Every Oct. 30, original owner James March holds a dinner party for special deceased guests, namely Richard Ramirez, John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Aileen Wuornos and the Zodiac Killer. Besides having been famous real-life serial killers, the guests were all protégées of March, who the group refers to as “The Master.”
This year, Detective John Lowe has the dubious honor of being invited along to the meal. Although not a killer himself, the invitation doesn’t exactly bode well for what is going to happen to him as the season progresses, especially considering that he has started drinking again.
Lowe gets so drunk, in fact, that while sat at the bar, he ends up falling for the questionable charms of Wuornos (Lily Rabe) and follows her back to her room, in spite of bartender Liz Taylor’s warning that he is too intoxicated to realize “how ugly that woman is.”
Before things can get heated, however, Wuornos whacks Lowe over the head with a bottle and ties him to a chair, not planning to let the fact that she has been dead for over 10 years get in the way of her claiming another victim. Lowe manages to escape by handcuffing her to the bathroom sink, and, with his judgement impaired from both the alcohol and the blow to the head, makes his way to the party.
March kicks off the meal with a “customary libation” of absinthe. What else would an undead serial killer with a pencil moustache drink?
Before long, Lowe is so drunk he can hardly stay upright. When the starter is brought out, the detective starts to wish he had never come along, as the “courses” of this meal consist not of plates of food, but of people.
His vision increasingly blurry, Lowe is forced to watch as a delighted Dahmer tenderly cradles a young man, before calmly proceeding to drill a hole in his skull. One must be able to get into the minds of one’s victims, March casually informs us, turning to the camera with a sinister glint in his eye.
Dessert (another young man, this time stabbed to death by the entire group) is too much for Lowe, and he screams, only to find himself in an empty room, wondering if he hallucinated the whole thing.
The other major storyline of the episode involves Lowe’s (soon to be ex) wife, Alex, who brings her long-missing son home, only to realize he is not really hers anymore. Having witnessed Holden kill and feed on the family dog, she reluctantly brings him back to the hotel, where he informs her his “other mommy” lives.
Alex confronts the Countess, only to end up agreeing to become a vampire herself if it will allow her to have her son back. The episode ends with the Countess cradling the other woman as she begins her transformation.
With next week’s episode involving a vengeful alliance between Ramona, Donovan and the newly vampiric Iris, “Hotel” is heating up.
I hope “Devil’s Night” marks the end of this season’s slow build-up and a return to what made previous seasons so addictively watchable.