Will we ever find out what Drilldo was? Will The Countess find peace in the afterlife? Will someone destroy the Hotel Cortez and salt the very earth it was built on?
Probably not to all those, but let’s find out together while we go over the Best and Worst of American Horror Story: Hotel Episode 12!
Liz for Days: O’Hare’s acting has been a strong point of the whole season, so to see this episode focus on Liz’s swan song is certainly a treat. As the only likable and not totally villainous character of the entire season, her exit from the world is actually rather satisfying — made better by Dennis’s superior acting skills.
Another Murder House Connection: OK, so Murphy didn’t handle the return of a Coven girl so well, but he’s bringing back a minor character from Season 1 to make up for it. Billie Dean Howard’s brief appearance actually serves a purpose and manages to provide a handful of characters some finality.
Devil’s Night Part 2: The Halloween episode this season introduced the serial killer banquet, which ultimately had little to do with much of the rest of the story. It’s nice to see the writers making some nods to dropped threads, even if they can’t tie up every loose end.
One Last Rape: Although it’s only shown in a quick cutaway, the implication that March (summons a demon to) rape Sally is a pathetic attempt to lend this joke of a scene some seriousness. Murphy had been criticized for his clumsy handling of sexual violence earlier in the season, and while it looked like he was going to steer clear from rape for the rest of it, he just couldn’t stay away. It’s a shame that he’s so out of ideas he can’t think of anything less exploitative.
Sally’s Insta: So the solution to eternal suffering is social media? That just can’t be the case: anyone who has ever seen the comments section on YouTube knows what the depths of Hell really looks like. Is this really how they are ending this storyline?! This is insultingly stupid.
So What?: Well, so, that’s it, huh? Liz seems to be the only character who got a proper sendoff; it seems like everyone else will remain in limbo for eternity. The thing is: horror works on a specific metaphorical register; monsters usually represent something else (a social or sexual anxiety, for example) and characters usually grow and change from defeating (or not defeating) them. Sure, not everything needs to have a moral or lesson to be satisfying, but I’m leaving the Hotel asking what I could have possibly learned from my stay.