Vampires, ghosts and murderous hotel owners, oh my! It appears that American Horror Story: Hotel is going back to its roots and taking a page from season one with dead people roaming the halls of the hotel. Except this time, there’s now a touch of True Blood with bloodsuckers thrown in. In “Chutes and Ladders,” Iris explains a little bit about the history of the Hotel Cortez to Detective John Lowe, who is intrigued when his daughter claims she found his son Holden. Meanwhile, the Countess kicks out Donovan when she turns a male model into her new lover.

A New Lover For the Countess

It seems that the Countess is growing bored of her lover Donovan. All she wants to do is go out and hunt for her next meal of blood, but all he wants to do is hang out at home. You know, the typical argument all couples have, right? She decides to take matters into her own hands.

During a fashion show, put on by the hotel’s new owner Will Drake, the Countess sets her sights on coked-up male model Tristan (Finn Wittrock). But instead of just sleeping with him, she decides to “turn him.” As she explains, people who have “the virus” or are “turned,” live forever. Basically, they are vampires and can stay young and beautiful by drinking blood. She explains the rules, which are: don’t drink from the dead, don’t get caught and don’t fall in love. She also tells Tristan she was born in 1904.

Immediately after they consummate their new relationship, Donovan walks in. He’s obviously upset, claiming she’s stooped to new lows with a washed up model. But she fires back that he was on the brink of death as a coked-up drug addict. After their fight, she throws Donovan out.

American Horror Story: Hotel Season Premiere Recap: What’s Up With Room 64?>>>

What Took You So Long?

During his stay at the hotel, Detective John is awoken by that same alarm at the same time, around 2:30 a.m. He again sees random things in his room, including dead people having sex in his shower as well as his son Holden running through the halls. As John chases him, he ends up in the hotel bar with Sally. She explains not only her addiction, but that strange things happen in the hotel, specifically between the hours of  2 a.m and 3 a.m.

She realizes that John is sober, so she asks when his last drink was. He tells her it was during a case where a man accidentally poisoned his whole family with CO while running a generator, so he killed himself too. He went on a bender for a few days. When he returned home, he says that he took is family out and that’s when his son Holden went missing.

Later in the day, John and his daughter Scarlet, attend Drake’s fashion show. Scarlet runs off with Drake’s son, who shows her the creepy blonde children sleeping in coffins. Realizing that one of them might be her brother, she goes back on her own the next day to find him. She stumbles upon the game room, where Holden asks what took her so long. She tells him it’s time to go home, but he says that the hotel is home. She also asks why he didn’t grow up, but I guess since the Countess probably “turned” all of the kids, they are now “immortal” too. When she goes to take a picture, he moves into her neck, which freaks her out and she runs off.

Back at home, her family is worried sick. She tells John that she found Holden, but he doesn’t believe her and says that Holden is dead. When he goes to look at the picture, the part with Holden is blurry. Now was it because he moved or because he can’t be photographed because he’s either dead or a vampire?

Introducing Mr. March

John runs to the hotel lobby to demand answers about what the hell is going on. Iris says if he wants answers, he first has to know about the hotel’s original owner, Mr. James Patrick March (Evan Peters).

March built the hotel in 1925 with new money to satisfy his peculiar appetites. Not only was the hotel the largest in Los Angeles at the time, it was also filled with secrets. The hotel is a perfectly designed torture chamber, with secret rooms and chutes to hide bodies. Walls were filled with asbestos to muffle the screams from inside. Some hallways were built with no exits to keep people from ever leaving. He would kill people, bury them behind walls, etc. And his trusty minion, Miss Evers, would clean up after him.

Iris explains that March had a wife, and some claim he’d force her to watch him kill people. But it seemed she liked it. (I think his wife is the Countess, but only time will tell.) During one of his killing sprees, the victim gets religious and says March will never be at peace as long as there is a God. March says he will just have to kill God. And after he kills the man, he demands all bibles be removed from the hotel. Later, he leaves the bibles with a bunch of bodies in a field. The police find a handkerchief with his initials, so police track him back at the hotel. Iris believes March’s wife tipped off the police to his ways so to gain his money and the hotel. Meanwhile, before the police enter March’s office, Room 64, Miss Evers tips him off. He brings out a knife and a gun and asks her what order should they die in. She says she’d like him to kill her first, so she can be his last victim. So he shoots her and slits his throat.

10 Commandments Killer

John is not convinced of Iris’ story. However, after digging down at the precinct, he thinks that March’s serial killer ways are somehow connected to the recent case he’s been working on. He starts to piece together this new killer’s motive, the 10 commandments. Each crime scene is one of the commandments.

So Who’s Dead and Who’s Alive?

So far, we know that Sally, Miss Evers and March are dead, despite everyone being able to see them at the hotel. I can only assume Iris and Liz Taylor are dead too, since they seem to have been around forever. The Countess claims she’s a vampire and she’s been outside of the hotel, so I guess she’s not dead. I can’t say the same for Tristan though. And since Sally has Gabriel sewn into a mattress, I guess he’s dead too.

The jury is still out on the children. They seem to just be brainwashed bloodsuckers. They also donate blood for the Countess when her supply is running low.

I’m curious how this new owner and his friends will come into play. I wonder if he’s onto the crazy, creepy things that go on at the Cortez. His son sure does know, and I guess hasn’t told him.

I do like that American Horror Story went back to the ghosts haunting theme. I guess only time will tell who is dead and who is alive by if they leave the hotel. Or at least those were the rules in season one.

American Horror Story: Hotel airs Wednesdays at 10pm on FX.

(Image courtesy of FX)


Contributing Writer, BuddyTV