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Chutes and Ladders Recap

Sally is in her room and goes to the bed. She glances at where the mattress is stitched together, rips open the hole and looks at Gabriel inside. He gasps for breath and says that Sally lied and he's not free. Sally says that's right and it's his fault, thinking he could cheat death. She kisses the man and then shoves him back in the mattress and stitches it close.

In the feeding room, Agnetha screams for help. Sally comes in and tells Iris to shut her up, and warns that John is there. Iris points out that John is at work and their prisoner will stop in a minute. The Swedish tourist stops screaming, and the children feeding on her complain that Agnetha tastes gross. Iris confirms that the prisoner is dead and tells them to stop.

Later, Liz takes Agnetha's corpse to the laundry chute. Miss Evers is ironing and complains that it will take forever to clean the sheets. Liz dumps the body down the chute and she lands in a room with other blood-drained corpses. Iris tosses some lime down to kill the smell.

In the playroom, Holden and the other children are hooked up to tubes and watch TV. Iris checks the transfusion tubes and releases one of them, telling her to get some juice and cookies. She then delivers the bottle of distilled blood to the Countess. Iris asks about Donovan and the Countess slams the door in her face. Donovan comes out and says that he became a junkie to escape his mother. He warns that they don't have space for any more art and takes a drink of the blood, as does the Countess. Donovan points out that she doesn't have the money to buy art at the opening, and the Countess says that they're going for the art. He reminds her that the juts fed and suggests that they stay in, but she goes to change for the opening.

Later, the countess limo pulls up and she enters the pavilion. Will is waiting for her.

Alex tends to one of her patients, a young boy named Max Ellison. Once she's done, she tells Mrs. Campbell that max has the measles and complains that he hasn't received vaccinations. Mrs. Ellison angrily defends her choice not to vaccinate her son, and Alex warns her that measles kill people. She says that their children are at risk from so many things, and they need to do what they can. Alex warns that all they can do is treat the symptoms and wait for the disease to fade on its own.

John is sleeping in Room 64 when the radio comes on. He turns it off and Miss Evers comes in and offers turndown service. John refuses and the laundress leaves, and he has a vision of a spinning drill bit. He jerks up but there's no one there. The detective goes to the bathroom to rinse off his face, and the radio music plays from the shower. John pulls the curtain aside and finds a man and women making love. He jerks awake from his nightmare and finds himself on the bed with the radio playing. Children laugh out in the hallway, and John looks outside to see Holden. He chases after the vision of his missing son and enters the stairwell, and hears a child's laughter ahead of him. John follows the sound to the lobby but there's no sign of Holden.

Sally is at the bar and warns John that the hotel is crazy. She figures that he's a recovering alcoholic and Liv pours a ginger ale. Sally says that she's lived there for too long, and assures John that she's not a hooker. He notice the needle tracks on her arms, and Sally talks about how Patti Smith didn't like her poems. She says that she used to try to get to heaven taking drugs, and figures that John wants to do the same. Sally comes over and asks John about his last drunk, asking for the details.

John investigates a double homicide where the father poisoned his family and then killed himself. He checks the bedroom and figures that the two daughters died peacefully, and checks the rest of the house. John figures that the man didn't kill his family after noticing a portable generator. He realized that the father brought the generator in to keep his family warm, and came home from a late shift to discover that his family died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Depressed, he shot himself.

John says that he had two kids at the time and took them to the beach after he had been gone for two days. That was when someone took Holden. Sally strokes his cheek and John steps away and says that he can't afford to get lost.

At the station, Hahn tells John that their Bel Air victim was pumped full of male potency drugs. He's in an induced coma after the killer removed his eyes and tongues. Both victims had the same text on their cell phone, asking each to meet them at the hotel. However, neither one sent the text. John remembers someone spoofing Alex's phone number to text him for help. A package comes in from the Cortez for John, who figures that it's a bomb.

The bomb squad comes in and opens the package, and they give the all-clear. The squad man, Ted, says that they can detonate it to be safe but advises John to look at it first. He opens it and finds an award statuette inside covered in blood.

Will is holding a fashion show at the hotel and greets one of his guests, Claudia Bankson. Claudia is a fashion reporter with Vogue Magazine, and she promises to stay the week. She spots John. Who says that he's looking for Scarlett, who was supposed to be dropped off there. Will suggests that Lochlin keep Scarlett company, and hears Sally complaining that she's not on the list. The bouncers lead her off but Sally pulls free and insists that she lives there. As Sally turns, she sees Scarlett and stares at her for a minute.

Everyone gathers for the show and Lochlin tells Scarlett that later he might show her something cool. The Countess and Donovan take their seats, and she spots John. She says that he's handsome and Donovan admits that she has a type. Meanwhile, John apologizes to Claudia, saying it's not as exciting as she's used to. She says that she's hoping there will be some excitement. Will booked Tristan Duffy for the runway, and he always does something unorthodox.

In the dressing room, Tristan wipes the cocaine off his nose and prepares to go out.

Lochlan leads Scarlett out, and the Countess watches them go. Tristan comes in and kisses one of the guests. The woman's date shoves Tristan in front of the Countess and the two of them stare at each other for a long moment. He then walks away as the audience applauds. Donovan asks the Countess what happened, and she says that Tristan is full of rage.

Will confronts Tristan in the back and tells him to get his shit together. Tristan says that he's done with modeling and cuts his face to make his point.

Lachlan swears Scarlett to secrecy and then take her to the empty hotel pool. There are four glass coffins, each one holding a child. Lachlan says that nothing wakes them up and taps on the glass, and Holden opens his eyes and stares at Scarlett.

Holden is playing on the beach.

Scarlett watches a video that her parents took of her brother.

Tristan breaks into the Countess suite and searches the place for coke. Donovan confronts him and Tristan says that he knows there's coke in there. He dares Donovan to call the cops, and Donovan throws him to the floor. Donovan starts to bite him, but the Countess arrives and orders Donovan to let him go. Tristan runs to the elevator and it stops at the 7th floor. The doors don't open and no one responds. Tristan finally priest the doors open and goes out, and hears music playing in the distance. He follows the sound and comes to a tray on the floor. He eats the sandwich only to discover that it has maggots in it, and backs into a room. A record is playing and stops as he enters the room.

As Tristan searches the place, the hotel owner--Mr. James March--comes in and invites Tristan to take whatever he wants because none of it means anything to him. When Tristan takes some coke, James says that he's found a better way to stimulate. He tells Tristan that the ex-model is just like him, and explains that he had it all once. None of it satisfied him. James takes something out of a drawer and whistles for Miss Evers. She has a prostitute with her, tied up, and throws her on the bed. James gives Tristan his gun and tells him to take the guest's last breath. Tristan refuses and James shoves him onto the bed. His cravat comes loose, revealing a gaping wound, and the owner shoots the guest in the head. Tristan runs out and James tells Miss Evers to replace the linens.

Tristan runs to the elevator, and the Countess drags him inside.

Scarlett takes the city bus to the hotel and goes back to the pool. The coffins are open but empty, and Scarlett notices an open door nearby. It leads into the hotel's tunnels and the girl follows video game noises to the playroom. Holden is waiting and asks what took her so long, and calls her by name. The boy starts playing video games, and Scarlett shows him a photo of their family. She wonders why Holden hasn't grown up, and says that it's time to go home. Holden says that he is home and invites Scarlett to visit whenever she wants. Scarlett takes a picture of the two of them, and Holden nuzzles her throat. The girl hastily backs away and runs out, and Sally grabs her. Her teeth shatter and she laughs, and Scarlett runs to the elevator and takes it up.

Scarlett goes out on the streets and walks at home. The police are out front, and Scarlett goes in and calls to John. He and Alex run over and hug their daughter, and Scarlett tells them that she went to the hotel alone to see if it was really him. When John wonders what she means, Scarlett explains that Holden is at the hotel. John reminds her that Holden is dead, and angrily says that he's never coming back. Scarlett says that she has a picture of her brother and accuses John of ling to her, and goes to her room. Alex complains that John is making her go through the loss of a child again, and then says that she's going to bed. Alex looks at the photo on Scarlett's camera and sees nothing but a blur where Holden is supposed to be.

Holden looks at himself in the mirror and admires his now-perfect features. The Countess says that the beauty of the virus is that he never ages, but they are vulnerable to physical damage. They have sex in the bathtub and the countess explains that they cut rather than bite. Afterward, he tells her to never drink bad blood from the dead or the diseased. They don't need coffins, and sunlight will sap their vitality. The Countess stares at Tristan and says that he reminds her of someone. Tristan wants to kill a former lover, and the Countess tells him not to get caught or fall in love... because he has to save that for her.

After another bout of sex, the Countess says that she was turned in 1906 and the person who turned her was even more beautiful than Tristan. He wonders what her favorite time was, and she loves the 1970s the most because of the decadence.

The Countess rides into a disco club astride a white horse. She walked among the humans with no fear or judgement, feeding publicly.

The Countess regrets the loss of her friends from the 1970s, just as Donovan comes in and says that Tristan won't last a week. He prepares to attack Donovan, but the Countess asks him to give her a minuet with Donovan. Once the ex-model leaves, Donovan dismisses Tristan as a trashy model. She reminds Donovan that he was a filthy addict dying on a floor, and she never wanted to hurt him. Donovan realizes that she's ordering him out, and insists that he loves her. The Countess says that she loves him as well, but it's the heartbreaks that make them who they are. She tells Donovan to pack his things, but he grabs her and reminds her that she said that when she turned him, she thought it was a heavenly experience. The Countess admits that it was, and then shoves him away and walks out.

John goes behind the front desk and figures that Iris knew that Scarlett was roaming the halls. He cuffs her and demands answers, and Iris says that she'll tell him what he wants to know once she takes the handcuffs off. John does so and Iris tells him to ask nice and buy her a drink.

At the hotel bar, Liv pour drinks and John pushes the glass away. He asks what's going on in the hotel, and Iris explains about the owner, James Patrick March.

James put every element of evil in his being into the hotel. He was a self-made man but shunned by the elites. He came to LA in 1925 and built a monument to excess and opulence: the Hotel Cortez. As James oversees the construction, the architect points out all of the hallways with no rooms. There's a secret passage system, and James says that it's an old draft. He takes the architect to his office to get the new set, and says that he feeds the hungers of the rich with the building. James then cuts the architect's throat and tosses the body down one of the chutes that James had built to dispose of the evidence.

The work continued and James lined the walls with asbestos to mute the screams. He stalked the halls, killing the guests when they discovered that there was no escape. James had a wife and watched her to watch the torture. The rumor has it that James averaged three murders a week with Miss Evers cleaning up after him. She used a secret ingredient--love--to get the stains out.

James prepares to kill one migrant worker, who prays to God. The owner says that his father was a religious man but also the meanest man in the world. When the victim insists that there is always hope, James puts him at the mouth of the chute and asks if God will protect him from his hammer. The man says that James will never find peace, and James vows to kill God. He then kills the man and shoves him down the chute, and tells Miss Vera to destroy every Bible in the hotel.

Eventually the police find the bodies and the Bibles in a vineyard. A detective finds James' handkerchief and came to arrest him. Miss Evers warns James that the police are there, and he gets a gun and a knife from his office vault. He then tells Miss Evers that she's the only one he can count on, and gives her the choice of what order they should die in. She wants him to go first so she can launder the sheets, but realizes that there isn't enough time. The police knock on the door, and Miss Evers choose to go first. She takes the gun and starts to shoot herself, but then asks James to do the honor of making her his last victim. James shoots her dead and then cuts his own throat just before the police break in.

John applauds and says that it's a good story. Iris tells him that if he wants to know what's going on at the hotel, he'll have to expand his thinking. John says that he's seen plenty of evil from humans without them needing an afterlife. As he walks away, Iris says that Room 64 was James' office and it's the hotel's black heart.

Back at his office, John gathers newspaper clippings of all the hotel-related murders. Hahn gets the lab results from the statute and confirms that the DNA matches the first victim who was bludgeoned to death. John explains about James and figures that the killer they're dealing with is punishing those who violate the Ten Commandments... and James did the same thing in the 1920s. Hahn realizes that John is living in James' hotel.

Tristan sits in the lobby and orders in a male escort. The first one gets into the elevator with Tristan and they kiss. They arrive in the Countess' room and she says that Tristan chose well. They throw the man down on the bed and stab him in the throat, and then Tristan drinks his blood while the Countess watches and masturbates. Once he's done, Tristan says that he needs more and kisses his mistress.

Written by Gadfly on Oct 15, 2015

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