“American Horror Story: Hotel” can really be summed up this season as a mad witches’ brew of great ideas and fun stories mixed up with utter nonsense. Right when you think that the show is starting to turn things around, it comes back at you with moments that make you completely roll your eyes. It’s a convoluted, at-times enjoyable mess, and “Battle Royale” brought more of that and then some.
Let’s start with the night’s best scene: Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) returning from “Coven” and getting into an epic / awesome fight with Ramona Royale, one that she eventually lost because Mr. March killed her, as he could not be hurt by her voodoo powers. (This may be the best scene to mention “The Price Is Right” since “Happy Gilmore.”) Ramona gained great power from her, and yet was completely manipulated by the Countess the moment that she went down to speak with her. This was a twist maddening beyond words since it made the great Ramona into a complete idiot.
The only thing that saved this somewhat was John Lowe coming in and fulfilling the latest order from Mr. March: Murdering the Countess. This was a nice twist, mostly because we thought he was just going to kill himself and call it a day with the Commandments. Now he gets to see his family supposedly, while Sally suffers without the thought of having him. (The Sally flashbacks were completely random tonight, but so freaky and messed-up they were enjoyable.)
Now, Mr. March has the Countess all his own for the rest of eternity (at least in theory), while the hotel belongs now to Iris and Liz Taylor, at least presumably. Donovan’s really the only person whose suffering truly ended tonight; Iris brought him outside the hotel to die, so he will not remain to haunt it. The whole “ghost” twist is a little bit of a creative bummer, mostly because it means that even with Liz and Iris scoring ownership of the hotel, how much do they really have it when there are so many “influential figures” roaming the halls? We haven’t even mentioned Miss Evers, whose confession of love for James Patrick did not go as planned.
We’re not sure a good ending saves this hot mess of a season by any stretch of the imagination, but at least this episode did tie together some loose ends and give us some great moments with Ramona and Queenie. That is at least worthy of some credit. Grade: B-.
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