Liz reflects on the reinvention of the Hotel Cortez under new management as an upscale family hotel. Their first guests are a duo of travel bloggers, who are amazed at the beautiful amenities. They are appalled, however, when Sally materializes in their room and starts to shoot up in front of them, recounting what was removed. When the husband tries to throw her out, she stabs him with the syringe. His frantic wife runs down the hallway, and has a fatal encounter with Will Drake and a knife. Liz and Iris lament the new problems that the murderous ghosts are leaving them with, and decide they will need a meeting with the ghosts to resolve things before guests permanently stop arriving.
The managing duo hosts a conference in the lounge with a variety of guests, with a plea to stop them from killing people. Sally and Will decline to stop, as they enjoy getting off on killing. March intervenes, and agrees with Liz and Iris that they need to stop defiling their home. They will have to make a viable business, lest the building be sold or repurposed. It can only become a historical landmark in 2026, and they must keep it operating until then. Sally disagrees and storms off.
Iris brings a bottle of champagne to parlay. Iris says that Sally has not been the same since John left, and that Sally loved him. Sally retorts that Iris doesn't understand her pain, and that her only relief is bringing others down with her. Iris suggests a long-lasting future via redirecting her loneliness to the Internet. She even presents the ghost a gift of an iPhone.
Sally becomes a social networking sensation, relishing the novelty of millions of followers. She throws her needle and heroin drug kit out of the hotel window.
More than a year after his death, Will regrets the death of his business in his heirless absence. Liz suggests that he bring Lachlan from boarding school for a visit, but Will doesn't want his son to be exposed to the hotel's darkness. Publicly, Will has simply disappeared. Liz inspires Will to start sketching new designs, with Liz herself as the "face" of the line. Will mulls over the offer.
Liz acts as Will Drake's proxy before the fashion house's board, and the resulting runway shows at the Cortez have a palpable air of mystery. Liz still misses Tristan, and Iris invites Billie Dean Howard to communicate with Liz's lost love. Billie Dean wants also to film an episode of her hit Lifetime show in the notoriously supernatural hotel. The medium wades through the sea of ghost voices and senses a strong masculine presence, and explains that Tristan simply doesn't want to speak to Liz. Liz realizes that Tristan still blames her for his death. Iris objects at the lack of resolution but Billie Dean also manages to reach Donovan and pass on his love for his mother.
Douglas (and his wife Janice and daughter Isabel) continue to visit and are a fantastically positive presence in Liz's life, until Liz discovers that she is terminally ill with prostate cancer (which has spread to the spine). Ramona offers to turn Liz, but Liz intends to die in the Hotel instead and declines Will's medical funding offer. The assembled ghosts have all become fond of Liz and her care of them; Liz wants them, her adopted family to all simultaneously murder her so that she can be reborn as a ghost. Moments prior, Elizabeth arrives and calls Liz her finest creation. The Countess wanted to be there to do the deed, and slices open Liz's throat while the others watch. One last time, and the spirit of Liz arises.
She is visited at last by Tristan, who has not wanted to interfere so that Liz can continue living. Now they can finally be together, and they embrace.
Ashley Rhodes books Wu's room on October 30th, 2022. This was inevitable, as Billie Dean has done three TV specials in the Hotel. Ramona and Iris are dismayed by the effect of what the medium has done to their reputation. John arrives, just before Devil's Night, and agrees with them. Billie Dean continues to try to contact the identified Ten Commandments Killer, but he consistently rebuffs her. He finally gives her a chance to meet with him, and she wants to set the record straight. She asks if his family knew he was a serial killer. Flashbacks show that John failed to provide for their needs, and Alex and Holden left him to fend for themselves. Scarlett suggested that they all (except for her) move into the Cortez, and John was able to provide a steady diet for his wife and son until he was gunned down by police on the steps of the hotel, barely crossing the threshold before dying and being reborn as a spirit. Billie Dean tries and fails to contact his family, and he angrily rebuffs the line of questioning. She inquires why Devil's Night is so special to him, and he offers to show her (if she will leave the camera crew behind).
Billie Dean mentions a house just west of the hotel and compares the experience to that in the Hotel. John leads Billie Dean to the annual dinner party, and after some conversation among the guests, she slowly realizes who they are. More guests filter in, and Billie remains unafraid but overwhelmed. John offers her some absinthe and she gets the sudden impression of all the souls that March was responsible. She describes the sensation as a wet darkness splattering against her. She continues to get ill, no longer able to muster a psychic defense. She is the "party favor" of the year, and they offer her the choice of never mentioning the Cortez again, or she will be tracked down and murdered. She is skeptical, since they can't leave the premises, but Ramona introduces herself as an insurance policy. Billie Dean rushes out the door when threatened with drillbit trepanning.
John leaves the party to welcome Scarlett, who visits for a few hours every Devil's Night. John, Holden, and Alex share the family bed (which the adult Scarlett is too big to join) and she rests among them in the chair.
At 2:25am, Elizabeth meets a bar patron, who says he is awaiting some friends. She says he won't be meeting them, and that he has "a jawline for days"...
- Liz Taylor: "We started with such high hopes. With all the previous owners being dead, the hotel was under new management. Ours. We were determined to remake the Cortez in our own image. This would be no mere hotel; we had ambitions to be a family to the friendless, a comfort to those in the cold, a beehive of acceptance. It was supposed to be the perfect ending."
- Will Drake (regarding the murders)
I'm dead, but I've never felt more alive.
Cast and characters
- Denis O'Hare as Liz Taylor
- Sarah Paulson as Sally McKenna
- Evan Peters as James March
- Wes Bentley as John Lowe
- Chloë Sevigny as Alex Lowe
- Finn Wittrock as Tristan Duffy
- Cheyenne Jackson as Will Drake
- Mare Winningham as Hazel Evers
- Angela Bassett as Ramona Royale
- Kathy Bates as Iris
- Lady Gaga as Elizabeth
- Lennon Henry as Holden Lowe
- Shree Crooks as Scarlett Lowe
- Christine Estabrook as Marcy
- Lily Rabe as Aileen Wuornos
- John Carroll Lynch as John Wayne Gacy
- Seth Gabel as Jeffrey Dahmer
- Anthony Ruivivar as Richard Ramirez
- Helena Mattsson as Agnetha
- Kamilla Alnes as Vendela
- Josh Braaten as Douglas Pryor
- Charles Melton as Mr. Wu
- Jessica Lu as Babe
- This is the first episode of American Horror Story to be partially set in the future (2022).
- Due to events that transpired in Apocalypse, the 2022 scenes are retconned to have occurred in the altered timeline created by Mallory's use of tempus infinituum. This is because the entire world was destroyed by nuclear bombs in the year 2020 of the original timeline, which would contradict the state of the world in the 2022 scenes in "Be Our Guest".
- Matt Bomer (Donovan) is credited but does not appear, however his character is mentioned.
- The Murder House is indirectly referenced by Billie Dean Howard in this episode.