There is plenty of murder, mayhem, mistresses and James March in the eighth episode of American Horror Story: Hotel “The Ten Commandments Killer.”


Thank god the season is (slowly) coming to a close. We finally found out who the infamous Ten Commandments Killer is, and it was pretty predictable (“Devil’s Night” was a good indicator). Oh, Mr. John Lowe (Wes Bentley), you did have a psychotic break, just way before it was revealed in the show. The episode was all about our least favorite bad actor, John, and was extremely predictable if you know anything about Ryan Murphy. But here’s the problem: Where is the vampire child army? Where did Gaga’s old lovers go? What will happen to John now that he’s a revealed serial killer?

Here’s the recap:

The show starts off with John freaking out about Wren (Jessica Belkin) running into traffic. He remembers — one of the few thing he actually does remember — seeing her in a coffin at the hotel pool and runs back there as soon as he can. He confronts Liz (Denis O’Hare) and screams at her for answers. Liz tells him that Wren was always lying and old enough to make her own choices, but John insists she was protecting the Ten Commandments Killer. John decides that he’s going to get violent and slams Liz into a wall. She says she’ll make him cut his throat when he sleeps, but otherwise seems unphased by his violent behavior.

All of a sudden, Hypodermic Sally (Sarah Paulson) shows up in a heroin stupor and tells her love John that she can tell him what he wants. Liz gives the couple a gun in case they find what they’re looking for, and they go on the search for the Ten Commandments Killer. They go to Room 64 (Lowe’s room since episode one), and it is revealed that it used to be James March’s (Evan Peters) office. She says that he died at exactly 2:25 a.m. (explains the alarm clock going off).

She points to the art-deco armoire and says that he’ll find his answers behind that door. He finds human trophies behind the door, including a hand, human teeth, a brain, tongues, eyes, vocal cords and a spleen. John is confused why there was such a large gap between kills, and Sally explains that it took a long time for March to find a successor. He had gone through all of the famous serial killers at the Devil’s Night dinner and was unsuccessful in finding someone. It is where John realizes that the killer all along has been himself. All this time, he has been obsessing over finding the killer, when he has been the one he should’ve been looking at the whole time. The whole backstory was pretty awesome, but John Lowe’s bad acting ruined everything about it. He was bland and overly surprised at everything that was going on. But, the whole killer reveal was pretty fancy and disgusting at the same time.

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Back at John’s old precinct, his partner Andy Hahn (Richard T. Jones) is looking at Wren’s dead body and talks about how John escaped the hospital in all the crazy confusion. John sneaks into the coroner’s room and scares Andy. John starts to confess the murders to Andy when his memory pops back in his head. He remembers first visiting the hotel five years prior for drinks after a hard night of work. He met Liz, Sally and Donovan (Matt Bomer), and Donovan invited him upstairs for a party. John follows him to Gaga and March’s annual dinner with Gaga. March is angry that his dinner was interrupted, but Gaga is entranced over John’s looks. John talks about how death is the only thing in life that has any meaning. March is impressed by John, so he allows Gaga to go with him. And it is where the serial killer relationship of a lifetime starts.

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March is obsessed with John and talks about how people have auras, and John’s is jet black. They speak continuously over the span of two days — with a bottle of absinthe, of course. After John passes out, March talks to Gaga about him being the prôtegé he needs. He tells Gaga that he has beautiful children, and they agree that in order to get him to the hotel, Gaga needs to abduct Holden (Lennon Henry).

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When John finally returns home to Alex (Chloë Sevigny), she is unmoved by his alcoholic self being gone for two days. He hugs Holden and promises to take him to the carnival later that day, where, as we already know, Holden was abducted.

Still going with the flashback, John realizes just how often he was at the hotel. He had an affair with Sally and frequent talks with March. One visit, March decides to show John his trophy room. They talk about justice, and John keeps coming back. On Holden’s birthday, John comes back to the hotel to mourn. He is mad because of something relating to justice, like usual. March tells him about a man named Martin Gamboa that had checked in earlier with a young boy that was not his and how he molested him and left polaroids behind of the molestation.

During this whole flashback/explanation, Andy interrupts to tell John that he wasn’t a pedophile. John finds Gamboa through craigslist — Gamboa is selling an Oscar he had — and when he goes to buy it, John presents Gamboa with the polaroids. Gamboa says the pictures weren't his and tries to run away. John beats him to death with the Oscar and flees back to the hotel. He tried to hang himself, but March came to the rescue and cut him down. Sally made no effort to help, in the hopes that he would become a ghost and they would live happily ever after. March explains the deal he made with Sally, that he would protect her from the Addiction Demon (the mattress guy that looks like boiled cabbage), as long as she continues to provide victims for the hotel. The Addiction Demon, who feeds off souls from ghosts, would eat the other ghosts in the building if there weren't victims that came in often.


That is when I was like, ‘WTF Murphy?” The whole explanation didn’t make any sense, and nothing was previously mentioned relating to the Addiction Demon, other than short snippets of what he looked like. Next episode better have some kind of better background because that is too confusing.

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John is confused about all the things he doesn’t remember, and Sally explains to him that the Cortez suppresses all of his memories. John is freaking out over the murder he just committed, and March and Sally calm him down by showing him the Ten Commandments Killer legacy. March explains how he wants John to finish them, which he agrees to do.

John explains to Andy that he made himself the lead investigator of the serial killer without knowing he WAS the killer. John explains to Andy that he had been to the Gamboa crime scene many times. He tells Andy that he also knows that there was an affair between him and Alex. John was planning on killing his wife and Andy, but Sally explained to him that the murders could not be linked to him in any way. They decide to have another love couple, who are married, do the trick, and John sets up the meeting between the two. March also tells him how the murders can’t be linked to the hotel, so John has the murder take place at a penthouse suite somewhere else.

After all those crazy and confusing explanations, Andy drapes a sheet over Wren (in real time) and does not believe that John is the killer. John tells him that he is and violently STABS his partner in the chest with a scalpel for sleeping with his wife.

John nonchalantly walks back to the hotel with a bloody paper bag and sees Iris (Kathy Bates) at the front desk. She pretends not to know who he is, but John explains how he remembers everything now. She has the “thank god” look on her face and welcomes him back. He explains how he only regrets Wren’s death, but Iris explains how Sally forced her to follow John, ultimately making Sally the reason for Wren’s death. So the plot thickens, but knowing Murphy, he probably won’t doing anything with that.

The episode, despite being incredibly confusing, explained a lot that everyone was wondering about. With only two episodes left until the winter hiatus, we can only imagine what is going to happen with Ramona Royale (Angela Bassett), the children vamp army and Gaga’s ex-lovers. Also, there are only TWO more commandments left for John to associate murders with. Prepare for drama and for a little craziness. Stay tuned.

The Commandments and the murders they’re related to:

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me:
    Has not taken place yet in the season
  2. You shall not worship false idols:
    Martin Gamboa (the pedophile) was obsessed with movies and worshiped his Oscar award. He was murdered in his home by John Lowe with the Oscar. His brain was taken as a trophy.
  3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
    The televangelical priest was stuffed with coins in the church by John. He was also disemboweled. His spleen was taken as a trophy.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
    Migrant workers in the 1920s were working on Sunday and were killed by James March. Their teeth were taken as trophies.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
    In the house where John thought Alex was taken earlier in the season, two twins were hung up with their bowels hanging out of them. They had murdered their parents to inherit the fortune their parents had. He took their hearts as trophies.
  6. You shall not murder.
    Has not taken place yet in the season (could be John himself?)
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
    The first murder shown of the season featured a woman on top of a man with her hands nailed to the headboard, with her lover under her. He was glued inside of her and was found alive by John in the beginning. They were both married with children. John committed the murder, and the man’s eyes and tongue were taken as trophies.
  8. You shall not steal.
    The very first murder — March killed a man that was stealing from him. His hand was taken as a trophy.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
    The editors of a gossip website were found in their office with their tongues nailed to their desks, or taken out and nailed around the building. John ripped out their vocal cords and took them as trophies.
  10. You shall not covet.
    Andy Hahn, John’s partner, was killed for sleeping with his wife. John stabbed him with a scalpel in the morgue. He took his penis and testicles as trophies.

Rating: 3/5


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