Another thoroughly enjoyable episode of American Horror Story: Hotel has served us well; 'Mommy' was based around the twin tragedies of two mothers: Iris and Alex Lowe... and their kinda-dead-but-not-quite children.
Check out five subtle details you may have missed in this week's episode.
1. American Google Story
Tristan: I googled you.
Mr March: That sounds obscene!
This amusing interchange between Tristan and Donovan is a direct reference to an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer which aired in 2002. This particular Buffy episode had the odd honor of being the first use of 'Google' as a verb on TV. The clip above makes the identical joke to the one used in AHS: Hotel.
2. Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness
John Lowe discovers another Ten Commandments murder, this time gossip journalists with their tongues nailed down, a symbolic punishment for liars. This ticks 'Thou shalt not bear false witness' from our list of remaining commandment vignettes, leaving us with only four:
No graven images or likenesses, Do not take the LORD's name in vain, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not covet.
Gaga tells us that she was scammed by Bernie Madoff, a real-life white collar criminal who rinsed the most money of any con artist in history through investment fraud and Ponzi schemes, stealing around $18 billion.
Liz Taylor makes a comment to Donovan that "you don't need talent to be a actor; look at Laurence Harvey." Harvey acted in The Manchurian Candidate and Of Human Bondage. Interestingly, it was Harvey's daughter, Domino, who served as the inspiration for the Keira Knightly bounty hunter movie of the same name.
4. Silky Fine
A rather fine homage to the blaxploitation flicks of the '70s erupts when Ramona Royale (Angela Bassett) comes to town. Ramona -- particularly in her role as 'Silky Fine' -- is obviously modeled on blaxploitation icon and Tarantino favorite Pam Grier, and her best known movie, Foxy Brown.
5. Trust Your Instinct
Ramona Royale's flashback about Prophet Moses is set in 1991. When a vengeful Gaga shows up, she's clad all in white and leaning back in a chair, short skirt riding up. This is a great tribute to Sharon Stone's infamous flashing scene in Basic Instinct, released 1992.
If you're curious, I've created a Spotify playlist for every song featured in American Horror Story: Hotel. I'll be adding to it every week as the series goes on.