Review: American Horror Story: Hotel, ‘Battle Royale’

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American Horror Story: Hotel has been a strange, yet intense season. I wouldn’t call it the best season, or one of the best even, but that isn’t to say it has been bad. In fact, the acting has been superb and the bloody twists, plentiful. After tonight, there is only one episode left and, judging by the rest of the season, we can bet it will be a crazy one.

Photo Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FX
Photo Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FX

Tonight’s episode, “Battle Royale,” begins with the death of a prominent character, spurring a string of deaths unlike any we have seen this season, thus far. It is a glorious blood bath as the inhabitants of the hotel team up for battle against one another, one side trying to murder The Countess (Lady Gaga) and the other trying to protect her.

Gabourey Sidibe reprises her role as Queenie from season three as she checks into the Hotel Cortez. We learn that Coven takes place right before Hotel in the American Horror Story timeline. What confuses me about her visit is how she doesn’t notice that Lily (Kathy Bates) looks exactly like Madame LaLaurie or how Ramona is an exact replica of Marie Laveau. I suppose we are expected to use our willing suspension of disbelief for such a situation but I still found it difficult to swallow.

Photo Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FX
Photo Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FX

As the episode opened with the death of a major character, as so it ended. We always knew this character was destined to die but probably not in the way and by the hands of the person whom you would expect. Even the reasoning behind the death was a bit of a surprise. Looking back, it all makes sense and the show was secretly building up to it the whole time, we just didn’t know to look for it.

Lady Gaga certainly earned her Golden Globe nod in tonight’s episode. The Countess was actually likeable for possibly the very first time in the season. She was less vampire and more human, forced to embrace her weaknesses. You can feel her pain as everything she loves is slowly stripped from her, the direct result of the choices she has made.

After tonight, I cannot see how the finale could top this episode, but I am certainly curious to see them try. Honestly, the show probably could have ended with this episode but they must have some loose ends to tie up next week. Judging by seasons past, I doubt we will want to miss it.

American Horror Story: Hotel airs Wednesday nights at 10PM on FX

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Ann Hale is the horror editor for Pop-Break.com and a senior contributing writer, reviewing horror movies and television shows. Ann attended East Carolina University, majoring in English Literature. She is a collector of Halloween (the film) memorabilia and is a self-admitted opinionated horror nerd. You can follow her, her collection and her cat, Edward Kittyhands on Twitter and Instagram @Scarletjupiter
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Just a giant nerd in love with horror, 80’s action flicks, Star Wars and Harry Potter. Hit me up on Twitter or Instagram @scarletjupiter to talk horror or just to browse the horror collection.

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