American Horror Story finally did it! Rather than cram as much as possible into the much-anticipated Halloween episode, writer Jennifer Salt shows some restraint, keeps the focus on two main storylines and winds up with an exceptional episode.
“Devil’s Night” opens with a big bang courtesy of Evan Peters’ Mr. March. We enter the hotel with a man revealed to be real life serial killer Richard Ramirez (Anthony Ruivivar). He died in 2013 and is now celebrating his third Devil’s Night at the Cortez. Liz Taylor takes Ramirez to his room and tells him, “The master has left a couple of treats on the pillow.” Soon enough, we find out that those treats are actually victims, introducing another wonderfully twisted tradition Mr. March conducts in his hotel/torture chamber.
From there the focus shifts back to sad sap John Lowe. After a brief chat on the phone with Scarlett who’d rather hang at Disneyland and bake pies with Grandma than spend Halloween with her father, John has a heart-to-heart with Ms. Evers during which she reveals what happened to her own son. Little Albert Evers was abducted and became one of the many victims of Gordon Northcott. While at the office, John decides to look into it and that’s when he starts to connect the dots. Does this have anything to do with his Bible killer? Who cares? The more interesting advancement is that John realizes that Ms. Evers hasn’t aged a day since her son was killed in 1925.
Meanwhile, Alex brings Holden back home but quickly realizes that’s no longer where he belongs. She takes him back to the Cortez where he immediately snuggles into his coffin. While Holden sleeps, The Countess breaks the situation down for Alex and, in the process, offers Alex a very curious proposition. The Countess agrees to turn Alex and let her be with Holden for eternity. All she has to do in return is give The Countess her undying loyalty. Despite the fact that Holden is the love of her life, Alex doesn’t buy it and storms out, threatening to call the cops.
Down at the bar, John is drowning his sorrows in a drink – a real drink. That’s when another Devil’s Night attendee steps in, Lily Rabe as Aileen Wuornos. Rabe revels in the opportunity to play the notorious serial killer, going full blown psychopath but with a eerily captivating persuasiveness. When Aileen attempts to kill John, he heads downstairs to complain to Liz Taylor but then finds that he’s been invited to attend Mr. March’s Devil’s Night soiree as well.
All dressed for the occasion, John arrives at dinner where Mr. March, Aileen, Richard Ramirez, John Gacy (John Carroll Lynch) and Jeffrey Dahmer (Seth Gabel) are all waiting for him. Mr. March explains that he invited John to the event because he wants to help him. In AHS land, Mr. March is somewhat responsible for some of the most infamous killers out there. For example, he once made Aileen feel like she’s “worth something” and also told Dahmer that in order to be a great killer, he needed to be able to get inside his victims’ minds. Even though they spill all of the gory details of their history together and show him what they’re capable of, John refuses to submit and eventually wakes up in a dark room with Sally insisting that she found him there crying and alone.
Before closing out, “Devil’s Night” caps off Alex’s situation with a change of heart. She returns to The Countess, tells her that she can’t lose her son again and accepts her offer. I didn’t expect John and Alex to be consumed by the horrors of the hotel so soon, but it’s made their relationship more interesting than ever. Even though John’s been presented as a golden boy, apparently he’s the reason The Countess took Holden and now he’s being scouted by the hotel’s secret killer society. Thanks to all the narration in Episode 3, it was pretty clear that Alex would eventually agree to become a vampire so she could be with Holden, but now the big question is, where does she go from here? Odds are, The Countess will put her pediatrician skills to use and have her tending to her vampire children, but I can’t imagine Alex completely giving in and going along with the operation, especially if she catches The Countess trying to take another child.
Not only do these major changes for John and Alex bode well for future scenes focusing on their family and relationship, but they also broaden the possibilities for the hierarchy at the hotel. Who’s really in charge? Is it The Countess or is it Mr. March? I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing them have a little turf war.
Episode Rating: ★★★★★
Odds and Ends:
- “There’s a killer after me!” – Victim “And a killer before you.” – Mr. March
- “We are the Mount Rushmore of murder.” – Mr. March
- “Murder is one part perspiration, ten parts preparation.” – Mr. March
- Is there a connection between John Gacy and Twisty the Clown from Freak Show? Freak Show takes place in 1952, so Gacy would have only been 10 at the time, but I’d be surprised if Ryan Murphy had John Carroll Lynch playing both characters for no reason.