Who really is The Countess? Where does she come from, and how exactly did she end up at the Hotel Cortez? All these questions are answered in the new American Horror Story: Hotel episode, “Flicker.”
Read on for our recap.
In AHS Hotel 1×07, Will Drake has set his mind on turning the Cortez into his personal atelier, and he has plans for The Countess as well. He wants to marry her, with his son’s approval.
The men at work at the Cortez find something unusual that wasn’t on the hotel’s plans: a steel wall. Drake tells them to tear it out, and the workers find a hidden part of the hotel. There’s a dark narrow corridor, and each room has been sealed with bricks, all except one. All of a sudden, two workers are attacked by two creatures.
Iris calls The Countess to show her what has just happened. Iris notices that The Countess looks scared.
The two creatures that attacked the workers are now free and attacking other people.
Thanks to a flashback to Los Angeles in 1925, we meet The Countess, who at the time was an Italian immigrant trying to make a career as an actress, working as an extra. One day, the famous actor Rodolfo Valentino (who looks like, surprise surprise, Tristan) asks her to meet for dinner. Only what she thought was a private encounter turns out to be a crowded one when Valentino’s wife appears and joins the “fun.”
The same year, the soon to be Countess joins the celebrations for the opening week of the hotel Cortez organized by its owner, Mr. March. During the celebrations, they receive the news that the famous actor Valentino is dead. Devastated, The Countess wants to kill herself, but she is saved by March.
From the day of his death, The Countess has visited Valentino’s tomb every day. One day, she meets his wife who tells her Valentino is not dead. On the contrary, he is right there next to her. The body inside the tomb is his stunt double. In AHS Hotel 1×07, we also learn that The Countess has married March, out of desperation. She felt alone in the world, and March is a very attractive and rich man. She learned very soon about her husband’s favorite hobby: killing people just for the fun of it, and she encouraged him to continue.
Valentino tells The Countess the reason why he faked his death. He tells her about an encounter with a mysterious man called Murnau, a great German director. Murnau wanted to preserve Valentino, thanks to the secrets he learned during the filming of his most successful movie, “Nosferatu”. He found out about an ancient blood virus that could give eternal life. The price to pay though is a terrible thirst, for blood. Murnau wanted to preserve Valentino’s beauty at one condition: Valentino was to leave the screen, forever.
Valentino has shared Murnau’s gift with his wife, and now they both want to share it with The Countess, and they want her to leave with them for Europe. The Countess agrees, but what about March?
Back to the present, we learn that the two creatures who escaped that hidden part of the Cortez are Valentino and his wife. They were trapped inside the hotel by March, to prevent his wife from leaving him. Valentino tells his wife they will have their revenge.
The same night, The Countess meets with March, to inform him that she’s going to marry Drake. March reveals to her that he trapped the man and the woman she truly loved inside the hotel, and that now they are free. The Countess is obviously shocked by the news.
John is at a health center in Los Angeles. He says he knows he needs help after everything he went through. The incident that finally made him take this step was the altercation with his former partner about the Ten Commandment killer.
Soon after though, we learn that the real reason why John has decided to be hospitalized is the fact that someone, who is believed by the police to be a witness of the Ten Commandment killings, is held in the same hospital.
John manages to get access to the witness’ holding cell. Much to his surprise, inside there is a girl, named Wren. But she’s not just a witness. On the contrary, she is an accomplice. She tells John that her father used to go to the Cortez. In a flashback, in 1986, her father closed her inside the car while outside it was incredibly hot. Just when she was about to pass out, the Countess saved her.
Wren tells John she will tell him who the Ten Commandment killer is if he will get her out of the hospital. And so he does. Wren tells him they have to back home, to the Cortez, right after she kills herself.