Battle Royale (American Horror Story)
|American Horror Story episode|
|Directed by||Michael Uppendahl|
|Written by||Ned Martel|
|Original air date||January 6, 2016|
|Running time||47 minutes|
"Battle Royale" is the eleventh episode of the fifth season of the anthology television series American Horror Story. It aired on January 6, 2016 on the cable network FX. This episode was written by Ned Martel and directed by Michael Uppendahl.
Liz Taylor (Denis O'Hare) and Iris (Kathy Bates) head for the penthouse to shoot Elizabeth (Lady Gaga), who is with Donovan (Matt Bomer). Elizabeth, though shot multiple times, escapes the room while Donovan lays dying. Iris is upset because she did not mean to shoot her son. Donovan pleads with them to take him outside so that he would not die in the hotel. Elizabeth ends up with Sally (Sarah Paulson) who pulls out her bullets. Sally then reminisces about an old drug dealer of hers as well as a couple of musicians in the 1990s. Sally and the two musicians decided to get a room at the Hotel Cortez. There, they engaged in a threesome mixed with drugs and Sally then sewed the three of them together. Her two friends died in the process. Sally laid there for five days, with the Addiction Demon showing up and torturing her for three days. After the fifth day, she pulled free. Sally then tells Elizabeth that she does not want her, but John Lowe (Wes Bentley).
Elizabeth needs blood like hers in order to heal and Sally decides to take the blood from two of her children. Liz cremates Donovan's body in the furnace and gives the ashes to Iris. They discuss freeing Ramona (Angela Bassett) as a weapon against Elizabeth, and are terrified when they discover Ramona is already free. Ramona is skeptical about their loyalties but she feels ill and she needs to take a fresh life. Liz and Iris find Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) in the hotel. They lead her to her Room 64 where Ramona emerges from behind a shower curtain and slashes at her. Queenie reveals that she is a witch. After a fight, in which Ramona is injured, James March (Evan Peters) materializes and stabs Queenie in the neck and Ramona feeds on Queenie's blood.
John returns home with a victim for Alex Lowe (Chloë Sevigny), but she is missing and a key of the hotel is left behind. He tracks back to the indicated room, where Sally is waiting. She tells him that March has taken his family after John broke his promise to him. Ramona confronts Elizabeth, but Elizabeth apologizes and gives the hotel to her. Then, Elizabeth packs to leave and opens the elevator only to find John, who shoots her as his final kill is "Thou Shall Not Commit Murder" and she eventually dies. John then presents Elizabeth's head on a trophy, completing the Ten Commandments Killings.
March asks Hazel (Mare Winningham) when first she realized she was a ghost, and her reaction. Elizabeth's ghost arrives at March's suite for dinner. There March says that he can finally forgive her for turning him in to the police; Elizabeth admits after 90 years that she did not. Hazel admits that she did, so that she could have March to herself in death. He spurns her and Elizabeth cries after realizing her worst nightmare: spending eternity with March.
"Battle Royale" was watched by 1.84 million people during its original broadcast, and gained a 0.9 ratings share among adults aged 18 to 49. It also ranked third in the Nielsen Social ratings, with 52,000 tweets seen by over 897,000 people.
The episode received positive reviews, earning an 82% approval rating, with an average score of 6.4/10, on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus reads, "Thanks to a story that starts pulling the viewer toward the end of the season – and a surprise special appearance from a familiar character – "Battle Royale" is a penultimate episode with more than enough momentum to overcome its flaws."
- Porter, Rick (January 7, 2016). "Wednesday cable ratings: 'AHS: Hotel' returns, plus 'It's Always Sunny,' 'Alaskan Bush People'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
- Fratti, Karen (January 7, 2016). "Scoreboard: Wednesday, Jan. 6". Lost Remote. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
- "Battle Royale". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 8, 2016.