Spoiler alert: Do not read on unless you’ve seen episode ten of “American Horror Story: Hotel,” titled “She Wants Revenge.”
“American Horror Story: Hotel” undoubtedly has countless balls in the air at this point in the season. There’s the Countess (Lady Gaga) scheming to get Will Drake’s (Cheyenne Jackson) money for the hotel; Donovan (Matt Bomer), Iris (Kathy Bates) and Ramona (Angela Bassett) teaming up for revenge against the Countess; John Lowe’s (Wes Bentley) mental decline upon finding out he’s the 10 Commandments Killer; and oh, yeah, remember those murdering vampire children? And that’s far from all.
But the aptly titled “She Wants Revenge” — an episode name that could easily refer to the Countess, Iris or Ramona — moves the plot quickly in ways that few episodes before it have. The Countess is now a century old, and she’s feeling pensive ahead of her wedding to Will, which she’s only doing to get his riches after he dies.
Will, unsurprisingly, wants a big, flashy wedding, but the Countess wants a much smaller affair. She enlists Liz Taylor (Denis O’Hare) for helping her with some small wedding tasks. However, the tension is palpable. Liz is still furious with the Countess for killing Tristan (Finn Wittrock), and the Countess is so entitled that she doesn’t understand her anger. All she sees is all she’s given to those in the Hotel Cortez, not the many things that she’s taken away. Plus, she’s still shaken after finding out what James March (Evan Peters) did to her old love Valentino and Natasha.
“A woman can only be pushed so far,” says the Countess, “and I am right on the edge.”
She finds Valentino, and he seems perfectly happy to see her. But little does he know that the Countess is back with Donovan, who makes her promise that she loves only him. She swears she does, but it’s hard to believe that she could even be capable of such a thing.
Meanwhile, we’re treated to more of the new Iris. Ironically liberated by the blood virus, she explains that she’s tired of being an enabler, and the victims of her new mindset are a couple of pornstars who go to the hotel for a shot. She proceeds to murder them — really just because she can — and Donovan finds her afterwords, seemingly impressed by her new attitude.
Will, though, looks a little too excited for the wedding, given what’s coming. He gets some unwelcome advice in the form of Miss Evers, with Mare Winningham delivering her most captivating scene of the season. She tries her best to warn him, revealing, unsurprisingly, that she’s in love with March. While her motives are selfish, she’s not wrong, but Will refuses to believe her. She promises to watch him die — a promise that she later delivers on.
Moving on, we learn a lot about Ramona’s past when Donovan returns to her, hoping to recruit her for his team against the Countess once again. He even comes bearing gifts: a man on whom they can feast. But Ramona has her doubts, as she has before, and Donovan tries to sway her by telling her that he’s with the Countess once again. This does get her attention, at least enough to go into a bit of her backstory.
After the Countess essentially destroyed Ramona by killing her boyfriend, Ramona returned to her parents. After her mother died, she watched her father’s brain deteriorate, and came home one day to find him dead or near death. Desperate to save him in her loneliness, she gives him her blood, transferring the blood virus to him and bringing him back to life.
This story ends up being most educational in what it says about the blood virus. It doesn’t cure his old age. He is still senile and weak, with Ramona having to bring him blood from her kills. Eventually, she ends up killing him. Even with the “gift” of immortality, he wasn’t getting any better.
Once Ramona gives in to Donovan, they head back to the hotel… where Donovan attacks Ramona with a Taser. He’s still in love with the Countess, to Iris’ horror. But, for once, Iris will not stand by her son unconditionally. “You’re the one who’s going to die, son,” she warns.
Oh, and we (finally!) find those vampire children again. They’re killing, and Alex (Chloe Sevigny) is trying to undo her horrible mistake. While the child Alex saved is the leader, and has become a savage killer, some of the children haven’t had the same attitude change. Some of them even feel remorse about killing and eating their parents (imagine that!). Alex tries to get them to the Hotel Cortez, but they refuse, and we know that’s not good for Los Angeles.
Ahead of the wedding, the Countess goes to visit Valentino. She’s distracted Natasha by giving her a credit card and allowing her to run free through Beverly Hills, something that must be liberating for someone who has been locked in a hotel for decades. But Donovan sees the Countess leave the motel. Will this change his feelings?
Regardless, it’s time for a wedding. In a small ceremony in the hotel lobby, the Countess enters wedded bliss with Will, despite Liz’s protests to stop the wedding “because she’s a bitch.” But all is far from well in paradise. When Will heads to the hotel bar for a celebration drink, March finds him, and then leads him to the Countess’ baby, Bartholomew. No shock: Will is horrified.
The Countess is appalled that Will would ever insult her (undoubtedly terrifying) baby, and knocks him out. He later appears with Ramona, and they’re both trapped in the hotel. But don’t worry about Ramona; she won’t starve. After Will frees her from her cage, she kills and feasts on him. The last thing he sees is Miss Evers standing above him, with the smuggest “I told you so” look on her face.
Of course, the Countess watches the whole thing on her hotel cameras. She even got Ramona to do her dirty work for her. But the characters still have plenty of consequences left to face. What will the wrath of Ramona bring for Donovan? And what will the Countess do to March? With the next episode titled “She Gets Revenge,” we’ll hopefully find out.