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By highlighting an especially twisted mother-son relationship in "Mommy," Hotel continues to be a thoroughly creepy stay.
So, how about that episode last Wednesday night, huh? A lot of things happened...well, not really.
In this Sartre-ian world of "people are hell", no one can completely sever that umbilical cord from mommy.
On the whole, "Mommy" was less burdened by clunky exposition than previous episodes, barring the introduction of Ramona, but what sins can't be excused by the sight of Angela Bassett retrieving a throwing knife out of her Afro?
Sure, there are details left to be uncovered and plenty of surprises in store, but it doesn't seem like the truth is being purposefully obfuscated so that we'll keep tuning in this week. AHS: Hotel is too classy for that, and I like it.
No amount of blood alone can derive excitement from a drudgery of a show.
In an episode replete with the show's trademark insanity, the clear highlight is the season debut of AHS regular Angela Bassett. Her Ramona Royale has an inspired backstory.
Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk succeeded this episode in providing history and context at a decent pace and within the characters' stories. They didn't throw in unnecessary, cheap thrills and left me hungry for more.
Considering how all over the place past seasons of American Horror Story have been, it's amazing how long Hotel has stuck to this one theme, running with it for three episodes, rather than indulging the attention-deficit from which [it] usually suffers.
In keeping with AHS' grand tradition of forcing Kathy Bates into miserable mother-son relationships, Wednesday's episode served us Iris and Donovan's twisted backstory in a neat little package.
The damned perform their given roles in this multi-leveled black-box theater. Whether the guests here be tragic ghosts, doomed visitors, or predatory immortals, I'm glad every time the lights go down and this cast takes the stage.
Again though - to bang the same drum - the episode's length prevented this chapter from being a concise work and led it down the same sprawling anything-goes path this season has been on.
Matt Bomer and Kathy Bates are killing it this season. The Donovan/Iris relationship is so compelling and I'm so emotionally invested in what's next.