This post contains spoilers for Wednesday night’s episode of American Horror Story: Hotel.
Well, we all knew it was inevitable. After a solid few episodes of American Horror Story: Hotel, Ryan Murphy is is already starting to pull the old Ryan Murphy film-flam. I blame myself, really. Every shiny new season I let myself get sucked into the hype and creepy imagery and I tell myself, “This season! This season it won’t go off the rails! I know it won’t!” It’s like Lucy with the football, really, and I’m Charlie Brown. He couldn’t possibly pull the football away this time, could he?
Wednesday night’s “Devil’s Night” took a hiatus from the previously developing storylines from the first three episodes to throw a party! For serial killers! As is tradition at the Hotel Cortez, the ghost of the hotel’s murdering founder James March throws a party on the night before Halloween, otherwise known as Devil’s Night, when all of the real ghouls come out to play. And just what ghouls are we talking? Real-life serial killers Jeffrey Dahmer, Richard Ramirez, John Wayne Gacy (John Carroll Lynch), and Aileen Wuornos (Lily Rabe) — who all killed real-life victims, to remind you — turn up at the party for seemingly little other reason than for Ryan Murphy to wink at the audience and delight in how clever he is. (I will say John Carroll Lynch reprising his role as a murderous clown was a nice touch, though.)
The only purpose I can glean out of this plot is that it suggests that March was somehow integral for these individuals to blossom from garden variety sociopaths into serial killers (FORESHADOWING!), as each of them had a run-in with March before starting their serial-killer careers. It also suggests that Detective John Lowe — who received a personal invitation to the soiree — is somehow tied to March and/or the hotel, which obviously we already knew, although not yet to what degree.
As for how the serial killers even got to the Hotel Cortez, since typically ghosts are tied to the location of their deaths? I assume that would be a callback to season one’s Murder House, which featured a Halloween plot that insinuated the holiday was “the one day in which the dead can walk among the living.” Technically this was the day before Halloween, but this is as close as we’re going to get to continuity from the guy who spent almost an entire episode with a novelty plot one-third of the way into the season.
In more relevant news, Chloë Sevigny is a vampire now! So that should add some fun to the season moving forward.