Last night’s episode, “Room Service,” was all about transformations. Alex and Iris became vampires for very different reasons, and unsurprisingly the transition into their respective new lives are also very different. Meanwhile one of the show’s best characters finally gets a backstory–and it’s wonderful.

Spoilers!

In the Alex plotline, American Horror Story: Hotel offers food for thought for all the anti-vaxxers out there: if you don’t vaccinate your kid, he might get measles. If your kid gets measles, he might get so sick he almost dies. If your kid almost dies, his pediatrician–who, as it just so happens, recently became a vampire–might save his life by injecting him with her blood. Oh sure, your kid will then amazingly, miraculously recover ... but as soon as you take him home, he’ll rip out your throat. Then, he’ll merrily head to school and disrupt his classroom’s Halloween party by turning all his little friends into vampires, too.

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“Drink it, it will make you feel awesome!”

To put it mildly ... things get messy. Alex didn’t really think that through, did she? But she’s not thinking of anything besides her son. Her new, Countess-appointed role as governess for the Hotel Cortez’s junior flock means she’ll have all the time in the world to spend with him. But does it also mean she’ll have to start hunting, rather than getting her fix from the hospital’s blood supply? And what will John say when he sees her lurking in the hotel halls?

John, who hogged all the screen time last week palling around with Jeffrey Dahmer and company, doesn’t do much this week except get fired from the police department (which, come on, we all saw coming) and hook up with skeevy Sally (ditto). But it seems likely he’ll keep hunting the 10 Commandments Killer on his own, and he may not even have to leave the hotel to do it.

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Far more interesting is what happens to Iris, who Donovan believes is the perfect “inside man” for Operation Revenge Against the Countess. “I don’t know if this is Oedipal or just mercenary,” Ramona muses, but she’s all for the plan. Iris, who’s in bad shape mentally and physically, lurches back to the Hotel Cortez, where Liz Taylor–who immediately knows what ails her–offers up “Liz’s special somethin’ somethin’” (a cocktail of blood and a dash of triple sec) and a friendly ear.

Despite the fact that these two have been co-workers for years, they haven’t really buddied up until now. But Liz is the perfect person for Iris to talk to right now–there’s nobody who better understands how disgusted she feels with herself. See, Liz wasn’t always the glamorous cross-dressing bartender we see today; in a past life, she was a married father in Topeka who only felt alive while wearing a slip and a fur in hotel rooms on business trips. One such trip led her to the Cortez, and into the Countess’ sympathetic hands ... and she never left. During this sequence, we learn two things: Liz isn’t gay. And more importantly, LIZ IS NOT A VAMPIRE. She’s just a Hotel Cortez employee ... who happens to be totally stoked on her personal freedom.

Iris is terrified the Countess will find out she’s been turned (because she’d swiftly get rid of her, Donovan, Ramona, and anyone else involved in the plot against her). But other than a briefly alarming moment as the Countess is swanning out for the evening and remarks that she “seems nervous,” so far so good. And Iris is nervous. She’s generally a freaked-out person. But now that she’s immortal, it’s time to grow a spine and “stop taking shit,” Liz advises her. It’s a fantastic pep talk, conducted while the pair cobble together some “room service” for the odious, pretentious hipster couple who’ve just checked into the hotel.

But trolling rude foodies with cat food disguised as pate isn’t enough. Iris needs to feed, but more importantly, these two guests must die. Though it’s SO SATISFYING to see Iris finally become the badass we all know she could be, it’s a little disappointing that her first kills are such an exaggeratedly awful pair. Seriously, they were the worst. If I could have reached through my screen and strangled them myself, I would have.

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Presumably, she’ll have to make some harder choices in the very near future. But for now, “I never knew how to live until I died,” she tells Liz. And American Horror Story: Hotel just got a lot more exciting.