Since Halloween was this past weekend, "American Horror Story" sandwiched two Halloween themed episodes around the holiday. Last week we got a nice, disturbing serial killer dinner, hosted by Mr. March himself. Apparently Halloween is too mainstream for them, and they decided to re-name the holiday “Devil’s Night.”
Basically, every Devil’s Night, six of America’s most infamous killers sit around a table and discuss their favorite murder techniques. Richard Ramirez (Anthony Ruivivar), Jeffrey Dahmer (Seth Gabel) and Wayne Gacy (John Carroll Lynch) were all there. Lily Rabi also made an appearance as Aileen Wuornos, making us all do a double take. She had a mullet and was in serious need of a makeover. I never appreciated the existence of my eyebrows until I didn’t see hers.
John Lowe also joined the crowd, perhaps foreshadowing his future actions. Maybe there’s another side to Lowe we haven’t seen yet — homicidal side.
Anyway, we get some back story on Hazel (Ms. Evers), the ghost-maid, who apparently lost her son back in the 1920s — on Halloween — when he was taken by a guy who was known for kidnapping and murdering children. It was a really heartbreaking flashback and probably the first time this season that we actually felt a slight sense of empathy for any of the characters.
The kidnapping theme keeps going, when Alex takes her own child, Holden, from the hotel. She brings him back home and offers him a drink, but apparently he would rather use the household dog as a juice box. At this point Alex realizes that something is terribly wrong with her son — as if the bleach blond, wispy hair and vacant look in his eyes wasn’t enough of a tip off.
Side note: Alex and John are probably the most oblivious and selfish parents on the planet. Who’s watching their daughter, Scarlet? She could be off shooting heroine with Hypodermic Sally and no one would notice.
When Alex takes Holden back to the Countess and demands answers, the Queen Bee gives her an ultimatum: become one of them, or live out the remainder of her life without her son. Alex basically says "eff it" and takes up the Countess’ offer to contract "the Virus" so that she can be with her son once and for all.
It was a killer episode, overall.
This week, we had a continuation of the Halloween theme, which involved some raunchy ghost sex, murderous middle schoolers, and cat food pâté.
We finally got a back-story on Liz Taylor, who was formerly a married man until she found Hotel Cortez and the Countess helped her realize that despite biologically being a man, her blood "smelled" like that of a woman. The transformation scene was spectacular and something you’ll just have to watch for yourself.
In turn, Liz Taylor’s story inspired Iris to take back her life. Now, with her new vampire status, she murders two horrible, high-strung guests, who were unbearably disrespectful to her. Honestly, no one is going to miss them. Darren Criss can take his derby hat and leave.
Meanwhile, the Countess hires newly vamped Alex as the children’s new nanny, so she can spend more time with her son. She accepts and then creepily joins Holden in his coffin. Once again, who’s watching Scarlet? Lowe is too busy sleeping with Sally, getting fired and overall just losing it to think about his kids. Generally, we can tell the state of Lowe’s mind by the dishevelment of his hair. This week it was in rare form.
Still plotting, Donovan and Ramona decide to use Iris as an "in" so they can take down the Countess. That should go well.
On top of all this chaos, Alex saves a kid with measles (by giving him the Virus) who in turn goes and turns his classmates into vampires, before proceeding to murder the administrative staff. That whole scene would make anyone seriously reconsider home-schooling.
Kids, pop culture and addiction of all kinds are still pushing at the seams here. But it almost seems that this season is biting off more than it can chew, considering we’re a third of the way through the season and there are still more questions than answers. It’s slow progress, and we’re still waiting for this season to hit its stride, but it’s entertaining TV nonetheless.