TV Show Review

TV Review: AMERICAN HORROR STORY: Season 5, Episode 12: Be Our Guest [FX]

Denis O'Hare Evan Peters American Horror Story Be Our Guest

FX‘s American Horror Story Be Our Guest TV Show Review. American Horror Story: Season 5, Episode 12: Be Our Guest wrapped everything up in a disembodied bow. While this season started as The Shining meets Seven, it ended as The Shining meets Casper. The new proprietors, Liz (Denis O’Hare) and Iris (Kathy Bates), and Mr. March (Evan Peters), called Hotel Cortez to order. “The killing must stop!” Indeed.

Firstly, the trailer for Be Our Guest was so misleading with an image of a body in the street outside the hotel, making it seem like murder was spilling out into the streets and bringing the hotel bad press. Nothing could be further from the finale. Hotel Cortez thrived under the new regime. Iris and Liz embraced a reputation of ghostly elegance and mystery that brought the Cortez back to life. The Cortez hosted fashion shows and served up a buzzing bar. Even Ramona Royale (Angela Bassett) partook happily in the revival.

Secondly, Liz and Iris became ghost whisperers for the cursed inhabitants of the Cortez. How great is that?! The two most emotionally abused individuals in the story became the actual heroes. Although, Sally (Sarah Paulson) was  totally right when she said that Iris and Liz were the two biggest killers in the place too. Liz walked visitors to their death beds regularly. Iris, drained travelers dry for the nourishment of The Countess (Lady Gaga). Still, these two as the victors… yeah, I am fine with that. Bates and O’Hare were the natural draw for me this season. They made Hotel Cortez interesting every week, creating layered, incredible characters.

The main theme of this finale: embrace the now. The Cortez has been stuck in the 20’s since, well, the 20’s, and this episode was a new beginning. With a new beginning came a new purpose: less killing and a lot more living – a most ironic mandate delivered by the murder palace architect himself, Mr. March. Peters is a man of thousand faces and I fully appreciated his delivery of Mr. James Patrick March this season.

Sally and Will Drake (Cheyenne Jackson) were the real problem since they were the ones killing every guest that walked into the hotel just to spite Liz and Iris’ new vision. It was time to confront Sally and Will about their issues. So, Iris and Liz became the balm and beating heart of the new Hotel Cortez.

Will Drake was simply uninspired. He was stuck in the hotel with no world to draw from to create designs. Liz knew how to wake him up. She struck a deal with Will Drake. will Drake would continue to design and take private meetings at the hotel while Liz Taylor became the head of his design company, a fashion executive – a dream come true.  Social media cured Sally’s  loneliness. It was incredible. Iris gave her a tablet and Sally took off like a rocket spilling her thoughts onto facebook, twitter, etc., uploading vids and pics. Of course, Sally – the attention craver – would be satisfied finally with hundreds of people tuning in to her deranged thoughts.

Six years went by and one thing did not change: Devil’s Night. All the cast of murderous characters came calling. Apparently, Mr. March continued to host his infamous pupils once a year to preen themselves and to heckle each other over dinner. Surprise…the attendees would now include Det. John Lowe (Wes Bentley) who, last time we saw, was not keen on joining the evil soiree. That is, until he found his true purpose and brought his family “home” to the Cortez to live in relative comfort after failing at living on their own. (That reminds me, there was very little presence of Alex (Chloë Sevigny) and Holden (Lennon Henry), in fact, we really only saw their backs and the tops of their heads, what’s up with that?).

Honestly, John’s story was possibly the saddest – next to The Countess. He was killed, but was unable to die inside the hotel. Instead, he would only be able to see his family once a year on Devil’s Night (and I am actually pouting a little). The Lowe family became a mixed bag of ghost, vampire and human. I recall feeling the most sorry for Scarlett Lowe (Shree Crooks) since she was basically abandoned throughout the story, but she was actually the only real hope the story possessed. After six years, Scarlett had grown into a young woman who visits her ghost/demon family at Hotel Cortez on Devil’s Night and she actually seemed mentally healthy. Then again, she had been a wise child.

We only saw The Countess at the end. She was noticeably absent from the “family meeting” in the beginning of the episode. Apparently, she was somewhere, for years, maybe in the nursery, brooding over her current situation. In fact, although there were many characters that resurfaced in the finale, some were missed, while Paulson got to shine with a dual role. Seriously?! You save the character of Billie Dean Howard for the last episode and focus on her for half of it, while Sevigny, Bassett and Gaga were after thoughts. A bit disappointed with that. Yet, everything was neatly resolved in Be Our Guest, I mean it was by no means Disney, but it was as storybook as storybook can be……for American Horror Story. What did you think of the finale?

Leave your thoughts on this review and this season finale of American Horror Story: Hotel below in the comments section. For more American Horror Story: Hotel reviews, photos, videos, and information, visit our American Horror Story: Hotel Page, and consider subscribing to us by Email, “following” us on Twitter, Tumblr, Google+ or “liking” us on Facebook for quick updates.

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About the author


I am ...a lover of all things film ...a published poet with a law degree from Howard University School of Law ...a D.C. native, who frequents local and international film festivals ...a self-professed couch potato who can usually be caught watching anything produced by Joss and Jed Whedon. My favorite TV shows include the Buffy & Angel Series, Sons of Anarchy, Oz, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and The Shield. Still, I am open to everything on TV and Netflix, which is doing big things.

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