American Horror Story: Hotel finally premieres on October 7th, and unlike all previous seasons, there will be one gaping hole in the cast. Jessica Lange has announced that she will not be coming back to once again steal the show, but she's been suspiciously coy about the details.
After going from a firm "no" to a soft "maybe" when asked about a small guest role, I'm convinced that there is still plenty of room for Jessica Lange in this hotel. In fact, I think Ryan Murphy has already given us a road to her potential return, and I could not be more excited.
Spoiler warning: I will be speculating on events that could take place in American Horror Story Season 5 using the details that the cast and crew have already dropped. If you want to go into the new season totally blind, you may not want to keep reading (on the off-chance this theory is totally right).
We already know Countess Elizabeth survives on a healthy diet of blood
From the few details we've gathered before the show even starts, one thing is abundantly clear: Lady Gaga's character will be one hedonistic harlot (in the best possible way). According to the Entertainment Weekly exclusive, The Countess sustains her "limitless hunger" on a constant supply of blood and sex.
Her predilections are strikingly similar to Countess Elizabeth Báthory
Also known as The Bloody Countess, Elizabeth Báthory was a Hungarian noblewoman famous for murdering young women and drinking their blood. Though some historians dispute that habit, her name has become synonymous with the act of bathing in virgin's blood to stay young.
Many fans already suspect that Lady Gaga will be playing an in-universe version of Báthory
And there are plenty of good reasons for this. On IMDb, Gaga's character is listed as "Elizabeth," which already seems like more than a coincidence. More importantly, when asked if the Countess' habit could be called vampirism, he cleared up the misconception:
I prefer the term ‘ancient blood virus.’ It’s really a form of hemophilia, in a way.
So, she's using blood to stay alive, but he doesn't consider her a vampire. Sounds like a pretty likely overlap to me. But more importantly, how does this connect to Jessica Lange?
Well, that all depends on the question of immortality
Before we get into the crux of my argument, let's talk about the suspicious timeline of Hotel. We know that it exists in two parts: The modern day when the Countess owns the Hotel Cortez and the 1930s when James March (Evan Peters) is the builder and owner of the Hotel.
Initially, it looked like March would only be shown in flashbacks, but something must happen to make the two eras collide. That's because Finn Wittrock, who will play a male model courted by the Countess, confirmed that he has scenes with Evan Peters. So, March could be immortal (and potentially the one that gave the Countess this affliction), which opens up a whole slew of questions for another article.
The point is, what if the blood doesn't keep a potentially immortal Countess alive? What if she uses it specifically to keep her looking young just like Elizabeth Báthory?
What happens when the Countess can't have her fix?
Considering the major theme of the season will center around addiction, I think it's a fair leap to imagine a storyline where the Countess is forced to suffer without any of that vital good stuff. Other characters, especially Sarah Paulson's Hypodermic Sally, will be battling a very real Addiction Demon, and my thought is that toward the end of the season, it will come for the Countess in dramatic fashion.
If missing out on blood doesn't kill her quickly, it could just as likely make her age rapidly
Kept from her bloody diet, imagine a scene in which Lady Gaga begins to wither and age. Still in her finest clothes, wrinkles slowly emerge on her face while her perfectly coiffed hair falls to her shoulders in a more natural shade. Still just as vicious and violent as ever, a totally transformed Countess vows revenge.
What exactly would that look like?
This, of course!
Rejoice! It would be the return of the beacon of light that is Jessica Lange to act out the Countess' final scenes. Seriously, could there be anything better than that at this point? I would personally harvest blood for the Countess if it meant seeing Lange on FX again.
In the end, this is just a theory from a fan who desperately wants to see more scenery-chewing from TV's Meryl Streep, but I think it's a very sensible way to make room for Lange in Hotel. Because, let's be real, there should room for that living legend in any Hotel, especially one of Ryan Murphy's creation.
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