After a few weeks off for the holidays, American Horror Story Season 5 Episode 11 kickstarted the final few hours of the happenings inside the Hotel Cortez, and tonight's "Battle Royale" brought with it a few surprises.
The hotel just got a few new guests and, as the song goes, "they can check out any time they like, but they can never leave."
Or can they?
Let's start with my biggest criticism and that's the woeful misuse of Gabourey Sidibe's Queenie from American Horror Story Season 3.
Queenie shows up to the Hotel Cortez just as Iris and Liz need someone to feed to Ramona, whom they hope will kill the Countess for them since they weren't able to finish the job themselves.
In their defense, Donovan was bleeding out and it was his dying wish not to be trapped inside the hotel for the rest of eternity.
Can't exactly blame his mother for putting a halt to her vengeance to save her baby boy, you know?
Anyway, in walks Queenie.
Queenie, if you'll remember, was one of the witches in the school who eventually straddled both of the magical worlds. She learned voodoo from Angela Bassett's Marie Laveau and from Sarah Paulson's Cordelia Foxx, aka the Supreme. Queenie's kind of a badass just like Gabourey Sidibe herself, and she's about to best Ramona Royale when James March kills her.
Since there's nowhere for Queenie's magic to go when he strikes her, she can be and is killed. Ramona feeds. Queenie's dead. Ish. Deadish.
She's presumably now trapped inside the hotel unless there are different rules for the spirits of witches who die there. And maybe what we'll see in the next few episodes of the season is the witches of Miss Robichaux's academy descending upon the hotel to find their lost sister, and in the process they'll free the trapped spirits. Or maybe not.
I'm still just irritated that's all we got of Sidibe. Bah.
Sidenote: I love that there are elements of each season of AHS which bleed into other seasons. The bath tub, learning how Pepper came to live in the asylum. The return to Murder House this season (and on and on). What bugs me about it, however, is when one character is the same while others are different.
Tonight, for example, Queenie shows up as her character from AHS: Coven. Angela Bassett is playing Ramona Royale who looks SHOCKINGLY SIMILAR to Marie Laveau (because, hi, same actress), and Queenie doesn't have even a minute's question about it. The same happened for Pepper and Jessica Lange's characters from Asylum and Freak Show.
Maybe I'm the only one bothered by this. (Please let's chat if you are too!)
Also worth noting is that Angela Bassett has now played TWO eternally youthful/damn near immortal characters for this series. I'm interested to see if all the Countess got out of Ramona before she tried to leave was sex or if she also somehow managed to take Ramona's life, trapping her in the hotel so that Ramona couldn't come after her not knowing she was about to die herself.
Talk about karma. Now I'm really hoping that happens!
I'm also sort of hoping that John gets killed inside the hotel and becomes Sally's forever. I don't know why aside from the fact that his family situation really bugs me. Alex would drop John and Scarlett again in a hot minute if it meant protecting Holden. They can't go back to being a normal family.
It's just weird. I can't explain it. He's better with Sally. But then someone has to look after Scarlett. Maybe the family will move into the hotel and become its new owners.
Something tells me someone is going to figure out the secret to vanquishing March. Or they'll figure out that the secret to leaving is getting permission from him to do so. I certainly wouldn't put it past the Countess to be thinking that way after her dinner with James.
The best moment, for me, came when Miss Evers declared and professed her love for him and begged him to see her. She just needed to know that he understood why she'd called the police and had him trapped. She was willing to die to be with him forever.
His response? "Get out."
And then she did. Weird.
That's the secret, I think, to leaving the hotel. None of the damned souls can leave right now because March won't let them. This is his personal Murder House, and he holds the keys to their freedom.
Will he give it? Probably not willingly, and not to everyone. I just hope Liz gets out before it's too late.
What did you think of "Battle Royale"? Was that a misuse of Gabourey Sidibe's character? How do you think this season of AHS will end? Sound off in the comments below and remember you can watch American Horror Story online right here!
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.