201 - "Chutes and Ladders"

A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
edited October 2015 in American Horror Story
Director: Bradley Buecker
Writer: Tim Minear


  • Believe you may have made a mistake and put this in the VIP lounge instead of AHS. 
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Damn, I'm off my game. Is this runtime legit 2 hours? 2 hours of Evan Peters?
  • What's the deal with these long episodes? I love AHS, but 1:45 is just too long. Thought the same thing about The Walking Dead Sunday. A tighter hour episode is so much more effective.

    So far, I'm not super invested in the serial killer or Mr. March storyline, but the Countess, Donovan, and Tristan plot seems intriguing. I'm not buying Finn Wittrock as a heartbreaker. There's no contest between him and Matt Bomer.

    I continue to be impressed with Gaga. She's playing stiff and theatrical, but that works for this role. It might not work on any other show.

    Can't wait to hear the podcast!
  • kingbee67kingbee67 Los Angeles Ca.
    "We're all just prisoners here of our own device."
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    Evan Peters looks like he escaped from the Bugsy Malone set.
  • UnderwoodUnderwood Philadelphia, PA
    FX really seems lets their hit shows run as longs as they please, which is great with Fargo but AHS.... Not so sure. I liked this episode, but sure looks like Evan Peters is going to play an awful character again. I mean that fake accent was just a dumpster fire. Hey at least we know Ryan Murphy is pro Vaccination, so ill give him credit for that.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    My thoughts exactly.  1:45 is just too fucking much. 
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    Underwood said:

    FX really seems lets their hit shows run as longs as they please, which is great with Fargo but AHS.... Not so sure. 

    I admire John Landgraf for several reasons, especially for recognizing that showrunners should not be bound to the archaic 43-minute running time, but when Justified, Fargo, and The Americans rarely exceed 10 extra minutes as opposed to SoA and AHS frequently abusing 30 extra minutes, you have to reign in that self-indulgence. 
  • I am loving this Season!
    I think Gaga is perfect for the role she's playing.
    And Sarah Paulson's acting is amazing!
    I'm enjoying the longer episodes, because I want to know more about what's going on. I also liked that they had Gaga explain the virus, instead of drawing that out over several episodes.
  • Frakkin TFrakkin T Currently Offline
    Ok I am 10 minutes through the episode. I was just tonight talking to my wife about how heavy handed SVU can get sometimes with its message and BOOM Ryan Murphy throws in a 30 second PSA on why anti-vaxxers are wrong. Agree with the message or not (I do.) it felt so clunky and obvious.
  • Frakkin TFrakkin T Currently Offline
    edited October 2015
    I like this season. Gaga is powerful and sexy as hell. If Evan Peters can grow into his character a little more this could be the best season yet.
  • MichelleMichelle California
    JJ_Borden said:

    I'm not buying Finn Wittrock as a heartbreaker. There's no contest between him and Matt Bomer.

    I 100% agree.  I was actually slightly annoyed by his character.  I don't know if it's just me, but Tristan came off as a bit of a douchebag a-hole and I thought his catwalk scene was RIDIC, like "look at me, I'm this wannabe badboy with the over-inflated ego and I can just break glass and kiss random women and strut it like I'm the most awesome thing you've ever seen and if you don't like it, f**k you".  Those type of people bother me in real life, so that's probably why I'm not much into him.    Now, Matt Bomer and his character Donovan?   Alllllllllllllll kinds of hot.  Why Elizabeth gave him up for Tristan the cokehead d-bag is beyond me.  Plus, I loved that Donovan wanted to stay in that night and binge on House of Cards.   There was something so innocent and real about him in that single moment that I found so lovable.   

    Supposedly the James March character was based on the real life serial killer H.H. Holmes, who killed many many people for years starting in the late 1890's during the time that some big world's fair or world's expo was going on.  He built a hotel specifically to be his own 'murder house' and it had chutes, etc. and he had a room that was sealed in solid brick and he left people in there to die, etc.   It's interesting to read his story and try to tie in any possible continuation of storyline for the James March character.

    Btw, is anyone else thinking that the Countess Elizabeth was his wife???   I totally believe she was.

    *Dying* (pun intended) to see the Elizabeth Taylor backstory!  I loved his line "skinny jeans are out, fringe is in, ponchos are forever, make a note of it" as he strutted on by, and about how he was teaching the people who Vogue how to vogue.  :)   Fierce.

    Still wondering why Sally sews her victims into the mattresses... at least we found out *how* they get there but did I miss why?

    Still not much into the Jon Lowe character but I loved the Holden and Scarlet scene when she was asking him why he hasn't aged, and when she took the selfie of them.  I can only guess she's going to go to her father with all of this - THAT will be interesting.

    Can't wait for the next episode!
  • MichelleMichelle California
    Oh!  And - I love the time jumps through the episodes.  We go from present day, back to '94, then to when Holden was kidnapped, now we've gone back to 1925. 

    So with that said, and now knowing that Room 64 ties in with James March, I'm totally understanding the jazz music at 2:25 am.   Maybe that is the time when the police raided him and he killed himself?

    And now that we've seen him in present day at the hotel and he's still got the wound visible on his neck, when no one else has visible signs of their own deaths, is it due to the fact that he killed himself vs. the others being killed by someone else?  Is this a message about suicide?

  • MichelleMichelle California
    Okay, final thought but I wanted to keep it separate - LOVE the soundtrack that they've chosen to use for this show.  Being a mid '80s high school grad and spending my late teens in the late '80s, I have fond memories of all of these songs.  :)
  • amyja89amyja89 Oxford, England
    General consensus on here seems to be that this ep was much better enjoyed than the first, but I have to say I thought it was utter garbage, again.

    Literally 30 minutes too long and just a series of stylish looking tableaux with absolutely no cohesion. When I think back to my favourite season, Asylum, it's hard to believe that so many of the same cast and creative crew are working on this, the series has gone from being fun camp horror to a weekly exercise in disjointed, graphic set pieces of extreme violence and very little interlinking story. Perhaps I'm being too harsh so early in the season, but with these extended episodes I already feel like I've been watching AHS: Hotel for a month!

    Also, I'm missing the star presence of Jessica Lange much more than I thought I would. Lady Gaga just ain't cutting it for me.
  • I miss Jessica Lange too! I'm still holding hope that she'll make some surprise appearance in this season.
    And while she's no Jessica Lange, I think Gaga is holding her own, and is perfect as the Countess.
  • MichelleMichelle California
    Dunno if this has been discussed before, but spoiler alert....  highlight over the open space below to see.

    During the San Diego Comic Con panel for AHS and Scream Queens this year, Ryan Murphy indicated that characters from previous seasons will be checking into the hotel.  This was revealed after a fan asked if there was a coincidence that the Pepper character from Asylum also appeared in Freakshow (not the actress, the character).

  • aberry89aberry89 California
    Yeesh, I did not enjoy this one. It was all over the godamn place with very few connecting cords, which is normal for this show, but usually at least its quick and enjoyable, this was long and boring. 

    I was in a minority of really digging the first episode but this was too meandering and fluff filling for me. I do NOT want to watch a fashion show in the SECOND episode when there are characters you could be building.

    The "2nd episode" of this episode was very, very very H.H. Holmes. I also got a Citizen Kane vibe from the way it was filmed. The acting of Jimmy (dont remember the name) was not great not terrible. It also revealed the bad side of having the same cast in anthology series. You have to force them into roles that perhaps far more talented actors that are more suited to the roles could be filling.

    Speaking of not great acting, the mains of this show range form mediocre to bad where all the acting talent is the secondary characters. Did anyone else find Wes Bently's acting in this episode HORRIBLE...like god awful?  And Lady Gaga is just meehh. Where was we have the likes of Cathy Bates, Sarah Paulson and Dennis O'Hare  waiting in the wings, having a whole bunch of talent going to waste. 
  • hypergenesbhypergenesb Atlanta
    edited October 2015
    The only thing I'm digging about this season so far is the music: Siouxsie and The Banshees, Sisters of Mercy, New Order, Love and Rockets, Joy Division, Bauhaus. It's like my soundtrack from my college days. 
  • Between the movie length episodes, Zoolander, and Evan Peters Murder Monopoly Man it's like this show is trying to find reasons to not watch it. I really want to like it because it's the only kind of good horror show I can think of now that Hannibal (which was much more than kind of good) is gone, but damn. So far I can't even tell what the story is. It's just this weird hotel in the middle of LA filled with paranormal assholes. I hope the Swedish girl got that bad Yelp review in before she died. 
  • ElisaElisa Los Angeles
    I agree it was too long.  I wasn't really invested in the Evan Peters serial killer story but I guess it has to do with the history of the hotel and Gaga.  

    I didn't mind the story with Scarlett and Holden...very creepy and kids always freak me out.  

    The ten commandments killing is interesting, I guess.  We now have the glampire dos and don'ts.  I hope Matt Bomer takes some vengeance on Gaga and her douche bag.

    I didn't mind the fashion show.  But so far Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, Matt Bomer and Cleopatra characters and stories are my favorites and the most interesting.

    Ryan Murphy is just trying to do way too much.  He should have just added additional episodes.  

    That said I am still watching.
  • Podcast comment. About Gaga's money and the sale of the hotel, when the realtor and buyer were walking in, he said he purchased it from a trust, and he prefers that to dealing with people. So it wasn't purchased from the widow. Not sure if there's a trust because there aren't any blood/marriage relatives left or because that's how Evan Peters set it up in his will. But it's possible that the terms of the trust are that the property always had to be maintained as a hotel and not torn down or used for other purposes. That would explain why it's still standing.
  • MichelleMichelle California
    @A_Ron_Hubbard & @Jim - I think the episode number needs to be changed in the thread title.  ;-)

    I'm reallllllllly hoping we see the Elizabeth Taylor backstory soon!
  • tristantristan Liverpool
    Seeing as the dandy has my name I feel I have to keep watching.
  • HeffHeff Connecticut
    There's no way that Elizabeth is actually JPM's wife - as we already knew how old she was, there wouldn't be any reason not to show her face in the flashback sequence. I believe that is a different character which we will likely see at some point later this season.
  • MichelleMichelle California
    Heff said:

    There's no way that Elizabeth is actually JPM's wife - as we already knew how old she was, there wouldn't be any reason not to show her face in the flashback sequence. I believe that is a different character which we will likely see at some point later this season.

    Not necessarily.  Her being his wife would explain how she came into her money and how she came to be the HBIC of the place, especially if she was the one to rat him out to the police.  Also, she wanted to watch March do his killing(s), and Elizabeth was into watching Tristan do his, so there is that similarity as well.

    What I've been stuck on is at the fashion show, when Elizabeth says (after Tristan passes by them on his way back down the catwalk to backstage) that he is full of rage, and she "can still smell it...like copper" what is that referring to?   I can't believe I'm about to ask this question, but does old blood have a copper-y smell to it?  For instance, did March's 'lab' have a copper-y smell from all the blood that had been shed in it for so long?   Is Tristan then possibly March reincarnated as Tristan, or is he an old vampire lover of Elizabeth's, or was he an old lover who was in the financial business or in the mining business?   I feel like that copper line is significant somehow.
  • HeffHeff Connecticut
    I believe if Elizabeth was his wife, we would have seen her face in the flashback, as I can't think of any reason why withholding that information would lead to a useful surprise or shock.

    As for the copper aspect, while I'm not going to discount your "old money" theories, I have tasted my own blood after having oral surgery, and it did have a metallic taste. I've also smelled a metallic scent with blood being present. The way I understood Elizabeth's comment, Tristan is full of rage (a bloodlust, maybe?) which she is able to smell even though he's left the room, sort of like a pheromone trail, or cologne. The copper scent might simply be a blood-like tie to the vampire virus, and why she is so interested in him.
  • manhattnikmanhattnik the big apple
    I still gotta agree with A-ron. Little Blonde Girl has a CELL PHONE. Nobody thinks to call her? She never thinks to call anyone? Why not just text that damn photo to her father? This plot hole is of TWD proportions. 

    I’m still enjoying the whacky off-the-wall and all-over-the-place storytelling, but it’s going to get old really fast if they don’t tighten things up, and I’m afraid they’ll cop out on too many of the plot threads; they never seem able to pull it together in the end, and I end up feeling a little cheated. Or a lot cheated.
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