“Chutes and Ladders” is the name of the Wednesday’s episode, and we learn more and more about the macabre history of the building. Detective Lowe seems to sink deeper into life in the hotel, and the Countess finds a new love interest to shake things up. Some loose ends that have been bugging some of us all week are tied up, but still leave us wondering. We learn that there is a major player involved at the hotel, and the Countess is not the real source of evil

‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ Recap

Detective Lowe (Wes Bentley) wakes up in the hotel that he made his home at the close of the season premier. His room is dark and hollow sounding and the maid is standing sweetly in the door as he wakes up. They just let themselves right in at the Hotel Cortez. But he isn’t left with much time wonder at the intrusion of the maid before he starts seeing things: a couple covered in mud in the shower, as if they had just crawled out of a grave; one of the two vampire boys who attacked the blonde tourist in the beginning of the season. He runs downstairs and Sally (Sarah Paulson) is sitting at the bar. She discusses her career in poetry and music Patty Smith, that “getting high used to be how you imagined heaven.” That Lowe is at the Hotel Cortez because some part of him wants to get lost.

The detective tells her about the last time he went on a drinking binge. It was after a double homicide/suicide. But it isn’t: the father of two comes home to find that his children have died of carbon monoxide poisoning, so he shoots himself. He doesn’t make it home for two days, then takes his son to the fair to make it up to his family for his absence. That’s the day he loses his son.

The detective returns to the hotel, and the Countess is holding a private event, a fashion show to be exact. Sally tries to get in the front door, but is barred by the bouncers from entering. They don’t let her in and, teary eyed and dejected, looks back and stares at Lowe’s daughter standing in the lobby.

Remember the little vampire boy from the beginning? That is actually Detective Lowe’s son. He is alive and he isn’t aging. As if to make his family more messed up, his daughter is the one to find Holden and get a blurry selfie with him.

The Countess finds a new love interest in Tristan Duffy. A model who throws a fit on stage at the fashion show and gets introduced to, unfortunately, to Mr. March. She turns Duffy into a vampire like her and they take a bath. Donovan is hurt to find out he has been replaced by a “trashy model.”

We are introduced to to a new character: Mr. James March. A murderer who has been at the hotel since 1925; killing, torturing, abducting. Not only did he design and build the Hotel Cortez, but he designed it to be his own personal torture chamber. One thing about March, is that he is radically atheistic and goes on rants about religion. His message to the world is to kill God.

March is turned in to the police by his wife. He and his maid are locked in a bathroom deciding who should take their own life first. She puts the gun to her head and is struck by a thought: may Mr. March would do her the honor of letting her be his last kill. He shoots her in the head just as the police come through the door.

Duffy and the Countess start looking for some blood, so Duffy goes online and finds a dude to meet him in the lobby. The booty call is not interested when a woman enters the room, but that isn’t the reason why he was invited. It turns out to be a nice bonding experience for the new couple.

American Horror Story: Hotel airs Wednesdays on FX

Pictured: Lady Gaga as the Countess Elizabeth.

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