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Thanks to a story that starts pulling the viewer toward the end of the season -- and a surprise special appearance from a familiar character -- "Battle Royale" is a penultimate episode with more than enough momentum to overcome its flaws.
The most emotionally involved I have been all season long was when the actress Gabourey Sibide not only returned, but did so as her season three character Queenie, the human voodoo doll and witch who can trace her ancestry back to Tituba of Salem.
So: VAMPIRE < WITCH < GHOST, turns out. Not sure where ALIEN fits in there, but we'll no doubt find out later this year when we watch American Horror Story: Flying Saucer.
American Horror Story: Hotel has as many dead ends and labyrinthian corridors as The Hotel Cortez, and it's starting to look just as shabby.
The opening minutes of "Battle Royale," the show's first episode since mid-December, cleared up any mystery right away. By the end of the episode, however, we're left with a much more horrifying image of the Countess
With only one episode left, Battle Royale brings everything together nicely, wrapping up many of the season's story lines.
Overall, not a bad episode of Hotel tonight. A little formless, perhaps, but decent.
American Horror Story Season 5 Episode 11 kickstarted the final few hours of the happenings inside the Hotel Cortez, and tonight's Battle Royale brought with it a few surprises.
It's hard to concentrate on American Horror Story: Hotel's numerous storylines when Liz Taylor's eyeshadow game is so strong.
"Battle Royale" is wasted space, an opportunity to tie up loose ends before the finale, but instead it continues to meander, giving inconsequential plots and disgusting diversions. At this point, there's no real way for Hotel to recover from the mess.
It's 2016, and American Horror Story: Hotel has come roaring back from its holiday hiatus with an episode that ties up a lot of loose ends.
As there's only one episode left, the disparate story threads are getting pulled nice and tight like a dope-fiend with a spool of thread and abandonment issues.