be the prime suspects. Room 64 was March’s office. Iris warns John that the office is the darkest place of the hotel and he sleeps in it.

John gets the result backs on the blood on the trophy that was mailed to him. The trophy was the murder weapon to one of the victims that was a blogger.

John now has sufficient evidence to piece together a pattern to all of the murders. Not necessarily a murderer, but hearing about March has put together a theory that these murders are religion related. The murder in the grove was of illegal immigrants working on a Sunday. You shall not work on the sabbath, the day of rest. The blogger was connected to the commandment about worshiping false idols. And the the two guys that Scarlet discovered when they were looking for her, they had killed their parents and were never convicted, so their murders were connected to the commandment to honor thy parents.

John is thinking that a serial killer has picked up on March’s patterns and is now using the 10 commandments as a guide to killings victims. We all know that another serial killer doesn’t need to exist because March’s ghost is still causing trouble at the hotel cortez. It is possible that he is going out of his way to shake John out of his non-believing logical police thinking.

Tristan skims through tinder until finds a nice tall handsome hipster with a man bun. Hey meet and head to Tristan’s suite for a good time. Gaga is happy with Tristan’s selection in men, but the hipster is turned off when he sees that a girl has been invited to the party. No need to worry about his complaining because Tristan sticks a knife into his neck and drinks him into death. Gag lays back and plays with herself, as he drinks. This is the man that she’s been looking for. The one that can bring that spark of excitement back into her life.

What did you think about this long and sordid episode? The history of the Hotel cortez? Lady Gaga? Comment below or send me a message on of these channels.

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