Though she impressed in the premiere episode, Lady Gaga’s Countess has been pretty disappointing over the course of this season of American Horror Story: Hotel. Sure, the singer is great in the role, but there’s never been much substance to her character. All we knew is that she cycled through lovers, had an unquenchable thirst for blood, and an obsession with turning and collecting children. While the reason behind the last one was explained in the previous episode, this week’s episode “Flicker” dove deeper into her origin story, and connection to the Hotel’s master Mr. March.
Before we get to the juicy details, we have to take a second to talk about what went down at the beginning of the episode. Now that he owns the Cortez, Will Drake is having a couple of the hotel’s areas remodeled. While on the job however, the workers uncovered a secret area which is located behind a thick wall. Once they broke through, the construction workers went to investigate the abandoned hallway which they stated reeked like death. It turns out that the stench was coming from a pair of ancient vampires who’ve been trapped there since the 1920’s, with nothing but rats to feed on.
Though at first I thought they were just another freaky feature of the location, the vamps have a fleshed out backstory which connects to both the Countess and Mr. March’s timelines. Like several of the characters we’ve already seen, they are based on real people from the era. It all started in 1925, when a young pre-vampire Countess was working as an extra in the Silent film (or flicker) industry. After falling for the star Rodolfo Valentino and his wife Natascha Rambova, she learned the ins and outs of the business. In fact, while the other two were out of town, she attended the glamorous opening of the Hotel Cortez–where she unfortunately learned the news of Valentino’s death.
Following his death, The Countess visited his grave every day and left a single red rose. Though she was seen often, nobody knew who she was and referred to her as the “woman in black.” Those who’re familiar with the real Valentino’s untimely demise, will no doubt recognize the scenario. Anyways, after visiting for a while, the Countess ran into Natascha at the grave one day. Surprised, she asked what happened, moments before Valentino showed up in person. When questioned about his “death,” he explained that it was F.W. Murnau (who directed Nosferatu) who’d turned him by passing on the vampire virus. He soon turned Natascha, and offered The Countess the chance to be immortal and run away with them.
But, little did they know, she’d already moved on and married Mr. Macrch–who had comforted her during the Cotez’s opening, after she’d found out that Valentino had died. However, the temptation to flee and live with her two lovers for eternity was greater than her desire to stay with March. Unfortunately, March overheard their plan, and abducted the duo before they could meet the countess at the train station. After snagging them, he trapped them in the hotel, and refrained from telling the Countess what he had done until they escaped during this week’s episode.
She was understandably upset by the news, and they were understandably thirsty, especially after being cooped up for so long. They dined the realtor who sold Drake the property (and appeared in AHS’ first season), but when that wasn’t enough, they attacked a room full of guys. Feeling and looking a bit better, the duo glammed up and left the hotel before the Countess had a chance to see them. Man, the show runners sure like to unleash tons of vampires into the wild. I still wonder whether we’ll ever find out what happened to the small army of vampire children that Alex inadvertently created a couple of episodes.
While all of that was going on, Lowe was battling his mental illness, or at least pretending to. He checked into a nearby health care facility, and stated that he needed professional help. Though Alex told him she’d be able to get him a spot at a better hospital, he declined and said he wanted to stay where he was. We soon found out that the reason he chose that particular location, was because the facility hosted a patient who was connected to the 10 Commandments killer.
After knocking out and stealing the keys from the guard, Lowe located the person’s cell, and was surprised to find a little girl namedWren being imprisoned. The reason she was there was because she’d been present when the 10 Commandment murders took place, and wouldn’t talk to the police. Her silence had a lot to do with the fact that she’d killed a security guard at one of the locations. She also revealed that her father never wanted her to grow up. When she was left in the car alone one day back in the ’80s the Countess came to her rescue and turned her.
Anyways, when Lowe questioned her about what happened, and told her that it wasn’t her fault, she told him she would tell him where the killer lived as long as he got her out of the facilitty. In need of answers, John Lowe did just that, but unfortunately nothing came of it becauseWren ran out into traffic and was hit by a car. Based on her behavior, and several other hints that have dropped, I’m guessing Lowe is the murderer. At this point, the idea sounds pretty plausible, but I wouldn’t put it past the show to make it somebody else.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know in the comments below.
Image Credit: Fox