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‘AHS: Hotel’: Lady Gaga’s Countess Had One True Love

If these walls could talk ...

Zombified vampires. That's *just* what the Hotel Cortez needs to certify this place as a den of true iniquity, right? Well, thanks to Will Drake's ill-timed (not that any other time would be a good time for it, but still) renovation project, a steel wall has been cut open by his crew and two thirsty creatures from the deeply buried past come to run roughshod over the place. As if there weren't enough monsters lurking the halls.

Even the unfrightenable Countess (Lady Gaga) looks unnerved by the news -- though she'll be even more upset when she finds out exactly who they are/were.

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Here's a recap of "American Horror Story: Hotel" Episode 7, titled "Flicker."

So, John Lowe knows ...

... that he's tumbling down a slow rabbit hole of psychosis. The newly fired, newly separated, and newly scary former detective finds himself in the mental ward of a hospital wing, talking to a shrink who is glad to hear him say he needs professional help.

The latest development in the down-spiral of John Lowe (Wes Bentley) is that he has resorted to attacking his former colleague, in the interest of further obsessing about the Ten Commandments killer, the same (and only) guy who's had his back throughout this whole thing.

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"Gods have appetites"

Journey back to 1925, when the Countess (Lady Gaga) was still a brunette ingenue lusting for the leading man of her Hammurabi's Code-inspired talkie. She captures Mr. Valentino's attention, too -- and that of his fake-divorced wife Natasha, ahem -- so they have a night of tango threesome thrills which leaves her bright-eyed and totally in love at the Hotel Cortez's grand opening until ... well, Valentino turns up dead.

Or so the papers say.

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The Wedding March

That's when Mr. March (Evan Peters) takes a shine to the devastated Countess, whom he literally finds on a ledge.

She's got just the right amount of weird for his particular tastes, and when she walks in on him bathtub-slaughtering a bum, all she has to say about it is that he should be more monetarily ambitious with his, um, killer conquests. Oh, and she wants to watch next time. Between that reaction and the fact that she likes to choke during their coital sessions, well, he's officially gaga over this girl.

But dead is not always dead

Ah, so that's how the Countess became a vampire.

Turns out, the German director of the 1922 masterpiece thriller "Nosferatu," F.W. Murnau, was very thorough with his research of vampirism and journeyed deep into the Carpathian mountains, where he found blood-drinkers who were beautiful and immortal and devastated with thirst.

And the director, who himself had contracted the blood virus, decided he wanted to "preserve" Valentino as well. And he, of course, then shared the "dark gift" with his wife Natasha, and they together turned the Countess. She's into it, but oops, there's the not-so-small matter of Mr. March overhearing the whole thing go down.

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Wren

One of the Countess' little vampires is being held at the same hospital as John Lowe -- because that is literally the only way this could tie these plots together, so fine -- and whaddya know, she's also involved with his most obsessive case, the Ten Commandments killings. In fact, she's the one who sliced an interfering security guard's throat when he caught him disemboweling that poor guy in the church. "It stunk," she remembers.

John manages to subdue a guard and get into her room where he learns that she was rescued from her neglectful father, who left her to sweat it out in a hot car while he got drunk at the Hotel Cortez, by the Countess in 1986. Unlike John's own son in the same condition, however, she's not loving this condition anymore.

(BTW, one of the similarities between her and Scarlett, John spells out, is the fact that she blames herself for things, as does his own daughter.)

He asks her to help him track the killer, who is not her dearly departed dad, and she agrees. "Maybe it's time she got caught." She won't say a name, but she'll take him to where he lives. Good enough for now.

Valentino and Natasha

"You and your little mouse." After they feed on a hotel guest who brags about weaseling her way into a free commission to a woman she supposedly hates, Valentino and Natasha, who've been deprived of far too many meals since their incarceration in the hotel, she lays into him about whether it was "worth it" for them to take on a third wheel with the Countess.

He promises her, "We will reclaim all that we have lost … our life will be far more glorious than it ever was before."

Mr. vs. Mrs. March

After they tried to take his leading lady away from him, James March made it so that their final stop was a bricked-in wing of his own hotel. "Your god, trapped within the walls of the palace I built for my Queen," he explained to taunt the Countess, who, by her own admission, never ever said that she loved her former husband. In fact, she can't even agree to meet him for dinner more than once a month, even though this is clearly the highlight of his non-life.

When she finds out that he exacted his revenge on her affair by walling them in for the past eight or nine decades, and that they had not just abandoned her at the train station all those years ago, she's absolutely furious. But then, what did she expect from a psycho ex?

Bye, bye Wren?

We barely knew ye. Just after Wren leads John Lowe to the person of interest's house, she says ominously, "I really like you. I hate to see it end." And then fates collide, literally, and she's hit by a bus. Would that kill her? Our *guess* is no, but we don't have the complete handbook to "AHS" vampireness, so who knows.

Overall, we're left with a sense of exceptional dread about the looming battle. Now that Countess has taken a shine to Will Drake and wants to make it official, he's obviously on March's chopping block. And if John Lowe actually got Red killed, well, he's going to have some 'splaining to do to the Countess, and she's holdin' Holden, his own kid, in her lair, so THAT can't turn out well. Plus, there's the fact that Romona Royale and Donovan may soon meet a pair of new teammates for their take-down-the-Countess plan, since they, too, might have revenge (albeit potentially misguided) on the brain.

To be continued in two weeks ...