‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ Episode 8 Recap: ‘The Ten Commandments Killer’
Hello...it’s me. After a week long hiatus, I am back. I know I shouldn’t have kept you waiting, but I’m here now — with another installment of American Horror Story: Hotel.
The show picks up mere seconds after the last installment, right after Goldilocks swerves right into oncoming traffic.
John Lowe, who still has the same look of shock and confusion on his face, is of course, shocked and confused as to why blonde Pippi Longstocking decided to kill herself. He finally pieces together that Wren is not just some creepy child of the corn, but one of the Countess’ creepy children of the corn and stalks back to the Hotel Cortez, following Wren’s parting words: The Ten Commandments killer is in the hotel!
John Lowe knows something is up and will not be lied to anymore, and though it takes some convincing, Sally decides to help John unravel the truth. She takes him to Room 64 — you know, the room John has been staying in — promising that all of the answers are behind this door. Room 64 used to be Mr. March’s office and is coincidentally the room where he died. What we didn’t know is that there was a giant safe hidden behind a bureau. This safe doesn’t hold money or bars of gold, but is rather a trophy room of sorts for the Ten Commandments killer.
There on display are organs and body parts, each a totem, representing a murder that echoes a commandment.
The first two were committed by James Patrick March, but we knew this several episodes ago. Yet as Sally goes on down the line, it becomes apparent that it sees Mr. March has a successor, which is also common sense since he’s, you know, dead.
John Lowe starts bugging like usual and realizes that these body parts have been coming from the crime scenes he’s been investigating! And then bang bang like his baby shot him down, all of the memories that John has suppressed come rushing back to the service. And even though I already called it, I’ll say it one more time: JOHN LOWE IS THE TEN COMMANDMENTS KILLER. *Insert shocked emoji here*
John Lowe, fresh off the revelation that he’s madder than a hatter, goes to the morgue where his partner, Detective Hahn, is observing Wren’s body. And so, we go down the rabbit hole as John Lowe goes into to total recall mode.
As it turns out, John’s first visit to this happy hotel was not a mere three weeks ago, but rather five years ago in 2010. After a particularly harrowing murder, he found the hotel (which apparently sells the best martini) late at night, and this is when he was first introduced to the hotel’s band of thieves.
Donovan takes him upstairs to meet the man, the myth, the legend, Mr. March, and now we see the pieces of the puzzle slowly come together. March decides that John Lowe is the poor unfortunate soul who is destined to inherit his Ten Commandments killings. And so he grooms him, educating him in the true evil of men and the moral ambiguities of life, and though John Lowe bites into this poisoned apple, he still can’t fully let go and embrace his inner monster — but there’s a fix for that.
In order to completely let go, March realizes John must hate the world and must ignite the flame that is merely just an ember, so he asks The Countess to kidnap poor Holden, just so daddy dearest can become daddy deadliest.
After Holden is abducted by The Countess, the spiral only intensifies. John begins splitting his life in two, spending agonizing time in the real world playing husband and father, and truly coming alive at the hotel, where James Patrick March has his claws in him. The hotel serves as an escape where John can be reborn in the shadows, where his dark thoughts can play and not be hidden. (Oh, and he can also bone Sally, because behind every sociopath is a junkie ghost.)
March finally cracks John and has him murder a former guest of the Cortez, an assumed pedophile, by bludgeoning him to death with an Oscar (a gay guy’s dream, to be honest).
And though John has cracked, the guilt seizes him almost a soon as the blood begins to pool, so he goes to off himself with Sally merely watching. Some side piece she is! Mr. March comes in like the sadistic hero he is and saves (?) John from dying while berating Sally for merely sitting there (with tears streaming down her face, of course), reminding her of their deal. Turns out that weird mummified dildo demon from episode one is the face of addiction and is desperately trying to come after Sally, but March protects her from it in exchange for Sally finding other addicts for it to feed on.
And just like that, John Lowe is now the unspoken wearer of the Ten Commandments mask.
We follow as we see more pieces come into place, like how John covered his tracks and became the lead of the investigation into his own murderous killings, because serendipity. For the folks keeping score at home, John has recapped this whole gruesome story to his detective partner because confessing our sins to a homicide detective is always the best way to go when coming down from a psychotic break. Though John has become lucid to his darker side, the breaks in his mental capabilities shine through, as he gets it ingrained in his head that Hahn has been coveting his wife. (Wait for it...)
Just as the audience is finally caught up as to how John Lowe fell apart and came back together as a killer, he stabs Hahn for “coveting thy neighbor’s wife,” and so makes the eighth talisman in his shrine of bible thumping horror. John returns to the hotel with a paper bag seeping blood, carrying what will ultimately be put on display, but this time the outside John and the inside John have become one, and the shock and confusion that has plagued his facial expressions for seven episodes is gone and replaced with a calm, murderous twinkle in his eye, much to the gratitude of the hotel staff, who grew very tired of having to lie to him.
Queen of Everything, Kathy Bates, tries to warn him, saying now that he knows, he can turn his back on the darkness and return to a full life. But the darkness is too strong for John now; the murderous rage a part of him.
As the night comes to a close, John brings his bloody bag to Room 64, where he mounts Hahn’s dick as his eighth trophy, realizing that there are only two more murders to commit until his fantasy is complete. Tune in next week to see LADY GAGA GET MARRIED. Okay, it’s The Countess, but still!
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