American Horror Story

Episode 2 “Chutes and Ladders”

Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” seems to be the influence for Wes Bentley’s Detective John Lowe. Under pressure to find a serial killer and keep his family from falling apart. He is lured to drink by Sally (Sarah Paulson) just like Jack Nicholson’s character by the Overlook Hotel’s evil spirits.

Jack Nicholson (The Shining)
Wes Bentley
Wes Bentley (John)










John bares his soul to Sally asked about his worst case. He tells the story of a man who left his generator on to keep his children warm. He arrived home to find his family dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. Riddled with guilt, the man ended his own life. Sally, the most emotional so far, yet again, is left blackened by her running mascara. Ironic, seeing she sewed a heroin addict into a mattress just minutes before.

This says a lot about John, who is also plagued with guilt after the disappearance of his son, Holden. However, in this episode we find out that Holden is alive and hasn’t aged. His sister Scarlett attempts to tell them that her missing (and presumed dead) brother is living in the hotel. But both parents, barely coping with grief, dismiss and condemn her accusations.

This story takes the backseat as we are reintroduced to Evan Peter’s who plays Mr. James March, original owner of the hotel. Having previously acted in every other season of AHS, this is by far his most psychotic character yet. Iris (Kathy Bates) explains that is was built specifically to conduct his evil doings.

Evan Peters

Influenced by H.H. Holmes, we see March carry out brutal murders. He built the Cortez in 1925, creating the perfect slaughterhouse.

mr march
Mr. March

How to get away with murder

  1. Hire multiple contractors
  2. Input secret body shafts that lead to the basement
  3. Undocumented rooms and halls
  4. Be the only one to know the full blueprints. (Kill those who find out.)
  5. Don’t be sloppy.

Number 5 unfortunately lead to his death. Death?

Mare Winningham

Mare Winningham joins the series playing Miss Evers. She has worked for March since the hotel’s beginning cleaning up after all of his murders. She promises to remove even the bloodiest of stains using “love”. She is March’s loyalist employee. When he asks her who should die first, she doesn’t flinch. He fulfills her dying wish by  cutting his throat.

But this is American Horror Story, where the dead never are truly dead. March sill roams the halls. Miss Evers still cleans up. Sally lures unsuspecting victims to their death.

Meanwhile, Gaga convinces Will Drake to host a fashion show in her hotel. She finds herself attracted to a model with a rock star attitude, Tristan Duffy. He is played by the returning Finn Wittrock who starred in the second series, “Freak Show.”

Cheyenne Jackson (Will Drake)
Finn Wittrock (Tristan)

After making a scene on the runway, Tristan quits working for Drake. He also decides to inflict a deep cut on his cheek. Gaga finds herself attracted to his rage. She offers him a vampire-like “virus” that will make him immortal.

Donovan is quickly dumped for lover-boy. 

The deal with these vampires?

  • Sunlight stops their vitality
  • They don’t bite, they cut
  • They can be killed
  • Recklessness is their downfall

The plot still remains uncertain. One thing is for sure; “Hotel” has given us an insight into the backstory of the strange Cortez. New characters are beginning to link pieces of the story together. I expect tensions to build for everyone in the strange Cortez.



Check out the other reviews from this series:

Episode 1 “Checking In”

Episode 3 “Mommy”

Episode 4 “Devil’s Night”

Episode 5 “Room Service”


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