Everybody lives! Not really, but if Mr. March had his way, that's how American Horror Story: Hotelwould have ended.
The season finale begins when Iris and Liz call a ghostly summit in which Mr. March calls for the murders to stop - at least until Aug. 23, 2026, when the Cortez will be deemed a historical landmark, therefore ensuring the ghosts a home forever. Everyone is fine with this except for Sally, who is nonplussed at this idea since murdering someone is the only way to find her soul mate. Fortunately, Iris proves she isn't completely useless by introducing Sally to the Internet, thus allowing her to feel connected to others while trapped inside her spectral prison. As an added bonus, her new social media life finally gave Sally the strength to kick her drug addiction. But to be honest, I didn't even know Sally was still addicted to drugs because she's a ghost and why would a ghost be free from human restraints but saddled with human addiction? This is not rhetorical. If you see Ryan Murphy, please ask him for me.
Meanwhile, Will has been dead a year and his business is dying in his absence. To make things more depressing, no one even knows he's dead - including his son, who hasn't been allowed to see him this entire time. To cut through this web of sadness, Liz attempts to convince Will to rejoin the world of the living by running his fashion line - as a ghost - from the confines of the Cortez like a fancy hermit, because Howard Hughes' life ended so well.
Liz steps up as the face of Will Drake's empire to the outside world, a job she takes to with glee and great success. And so it is that only once Will dies that he gets what he originally came for from the Cortez: a career resurgence. So who cares that he never gets to see his son again, right? He's hip! That's all that matters.
But while the success of Will's career might please Will enough to forget the people in his life, Liz is left hollow without the sight of her dearly departed Tristan. That's why Sally calls in the help of Billie Dean Howard, the psychic from Murder House whom no one seems to notice looks exactly like Hypodermic Sally. Billie Dean does her best attempt to contact Tristan, but he refuses to speak to Liz. However, Billie Dean does contact Donovan, who tells Iris that he's in a better place and it smells like Iris' pancakes. Because heaven comes in many forms, I guess?
Liz then gets to witness the birth of her first granddaughter and is riding high. That is, until she discovers she has terminal prostate cancer. She accepts the diagnosis with grace and realizes the only way to continue to live is to die on Cortez property. So she gathers the ghostly gang and begs them to murder her as a favor so they can be together forever. But right as the various spirits were about to brutally murder her, the Countess interrupts and offers to help Liz transition "one last time."
Now a ghost, Liz is finally gifted by the sight of Tristan, who insists he still loves her. You see, Tristan just wanted Liz to live her life and not get in the way of that. "You're to die for," Liz jokes, to absolutely zero laughs.
In a twist of fate, Billie winds up haunting the Cortez's ghosts. After discovering the hotel is a hotbed for paranormal activity, Billie begins shooting incessantly at the Cortez. To help the other ghosts out, on Devil's Night of 2022, John finally gives in and speaks to Billie during one of her many TV shoots. During this interview, John finally says what we all knew was coming: He and Alex ditched Scarlett to live at the Cortez. Oh, and he also mentions he died in a police shootout, but didn't managed to crawl inside the Cortez in time. Wah wah, woe is no one.
Billie Dean is charmed by John for some reason, and decides to ditch her camera crew at his behest and follow around this ghost serial killer. Great plan, Billie! Walking into a serial killer dinner party and drinking their absinthe seems like a swell way to spend an evening. Seriously though - I wouldn't accept a drink from a man at a bar let alone from a serial killer at a ghost party. It's almost as though Billie has a death wish. If that last part is true, then Billie almost gets her wish when the killers say they'll murder her unless he pretends the Cortez never exists. But she agrees once Ramona steps up to enforce the rule outside the Cortez walls.
John then returns back to Room 64 after this night of debauchery and chats with a grown-up Scarlett, who seems to be loved more now than she ever was when she was a child. It turns out that Scarlett now knows all of her family's secrets, but still can't build a real relationship with her dad since John is now bound by the laws of Devil's Night, meaning he can only appear once a year.
And John isn't the only one caught in an endless loop. The Countess is living out her ghostly eternity doing the same stuff she did as a vamp: picking up hot brunettes by talking about their killer jawlines. And she lived happily ever after? Who knows, because that's just how the show ends.
What did you think of the Hotel finale?