Welcome to the Hotel Cortez. You can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave.
If you have a weak stomach, or don’t enjoy nudity, American Horror Story:Hotel is not for you. But don’t get me wrong, it’s nothing shy of brilliant. Lady Gaga‘s Countess stole the show during the premiere with one of the sexiest, bloodiest, sex scenes I’ve ever witnessed.
We first meet Elizabeth, The Countess about half way through the hour and a half premiere — she’s getting glam for a night out with her main squeeze, Donovan (Matt Bomer), eyeliner and all. They head to an outdoor screening of a horror show — in a gown of course — and see another attractive couple. No dialogue is needed to invite the pair back to the Hotel Cortez, just “Tear You Apart” by She Wants Revenge playing in the background. (One of the many brilliant choices from Ryan Murphy. I of course couldn’t help thinking of Brooke Davis escaping a NYC club in One Tree Hill.)
When there, the four of them engaged in a sexy and quite eye-opening orgy. Yes, really. However, once Donovan and Elizabeth are ready, they both use their gloved hand and slit the throats of the couple, to drink their blood, of course.
We quickly learn that Donovan is the son of Iris (Kathy Bates), the front receptionist at the hotel. She works there so she can see her son. In 1994, she watched him (a much dirtier version) go into the Cortez with Sally (Sarah Paulson) to shoot up heroin, and they even share needles. We see the animosity between Sally and Iris in present day so clearly that’s why. In ’94, Iris followed them in, found her son dead from an overdose, so she pushed Sally right out the window and she landed flat on the pavement. When she went back to the room to found her dead son, in the arms of The Countess. Yes, we’re assuming pretty much everyone at the hotel is already dead. Even Liz Taylor (the incredible Denis O’Hare) was already running the front desk then.
It seems Iris has definitely been changed into a darker soul by the hotel — when two foreign women come to try and check in and find bodies in their mattress, she doesn’t have much sympathy. She also later feeds them “nutrients” to keep them tasting good for The Countess. Yes, really.
Hey Max Greenfield, By Max Greenfield
Cut to Detective Lowe (Wes Bentley), a cop on a case with a woman nailed to the headboard of a bed, with a man underneath (and inside her still) with his eyes and tongue gauged out. Naturally, the detective got a call later from the killer, saying he was about to do it again — at the Cortez Hotel in room 64. Naturally, Ryan did an amazing job of making you love the detective. He reads Little Women with his daughter every night over FaceTime when he can’t be home!
However, before he could arrive at the hotel, Gabriel (Max Greenfield) arrived and checked in for a quick, heroin-induced visit to 64; he was raped with a metal-spiked dildo by what appeared to be a demon/metaphor for addiction — and it reminded me of Rubber Man from season one. In the middle of that, Sally came in the room and said if she told her he loved her, it would all stop. And it did. And he died on the bed.
Lowe entered the room later, with Gabriel’s body under the bed, and was woken up in the middle of the night by a little boy — we found out later it was his son, Holden, who was kidnapped five years prior. He yelled out his name and chased after him, but couldn’t seem to grab him. The following night, his father-daughter dinner was interrupted by a “help me” text with an address from his wife, Alex (Chloe Sevigny). He sped to the house with his daughter, but when they arrived, they found two gutted men — and his wife was safe at home. To protect her, they decided it’d be best he move out for a bit: and to the Cortez he went. .
Who Really Owns Hotel Cortez?
We also met the gorgeous Will Drake (Cheyenne Jackson) and his son, who surprised everyone by entering with a realtor (yes, the same realtor from Murder House) and reveal they’ve bought the place. Donovan’s not happy — but it’s clear it’s Countess who calls the shots (since she brought him back to “life” anyway). While Donovan shows Will around, the Countess takes little Lockland in to the kids’ hidden room — which is basically every child’s dream: video games on the walls, candy dispensers, TETRIS — and yes, Holden is there.
So, is he dead? Did The Countess kidnap him and turn him into a blood-sucker like she is? And what is that demon creature? These are all very important questions — and that’s just the beginning. Let us know what you thought of that insane premiere in the comments below.
— Emily Longeretta