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American Horror Story: Hotel recap: The Ten Commandments Killer


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Prashant Gupta/FX

American Horror Story

TV Show
run date:
Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters
Current Status:
In Season

In a nutshell, Detective John Lowe is the Ten Commandments Killer. The policeman has been chasing himself all season. Most of us guessed this before John did, but in fairness, John doesn’t seem to be a very good detective. He doesn’t notice when his wife becomes a vampire. He doesn’t notice that his mistress is a ghost. Is his daughter a werewolf? If so, John doesn’t notice.

After watching poor little Ren kill herself rather than reveal the identity of the TCK, John goes back to the Cortez looking for answers. Sally promises him answers. She takes him to TCK’s room. She shows him the TCK’s secret trophy case. “But, but, but, this is my room!” yells John, suddenly remembering all the times this season that someone strongly implied he was the TCK. “It’s you, John,” says Sally. It’s always been you.”

RELATED: American Horror Story Stars: Then & Now

John goes to the morgue, where his partner is monitoring Ren’s body. John spins a yarn. Seems that five years ago, after that whole tragic incident with the dead family, he found himself all alone on a weeknight in Los Angeles, trying to find a drink after midnight. He walked into the Cortez, had a couple of Liz Taylor’s martinis, and then followed Donovan upstairs to meet James Patrick March. (He disrupted March’s monthly get-together with Lady Gaga; Lady Gaga is on this show, remember?)

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March loves John immediately. He talks about auras — Kirlian stayed at the Cortez, turns out — and John has an aura that shows a need to dominate, to control the world around him. They drink absinthe and talk for two straight days. John doesn’t remember any of it; John will suffer constant immediate amnesia about anything that happens at the Cortez. It’s a split-personality. Or rather: “I began to live two different lives,”  he says, the fifth-best thing Wes Bentley says in this episode. One John is still the family man; one John belongs to the Cortez.

Turns out that March wants to groom John to take his place. He knows that John needed a little push. So he sends Gaga to steal John’s son. That pushes John over the brink. He’s very open to suggestion. So when James Patrick March suggests killing a pedophile, they cook up a scheme where it all lines up with the Ten Commandments thing — Oscar blogger, false idols, etc etc — and the man dies, killed painfully by John.

NEXT: Bentley goes bananas