American Horror Story Wiki
American Horror Story Wiki
This article is about the Hotel episode.
For the entity, see Ten Commandments Killer.

"The Ten Commandments Killer" is the eighth episode of Hotel. It premiered December 2, 2015.


John closes in on The Ten Commandments Killer. Sally’s arrangement with March is revealed.[1] [2]


John watches Wren run into traffic before running in vain to her aid. He recalls seeing her in a glass coffin at the Cortez , and returns there to demand answers from Liz. She tells him that Wren is full of lies, and John retorts that she died to protect the Ten Commandments Killer. Liz's flippant response angers John enough to drive him to back Liz into a wall, drawing a cool response.

Sally arrives and says that she will take him to get his answers. Liz gives them a gun "in case they find what they're looking for." Sally says that there are answers inside Room 64. They enter and Sally describes that this was March's office, and that he died on a February 25 at 2:25am. She says he'll find what he's looking for behind the armoire. John enters the hidden door behind, finding biological specimens in bell jars: hand of a thief (1926), teeth from migrant workers (who didn't observe the Sabbath), Academy Award blogger Martin Gamboa's bashed-in brain, adulterer James Briggs' tongue and eyes, the twins' (who murdered their parents) hearts, the tongues and vocal cords of the tabloid journalists, the spleen of the televangelist. John is confused why there was a 90 year lull, and she explains that it took that long for March to find a successor. He quickly realizes that he himself is the new Ten Commandments Killer.

Hahn speaks to the medical examiner overseeing Wren's corpse, who explains that John escaped in all the confusion. Hahn says they should contact John's family and ensure they are alright. Silently, John enters, startling Hahn. He says he is there to confess to the Ten Commandment Killer murders. He has regained his memories, beginning with when he first visited the Hotel Cortez in 2010 for a night of drinks.

He recounts that there he encountered Liz, Sally, and Donovan for the first time. Donovan invited John upstairs for a party, which John initially rebuffed. He lead John to March's dinner with Elizabeth. March was enraged at the interruption, but intrigued about the homicides John investigated earlier in the night. Elizabeth introduced herself as "The Countess." March was so impressed by John that he sent Elizabeth away. John commented on how out of place and time March seemed, which March explained away as a discomfort with the modern world.

March went on to muse about John's jet black aura, which he said signified either cloaked identity or dogged determination. Over absinthe, John and March spoke for 2 days. Once John finally passed out, March discussed John's potential as a protege with Elizabeth. She agreed to abduct Holden to prepare John for his destiny with March.

When John returned home, Alex was unnerved by John's absence. Holden ran in to embrace his father, and John suggested they visit the Santa Monica carnival, leading to Holden's fateful abduction by Elizabeth.

With Hahn, John details the aftermath of Holden's disappearance, but that he is now aware of his frequent visits to the Hotel with March and an ongoing sexual relationship with Sally. During one such visit, March suggests that John's pain is due to his lack of justice. March shows John his trophy room, including his accountant's head. Despite John's efforts to resist, he returned to visit again and mourn on Holden's 10th birthday in 2015. John is raging against the perversion of justice. March suggests a target: Martin Gamboa, who checked in with and molested a 10 year old boy, leaving behind Polaroid photographs of their sexual activity. Hahn interrupts to mention that Gamboa wasn't a pedophile, but John responds that Gamboa had other sins. Gamboa offered to sell an Academy Award Oscar statuette to John for $5000 via a Craigslist ad until John presented the Polaroids. Gamboa denies it and tries to flee, but John beats him to death with the statue. 

Back in the hotel, John tries to hang himself. March cuts him down as Sally made no attempt to stop John's transition into a ghost like her, and March reminds her of their deal: protection from the Addiction Demon, a product of the ghosts, via a steady stream of victims, who will feed its need for souls that would otherwise consume the other ghosts of the hotel. Hahn confirms at this point that Sally is Sally McKenna, who died decades earlier.  John wonders at his memory loss, and Sally responds that the Hotel suppresses his memories. Sally and March help John cope through his murder of Gamboa, and March shows him the legacy of the Ten Commandments Killer which he wants John to finish. John appoints himself as lead investigator of the case with no knowledge that he is the actual killer.

John expounds that he actually has been to the Gamboa crime scene three times.  After a remark by Hahn, John realized that his partner and Alex had been having an affair. Sally explained to him that he couldn't directly link himself to the killings by killing his wife, as he wished to at the time, and suggested a surrogate couple who committed adultery at the Cortez. March implores him that the Cortez cannot be linked to the crimes.  John infiltrates their hotel room to lure the lovers electronically, in order to stage their murder elsewhere .

Hahn drapes the sheet over Wren's corpse, unwilling to believe that his partner is the killer. John says that Hahn is wrong, and stabs him with an autopsy tool with an admonition not to covet his neighbor's wife.

Returning the hotel with a blood-soaked paper bag in-hand, John encounters Iris, and tells her that he remembers his visits now to the Cortez over the last five years. She is relieved, as she was never sure whether he would and was always tempted to explain it all to him. He responds that once he was finally ready to understand that it all flooded back. He says that he regrets only Wren's death, but Iris responds that it wasn't his fault. Iris reveals to John that Sally insisted Wren to watch out for John and protect him, which put her in danger.

Iris begs John to walk out and leave it all behind. He demands the key to Room 64. Inside, he and March place "the instrument of adultery" (Andy Hahn's severed penis and testicles) in the trophy case. John finally has clarity, and March is in awe of John's talent. John resolves to complete the masterpiece and March welcomes him home.



  • Sally (to John Lowe)
    I am telling you there are answers on the other side of this door.
  • Iris (to John Lowe)
    Are we ever ready to see ourselves for what we are?
  • John Lowe: "I'm a homicide detective. What I know is that death is the only thing in life that has any meaning."