Now we're at the half way point of the season, it's the best to finally give the Countess something of a backstory - parts of which were surprising and some it less so. Here goes.
Written by Crystal Liu
Directed by Michael Goi
The Great Love Of All: For those of you disappointed that last week spelled the end of Tristan Duffy and Finn Wittrock's time on the show, then you'll be happy to know that this episode brought back Wittrock as silent movie star, Rudolph Valentino along with his wife Natacha, whom the Countess (or mouse as the latter dubbed her) became romantically involved before Rudolph disappeared, was made into a vampire and then made both Natacha and Elizabeth into vampires too. Dodgy accent aside, it's actually a great of keeping Wittrock on the show and provided a decent explanation behind the Countess's thing with Tristan as well. More importantly, it seems that both Rudolph and Natacha were trapped in the walls of the Cortez by the Countess's jealous ex-husband and now they're free to cause some carnage.
Happily Never After: It was obvious from the second episode of this season that the Mr March and the Countess were married to each other and this episode showed us that in flashback along with the Countess encouraging her husband's murderous side. Of course she didn't love him as much as Rudolph and Natacha and therefore March decided to seal the pair up in the walls. The funny thing was that he waited until after she confessed that she intended to marry Will (bleurgh) that he gloated about that fact, while also admitting that they're now on the loose. Which should be a lot of fun along with the other several threads dangling about the place.
Showing Vulnerability: This episode was a big one for Lady Gaga. It was an episode where she could really show her worth as an actress and for the most part, I think she did a little better than expected. I think she showed some new enough edges to the Countess and I did like the scene early in the episode where Iris noted the Countess showing some actual fear where the latter realised that something had escaped. It's not quite an Emmy style performance but it does highlight that Gaga to her credit has been a wise choice to play the Countess though.
Closer To The Killer: This week when we weren't getting the Countess's backstory, we were also getting a little closer into solving the Ten Commandments Killer plotline as John found himself meeting vampire girl Wren. We learned that Wren had an alcoholic father and was made into a vampire by the Countess back in 1986 but somehow ended up in police custody in recent times. John got some tiny hints about the killer (it's really going to be him, isn't it?) and then Wren ended up being hit by a truck after this episode went to great lengths to humanise the character. Damn.
Nix This Story Please: Ryan Murphy - I like you, I really do but not only was Boone pretending to be gay on Scream Queens pretty insulting but having Will wanting to marry the Countess while maintaining that he is gay is also rather insulting to any television viewer with common sense. Given that every other male character on this bloody show is straight, is it really too much to ask that Will can't be more out and proud with his sexuality? At least he's likeable enough compared to other characters (and not murderous/crazy for now) but this storyline is mind numbingly stupid, insulting and regressive as anything. Just stop. It's 2015. This kind of shit doesn't make for entertaining, insightful, gripping or even mildly interesting television. If Will had any sense, he'd take his son and get the hell out of there before one of them becomes a vampire and the other ghost.
In two weeks time, we'll finally learn the truth about the Ten Commandments Killer and the deal struck between Sally and Mr March.