American Horror Story Hotel: ‘The Ten Commandments Killer’ Review

American Horror Story Hotel 'Captain Obvious'

“Death is the only thing in life that has any meaning.” -John Lowe

American Horror Story Hotel finally put the mystery of the Ten Commandments Killer to rest and it surprised the living shit out of no one. I was utterly disappointed with the direction of this episode and it was certainly not worth waiting half the season to find out that John is actually the killer. Am I really supposed to believe that this guy didn’t remember a thing he was doing over the last five years? The results were not what I wanted, not what I expected and certainly not even bat shit crazy.

John hasn’t exactly been the most entertaining character up to this point and now that it has been revealed that he’s a serial murderer, maybe he’ll finally be the super villain that this season so desperately needs. Mr. March, while being the most prolific serial killer in America, can’t even leave the hotel due to his ghost status and who in the hell knows what’s up with Sally and her pet demon. At least we can finally move forward with Mr. March and John teaming up to put the finishing touches on that trophy collection that has been collecting dust since the ’20s.

And where in the hell has Angela Bassett been all season? Seriously, that might be the biggest disappointment of the season so far. Bassett absolutely crushed it as Marie Laveau and Desiree Dupree and I’m super disappointed that we have barely seen Ramona Royale through the first eight episodes. Talk about under utilizing some amazing talent. At the end of the day, The Ten Commandments Killer was a disappointment for a series that is usually full of surprises. Sadly, this was not a surprise at all. Enjoy the review, fellow guests!

Ruining The Surprise

The Ten Commandments Killer was all about John as we finally learned his true identity as Mr. March’s pet serial murderer. It definitely was not the bat shit crazy twist we were all hoping for but at least we can finally put an end to this mystery, not that it was going to take a team of detectives to solve this one. After Wren decided to play in traffic in the middle of the night, John immediately goes back to the Hotel Cortez to try to locate the killer and he starts things off by harassing everyone’s favorite drag queen, Liz Taylor, who is unimpressed. This was also how I looked when we found out who the killer is:

Liz Taylor raisin' eyebrows

Liz threatens to cut John’s throat while he sleeps and at this point I was actually thinking that maybe Liz is the killer after all with that temper of hers. Sadly, it was never meant to be and Sally interrupts the party so she can take John to where he needs to go. She leads to him through the hallways of the hotel directly to Room 64 and John immediately thinks Sally is playing a prank on him. Sally tells us all that Room 64 used to be Mr. March’s office and is also the same room March killed himself in. Sally also explains that he died at 2:25 in the morning which probably explains why that same time was on the clock when John first checked in and took a nap back in the premiere.

Time For Murder

So I guess all those shots of the clock were important after all. Sally tells John to check behind the armoire where he finds a hidden room with a whole slew of body parts from the killings. Sally rehashes some of the killings for us and it’s obvious at this point that some of these trophies were Mr. March’s. So who exactly is finishing his work for him?

This entire case reminds of the movie Se7en, with a religious twist, and I think it’s interesting that March is killing people based on the 10 Commandments but when Sally reveals that John has been the killer all along I felt a bit disappointed given the fact that I’ve become accustomed to insane twists and surprises from this show. Still, with five episodes left at least this is finally out of our systems.

"It's you, John. Its always been you."

After his heart-to-heart with Sally, John heads over to the morgue to hang out with his partner on the case. He also confess to the murders. Obviously his partner doesn’t believe a thing he’s saying. And either do I at this point. John, you’re drunk! Go home!

The timeline doesn’t make sense either since John first arrived at the Hotel three weeks ago, well after the murders starting taking place. John, however, made his first appearance at the Hotel Cortez five years ago after the asphyxiation case that really messed him up (you’ll remember the family that died from carbon monoxide poisoning by accident and the father came home, found his entire family dead and killed himself). He needed a few drinks, and by few I mean a shit ton, and John wanders into the hotel looking for the best martini in town. He also meets Sally for the first time and she’s totally flirting with him with her eyes:

Sally gives John a wink

Best wink ever! You can take my digits any time, hun! This episode was really messed up though and Donovan offers John a chance to get super blasted at an after party in the hotel. John takes him up on his offer and they interrupt Mr. March and The Countess who are having their monthly shindig. March is super pissed off about the interruption but eventually he sees the black in John and decides to let him stay. Looks like it’s a boys night out and we’re drinking Absinthe. It’s going to be a wild night.

Mr. March explains to John that his aura is jet black which means that he either has a protective cloak around him that allows him to focus on any task regardless of others judgment OR he has a need to dominate and control the world around him and bend it to his will, a man that is willing to do bad to do good. Obviously, it turns out being the latter. We also had a second reference to the ace of spades and I’m not sure if this is supposed to be some sort of clue but March is the second character to say “as black as the ace of spades” and I’m starting to think there might be more meaning to these words. Could it be a clue to next season’s setting? Your guess is as good as mine.

Everything starts making sense though. Mr. March needs someone to finish the killings he started back in the roaring ’20s and he’s been trying to recruit someone to take over where he left off. Gacy, Ramirez, Dahmer and the rest were apparently all amateurs compared to John. So Mr. March recruits The Countess to kidnap Holden so John will come to hate the world and everything in it.

"He just needs a little push."

And what in the hell was The Countess wearing? Seriously, is she a pilot? Or maybe she just got back from Nazi Germany? Who knows but Gaga clearly loves dressing up in weird shit.

John returns back home to face the wrath of his wife Alex after he was out partying and she’s not too impressed with his behavior. This obviously leads to John returning to the hotel and Mr. March finally shows John his trophy room where he keeps his most prized possessions. Just be careful for those bison!

"The bison almost trampled me in a stampede."

Of course, these were not his only prized possessions because Mr. March also collects trophies of the human variety.

Losing Ones Head

How would you like to take a job as Mr. March’s accountant? There is now an opening but I don’t think I’ll be applying. Upon seeing this, John immediately threatens to report Mr. March, but as we know, Mr. March is a ghost and this isn’t going to amount to anything. Also, how did John not remember ANY of this? I’m not buying it.

We finally flash forward to the present and Mr. March tells John a story about one of the Hotel Cortez guests who is apparently doing some perverted things with a little boy who also happens to be the same age as Holden. This infuriates John who decides to make a house call, possibly to murder him, and we find out that this dude is selling a trophy of his own, an Oscar! John questions him about the little boy but I’m not so sure this guy actually did anything wrong. Rather, it seems like Mr. March set him up so he’d finally give in to his murderous rage. And John does exactly that as he proceeds to murder the living shit out of the guy and finally commits his first murder. Hereeeee’s Johnny!

Herrrre's Johnny

American Horror Story Hotel has clearly been inspired by The Shining so I thought it was only fitting to mention that famous line from the movie. But John regrets his actions and attempts to hang himself at the Cortez because the whole murdering thing just isn’t his cup of tea.

Hanging By A Thread

Luckily for John, Mr. March comes to his aid while Sally is chillin’ on the bed smoking cigarettes. Just another typical day in the Hotel Cortez. Mr. March is furious with Sally and we learn a little bit more about their arrangement. Apparently, Sally and her “kind” conjured up this Addiction Demon who must feed on others. Not much of an explanation but hopefully we will learn more about where this demon came from because it’s absolutely terrifying in every way.

Addiction Demon haunting Mr. March

Seriously though, I am hoping for an entire episode dedicated to the Addiction Demon so we can finally find out exactly what it is, where it came from and why it’s feeding in the Hotel Cortez.

After committing his first murder, Mr. March finally decides that it’s time to show John his REAL trophy collection and asks John to finish his work for him. John, being the negative Nancy that he is, thinks he’ll get caught which is why March informs him that he will be the lead detective on the case. Surprisingly, this all made sense with everything that has happened so far but it still wasn’t that surprising considering John was really the only real suspect from the beginning.

Back at the morgue, John’s partner still thinks he’s bat shit crazy because he already knows that Sally has been dead for the past 21 years so John’s story doesn’t make a whole lot of sense from his perspective. I mean, would you believe someone who is suggesting that he’s been chilling with a dead girl? The answer is nope. We also learn that John’s partner has been sleeping with his wife Alex but this could be a problem since John isn’t allowed to kill anyone he knows. He’s also not allowed to kill anyone in the Hotel Cortez which explains those text messages from the premiere.

My favorite line from the episode came from John’s partner who is totally not buying John’s story and questions how he couldn’t remember this until today. And he’s not wrong. How did John not remember any of this at all? What an idiot. Also, his partner probably should have believed his story because John ends up stabbing him in the heart.

Cheaters Never Prosper

If there is one thing I can’t stand, it’s people who cheat on their significant others so I’m all for John stabbing this dude but he probably should have went after the real person responsible for this mess, that being his wife Alex. What a tramp! At least have the decency to end the relationship before sleeping around on your husband. Still, John’s partner definitely got what he deserved. You just don’t sleep around with your friends spouse…that is totally not cool!

I’m not sure how this is all going to play out now. We know that John is going to attempt finishing up Mr. March’s trophy collection and only two commandments remain. Correct me if I’m wrong here but I believe the remaining two commandments are ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me’ and ‘Thou shalt not kill’. So who will his remaining victims be and will anyone figure this out now that John has murdered his partner? I cannot wait to find out and I’m so glad we can finally put this mystery to rest for all eternity.

Finally, John checks back into the Cortez and Iris is thrilled that he finally knows who in the fuck he is! And I am too. And so should you! Iris also explains to John that the whole reason Wren died was because of Sally. You see, Sally had Wren follow John around to ensure that he would be safe and this is what ultimately led to her suicide.

"Language"

Sarah Paulson is so much fun to watch as Sally and I especially loved that medallion she was wearing throughout the episode. She also doesn’t have any problems with hot-boxing a room full of children with cigarette smoke. Kids are the best!

We finally got some answers regarding this Ten Commandments Killer but I have to say it was pretty much stating the obvious. There were really no other suspects and all the evidence pointed to John being the killer and it turned out that we were all right. At least that’s out of the way now. Of course, this should change a big part of the story now that John knows exactly who he is and we should all be wondering who he’s going to be targeting next for those final two commandments. Any thoughts?

Still, I don’t think we required an entire episode dedicated to this so-called surprise. If we compare this episode to all of the others, this was probably my least favorite given its predictability. We still have a lot of question marks though and I’m dying to find out where that Addiction Demon came from and what happened to those vamp kids who massacred their middle school. I also would like to see Ramona Royale back in the mix because this season has been lacking in the Angela Bassett department. But at least we finally know who the killer is, even if it was the most obvious choice.

The Verdict

Episode Score: MIKEY DISLIKES IT 
Mikey Dislikes ItThe Ten Commandments Killer
 finally revealed who the killer was but it didn’t compare to some of the previous episodes. Let’s be honest, we all knew the killer was going to be John. I was just hoping that it wouldn’t have been so obvious. Even when we go back to Asylum with the mystery of Bloody Face, the killer was never this obvious even though most of us suspected Dr. Thredson in the first place. And I’ll be damned if I knew it was Tate in that Rubber Man costume back at the Murder House. The big problem with Hotel is that there was only a couple of suspects to begin with and with John’s blackouts, it was only a matter of time before he finally realized that he was the one murdering people for Mr. March all along.

This episode really seemed to be lacking something though. We knew exactly what was going to happen after it was revealed that John was the killer and I much prefer it when American Horror Story takes the unpredictable path. Did any of us expect Alex giving Measles Boy the virus would lead to a middle school massacre? Nope! Did any of us expect zombie vampires from the ’20s to be locked away inside the walls of the Cortez? Definitely not. But we all had a hunch that John was a serial murderer after Devil’s Night and we were all right.

As much as I tried to like this episode, it was probably the least entertaining of this season so hopefully we get back on track next week. So what did everyone think of The Ten Commandments Killer? Were you surprised that John turned out to be the killer? Or have you been drinking absinthe with Mr. March this whole time? Let us know your thoughts and theories in the comments and thanks for reading, fellow guests! Also, be sure to vote for your favorite Hotel character below:

It looks like my wish is coming true and Ramona is back next week and ready to extract some revenge. It also looks like we’re going to be having a wedding as the Countess is getting ready for that big inheritance from Will Drake. Check out the preview for ‘She Wants Revenge’ below. Enjoy!