TV Review: AMERICAN HORROR STORY: HOTEL Episode 9: “She Wants Revenge”

ahsAs I’ve mentioned in previous reviews of HOTEL, I really ached for more screen time involving Angela Bassett’s fierce Ramona Royale. Her bound to vengeance character got a bit of a more rounded back story as her own demons are explored. After the loss of her lover at the hands of the Countess (Lady Gaga), she heads back home to stay with her parents. Her mother’s death leads to the downfall of her father’s health and his Alzheimer’s becomes his weakness as he is almost beat to death by intruders. Ramona utilizes her disease as a means to save his life in hopes of a cure, only to bring him back to physical health, but still with the same disease. She eventually drowns him in the bathtub and the years have gone by fast. Ramona goes back into the world and, with the growing popularity of streaming services (“for FREE?!”), she becomes a familiar face again and she recognizes all that she lost because of the Countess. This fuels her motivation to finally kill the Countess. In true AMERICAN HORROR STORY fashion, no plan goes as conceived and she is double crossed by Donovan (Matt Bomer) who acted as a confidante. Right as Ramona is about to stab the Countess, she is cornered and becomes a caged animal staged for enjoyment in a scene that actually made me jump. Bassett steals the show here and made me think of what a season of AHS would be like if she were the headliner.

We finally get a follow up onto the children who were turned back in the school massacre episode. It turns out there have been unsolved murders happening in the area, including a homeless man that makes the news. Alex (Chloe Sevigny) finds the kids at one of their homes feeding off of a pizza delivery man. She fails to convince them to come to the Hotel Cortez to be around others like them, but the kids’ hunger and maturity levels stop them from making the smart decision. Some of the kids are ill as they refuse to feed off fresh blood and this creates animosity amongst them. They decide to leave on their own and I hope this isn’t the last we see of them. While I’m enjoying this season, the sequences involving the children feel fun and help me take a vacation from an otherwise grim season.

The Countess gets her wedding to Will Drake (Cheyenne Jackson), which leads to his own trappings and eventual death as he has his throat slit and fed off by Ramona. The Countess hopes to be a rich widow as a result, but we’ll see how this plays out and who it really is she wants by her side (if anybody). It feels insinuated that Rudolph Valentino (Finn Wittrock) is the love of her life, but she’s proven to be a stone cold vampire who doesn’t let anyone get in her way.

John Lowe’s (Wes Bentley) absence was felt, but that’s a good thing as last week’s exposition filled episode was unnecessary and slowed the season down to a halt to focus on an uninteresting story line. His revelation as the Ten Commandments killer was unsurprising and a bit yawn inducing. Luckily, the focus came back to the Countess as this season was marketed to use her as the star. If previous seasons are any indication, there are only four episodes left and there are plenty of bodies ready to be piled up.

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