TV Show Review

TV Review: AMERICAN HORROR STORY: Season 5, Episode 8: The Ten Commandments Killer [FX]

Wes Bentley Evan Peters American Horror Story The Ten Commandments Killer

FX‘s American Horror Story The Ten Commandments Killer TV Show Review. American Horror Story: Season 5, Episode 8: The Ten Commandments Killer was a brutal shocker for us, but a sigh of relief for Hotel Cortez’s inhabitants. John (Wes Bentley) burst into Hotel Cortez demanding to know the identity and whereabouts of The Ten Commandments Killer. Sally reluctantly (Sarah Paulson) lead John to Room 64, John Patrick March’s  (Evan Peters) office, where he died, where John “lives”. In a slow and steady reveal delivered by the ever-so-affectionate Sally, we discovered that John is the Ten Commandments Killer. The madness he has been exhibiting is a dissociative disorder that has been playing with his mind and our minds the whole time.

Talking with his partner Andy Hahn (Richard T. Jones) over the dead body of the child who killed herself in the previous episode, Wren (Jessica Belkin), John recounted his own true story. John was in the Hotel Cortez 5 years ago, but he only just remembered. He met the ghost of John Patrick March  who noticed John’s black aura. It informed March of John’s inner focus on dispensing justice by any means necessary. In that chance meeting with March, John declared that “death is the only thing in life that has any meaning.” That was the moment March met his successor.

March made a bargain with The Countess (Lady Gaga) who looked devilishly gorgeous throughout the episode. If she used her magic to alter John’s memory, she could take John’s boy for her collection of children. Taking Holden (Lennon Henry) had the dual purpose of pleasing The Countess and breaking John’s spirit enough to make him fully susceptible to March’s sick ideology.  When his son Holden was taken it broke him as intended. March exploited John’s pain to create a successor.

Sally, on the other hand, was John’s self-appointed protector. That is what she meant in an earlier episode. She has been looking out for him while his mind has been fractured, but Sally could only love and protect him inside the hotel. So, March told her to put someone in his world to watch over him. She asked Wren, one of the Countess’ children, to follow and protect John during his murder spree.

It was revealed that John and Sally were together for the last 5 years. He lived two lives, one with Sally at the hotel and one with his family. In fact, we learned so much about Sally. At least, I think I finally know the source of her endless well of tears. John called her a “bottomless pit of need,” which explained everything. She was an addict, attracted to addicts. She died addicted and her new addiction: keeping people. Sally picks them and tries to keep them, of course, in the cruel way of sewing them into mattresses. When she met John, she simply wanted him. She even tried letting him hang himself in the hotel bathroom so that he would be with her forever, but March saved him and warned her. Now we know the faceless, sadistic creature that follows her throughout the hotel was created by the evil energy produced by her gruesome acts, and it feeds on the misery of poor souls that get caught up in the hotel. It is only March’s protection that keeps it from feeding on Sally instead of her victims.

This episode chilled me to the bone. It may have been how this horrible story was being recounted in a morgue over the cold still body of Wren on a metal table. It was being led through March’s “trophy room” by the light of a single candle. Definitely, it was John’s own disgusting “trophy room” and the barbaric addition of a new “piece.”

Andy Hahn did not have much a role throughout this season, and I am a fan of Jones‘ work. I felt he was being underused in this season, really. In the one episode where he finally featured more prominently, Andy got butchered. John killed him and made of trophy of his genitalia for breaking a commandment –  coveting John’s wife. Most chilling was that John was no longer the picture of madness in this episode. He had finally found “clarity.” John embraced his role as a serial killer, as The Ten Commandments Killer, determined to finish his work. I really thought he was going to make it out of there. Where in the world does that leave Scarlett (Shree Crooks) now? I am running out of people to root for in American Horror Story: Hotel.

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About the author


I am ...a lover of all things film ...a published poet with a law degree from Howard University School of Law ...a D.C. native, who frequents local and international film festivals ...a self-professed couch potato who can usually be caught watching anything produced by Joss and Jed Whedon. My favorite TV shows include the Buffy & Angel Series, Sons of Anarchy, Oz, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and The Shield. Still, I am open to everything on TV and Netflix, which is doing big things.

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