Illustration for article titled The Shifting Balance of Power is Everything on iAmerican Horror Story: Hotel/i

American Horror Story: Hotel returned last night after its holiday hiatus, and nearly every character had his or her claws out. When the dust settled, we were left with an in-depth lesson on who is controlling whom at the Cortez—as it stands now, at least.



Episode 10’s climactic hail of bullets kills Donovan, to Iris’ horror. It’s a small consolation that they’re able to drag him to the sidewalk outside the hotel, ensuring that his ghost won’t be trapped there forever. This is an important theme throughout episode 11, aptly titled “Battle Royale.”


The Countess isn’t so lucky. She’s nursed back to health by abandonment-phobic Sally, and she convinces Ramona to quiet her lusty revenge, but she’s finally done in by John—who’s selected the Countess as his final Ten Commandments Killer victim. “Thou shall not commit murder” meant he had to, uh, find a murderer to kill ... and who better? James Patrick March is stoked, because this means his beloved has now joined his ghostly ranks. Poor ol’ Sally, though; even after we learn more of her horrific backstory, March won’t let her kill John and keep him forever.

As for the vampires, Ramona is now Queen Bee of the hotel, and is feeling extra-fierce after feasting on a witch (guest star Gabourey Sidibe, delightfully reprising her AHS: Coven character)—thanks to an assist by March.

Things aren’t looking good for the Countess. But there are two episodes to go, and though she made for a fab vampire, I have a feeling she’s going to make a hell of an angry ghost.

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