American Horror Story: Hotel

Checking in.

Aired: Season 5 (Hotel) aired October 7th, 2015–January 13th, 2016 on FX
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
Network: FX
Series Creator(s): Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk

Cast:

Lady Gaga … as The Countess / Elizabeth Johnson
Kathy Bates … as Iris
Sarah Paulson … as Hypodermic Sally / Billie Dean Howard
Matt Bomer … as Donovan
Evan Peters … as James Patrick March
Wes Bentley … as Detective John Lowe
Chloë Sevigny … as Alex Lowe (series regular)
Denis O’Hare … as Liz Taylor
Angela Bassett … as Ramona Royale
Finn Wittrock … as Tristan Duffy / Rudolph Valentino
Mare Winningham … as Ms. Evers
Alexandra Daddario … as Natacha Rambova
Lennon Henry … as Holden Lowe
Shree Crooks … as Scarlett Lowe
Richard T. Jones … as Detective Andrew Hahn

Status: Season 5 complete and out on VOD.

Overview
Memorable Alex Quotations
Said of American Horror Story: Hotel
American Horror Story: Hotel Series Trivia
Critical Reception
American Horror Story: Hotel Online


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More photos in our American Horror Story: Hotel gallery


Overview

American Horror Story is an American horror anthology series from FX. The series features a new story and characters each season, but often with returning actors. American Horror Story: Hotel is the title of the show’s fifth season.

From Wikipedia:

American Horror Story: Hotel centers around the enigmatic Hotel Cortez in Los Angeles, California, that catches the eye of an intrepid homicide detective (Wes Bentley). The Cortez is host to the strange and bizarre, spearheaded by its owner, The Countess (Lady Gaga), who is a bloodsucking fashionista. The hotel also features two murderous threats in the form of The Ten Commandments Killer, a serial offender who selects his victims in accordance with biblical teachings, and The Addiction Demon, who tortures the hotel guests with a very special tool…

Chloë Sevigny appears in Hotel as Alex Lowe, a doctor and wife to Detective John Lowe. Alex is painfully haunted by the kidnapping of her son many years ago, and as his disappearance finally begins to unravel, so does Alex and her demons.

List of Episodes:

Chloë Sevigny appears in the following episodes of American Horror Story: Hotel:

Season 5/”Hotel” (October 7th 2015–January 13th, 2016)

Episode 5.01 “Checking In”
Episode 5.02 “Chutes and Ladders”
Episode 5.03 “Mommy”
Episode 5.04 “Devil’s Night”
Episode 5.05 “Room Service”
Episode 5.06 “Room 33”
Episode 5.07 “Flicker”
Episode 5.08 “The Ten Commandments Killer”
Episode 5.09 “She Wants Revenge”
Episode 5.10 “She Gets Revenge”
Episode 5.11 “Battle Royale”
Episode 5.12 “Be Our Guest”


Memorable Alex Quotations

From episode 5.01 “Checking In”:

[John comes home as Alex is about to leave for work.]
John: “Hey, sorry I’m late. Did you get my text?”
Alex: “Yes, and it’s clearly more considerate than you, since it showed up at six like you were supposed to.”
John: “Sorry.”
Alex: “I have a kid with a sprained ankle in Beverly Hills, and twins with possible whooping cough in the Palisades right after. Whooping cough. Can you believe it? I mean, what’s wrong with people?”
John: [to Scarlett] “I’m gonna help your mom.”
Scarlett: “Okay.”
Alex: “I don’t care how much they pay me, I refuse to see parents who won’t vax their kids.”
John: [jingling Alex’s keys] “Doctor.”
Alex: “I made that quinoa casserole that you two like.”
John. “Oh, good.”
Alex: “You okay?”
John: “Yeah, yeah. Just hungry, I think.”
Alex: “Well, next time you should eat the protein bar I stuffed in your pocket. [looking at Scarlett] Love you.”
Scarlett: “Bye, mom!”
John: “Love you.”

[Alex is instructing Scarlett on how to throw a dart.]
Alex: “Slow it down, slow it down. Remember, hold it like a pencil, throw it like a baseball. Concentrate on where you want it to go.”

Alex: “I mean, maybe we should just go stay with Mary.”
John: “In New Hampshire? I don’t want to do that to Scarlett. It’s already gonna be hard enough as it is, she should be able to sleep in her own bed. I’m gonna have two uniformed men with you at all times. One’s gonna go to school with Scarlett, one’s gonna go to work with you, and these guys are very good at what they do. You’re not even gonna know they’re there unless you need them.”
Alex: “Do you even know what this guy looks like? I don’t understand how he texted you from my phone. I mean, do you think that he knows where we live? Jesus, John! What are we gonna do, huh? Maybe I should get a gun.”
John: “No. No, you– you don’t need to get a gun, alright? There are ways to clone somebody’s phone. Don’t worry. I’m gonna keep you guys safe.”
Alex: “What, by moving out?”
John: “I have a feeling he’s gonna come after me again, and if that happens, I don’t want either of you near me.”
Alex: “Look, I’m not upset because you’re leaving. I’m upset because I…”
[Alex starts to sob.]
Alex: “… I secretly want you to go.”
John: “I– I understand. You… I shouldn’t have brought Scarlett to that house. I thought you were in trouble, I– I told that idiot cop to watch her–“
Alex: “I’m not mad about that…! Look, I know you would never put her in danger. And I don’t blame you for Holden, no matter what you think. I love you so much. He just looked so much like you. I see him in your face every day and I just want to die. It’s not fair, they took my little boy from me, and I can’t even look at the one person in the world who understands how I feel. I just need a break from it all.”
John: “Do you ever hope?”
Alex: “I can’t stop hoping. That’s the worst part.”

From episode 5.02 “Chutes and Ladders”:

Mrs. Ellison: “Do you think that this could be strep? I looked on WebMD and they say–“
Alex: “Stay off the internet. Will only make your head spin.”

Alex: “Your son has the measles.”
Mrs. Ellison: “Oh! The measles? Thank God, I thought it was something serious.”
Alex: “The measles are serious, Mrs. Ellison. And completely unnecessary. If you had followed my advice and had Max vaccinated, then we wouldn’t be–“
Mrs. Ellison: “We did what we thought was right. Okay, all that stuff out there about how vaccines can lead to autism, How they can actually kill people…”
Alex: “Measles kill people. Children. Millions in the developing world until pretty recently. But you don’t live in the developing world, Mrs. Ellison. You live on the West side of Los Angeles. And believe me, there are plenty of real threats right outside these doors for you to be worried about!… Look, your children are at risk from so much in this world. We can never protect them from all of it, but when there’s something we can do to make them just a little bit safer, we do it.”
Mrs: Ellison: [nodding reluctantly] “So what’s the treatment?”
Alex: “There isn’t one. Tylenol to keep his fever down, lots of liquids, and rest. Something you won’t be getting much of for the next couple of weeks, I’m afraid. Call me if his fever spikes again.”

From episode 5.03 “Mommy”:

Alex: “It’s hard to believe now, but raising kids was never a part of my hopes and dreams. My friends with babies only made me more resistant. Their lives seemed kind of dreary, to be honest. I wanted to save kids, other people’s kids. If I’m honest, being the best pediatrician possible was my only real dream.”

Alex: [to Max] “Okay. We’re going to get you to the hospital and put you on a big fat IV of antibiotics. Okay? [to Mrs. Ellson] We just need his slippers and his coat.”
Mrs. Ellison: “Wait, wait, wait, hospital?”
Alex: “This kind of an pneumonia, the one we associate with, uh, the measles, is something we like to treat, uh… aggressively.”

Alex: “I don’t understand why you didn’t call me the second his fever went over 103.”
Mrs. Ellison: “I… I guess I just felt ashamed after our last conversation. You made me feel pretty terrible. Please just tell me he’s gonna be all right.”
Alex: “I hope so.”

Alex: “By the way, I’m not unaware of the obvious cliché here: I wanted to save kids because I felt I needed saving. But in my case the cliché is dead on. Suffice it to say, mine was not a happy childhood. Then Holden showed up. It was a tectonic shift where everything I thought I knew about myself got rearranged. It was like I finally fell in love for real. All the cracks and missing pieces came together. I felt whole. I’d found my soul mate. I couldn’t stop smelling his head. It made me feel drowsy and giddy, like we were in the middle of a lavender field in the south of France. The smell was real. He truly smelled like fresh lavender. It was and always will be my drug of choice. I even wondered if I truly loved John, because my feelings for him were never as powerful as my feelings for Holden. And I’ve always felt guilty because I never quite bonded like that with Scarlett when she was a baby. It was a special kind of love. Maybe a once in a lifetime thing. And then he disappeared. At first, every time you hear the phone you think, ‘They’ve found him.’ Your heart pounds. Then after a month or so, the phone is just the phone. You do whatever you need to do to soldier on, because you tell yourself time is on your side. And then a year has gone by, and you understand that the next year will not be much different. This feeling will never go away, because there is no getting over it, there is no getting to the other side. I do carry on. Mostly for Scarlett. But there are many days when I don’t really know why. Some days are bearable. Today is very hard.”

Psychologist: “Alex? You with us? We haven’t heard a lot from you, Alex.”
Alex: “I don’t know what to say. I’m afraid the truth about how I’m feeling wouldn’t be very helpful.”
Psychologist: “This is the right place for you to speak your truth. And the right time.”
Alex: “Honestly, I’m angry. I mean, I don’t understand, Scarlett. It’s like… you’re trying to hurt me. Us.”
Psychologist: “I don’t have the sense that Scarlett holds any ill will. Her stories strike me as being more about wanting to alleviate your pain, wanting the family whole again.”
Scarlett: “You’re both wrong. It’s not about my mother or the family. It’s what happened.”

Alex: “I didn’t mean to just show up like this. I tried calling, I kept getting your voice mail.”
John: “Yeah, the service in here is pretty much shit.”
[Liz brings some drinks to the table.]
Liz: “Scotch. Soda pop.”
Alex: “Am I interrupting something? You’re fidgety.”
John: “No. I’m just… I’m just a little preoccupied with a case.”
Alex: “You look terrible. When’s the last time you slept?”
John: “I’m fine, Alex.”
Alex: “Maybe you should get a real drink. I mean, it’s obvious you need one.”
John: “Why would you say that to me?”
Alex: “You’re not in AA. You don’t have a drinking problem. You need to give up this obsession with control.”
John: “I need to stay sharp.”
Alex: “Well, you might need one in a minute.”
John: “Why?”
[Alex hands him divorce papers.]
John: “What is this?”
Alex: “I don’t expect you to sign them right away. You may wanna look them over.”
John: “No… Alex, not now.”
Alex: “John, we have to. For each other, for our daughter. I think this is why Scarlett is telling these wild stories, ’cause we haven’t moved on.”
John: “I mean, a divorce? I don’t want a divorce, I–I never did– I–I love you.”
Alex: “And I love you, too. But it’s not enough, not anymore.”
John: “I know it’s been rough with me out of the house, but–“
Alex: “It hasn’t been rough. It hasn’t been rough at all. In fact, it’s been great. I didn’t think that I could do it, but I can. I don’t think you should come back. It’ll just make things harder for everyone, because in the end this is what we need to do.”
John: “Please. Please, please don’t tear this family apart.”
Alex: “I’m not the one tearing our family apart. Someone else did that when they stole our son.”

John: “I’m so sorry, Alex. I’m sorry I couldn’t keep our family together. I’m sorry that… I couldn’t bring your boy back home to you.”
Alex: “I know. It’s not your fault.”
John: “I know how much you loved him. More than me. More than Scarlett.”
Alex: “John…”
John: “It’s okay. I never minded. That’s how I love you.”

From episode 5.04 “Devil’s Night”:

[Alex has just found Holden feeding on the family dog.]
Alex: “What is wrong with you?!”
Holden: “I don’t feel good. I need my mommy.”
Alex: “Baby, I am your mommy.”
Holden: “My other mommy.”

The Countess: “It must have been a shock for you to see your boy. I imagined you’d lost hope long ago.”
Alex: “I never gave up.”
The Countess: “No, you didn’t. Your devotion moved me, I could feel your longing. Holden felt it, too, that’s why he came to you.”
Alex: “You stole my son.”
The Countess: “I saved him. Like I save all my children.”
Alex: “From what?”
The Countess: “Neglect. I could see where they were headed. A tragic, wasted life. I opened my heart and the children came to me willingly.”
Alex: “I never neglected my son.”
The Countess: “Can you say the same about your husband?… I brought them here to keep them safe. The world can be such a dangerous place.”
Alex: “I’ve had enough of your bullshit. What did you do to my son?”
The Countess: “You’re a doctor. I’m going to put it to you in a way that you can understand. Holden has contracted an ancient virus. A blood disorder. The effect of the disease is health, vitality and everlasting life.”
[Alex pulls out a gun, but the Countess seems unmoved.]
Alex: “Whatever you did to him — change him back.”
The Countess: “Is this why you came up here?”
Alex: “Change him back or I’ll kill you.”
The Countess: “There is no going back.”
Alex: “No. I’m his mother. We’ll find a cure.”
The Countess: “There is no cure. The only way you can truly be with Holden is to join him. Alex, I’m offering you eternity with your great lost love. What I wouldn’t trade for a chance at that.”
Alex: “And what are you asking me to trade for it? What’s the price I have to pay to be like you?”
The Countess: “Your undying loyalty. You’ll be working for me. Here. [The Countess offers Alex a drink.] Take this, it will calm your nerves.”
Alex: “You’re insane. You’re going down. I’m getting the police.”

The Countess: “The transition will not be easy. Birth is a painful process. As a mother, you know this.”
Alex: “Please. I can’t lose my boy again.”
The Countess: “You must surrender completely. And allow yourself to be ripped apart. Ravaged. You will feel like you are dying. And maybe you are. But from blood comes life. Better. Stronger. More glorious than you could’ve ever imagined. And you will rise. And be reunited with your child. For all of eternity.”

From episode 5.05 “Room Service”:

The Countess: “That dress fits you so well. Always been one of my favorites. Holden, doesn’t your mother look pretty? Give her a little kiss.”
Holden: “Mommy, you’re just like me now.”
Alex: “Yes, baby. I’m just like you.”
Holden: “Does that mean you’ll stay with me forever?”
The Countess: “As long as your mommy obeys the rules, she can stay as long as she likes. It’s very simple. You’ll care for the children, bathe them, keep them out of harm’s way as their new governess. The old one was terrible for years, I should’ve removed her long ago. Of course, if you feel this burden’s too much to bear…”
Alex: “No!… It’s no burden.”
The Countess: “Marvelous. Then it’s settled.”
Alex: “John lives in the hotel. I haven’t told him anything, but if he sees me…”
The Countess: “You’d be amazed, the wondrous possibilities that can begin with a simple ‘Hello.’ [The Countess chuckles.] Now, Holden, I believe it’s past your bedtime, darling.”
Alex: “But we’ve only had a minute together…”
The Countess: “You misunderstand, Alex. You and Holden will have… forever.”

From episode 5.06 “Room 33”:

Alex: “I need your help.”
Liz: “Judging by how fast you put your nose up in the air when I offered you an evening of backgammon and rosé — to welcome you, no less — I’m really not your girl.”
Alex: “John somehow discovered the sleeping chamber.”
Liz: “Where is he now?”
Alex: “I gave him two milligrams of Versed to keep him out for a couple of hours. He can’t know about Holden and me. I almost died when I lost him.”
Liz: “I get it. That once-in-a-lifetime love, it’s the only thing that can gut you raw and make your world pyrotechnic in color. Everyone’s entitled to one true love. There’s a broom and a dustpan in the cleaning closet, Nanny McPhee. We’ve got to get rid of those coffins.”

John: “Where am I? I just saw you. In a coffin.”
Alex: “You called me, John. You said you were having visions, and you were afraid, and you asked me to come, and so I did. I found you lying in the hallway outside your room.”
John: “No, I was asleep. Holden came in and woke me up and told me to follow him down to the basement…”
Alex: “Where there was an empty swimming pool? Filled with sleeping children in glass coffins? You realize this is exactly what Scarlett told us. Her exact memories. It makes sense, doesn’t it? They’ve become your own… visions.”
John: “Alex, I’m telling you what happened.”
Alex: “I think you’re having a psychotic break. I think you’ve been heading this way for a while. You need to get out of here and you need to get professional help.”
John: “No, I’m going down to that room. I’m gonna see for myself. You can come with me if you want.”

Agnetha: “Who are you?”
Alex: “A friend. My name’s Alex. Who is he?”
[Alex nods at the dead man on the floor.]
Agentha: “Just some stupid guy with a big hard-on. We were trying to find our purpose.”
Alex: “So you’re not upset because he’s dead?”
Agnetha: “Killing him was nothing.”
Vendela: “That’s the problem. I sort of feel sorry for him.”
Agnetha: “Me, too. We can’t go back to the hallways.”
Alex: “You don’t have to. You can find your purpose without killing them.”
Vendela: “What do we do?”
Alex: “You can break their minds. I have the perfect idea. I know this guy. He’s always wanted two girls…”

John: “She’s afraid of me. My own daughter. Maybe I am going crazy. I thought maybe if we got out of that place…”
Alex: “You are out of that place. That’s all that matters. You just need some sleep. In your own house. In your own bed.”
John: “It’s your bed, too.”
[Alex looks away.]
John: “You’re going back there, aren’t you?”
Alex: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
John: “Still playing that game? Okay.”

[Alex is nursing The Countess’s monster baby.]
The Countess: “Alex?”
Alex: “He was hurt.”
The Countess: “He got out??”
Alex: “Yes, but I found him. He lost a little blood, but he’s gonna be just fine.”
[The Countess is visibly upset.]
The Countess: “You saved my son…!”
Alex: “You saved mine.”

From episode 5.07 “Flicker”:

[Alex and John are sitting in the waiting room of a mental hospital.]
Alex: “Are you sure you want to stay here? There are more comfortable places, John. I could get you into Resnick…?”
John: “This is perfect for me.”

From episode 5.08 “The Ten Commandments Killer”:

Alex: “Scarlett carpooled with Wendy. I’m late to take Holden. There’s coffee, though.”
John: “I’m sorry, Alex.”
Alex: “You should send a bottle of Scotch to your friend Hahn. He tried covering for you, at least for the first day and a half.”
John: “I wasn’t cheating on you.”
Alex: “Of course you weren’t cheating. If you were, you would have called and lied about where you were. You’re a terrible husband! If we didn’t have two kids and I didn’t still love you, I would tell you to pack your bags.”
John: “I’m sorry. It’s just a slip-up, that’s all.”

From episode 5.09 “She Wants Revenge”:

Alex: “Remember me, Max? I’m Dr. Lowe. Last time we saw each other was at the hospital, you were dying from measles. I saved you by giving you my blood.”
Max: “Cool. Thanks.”

From episode 5.10 “She Gets Revenge”:

Ms. Evers: “There’s nothing like the steam from a fresh pot to loosen the phlegm from the lungs.”
John: “Thank you.”
Mrs. Evers: “You mustn’t have an argument on an empty stomach. It upsets the balance of the day.”
Alex: “I’m sure you didn’t wake me up to have a cup of coffee.”
John: “You told me Holden was a hallucination.”
Alex: “That was a lie.”
John: “You tried to make me think I was going crazy.”
Alex: “Well, that was the truth.”
John: “You kept my son away from me.”
Alex: “In case you haven’t noticed, he’s not the child you knew. I made my choice to be with Holden. I didn’t tell you because I was afraid you would say something to change my mind. I don’t regret my decision.”
John: “We have another child.”
Alex: “I haven’t forgotten about Scarlett.”
John: “All this time, you’ve seen her twice. She told me.”
Alex: “And how many times have you been to visit Grandma?”
John: “No excuses. We abandoned her. We’re the world’s worst parents.”
Alex: “Well, at least that’s one thing we can agree on. Maybe it’ll be better for Scarlett with me gone.”
John: “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Alex: “We’re in trouble. I made a mistake a while ago, and the Countess holds me responsible.”
John: “Tell me.”
[Alex and The Countess are seen in a flashback.]
The Countess: “A pack of wild children drains a man of all his blood. Anything you want to tell me, Alex?”
Alex: “I saved my patient. Max was dying from measles.”
The Countess: “So you turned him and he turned the others. One chance to fix this problem.”
[The scene returns to John and Alex.]
Alex: “The Countess told me she’d kill me and Holden if I didn’t make things right.I know it’s not your problem…”
John: “If it involves you and Holden, it’s my problem. What do we have to do?”

Madeline: “Please, you have to help her!”
Max: “Maddie! Get back.”
[Kimmy stops breathing. Alex tries to resuscitate her.]
Alex: “You ready? Breathe for me. Ready? Come on, honey. Come on, Kimmy.”
Jimmy: “Fix her!”
Alex: “I can’t stop this! Kimmy, come on. Come here. Come on.”
[Alex stops.]
Max: “Why did you stop? Help her!”
Alex: “It’s too late for Kimmy.”
Madeline: [sobbing] “Come on.”
John: “It doesn’t have to be too late for the rest of you.”

Alex: “There’s a room at the end of the hall. It’s ready for you. I’m gonna try and find you something or someone to eat. You must be starving.”

Alex: “Why do I feel like a teenager that’s about to get caught?”
[John chuckles.]
Alex: “We’re getting a divorce, we’re not supposed to be sleeping together.”
John: “Who says we have to go through with it?”
Alex: “I do. Has anything really changed since I gave you the papers?”
John: “Everything. You found Holden.”
Alex: “You are different, aren’t you? Something solid behind your eyes. You’re all there. Finally got it together, John.”
[Alex and John kiss.]
Alex: “I can’t. I have to process this. And I have to check on Holden and the kids. I am interested in this new John, though.”
[John smiles.]

Alex: “If we do this, there’s no going back.”
[Alex shows John into the children’s playroom where John sees Holden. John begins to cry.]
Holden: “Daddy.”
John: “Holden. Holden! I can’t tell you how long I’ve waited to do this.”
Holden: “Five years.”
John: “Yeah. He’s exactly how I remembered him.”
Alex: “And that’s exactly how he’ll stay.”
John: “It’s time to go home.”


Said of American Horror Story: Hotel

Select quotations regarding the show from Chloë Sevigny and her co-workers:

On Lady Gaga’s performance as The Countess:
“She’s nailing it. Gaga elevates everybody even though she is such a novice when it comes to acting. But she’s a star. She has a presence. She is theatrical, dramatic, a savvy businesswoman, and dynamic, and that comes across on screen. It is an interesting dichotomy because usually when there’s a young fresh actress, she is certainly not commanding such attention from everyone else. And they certainly do not have her knowledge of camera and angles or style. She is so committed to getting this right. She works very hard and I am impressed by that drive.”
Yahoo! interview, October 2015

On her dichotomous relationship with AHS:
“Well, in all honesty, I haven’t seen American Horror Story. I went to the premiere and I watched the pilot, but, you know, I think it’s like candy. It’s like pop. People love the visuals. He’s [Ryan Murphy] kind of forward enough but not too forward, where people can embrace it in the middle of the country. But he is pushing it, and the music was wild and great. We had all this Bauhaus and these gothic references. I think people love that show. It’s the same with Natasha’s show, Orange Is the New Black — somehow it just hits with people. I think it’s great escapism, but I also had my own kind of existential crisis with the violence and the serial-killer storyline.”
The Huffington Post interview, January 2016


American Horror Story: Hotel Series Trivia

American Horror Story: Hotel marks Chloë Sevigny’s second appearance in the AHS series. She previously had a recurring role as Shelley in Season 2, titled Asylum.

• Chloë Sevigny was billed a series regular in Hotel and made an appearance in every episode.

• Although seemingly unrelated, all seasons of American Horror Story are in fact somehow connected to each other. For example, both the underground abortion clinic and Christine Estabrook’s real estate agent Marcy from Murder House (Season 1) also feature in Hotel, as do Sarah Paulson’s Billie Dean Howard from Murder House and Gabourey Sidibe’s Queenie from Coven (Season 3).

• The carpet in the hotel lobby is a similar pattern and color as the carpet in the hallways of The Overlook Hotel, the fictional hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980).

Hotel was the first season of American Horror Story not to feature Jessica Lange.

• AHS regulars Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Denis O’Hare, Kathy Bates, Lily Rabe, Angela Bassett, Finn Wittrock and Mare Winningham all came back for new characters in AHS: Hotel. Lady Gaga and Cheyenne Jackson, meanwhile, were new additions to the AHS cast.

• Lady Gaga’s portrayal of The Countess earned her both her first ever Golden Globe nomination and win.


Critical Reception

American Horror Story: Hotel received a divided response both from critics and fans upon its October 2015 premiere. Many fans were disappointed to learn Jessica Lange would not be returning to the show and disliked Lady Gaga as the show’s new lead, and the new season also received criticism for being too stylized at the expense of substance. Others, by contrast, praised the series precisely because of the aesthetics and stylish setting and welcomed Gaga’s portrayal of the sensual but vicious Countess as both surprising and fearless. In any case, the season was considered another success for FX and the AHS series.

Rating: Internet Movie Database: 8.3/10 with c. 185,700 user votes counted
Rating: MetaCritic: 60/100 metascore, “Mixed or average reviews”
Rating: Rotten Tomatoes: 58% positive reviews (“Rotten”)

Excerpts from professional reviews:

“After a horror house, an asylum, a coven and a freak show, American Horror Story has finally booked us into a Hotel — and the only surprise is it’s taken them this long. Not only is it a setting with a rich horror legacy — if the opening episode is any evidence, creator Ryan Murphy is a pretty big Shining fan — it’s basically perfect for Murphy’s narrative style. He picks a location, shoves as many crazed transient characters into it as possible, then explores that location’s sinister history. […] Lady Gaga’s Elizabeth gets the sort of intro Tarantino reserves for his leading ladies; a needle goes onto a record, we get lots of glamorous / fetishising close-ups, then finally — the big reveal. Gaga striding through a graveyard looking absolutely fabulous – draped in diamonds with a never more gorgeous Matt Bomer on her arm. […] Overall, this is an excellent hour of television — stuffed with jaw-dropping moments, tense set-pieces and Lady Gaga at her grandest. Now we’ve checked into American Horror Story’s Hotel, we’re not sure we’re ever going to want to leave.”
– Sam Ashurst, Digital Spy

“As demonstrated in the first episode of the show’s fifth installment, Hotel, American Horror Story is garbage. Not trash. Trash can be fun. Garbage. Something we need to bag up and throw away, or flush and forget. Always a juvenile, antisocial show, A.H.S. reached what I hope is its nadir with the Hotel premiere, a confusingly paced, self-indulgent episode that managed to offend in myriad ways. […] The wildly unnecessary rape aside, last night’s episode was astoundingly bad, jumping erratically between about nine different plot threads, arbitrarily slowing down and speeding up in such a way that it was impossible to stay focused on whatever the hell was happening. And why should we care about any of this stuff, any of these people, anyway? American Horror Story is cheap, poseur nihilism masquerading as risqué taboo flouting. It’s a joke, one we’ve heard too many times and has been told far better elsewhere.”
– Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

“The beginning of Hotel is full of images and lines that, described plainly, sound like they should be interesting, or at least crazy enough to watch, but instead they simply frustrate the viewer. Kathy Bates calls two women “dumb Swedish meatballs,” which is funny because it’s Kathy Bates saying “dumb Swedish meatballs” and maybe we have been to Ikea before. […] Bates throws Sarah Paulson out a window before “Hotel California” plays, signaling that the writers and producers have run out of fresh ideas by the end of the first episode. (It’s possible that producing 12-plus hours of insane, soapy, and legitimately good horror is actually an impossible task for one writing staff.) There’s nothing wrong, necessarily, with explicitness or insanity in sex, screams, and violence, so long as they are deployed with a purpose beyond simply getting millions of living rooms to erupt in simultaneous groans and cries of “What the fuck,” exemplified by the drill-bit rape scene. Gaga and Matt Bomer devouring a couple with whom they are ostensibly having an orgy after attending an outdoor screening of Nosferatu is fun enough, if a little on the nose-feratu — mostly because Gaga and Bomer are magnetic performers who could make almost anything enjoyable. […] It would be legitimately transgressive at this point for Murphy to try making art.”
– Eric Thurm, Grantland

Awards & Nominations

American Horror Story: Hotel has received 8 awards and 20 award nominations. Full list

Won:

• Art Directors Guild Excellence in Production Design Award (2016): Television Movie or Limited Series
• Costume Designers Guild Award (2016): Outstanding Contemporary Television Series
• Golden Globe (2016): Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Lady Gaga)

Nominated:

• Black Reel Award (2016): Outstanding Supporting Actress, TV Movie or Limited Series (Angela Bassett)
• Casting Society of America Artios Award (2016): Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Television Movie or Mini-Series
• Cinema Audio Society Award (2016): Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Movies and Mini-Series
• Critics Choice TV Award (2016): Best Actor in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series (Wes Bentley)
• Critics Choice TV Award (2016): Best Actress in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series (Kathy Bates)
• Critics Choice TV Award (2016): Best Supporting Actress in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series (Sarah Paulson)
• Fangoria Chainsaw Award (2016): Best TV Actress (Lady Gaga)
• Fangoria Chainsaw Award (2016): Best TV Makeup/Creature FX
• Fangoria Chainsaw Award (2016): Best TV Supporting Actor (Evan Peters)
• GALECA Dorian Award (2016): Campy TV Show of the Year
• Golden Globe (2016): Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
• Image Award (2016): Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special (Angela Bassett)
• Jupiter Award (2016): Best International TV Series
• PGA Award (2016): Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television
• Satellite Award (2015): Best Actress in a Series, Drama (Lady Gaga)
• Satellite Award (2015): Best Television Series, Genre
• Saturn Award (2016): Best Horror Television Series
• Young Artist Award (2016): Best Performance in a TV Series – Recurring Young Actor 13 and Under (Thomas Barbusca)

Chloë Sevigny Online

Please note that the opinions expressed below are all 100% our own, not those of Chloë Sevigny or anyone affiliated with either her or the rest of the cast or crew.

Having sort of bailed on Asylum as soon as Chloë Sevigny’s character exited, I didn’t exactly have high hopes for Hotel. I was excited for Chloë’s return to the series because it is a high-profile and commercial show, but I wasn’t really looking forward to the show itself, if I’m honest. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — horror is not my genre in the least, I did not enjoy Asylum overall, and if it weren’t for Chloë I wouldn’t be watching AHS at all.

Having said that, there were some positives to this season of AHS which made it bearable even for a genre wimp like me. It need not be said that the visuals were indeed impressive and milked the moody set for all it was worth. I guess many would also praise Lady Gaga’s debut as a lead actress, but for me the real highlight of the season was Denis O’Hare’s dedicated and absolutely stellar portrayal of Liz Taylor, the hotel’s prickly but sensitive transgender bartender. Matt Bomer was another revelation; I mean, Donovan getting his groove on to the tune of “Hotline Bling” and some whiskey, then seriously calling out The Countess for her betrayal with Valentino? Fucking. Priceless. Epic. Best. And Lady Gaga was also a pleasant surprise overall, at least seeing as models and singers are not generally known for being hidden jewels of Hollywood. She delivered not only as a seductive femme fatale, but also as a ferocious mother and lover and a secretly lonely woman. Well done.

Other performances were less successful, however. Finn Wittrock, although ideal for the model Tristan Duffy, does not particularly convince as the ’20s heart-throb Rudolph Valentino and instead lands somewhere between comical and mildly mortifying. Wes Bentley does what he can with his limited character, but still ends up spending most of the series looking either panic-stricken or sullen and unshaven. Except for one brilliant episode (5.03 “Mommy”), both Chloë Sevigny and her character Alex Lowe remain mostly underused, culminating in a whopping big disappointment of a conclusion for all the Lowes in the season finale. And Evan Peters is positively ridiculous as the murdering psycho March, looking and sounding nothing short of a Renaissance jester in a trite ’20s gentleman’s suit (complete with a thin moustache) and a totally overdone British accent. (Sorry, Evan fans — I have nothing against him generally, but I gotta call ’em as I see ’em.)

Plot holes (some of them gaping wide) and missed opportunities were also aplenty throughout. How was the hotel never investigated for the many disappearances and murders that happened there over the years (a near century, no less)? Why did the *SPOILER ALERT* vamp kids not haunt the hotel like the rest of the dead guests? Why *SPOILER ALERT* on earth would Liz want to die so painfully at the hotel? Why not just *SPOILER ALERT* choose one weapon for one ghost to kill her quickly and easily? Why are we *SPOILER ALERT* introduced to The Countess’ monster baby, only to essentially never see it again in any meaningful action? Why does John Lowe… ah, fuck it.

My main gripe with the show isn’t the plot holes anyway. Nor is it the overabundance of sex, the style superseding substance or trying to ruin “Hotel California” for me forever. Rather it is the show’s absolutely unnecessary and vile popularization of sexual violence. If you’ve seen the show, you’ll know the scenes I’m talking about, and all I can say is, I honestly wish I had never ever seen them. Like I said, horror is not my thing, but no horror piece justifies portraying what I saw in episodes 1 and 2 as mainstream entertainment. And it is this which ultimately makes even this season of AHS a ‘no’ for me. Sorry. (But at least the cast looked like they had fun.) -Admin

Our rating of the show: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Our rating of Chloë’s performance: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ (★ ★ ★ ★ ★ for episode 5.03, though)


American Horror Story: Hotel Online

Below are some American Horror Story: Hotel-related links that may be of interest to you.

American Horror Story: Hotel official site
American Horror Story: Hotel on IMDb.com
American Horror Story: Hotel on MetaCritic.com
American Horror Story: Hotel on RottenTomatoes.com
American Horror Story: Hotel on Wikipedia.org