Checking Out Of Hotel Cortez: AHS Review

I don’t watch horror, I hate the sight of blood, gore and needles, and yet… I loved AHS: Hotel.

It was the fifth season finale of American Horror Story, and yet this season was my first time watching the Ryan Murphy creation – a show that has fans all over switching from covering their eyes in horror, to crying emotionally over a character’s moving tragedy.

And just why would someone like me, a person that steers clear of horror/thriller movies and avoids watching hospital dramas at the thought of seeing a bloodbath, want to watch a show that every week has at least one murder – a murder that results in blood gushing out of someone’s neck, their guts hanging out or their bodies or a victim drained of blood by bloodthirsty creatures?

Two words – Lady Gaga (or… The Countess).

For those that don’t know, I’m a huge Lady Gaga fan. To me she’s a visionary, a highly talented artist – and not just in her music. Yes, she can play the piano and has a set of pipes that make her one of the biggest musicians. Yes, she pushes the boundaries of fashion and technology through her team at Haus of Gaga. And yes, she also brings awareness to causes that affect the youth on a daily basis through the Born This Way Foundation. But damn – she can also act.

If you’ve ever watched a Gaga interview or been to one of her concerts, you know that she has a theatrical streak. Each concert tells a story, with every line of her speeches spoken with passion and emotion, and each costume change carefully chosen. Back in 2011, she said so herself “My whole life is theatre”.

Just recently in her acceptance speech at the Golden Globe awards, where she won her first Golden Globe for Best Actress for her role as The Countess in AHS, she shared that she’d always wanted to be an actress but music “worked out first”.

So Ryan Murphy’s decision to ask Lady Gaga to join the AHS cast was pure genius and celebrated – not only through Gaga’s Golden Globe win but also through the ratings that leapt as The Countess drew in viewers with her style, and her evil, murderous ways.


But it wasn’t just Gaga that stole the show – the whole of AHS was filled with a talented cast who brought the twisted, lost characters of Hotel Cortez to life.

Their stories had us cowering behind a sofa during a murder, celebrating new loves that were found, and feeling sad when they didn’t work out (usually because they were murdered in jealousy, or just for the pure fun of it by other characters). So I guess it was a surprise that it seemed AHS: Hotel ended on a happier note than most episodes…

So what were the highlights of the season?

For me, there were 4.

One was Nick’s transition to Liz Taylor. Nick, the salesman that liked to dress in his wife’s clothes in secret soon became, with the help of The Countess, the stylish and confident goddess who would be found working at the reception or behind the bar, offering drinks and worldly advice to those confused about what their next step in life should be. Nick’s transition was a highlight because it was so beautifully done – you could see Liz’s happiness and confidence shine through as she was finally able to own her identity in the Cortez.

An early highlight in the season was Gaga’s iconic improvised line “Your boy has a jawline for days” as the Countess caresses Donovan’s face as he lies unconscious on the bed and his mother Iris walks in. My timeline on Twitter was filled with tweets of the line.

Another highlight for me was the Flicker episode. A detailed look into the life of The Countess before her evil days, the episode showed her arriving in LA to become an actress and the reveal of one character that gave us all the reason to why all of her lovers looked the same – Valentino. The Countess is swept off her feet by actor Valentino, and here we see a Countess much different to the cold-hearted murderer. But her love is soon turned to tragedy and we soon see how Valentino’s disappearance leads to the Countess become the evil villain that we all love to fear.

A few episodes after Flicker, we were handed a delightful surprise when we cut from one scene to Matt Bomer (who plays Donovan, one of the Countess’ lovers) dancing to Drake’s Hotline Bling. Not only was it a surprise due to the soundtrack usually consisting of early 90s and 00s music but also because a few minutes later the song became the audio of a shoot out that would kill one main character and leave another fighting for their life!

I took to Twitter the day before the finale aired to ask my followers what they’d enjoyed about AHS so far from my personal highlights, and a big favourite was Nick’s transition to Liz, closely followed by the Hotline Bling scene (which made me happy as I’m also a Drake fan).

What was your favourite part of the AHS Hotel season? Did you like how the season ended?

Let me know in the comments below!

I also recently got into the whole poll thing on Twitter, which led to me asking a few more questions about AHS to see what people thought.

Check them out below and feel to follow me on @nxaxb as I’d like to make polls a regular thing and I’d hate for you to miss out!

Thanks for reading! And don’t forget to comment what you enjoyed most about AHS below 🙂


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