The 13th Floor

Five Curious Things About AMERICAN HORROR STORY: HOTEL, Episode 511 — “Battle Royale”

Rather than just recapping the most recent episode of AMERICAN HORROR STORY: HOTEL, each week we are going to break it down into the most interesting, weird, delightful, and mind-boggling bits… like these!

Iris and Donovan

No one wants to see Matt Bomer die, but die he did. Things got weird, though, when Liz delivers to Iris her son’s cremains in a huge coffee tin (a wink to THE BIG LEBOWSKI, perhaps?). She needs some time alone with her son, and spills out some of his ashes on the bed, running her hands through the powdery mess. That I can understand. What I don’t understand is later, when Iris is done with her son, why is she covered head to toe in Donovan dust? What on earth was she doing with her son’s ashes? A few ideas come to mind, but not one is comforting. My first instinct is that she rolled around in the bed with “him,” which is weird, but then things just get worse from there.

Image Credit: FX
Image Credit: FX


Series creator Ryan Murphy has long bragged that all the seasons of AHS are connected somehow. That was never more obvious than when Queenie checked in. Queenie, played by Gabourey Sidibe, first appeared in AHS: COVEN, where she was a witch with “voodoo doll” powers: any injury she received could be thrown right back onto the person dishing out the damage. The link between the third season is made blatantly obvious when she mentions that her “supreme” charmed her ticket to The Price is Right. Personally, while I liked seeing Queenie show up, her scene with Liz felt a little spoon-fed. It should have been a nice surprise for fans of the series’ and just another hotel guest to those who have never seen the show.


In a flashback scene, Sally takes a pair of musicians/friends to the Cortez for a heroin-fueled orgy. During the session, Sally is so desperate to become “one” with the pair that she decides to sew the three of them together. This seems a perfectly logical thing to do while one is high on heroin and who-knows-what-else, but I have one question: where did she get the industrial-strength thread?


Ramona kind of irked me this week. When Liz and Iris find her, she is borderline feral and starving. She couldn’t have been locked away for more than a week, and she had plenty of food – so why all the growling? Then she confronts the Countess, but finds that killing her face-to-face is a lot more difficult than it is in her mind. The Countess wants to be screwed before Ramona kills her, and we don’t see the sex – perhaps a contractual obligation from Angela Bassett? – and we don’t see what happened to her. The Countess leaves the room in traveling clothes, carrying baggage, with not a hair out of place. I have to imagine she killed Ramona, then cleaned herself up and left. But why no scene of the carnage?

The Lowes

Who has John’s family? March claims responsibility but someone had to have helped him – he is tethered to the hotel. Liz and Iris seemed pretty busy. Maybe little Bartholomew was earning his keep?