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"Flicker" is an especially enjoyable and tightly scripted episode of Hotel, presenting an intriguing backstory for Lady Gaga's Countess character.
One would think getting some answers in an American Horror Story season would be as elusive as sighting in real life any number of the mythical monsters the show portrays, but here's lucky episode seven to disprove that.
This was a strange little episode. Not much happened, and what did was wonderfully simple.
Hotel is circling an interesting idea - what is fame if not a battle against morality? - but dig too deep, and everything falls apart: how does vampiric immortality help movie stars stay relevant when they're not allowed to show their face in public?
Through an extended glimpse at 1925, a time when the silent screen stars were on the verge of extinction thanks to the advent of talkies, we experience the Countess's introduction to immortality, and it's as sexy and disturbing as you'd think.
"Flicker" is notable for its short running time -- or what counts for short in American Horror Story reckoning, overrunning its time slot by just three minutes -- and a correspondingly tight narrative.
I would take a whole episode of American Horror Story that was just every member of the cast stepping into the spotlight on a darkened stage, clearing their throat, and intoning: "I couldn't pick my butthole out of a lineup."
This time, there's something creepy trapped in the walls... But, more importantly, we finally get an extended flashback focused on the Countess' origins, which confirms some intriguing connections.
Yes, the show has its faults, but it always has. The important thing is, it might be out there, but it's certainly never boring. What it lacks in actual scares, it more than makes up for in being genuinely disturbing at times.
A season full of blood-sucking immortals who feed on unsuspecting travelers wouldn't be complete without a nod to F. W. Murnau and his film masterpiece, Nosferatu. And, if course, Countess has ties to the original vampire story.
Seven episodes in and, as 'Flicker' shows, [AHS] still has secrets to share - as the gory cold open reveals a pair of new monsters in a bricked-up prison hidden deep within the hotel's walls.
A shorter, flashback-heavy episode made for an enjoyable installment of Hotel this week as the story connected the Countess to Mr. March while also having some fiendish fun with Hollywood history.
I'm loving all these angles we're getting on the Countess. She's doing some pretty horrible things, but she's had some pretty terrible things done to her as well.