Everyone’s got two sides: the one they show to the world and the one they hide away like a shadow. Such was the sentiment whispered in the halls of the Cortez by the Countess this episode. And as many viewers have come to expect from AHS over the years, each character showed their true fangs.
Alex took her dedication to her profession to new heights. After being infected by the Countess, she finds herself in the ICU caring for her measles-afflicted patient Max. We see her blood thirst in full swing; she’s drained, weary, desperate. And when confronted with Max’s worsening condition, she does what only a true-to-heart pediatrician would do: she infects him too–after feeding in the hospital’s blood bank, of course.
While it seems a novel way to restore Max’s health and get his overbearing, anti-vaxxing mother off her back, what she does has consequences. At home, Max’s new hunger overcomes him and he relishes in the taste of his parents’ blood before heading off to school to wreak havoc.
At school, Max infects his friends and they, in turn, attack the faculty and staff. The result? A complete bloodbath that the kids conspire to blame on a non-existent man in a mask.
Now infected by her hateful son Donovan, Iris is condemned to an eternity of nothingness. She waxes philosophical to Liz Taylor about this: about how her life has been and meant nothing; about how she’s doomed to be invisible forever.
She feels sorry for herself until a young hipster couple waltzes into the hotel and treats her like the invisible woman she perceives herself to be. Then she snaps…with a little coaxing from Liz Taylor.
Withered and in need of feeding, Iris kills the couple and walks away from the scene with little remorse. Much like she did when she pushed Sally out that window all those years ago. It seems as though this is what she’s always been: cold blooded, heartless, strong. She’s just never gotten to realize it fully. Until now.
Now that Iris has the rest of eternity to ponder the great mysteries of the universe, she finally takes a moment to truly get to know Liz Taylor. What follows is a rather heartwarming story of a married yet miserable man who dreamed only of flowing dresses, furs, lipstick. It’s the Countess who makes the dream a reality by sniffing out Liz’s true nature and bringing it to the fore. She gives her newfound friend a makeover and christens her Liz Taylor. And Liz has been sashaying the halls of The Cortez ever since.
One can see Gaga’s affinity for stories like this. She plays sympathy and compassion beautifully in the flashback sequence. Seeing her character embrace the unknown and unaccepted is very much in line with how she’s portrayed herself to the public outside of this show. And it’s very nicely done. Seamless.
As John explains to his superior that he’s had dinner with some of the country’s most notorious serial killers, we learn that his professional reputation is completely shot. In fact, he’s fired on the spot. Jobless and run down, he returns to the hotel where he stumbles into bed with Sally; though by his own account, can’t remember much. He demands that Sally leave but she insists that it’s their destiny to be together.
Meanwhile, John’s estranged wife Alex is schooled by the Countess about her new destiny. She’s to act as governess for Holden and the other undead children. In return, she gets to be with Holden forever. Come bedtime, we even see Alex step into the same glass coffin as Holden. No word yet on what’s become of Scarlett.
Tara Martinez is a New York-based writer with a passion for pop culture and a penchant for analysis. She frequently covers film, television, and representations of women in the media.