4 user 9 critic

Chutes and Ladders 

Fashion mogul Will Drake brings couture to the Hotel Cortez. A model catches the Countess' eye. John learns about the hotel's sadistic first owner.


Bradley Buecker


Ryan Murphy (created by), Brad Falchuk (created by) | 4 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Kathy Bates ... Iris
Sarah Paulson ... Sally McKenna
Evan Peters ... James March
Wes Bentley ... John Lowe
Matt Bomer ... Donovan
Chloë Sevigny ... Dr. Alex Lowe
Denis O'Hare ... Liz Taylor
Cheyenne Jackson ... Will Drake
Angela Bassett ... Ramona Royale (credit only)
Lady Gaga ... The Countess
Finn Wittrock ... Tristan Duffy
Mare Winningham ... Hazel Evers
Naomi Campbell ... Claudia Bankson
Max Greenfield ... Gabriel
Richard T. Jones ... Detective Andy Hahn


Fashion mogul Will Drake brings couture to the Hotel Cortez. A model catches the Countess' eye. John learns about the hotel's sadistic first owner.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Horror | Thriller


TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

14 October 2015 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


James March (Evan Peters) mentions architect Julia Morgan as his first choice for designing his hotel. Julia Morgan is best known for her long collaboration with William Randolph Hearst building the Hearst Castle at San Simeon, California. She is also noted for several buildings erected in San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake. Among these is the Fairmont Hotel, still operational today. See more »


In the first episode it is established that the hotel is a "dead zone" with no Wi-fi, mobile phone, or Internet connection. However the character of Tristan Duffy is seen on his mobile phone using an app that resembles Tinder.

However, it is possible that Will Drake had signal boosters brought in or a wi-fi network installed sometime before the episode starts, given that he is hosting a fashion show for high-profile guests. See more »


The Countess: He's full of rage. I can still smell it. Like copper.
See more »


References House of Cards (2013) See more »


I Want Your Love
Written by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers
Performed by Chic
See more »

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User Reviews

I've been eager for the second episode, how would it be? I'll tell you.. Insane!
15 October 2015 | by jnasmarkSee all my reviews

After watching the first episode of season five my expectations went to the sky. The feeling, the acting, the characters and the story slowly developing out into something that in first seems like a "cop vs killer" had a drastic turn.

I'll keep it short, the first episode really blew my mind away. Lady Gaga had perhaps the majority of that to take credit for. Her introduction scene.. no words can describe it. But after the first episode it left me with one worry. How will the next one be?

Well, sit back and relax.

AHS just keeps throwing coal into the fire on this train. It just won't stop. This one hour episode had me from the first seconds to the end credits. And, it left me with a hunger as well. I also want more..

Straight 10/10!

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