American Horror Story Hotel: ‘Flicker’ Review

American Horror Story Hotel 'The Hallway To Hell'

“Darling, you are a revelation.” -Mr. March

What in the fucking fuck just happened? Zombie vampires? A hallway with no exits? Mr. March and The Countess? American Horror Story Hotel went in a completely different direction for the thousandth time and there is so much going on, I have no idea how this is going to sort itself out. Ramona, Iris and Donovan are trying to kill The Countess, vamp kids are on the loose in the city because of Alex, Sarah Paulson is no where to be found and absolutely none of this was addressed in Flicker. We did, however, learn exactly what happened to The Countess and how she was given immortality way back in the roaring ’20s.

I love these flashback-heavy episodes. They always seem to reveal a lot about our characters and this episode was mostly about The Countess and Mr. March. As a stand-alone story, I absolutely loved how Mr. March handled the situation because who doesn’t love watching people get trapped on a floor with no exits. We also found out how The Countess met her first love and how she ended up with Mr. March in the first place. It was an hour-long history lesson as some of our characters from the ’20s were actually real people with real lives and, once again, American Horror Story Hotel found a way to include real life individuals into the story. Good job, show!

We also learned a little more about this ancient virus that has infected three quarters of the cast but, at the end of the day, it was a pretty lame explanation and my only major complaint about this episode. If you’re going to explain something, I want the FULL origin story, not just how the damn virus got to America. And no, I don’t care if we have to go all the way back to 740 A.D. to get these answers. Like Nike, just do it!

Still, it was pretty cool watching the past and the present connect and once again American Horror Story is taking bat shit crazy to a whole new level. Enjoy the review, fellow guests.

Gods Have Appetites

Finn Wittrock playing two completely different characters in one season? Yup. That happened. Not only that, but he played a real life individual by the name of Rudolph Valentino, and the similarities were pretty spot on! Normally, I would hate seeing one actor playing two different characters in the same season but Finn did a commendable job with his cool Italian accent and those zombie vamps were straight up fucked! There’s a lot going on at the Cortez and I can assure you that I will never be spending a night there. Ever.

A majority of Flicker took place in 1925, where a 21-year old Countess is on the movie set for The Sheik and she meets Finn’s new character, Rudolph. He drops her a note to meet him at the Garden of Alla, a real life hotel in Hollywood.  Seeing as Rudolph is a movie star, you just knew The Countess was going to get romantically involved with this guy and who can blame her? He’s a freakin’ movie star after all. They have a conversation about the big screen and The Countess wants to obtain immortality via the true American art form. Flickers are the future!

"Flickers are the future."

We also meet Valentino’s wife, Natacha Rambova (played by Alexandra Daddario), and she is also based off of a real-life individual who worked in Hollywood as a film costume and set designer. Rudolph explains to The Countess that their so-called divorce is all an act because the studio has been trying to tear them apart for years so they must convince the world that they are not together. So what do they want with The Countess?

The next thing I know, we’re dancing on the living room floor. I could have done without all of this Dancing with the Stars nonsense. At this point, it’s still not clear what Valentino and Natacha want with The Countess but luckily for all of us, this all gets explained. But first, The Countess is attending an event for the grand opening of the Hotel Cortez where Mr. March makes a toast to his new enterprise.

The Host with the Most

But the festivities are interrupted rather quickly when someone announces that Valentino has died. The Countess is distraught and is contemplating suicide by jumping to her death from the same window Sally was thrown from in the premiere but she appears to have a knight in shining armor when Mr. March comes to her rescue.

"In fact, I may never let you go."

It’s pretty obvious at this point that The Countess is Mr. March’s future wife and really, no one should be surprised. What we didn’t realize, however, is that she only settled for March after her true love supposedly died. So the Countess was very much in love with Valentino and places a rose on his tomb every single day. One day, the Countess is confronted by Natacha and shes brought a visitor with her. So Valentino faked his own death and, while he was busy with that, The Countess ended up marrying Mr. March, a man for whom she felt nothing. She was, however, drawn to the darkness because Mr. March is a serial murderer. Obvs! The Countess is even worse though because she totally is into the whole murder thing and wants to watch next time. Bat. Shit. Crazy.

We’re also finally given more information about this virus that everyone seems to be catching. Valentino was on tour to promote one of his movies when he notices a mysterious man with mesmerizing eyes. This man’s name was F.W. Murnau, yet another real-life individual and director of one of the world’s most famous vampire movies, Nosferatu. Murnau supposedly wanted to “preserve” Valentino and it’s revealed where his secrets came from. During the making of Nosferatu, he travelled deep into the Carpathian Mountains, which also happen to surround Transylvania, and decided to have some outdoor sex with a bunch of random forest-dwellers. Good times were had by all.

Blood Orgies Were Totally Cool in the '20s

So ya, these mountain-dwelling vamps were infected with an ancient blood virus which was passed on to Murnau. Basically, this thing spreads like your standard STD so Valentino and Natacha give their gift to The Countess. Case closed, right? This was a pretty lame explanation about the virus’s origins and I was rather disappointed that this whole thing came from a bunch of sex-addicted woodland vampires who live in the mountains near Transylvania. If we don’t get a real explanation regarding the origins of the ancient blood virus, I will be very, very disappointed. And so should you.

Later on, it was also revealed what happened to Valentino and Natacha. The Countess had plans to board a train with her two new besties but this never happens because Mr. March is the extremely jealous type and he kidnaps the couple and locks them up in the Cortez. On a floor with no exits.

AC/DC I'm In The Hallway To Hell

Now that would totally suck, especially if you have the power of immortality. This obviously explains the dead rat skeleton those construction workers found earlier but spending 90 years with one person in the same room is not my idea of heaven. Also, where will they go to the bathroom?

Free At Last

Back in the present, Will Drake is busy getting his reno on and making a mess of the Hotel Cortez. He’s totally into The Countess even though he mostly prefers the presence of men but he wants his son’s blessing first. Kids are not stupid though:

"I thought you liked the D?"


Will’s response: Adults are complicated. He’s not wrong but that was a terrible response. Will’s team of construction workers are gutting the Cortez but they run into a problem because there is an entire floor hidden behind the walls. Two of the construction workers take a look inside and it’s an all-around terrible idea because what they end up finding belongs in our nightmares.

Doing Some Necking

Yup, American Horror Story Hotel now has zombie vampires lurking the hallways. It’s no wonder this entire floor was sealed off and it’s no wonder I may never sleep in a hotel ever again.

After hearing about what happened, The Countess and Iris investigate since Will is busy getting his asshole bleached and waxed. Did anyone else love how curious Iris was about this? Admit it, you did.

"How would someone even know their anus needs bleaching?"

The Countess’s reaction to this news was even better. You can tell she’s not a fan of Big Willy. Or his bleached anus.

The Countess reacts to Will's anus bleaching

Greatest. Reaction. Ever. The two ladies find the bodies of the construction workers in the secret hallway and even The Countess looks terrified after the discovery. What exactly has been locked away in those hallways? We will soon find out.

Also, everyone’s favorite realtor Marcy was back…briefly. I’m not even sure what the point of this was but I will never complain about a realtor getting eaten by vamp zombies, especially the sleazy ones.

"Looks like I've sold my last property."

So does this mean that Marcy will be back as a ghost? She did die in the Hotel after all and the body count is really piling up. I have no idea why the writers decided to just randomly throw Marcy into this episode so she could die in 10 seconds but it’s possible that we haven’t seen the last of her.

Our stories come together when it’s revealed that Valentino and Natacha were the ones inside the hidden hallway and they haven’t been been able to feed much given the fact that they were trapped for the last 90 years. Rat blood doesn’t seem to have the same impact as human blood. Luckily for our zombie vamps, some moronic cowboys just checked in and should provide some youthful nourishment to satisfy that blood thirst. Also, these costumes were totally epic!!!

"We've had better days."

Okay so, I totally hate vampires and Ryan Murphy was totally full of shit when he said they were never going to do vamps on AHS but this was pretty fucken awesome.

Meanwhile, Mr. March and The Countess get together for their monthly dinner arrangement and The Countess brings news of her new engagement to Will Drake. Mr. March appears to take the news well but it also appears that he’s hiding something behind that boyish face of his. March assumes that the Countess is going to murder Drake so he tells her to ensure she does so off of the property so they don’t have any awkward moments of running into each other in the hallways. But The Countess tells March that she might actually be in love and, just like the rest of us already know, The Countess is full of shit:

"I'm dead dear, not stupid."

Mr. March finally reveals that he was the one responsible for Valentino and Natacha’s disappearance. I don’t think Mr. March realized these two were infected with an ancient blood virus that gave them immortality so I can’t fault March for locking them up on a floor with no exits but this was obviously a huge mistake since I can only imagine that Valentino and Natacha will be seeking revenge for this. And after feasting on some Texas baby back ribs, it looks like they are ready to get the party started.

To Be Young Again

Doesn’t it feel good to be a vampire? The answer is a definite yes. I really hope this isn’t the last we have seen of these two but in all likelihood, they probably think Mr. March is dead and they aren’t wrong. Even if they do decide to kill him, how does one kill what is already dead? Your guess is as good as mine.

Mind Games

Well, John has officially lost his mind and gone completely bat shit crazy. Is there any possibility that he’s NOT the killer? All signs point directly at him and he’s definitely going cuckoo for cocoa puffs. And murder…can’t forget the murder. Is this too obvious though? I’d rather not have John turning out to be the killer in the end.

John has checked himself into a health center to get his brain checked out after having one of his standard mental breakdowns. He has an evaluation done by one of the docs and you can just tell that John has completely lost his mind. Or so we are led to believe. The most recent incident that prompted his latest episode involved his partner, Sergeant Barnes. Barnes tells John that he’s not covering for him anymore since he shouldn’t be investigating the case due to his suspension so John decides to attack Barnes because that is what crazy ass people do.

But is John really crazy? The answer is probably yes but he didn’t check into the hospital for his own sanity, he checked in because he saw the name of the Health Center on a document in the 10 Commandments Killer file. While at the hospital, he overhears some talk about a patient who was totally involved with these 10 Commandment killings so John does what any level-headed psycho would do and knocks out the guard for his keys. He immediately heads to Room 153 but the individual inside is totally not what I expected.

AHS Hotel: Wren

Yup, that’s right. It’s just a little girl and, correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure she was one of the vamp kids at the Hotel Cortez. She explains to John that she was helping out the 10 Commandments Killer so this probably points to someone at the Hotel as being the perpetrator (although it could very well be John himself).

John, obviously, wants to know who the killer is but Wren doesn’t come right out and tell him because that would be too easy. The vamp kid explains that she wasn’t forced to do anything, she was just in it for shits and giggles (and probably blood), and she was the one who murdered the security guard in the church while they were filling the priest’s mouth with loose change.

Wren kills security guard

So basically, Wren is one fucked up kid and I’m super happy I don’t have any children of my own after watching this. Wren totally blames herself for everything that happened and John tries to convince her that this is not the case by using his own daughter as an example. But Wren’s childhood was a bit messed up. Her father was a complete freak job and, one day, decided to go out for drinks at the Cortez. Terrible idea all around. He left Wren in the car with the windows rolled up on a hot day and he’s definitely lucky this was 1986 or he would have been immediately arrested for being a shitty dad. Luckily though, The Countess shows up to save the day.

"Would you like some candy, little girl?"

Didn’t your daddy tell you not to talk to strangers? Of course he didn’t because your daddy is a stupid, neglectful drunk. So Wren ends up at the Hotel Cortez and obviously has the blood virus since she has not grown a day since 1986. Vampires are fucking complicated.

John finally decides to escape from the health center with Wren so she can take him directly to the killer. She says they need to go back to the Cortez so it’s pretty obvious that that is where our killer is hiding but it doesn’t really narrow things down and it’s still definitely possible that John is the 10 Commandments killer himself. Not only that, but Wren decided that she really wanted to play in traffic so we’re right back to where we started.

Playing In Traffic

What. The. Fuck. Show! Add little girls getting smoked by transport trucks to the list of bat shit crazy things that have happened on AHS. I guess this shouldn’t come as a surprise since Wren had already hinted at the fact that she wasn’t down with the whole ‘drinking blood for eternity’ thing but she was the key to finding the 10 Commandments killer and now John is going to have to figure it all out on his own. So is John the killer? It’s still possible but he did check out of the Cortez last week so maybe Wren was referring to somebody else being the killer. And this has officially dragged on for too long now. At least there is a flicker of hope with John finally realizing that the killer is definitely at the Hotel Cortez. Go get ’em John…unless, of course, you’re the killer.

The Verdict

Episode Score: MIKEY LIKES IT 

Mikey Likes ItFlicker was an interesting episode of American Horror Story that introduced us to new characters and provided some background information on this vamp virus and the Hotel Cortez itself. Once again, we have more characters in the mix and still nothing has been solved, including the case of the 10 Commandments killer. But at least we’re getting closer.

I particularly loved the story from the 1920s and how The Countess ended up meeting Mr. March. It all made a lot of sense and having March trap Valentino and Natacha on his floor with no exits was pretty fucking cool. Even cooler was their return after 90 years. But by the end of the episode, they were leaving the Hotel so I’m not sure if this is the last we have seen of them or if they’ll be back to extract revenge on Mr. March’s ghost. I’m guessing they probably don’t return even though March is still lingering around the Cortez as a ghost. Unfortunately, I don’t see why they’d come back and I’m not expecting them to but it would be a very interesting plot twist if these two were all of a sudden back in the mix of things.

The one thing I absolutely hated, however, was that explanation we got regarding the virus. Like, come on, that was really the best you could come up with? I understand that this is some ancient virus but that explanation of Murnau coming across some feral vamps in the wilderness near Transylvania was pretty lame. I don’t need an explanation for everything but if you’re going to provide one, at least make it interesting. After all, we’re all dead here, not stupid!

Lastly, it looks like John is one step closer to the 10 Commandments killer after his adventure with Wren. I still have this weird feeling that John is not the killer, it’s just too obvious. But if he’s not the killer then who is? I think we’ll be getting some answers soon though.

So what did you think of Flicker? Did it make you want to chug champagne straight out of the bottle? Or would you rather play in traffic instead? Let us know in the comments and thanks for reading, fellow guests. And if you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to vote for your favorite Cortez character below:

Oh and one more thing. American Horror Story is taking next week off so we can all eat turkey which totally sucks. But fear not, Mikey is preparing a new series of articles that will explore future settings of American Horror Story (which has been renewed for a sixth season, YAY) and the first one is almost ready to be published. Check back here for that and be sure to check out the promo for the next episode of American Horror Story Hotel, where it looks like our killer may finally be revealed!