'American Horror Story: Hotel,' Episode 5: Mommy's little monster
That monstrous addiction demon has nothing on Measles Max. He went from a weak, bedridden boy suffering from the measles (BECAUSE HIS MOM DIDN'T GET HIM VACCINATED) to a knife-wielding mass murderer and vampire maker. All thanks to Alex Lowe.
While his wife is adjusting to her new life as a blood sucker, John Lowe is on the verge of having a psychological breakdown. Wednesday's episode "Room Service" gave us Liz Taylor's backstory, Iris reaching her lowest point and a more caring and nurturing side of the Countess we aren't use to seeing.
Drink, it'll make you feel awesome
Alex is struggling to adjust to being a vampire. She may not have fangs and can still tolerate some sunlight, but her sense of smell and hearing is heightened. She can hear, see and feel the blood pumping through the veins of the families in the hospital — and it's intoxicating. Her measles patient, Max, is on the brink of death and his mother is obviously distraught.
He's past saving through medicine, so she decides to save him by making him just like her. He miraculously recovers overnight. Max gets to go home to celebrate Halloween with his friends at school, but only after he murders his entire family and drinks their blood on the kitchen floor.
This ancient blood virus the Countess speaks of is just like any other illness — it spreads quickly if left uncontrolled. Max takes it to school, luring his crush into a classroom closet to give her a quick kiss and a bite on the lips. She quickly succumbs to the measles he passes along and the only way to survive is to become a blood-sucker like Max.
The cycle continues with children contracting the measles then being saved by this blood virus and feeding of their teachers. (SERIOUSLY, NONE OF THESE CHILDREN ARE VACCINATED?) The school goes on lockdown, and the police come find the school covered in blood and dead bodies.
The bloody children are led outside to their panicking parents, telling the police a fake story of a masked man committing the heinous murders. Max spread his virus and lies through most of the school quicker than a rumor about a 12-year-old wetting his pants in gym class.
Blood … with a drop of triple sec
Iris isn't doing too well with her newfound vampirism. Donovan just wanted to help his mother, but now she's just become a burden. He takes her to Ramona Royale and explains how she can be the "inside man" to take down the Countess.
They both don't believe the Countess will even notice a difference in Iris, but she sure does. Countess and Tristan notice she smells different back at the hotel lobby, and Iris continues to shake and sweat in her sickness. Liz Taylor comes to the rescue with a bloody cocktail and some advice to start feeding on fresh, warm blood. She's disgusted by the revelation she will have to feed off someone, but Liz Taylor says a little violet eyeshadow will cheer her right up. "Works for me every time," she says.
Feeding and choosing the correct color palette are the least of her worries when an ultra trendy hipster couple demand top notch accommodations at the Cortez. They want proximity to Will Drake. They want fancy wine, pate and grilled romaine. And they want it all now. "B****** want pate; and pate they shall have," Liz Taylor says as she scrapes canned cat food onto a plate.
Iris finally loses it. She's overwhelmed with disgust and confusion over her immortality, and if this couple doesn't stop yapping she's going to kill them. She does just that, geting her first taste of fresh blood. Iris and Liz Taylor share a celebratory glass of red wine as they dispose of the bodies in the laundry chute. "I never knew how to live until I died," she says, toasting him.
Goddesses don't speak in whispers — they scream
Onto to my FAVORITE part of the episode — Liz Taylor's backstory. Originally Nick Pryor, a man living in a loveless marriage in Topeka, Liz Taylor said her marriage was based on necessity and matching dress size.
Pryor was a medical rep and frequently took trips around the country with fellow reps. One one fateful trip to the Cortez, Pryor meets Countess in his room. He's ashamed to be seen in a silky nightgown and fur coat, but she reassures him.
"You dress like a man, talk like a man, but you smell like a woman," she says. "Become who you were born to be — a goddess." Pryor thus became Liz Taylor, Countess's living doll. She shaves his head and dolls him up for a night on the town — or at least a casual strut to the ice machine. His pals find him, suddenly frightened and spewing hateful words until Countess silences them with a slash of her claw.
With Liz Taylor's story, we see Countess (supposedly) saving people for their own good, not just her own gain. She turned Alex so she could remain with Holden forever, and she saved Liz Taylor from an unhappy, unfulfilled marriage and life.
Nothing is safe
John Lowe was noticeably not front and center for this episode. He was too busy getting fired, sleeping with Sally and not remembering it and have nervous breakdowns. His investigations into the 10 Commandments Killer's acts are tearing him apart, and he now has his soon-to-be-ex-wife roaming the halls with their vampiric son.
Speaking of ex-wives, Alex is settling in fine. She's just happy to be reunited with Holden, and to keep him forever. Countess dubs her the governess of her little vampire children, responsible for their safety and upkeep. Perks: sleeping in the same glass coffin with Holden and free rein in the Countess's closet. I'd be down for it.
Contact Chelsea Tatham at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @chelseatatham.