"Checking In"
Series American Horror Story: Hotel
Season 5, Episode 1
American Horror Story 5x01 001.jpg
Air date October 7th, 2015
Writers Ryan Murphy; Brad Falchuk
Director Ryan Murphy
Producers Ned Martel; Robert M. Williams, Jr.; Alexis Martin Woodall; Bradley Buecker; James Wong; Jennifer Salt; Brad Falchuk; Ryan Murphy
Starring Kathy Bates; Sarah Paulson; Evan Peters; Wes Bentley; Matt Bomer; Chloë Sevigny; Denis O'Hare; Cheyenne Jackson; Angela Bassett; Lady Gaga
Episode guide
"Curtain Call"
"Chutes and Ladders"

"Checking In" is the first episode of season five of the horror anthology series, American Horror Story, which is billed under the heading of "Hotel". It is the fifty-second episode of the series overall. It was directed by Ryan Murphy with a script written by Murphy and Brad Falchuk. It first aired on the FX Network on Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 at 10:00 pm.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Principal Cast[edit | edit source]

Guest Stars[edit | edit source]

Co-Stars[edit | edit source]

Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This episode is rated TV-MA. It contains strong language, sexual situtions and nudity and violence. Intended for true bad-asses only. Viewer discretion is advised.


  • This episode is production code number 5ATS01.
  • This episode had a running time of ninety minutes.
  • This episode had a viewership of 5.81 million people. [3]
  • Actor Evan Peters is credited in this episode, but does not make an appearance.
  • Actress Angela Bassett is credited in this episode, but does not make an appearance.
  • Grammy-award winning pop star Lady Gaga was the first celebrity cast to appear on season five of American Horror Story. No other details relating to the show were released at that time, but Gaga revealed in a tweet that the show would sport the serial name, "Hotel". [4]
  • The song that is playing during the The Countess and Donovan's sex orgy is "Tear You Apart" by She Wants Revenge.

Allusions[edit | edit source]

  • The book that John Lowe is reading to Scarlett over the phone is Little Women, which was a coming of age story written by Louisa May Alcott and first published in 1868.
  • Actress Christine Estabrook, who played snotty real estate agent Marcy in season one, returns to the franchise for season five, continuing the trend of establishing connective tissue between the various seasons.
  • Marcy makes reference to putting down her dog in this episode. The dog in question is likely the one owned by Vivien Harmon and is one of the few surviving beings from season one, "Murder House".

Timeline[edit | edit source]


  • Donovan goes to the Hotel Cortez where he is enticed by Hypodermic Sally to shoot heroin. Donovan overdoses just as his mother, Iris, enters the room. Iris follows Sally to another room and pushes her out of a high-rise window.


  • John Lowe takes his family to an amusement park in Santa Monica as an apology for going on a two-day bender. While there, his young son Holden Lowe is abducted from the carousel.


  • Swedish tourists Vendela and Agnetha rent a room at the Hotel Cortez. After complaining about a smell from their room, Iris moves them to Room 64 where they are attacked by a creature from within the bed mattress. They are taken to a dungeon, caged up and sanguinated. Hypodermic Sally frees Vendela who tries to run away, but she runs into the Countess who slices her throat open with a finger-blade.
  • The Countess and Donovan go to an outdoor screening of Nosferatu. They charm a young couple into coming back to the hotel with them for group sex. The Countess and Donovan slice their throats open and then feed on their blood.
  • Homicide detective John Lowe investigates the torture/murder of a young woman who is impaled to a wall while sitting atop a man she was having an affair with. The man's eyes and tongue have been removed and his penis is glued to the dead woman's vagina.
  • John Lowe receives a telephone call from the mysterious killer, who baits him into coming to Room 64 at the Hotel Cortez. Finding nothing there, he rents the room for himself and while sleeping, experiences visions of his missing son, Holden.

Quotes[edit | edit source]


  • Will Drake: There's energy here. I walk through New York streets and I don't hear the music anymore. No more echoes of what was there. Blocks are toppled, history erased, weirdos banished.


  • Vendela: We paid in advance but we can't stay here.

Crew[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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