TV Show Review

TV Review: AMERICAN HORROR STORY: Season 5, Episode 4: Devil’s Night [FX]

Wes Bentley American Horror Story Devil's Night

FX‘s American Horror Story Devil’s Night TV Show Review. American Horror Story: Season 5, Episode 4: Devil’s Night  does Halloween on an intimate scale, hosting the ghosts of infamous serial killers at a dinner party in Hotel Cortez. Focus was centered on Detective John Lowe (Wes Bentley) and his wife Alex (Chloë Sevigny) who had very different experiences in the hotel as one of them made a discovery and the other made a choice. Madness and murder were the order of the night in Devil’s Night, but for a Halloween episode, this was kind of weak for American Horror Story.

We already know that murderers “live” in Hotel Cortez, but now we have found out that long-since-dead murderers party there too. Richard Ramirez (Anthony Ruivivar), Jeffrey Dahmer (Seth Gable), John Wayne Gacy (John Carroll Lynch), Aileen Wuornos (Lily Rabe), and the Zodiac killer were among the invitees to Devil’s Night dinner. (Side note: Rabe‘s portrayal of Wuornos was pretty decent, even though all the portrayals were bordering on cartoonish, but Rabe managed to inject humanity into her portrayal of Wuornos. The rest of the cast of serial killer characters were boring in comparison.) We got a glimpse of the annual soiree to which Det. Lowe was also invited, surprisingly. It seems he was only invited because John Patrick March (Evan Peters) thought he might appreciate the “dark evil” of the night as well as the stable of murderers March had assembled, and apparently tutored. March is touted as the greatest serial killer ever, and these were his pupils. This dinner was simply March’s moment to show off his legacy. This was also the first time March revealed his self to Det. Lowe, to force him to accept the evil that surrounds him. I think March was actually hoping to impress Det. Lowe, who was simply lost in a madness that has been slowly consuming him. Earlier in the episode he just walked away after glimpsing a tub full of blood, instead of investigating and arresting whoever was responsible for shedding that blood. Det. Lowe is clearly losing himself. Sally (Sarah Paulson) said something strange, that she was the one protecting him. I thought his status was protecting him, but it has been Sally’s interest in him that has shielded him from the horrors that abound in the hotel.

Hazel Evers, or Miss Evers (Mare Winningham), told her horrible story. We saw her scrubbing a sheet clean over and over but the blood stain kept reappearing when she stopped. I wonder if that was a specific sheet. The sheet her son wore as a ghost for Halloween. The same blood stained sheet she was handed when the officer told her that her son had been murdered. No matter what, it seems her obsession with clean sheets is her curse, her burden. (Ok, I felt a little bad I called her creepy previously …only for all of five minutes though. She went back to being creepy after she was sad.) We still do not know what brought her to Hotel Cortez. Why did she aide a serial killer for years when her own child was taken by one? It is clear that Miss Evers displays reverence, awe and maternal affection for March. She was correct when she said Det. Lowe and she were “kindred spirits” – they both lost their sons. Although, I think Miss Evers has much more in common with Alex. Both Miss Evers and Alex lost their souls when they lost their sons (now Iris (Kathy Bates) too).

Alex found her son, Holden (Lennon Henry), permanently changed. It has been five years since last she saw him and it was a bit strange that she overlooked the fact he had not grown or physically changed. Henry‘s performance as Holden is eerily good as he stands and sits perfectly still letting his eyes drift and dart in loaded pauses. I kept waiting for Holden to leap at his mother’s throat, but no. Sevigny, on the other hand, played Alex’s reaction to finding her son with a quiet abandon that hit home as she fumbled over the simple task of choosing apple or orange juice for her son. I kept expecting Holden to appear suddenly behind her in the kitchen attempting to bite her leg or her arm. I expected that when she returned to the living room, the front door would be gaping open and Holden would be gone. Instead, American Horror Story gave us the image of a sweet child feasting on a the blood of the family terrier (cringe!). Holden does not drink juice Alex.

Alex’s choice to join The Countess (Lady Gaga) was a bit rushed. I wished there was more inner debate. I wanted to know what Alex was thinking. She has lived so long for her daughter’s sake, now she just abandons that purpose? The only thing that matters is Holden.  I was proud when Alex showed some anger and pulled the gun on woman who kidnapped her son, but why did she not pull the trigger? Her anger was too rational after years of wanting to know, now knowing, and then just walking away. She walked back into The Countess’ arms like she was the lost child. It was all too easy. The Countess said she saved Holden from being ignored. I think The Countess just wants a family. She has Holden, Alex, Det. Lowe is being dragged down this evil rabbit hole, and poor Scarlett (Shree Crooks) – the only one with a spark of common sense – will be left.

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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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