American Horror Story: Hotel, “She Gets Revenge,” (5.10) - TV Review


AHS Revenge

December 16th, 2015, 10PM, FX

All of the pieces start to tumble into place as we head toward Hotel’s home stretch. Alex must come clean with John, who has just committed his first fully awakened murder spree as the Ten Commandments Killer (and has only one more murder “thou shalt not kill” to complete before the whole project is done), about her virused up state and the fact that their son’s still alive. This is mostly because she needs help with a little issue - the sloppy flock of mini-vamps she accidentally created keep killing indiscriminately and because they’re drawing suspicion on the Countess, who’s trying to dodge police questions about Will, Elizabeth demands Alex take care of it. They find the kids but must struggle to contain them, ultimately coming to a solution that might be their undoing. This brings John and Alex closer together, but also earns them Sally’s wrath, as they decide to leave the hotel with Holden and make an attempt at some kind of normal life.

Meanwhile Elizabeth, dealing poorly with the pressure put on her by the feds, must also endure the aftermath of Donovan’s vengeance when he discovers what she and Valentino have plotted and schemed their way toward unity – but not before Elizabeth kills Natacha and gets an earful from Will’s ghost.

And Liz and Iris, inspired and yet disgusted by the double-suicide of an elderly couple, decide to go out in their own suicide pact. But when Liz tries to solve her unfinished baggage she realizes that she might have more reasons to live than she ever knew. They make friends with Miss Evers to accomplish these goals and ultimately realize that it’s better to blaze out than fade away.

This is a complicated little episode. The best of it belongs to Liz Taylor, and Denis O’Hare lives every single second of his character’s pained self-resolute decision to end her life, and then the heart-opening joy of meeting her son and realizing that the world’s more forgiving and loving than she thought. O’Hare deserves an Emmy for the last three episodes of his arc; tonight’s likely finally sealed it for him.

The show’s biggest problem is John’s arc; now that he’s fully been revealed as a monster it’s very hard to root for his survival. Alex, too, is hard to pin down and even harder to enjoy now that she’s knowingly sacrificed everything for Holden. Watching them sigh over how they’ve forgotten their daughter isn’t helping them seem sympathetic. I want Sally to kill them both, and she, as a desperate, wanton murderer, barely has rooting value.

Then there’s Elizabeth, who ends up with her just deserts this week. For an immortal vampire she’s not terribly crafty, and that’s a huge problem; Lady Gaga is not infusing her with the level of wisdom she ought to have at this stage of life. Heaven knows how her acting tics will manifest in the next episode – that is, if Elizabeth survives it.

She Gets Revenge is largely worthwhile for the Liz Taylor plot. If you see it, fast forward the surprisingly dull parts and watch it.
The Roundup

  • The song on Iris’ farewell video is “I Hope You Dance” by LeeAnn Womak.
  • Liz’ backstory was explored fully in episode 5, Room Service.
  • Iris also has only three followers on her Instagram feed.
  • The vampire children were introduced in episode 4.
  • Next Week: The show takes its usual winter hiatus and will be back for its final three episodes in January.
7.5 GOOD

Liz Taylor lifts this one, but a lot of the subplots are winding down without a suspenseful direction.

  • GOOD 7.5

About Author

Staff Television Critic: Lisa Fernandes, formerly of, has been watching television for all of her thirty-plus years, and critiquing it for the past seven. When she's not writing, she can be found in the wilds of the Northeastern United States.