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Headscratchers / American Horror Story: Hotel

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  • Is Sally actually confirmed to be dead? I mean getting pushed out a window would do that but she didn't lose consciousness or anything. In fact she looked more like she was in pain more than anything.
    • Yes. She was killed in 1994 by Iris shoving her out the window - she's a ghost now, so she can't die again.
      • Has Ryan Murphy or Sarah Paulson confirmed it? It seems like a natural conclusion that she died but I feel skeptical she did/that she's a ghost. I also get the feeling that she's able to leave the hotel based on the season preview.
      • Ryan Murphy said in an interview that he was planning on killing Sarah Paulson's character because she has never died in a season before because she hasn't been killed yet. That plus the fact she shows some supernatural powers in episode three makes it confirmed for me.
  • So how exactly does becoming a ghost in the Hotel work? Sally became a ghost after being pushed OUT of the hotel yet the Swedish tourists and countless other victims seem to have remained very dead despite actually dying IN the hotel. Claudia also seems to have become a ghost and she died in the hotel. How come only certain people becomes ghosts? Shouldn't there be hundreds, if not thousands, of them wandering the Hotel?
    • As of ep. 6 the Swedish girls are confirmed to be ghosts and from their conversation with Donny it seems that happens on a regular basis.
      • In Episode Three Sally is concerned about Iris having "unfinished business" when she agrees to kill her, so that seems to be a part of it.
  • Given that Donovan and John prove that dying on the curb outside the hotel prevents you from becoming a ghost, how the Hell did Sally manage to get stuck in the hotel? She was murdered by getting shoved out of the window, but only died once she hit the curb outside.
    • not that surprising, many buildings of that age also own the service alleys. Dying in the main street is off the property.
  • Is Alex really neglectful? Aside from her strained relationship with Scarlett. the Countess's claims of neglect seem a little off to me. Also taking into account that the Countess is somewhat manipulative and definitely does not seem to have good intentions. Did anyone else feel like that scene was her manipulating Alex into serving her?
    • The Countess' claim about Holden being neglected was about his father. Specifically, John's behaviour at the funfare, which was all the Countess could witness. (Not the fact that he'd been on a drunk bender for 2 days just before that, due to going over a work-related Despair Event Horizon, which would be a little more justified.) Everyone in this show seems to think that taking your eyes off your kid for 10 seconds to check your phone is totally unforgivable.
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    • I think a little bit of both. Alex showed blatant favoritism towards Holden and I think the Countess was able to pick up on that and use it.
      • While that's true don't you think she would have turned Scarlett? Arguably I think she's more neglected.
    • As of ep. 6 it's confirmed she's incredibly neglectful at least to Scarlett, leaving her for two days without calling or making arrangements for her while she's at the hotel with Holden . She only shows up when detective Hahn calls her after John shoots Bartholomew and Scarlett freaks out.
  • How does the Hotel Cortez stay in business? Given that almost every single person we've ever seen enter the hotel has either been murdered, turned into a vampire, or driven insane (the only person one recalls seeing check out of the hotel successfully was John), why would anybody willingly stay there? On a related note, why hasn't the LAPD or anyone else noticed the sheer number of people who have mysteriously disappeared or died in the hotel in such a short timeframe?
    • Just going off of the idea that the Countess was once obscenely wealthy, she probably kept it with those funds. As for the cops or anyone else noticing all the deaths and disappearances, there could be two. One: Considering it's Los Angeles, there's a good chance that the cops have other priorities (considering there's serial killer out there). Two: No one really cares
  • Why do people afflicted with the virus resort to murderous means? There are blood banks or if one doesn't want to risk legal trouble they can always go the squick route and drink period blood.
    • It's implied that in this universe, the vampiric thirst for blood is accompanied by a lust for violence that requires strong willpower to resist. Note how almost all of the schoolchildren who are infected immediately resort to murder to sate themselves, and Iris's sickness symptoms after being turned don't subside until she actually kills and drinks from a person. It also may be that drinking from a human is simply the most convenient method of getting the quantity of blood they need; it seems to be a lot. Alex has to drain many bags of blood before she can even start to function normally after being turned, and Liz notes to Iris that a martini glass of what is indicated to be incredibly clean, special blood will only last her a few hours. Plus, none of the regular characters this year seem to have any major compunctions about killing anyway. Several of them are serial killers.
    • An average period produces about 1/5th of a cup of liquid in total (~40 ml), over several days (up to a week), most of it being not actually blood but shed uterine lining. Therefore, periods can hardly provide any significant sustenance.
  • Why was March able to kill Queenie? Obviously, her power didn't work on him because he's a ghost, but her stab wound still could've been transferred to Ramona. It isn't just the person who injures her who gets affected, otherwise she wouldn't be able to do it to herself. Additionally, why would Cordelia, one of the most morally upstanding characters in Coven assist Queenie with cheating at The Price Is Right?
    • We don't know exactly what are the mechanics of Queenie's powers, but it's possible that she there is a certain very short timeframe she has to transfer wounds before they become permanent. When March stabbed her, she initially focused on him because she didn't know he was dead, but by the time she realized that he was a ghost, it was too late to change the target to Ramona.
    • Also, Cordelia only made it so that Queenie would be sure to get a chance to play the game. That doesn't extend to the gameplay itself.
    • March was able to kill Queenie because the writers wanted to please some rather angry parts of the fanbase, which is why her death also serves no purpose and isn't brought up again.
  • Queenie's appearance raises quite a few questions about the world we're in. I find it hard to believe that no one so much as mentions the existence of witches, especially when they're confronted with other supernatural elements. If we know that witches are real and the supernatural exists, wouldn't you think people would be a bit more sensitive to weird things going on?
  • Now that we've confirmed that vampires do come back as ghosts, a la the Countess, where on earth is Tristan? Why does he seem so permanently dead when everyone else comes back? Presumably, Liz Taylor would be much more happy if he were around.
    • Tristan doesn't have any unfinished business. He found someone to love him and see him as more than just a dumb model. The Countess told him he could be with Liz before killing him, so there was nothing left for him to do.
    • He's back in the finale - he was staying away because he didn't want to interfere with her life. Liz is killed - on her terms, as she's dying of prostate cancer anyway - and comes back as a ghost so she and Tristan can be together forever.
  • Ok, Spalding and Liz Taylor are not similar in appearance but why Queenie never notice how much Ramona and March look like Marie Laveau and Kyle? Why does John fail to notice the resemblance between Sally and Billie Dean Howard?
    • Queenie is likely too distracted by the fact that Ramona is trying to kill her to stop and look at her face to study a resemblance. She only gets a brief glimpse of March before dying, and he looks distinct enough from Kyle that a resemblance wouldn't immediately be noted, especially in a high-intensity situation. No excuse for John not noticing the similarities between Sally and Billie Dean, though. A better question would be why Queenie doesn't note the fact that Iris looks an awful lot like Delphine, someone whom Queenie interacted a lot with. Unlike the others, Queenie was not distracted by anything when interacting with Iris, so there's no reason not to note the similarities.
    • As the audience, we see the characters as identical because they are played by the same actors and actresses. However, in-universe, the characters don't look the way we see them as portrayed by the actors.
  • How the hell did Donovan get into Heaven?
    • Probably the same way Elsa Mars did.
  • How did John make it to the Hotel property as he was being gunned down on the street? In the last shot, it appears he is still several feet away from the sidewalk.
    • He didn't make it back to the Hotel before dying, and thus his ghost was not bound to the Hotel like the others. He is only able to return once a year, on Devil's Night like the other serial killers, which explains why it's the only time he ever makes contact with Billie Dean, and why he says something along the lines of "When I close my eyes, it'll be over until next year" to his daughter.
  • John is a hypocrite. He cheats on his wife with Sally, but finds it unacceptable that his partner developed feelings for the wife that he was neglecting? It's a really convenient double-standard that they never address.
    • Given the show's protagonists have done some pretty immoral things, someone being a hypocrite doesn't seem particularly bad or worth the show pointing out the immorality of.
  • Why does the Countess kill Natacha in the Hotel Cortez? Doesn't that bind Natacha to the hotel? It's especially odd that the Countess would overlook this considering the same thing happened with Will Drake.
  • Pot sticker man aka Addiction Demon - was it ever explained where he/it came from?
    • It's not quite clear. March says that the demon was created from Sally's "filthy" behaviour (which could refer to both her heroin addiction and/or her prostitution), which makes it sound like it was just spontaneously conjured up due to the general evil atmosphere in the hotel. But at a later point, March makes it clear that he controls the demon and uses it occasionally to punish Sally for disobeying him (and to force her to lure in a victim each year for his Devil's Night party), which makes it sound like he specifically created the thing to torture her. Eventually, we're shown that the demon first appeared when Sally was still alive, during a time when she got literally stuck in a hotel room for 5 days, unable to move, due to sewing herself to her two overdosing companions during a trip. The demon appeared on day 2 to start torturing her for the 3 days it took her to work up the courage to rip herself free, meaning he's probably a personification of withdrawal symptoms. note  The demon's modus operandi of raping people in very, very painful ways also makes some more sense from that perspective: He's specifically the personification of a heroin-addicted prostitute's withdrawal symptoms, which are probably inescapably linked for her with the fact that, to get another fix, she must have sex with someone she doesn't actually want to have sex with, all while already feeling like shit physically and while every touch hurts, due to the specific way heroin works in the body.note  Though the scene still leaves it open to interpretation whether the demon appeared spontaneously (or possibly was already in the hotel, created by the other characters' addictive behaviour), or if was thought up as a karmic punishment by March just to torture Sally-the-random-prostitute. Given that March didn't show up to gloat, the former option seems more likely. Maybe March just uses his power as the builder of the hotel to keep the demon in check for Sally - as long as she repays the favor.
  • Who was Bartholomew's father? (Elizabeth's lover was already a vampire when he came back to her after her marriage, and the fact that she didn't have any more children after Bartholomew implies that vampires can't conceive/sire babies.) Also, was she gestating the baby in just 3 weeks, or was she 3 weeks overdue and needed help getting the kid out of her now undead body? (The former seems unlikely if it wasn't an actual demon baby, the latter seems unlikely since the doctor said "Let's get rid of this.") And if the baby was simply just turned into a vampire in the womb, not sired by a demon or something like that (which I had assumed), then why is it so much more hardy than any other vampire on the show? (They die quite quickly and easily from having a major artery damaged, and yet the baby survived an apparent late-pregancy abortion attempt, which would have required to cut it into pieces to fit through the unready birth canal.) Why does it have completely black eyes? And why does it have superspeed and MUCH better eyesight than any real newborn? Some of this could be explained with Artistic License – Biology, but the demon eyes seemed like an intentional hint that there was more wrong with this pregnancy than just a vampirized mother. And yet, this plot point is never mentioned again.
    • March at one point mentions that he thinks the kid is his, due to "family resemblance" - but this is obviously nonsense, as the kid has a really bad case of cleft pallate, so it doesn't resemble anyone. And why would Elizabeth try to abort the pregnancy if the father was her lawfully wedded husband? (She loves kids, and her lovers had already "abandoned" her at this point, so she wasn't about to leave her husband.)
    • The child of a vampire and a human wouldn't be a vampire or a human, let alone a demon. This new craeture, traditionally called a dhampyr, would have different traits and pretty easily explains away all questions about it, including why it grew it three weeks. As to the father, it's unknown, but it could easily be March, with the Countess wanting to abort the child because she knew how horrific it could be, but after seeing it, she fell in love with it anyway as it was the first time seeing her child and knowing it was hers.