American Horror Story Season 5 Episode 8 Review: The Ten Commandments Killer

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Remember when a quiet loner played by Colin Hanks was really a serial killer being prodded along by his imaginary ghost mentor? It was arguably one of the WORST seasons of the series, but American Horror Story Season 5 Episode 8 just took a page straight out of the Dexter Season 6 playbook. Sort of.

We now know the identity of The Ten Commandments killer and it's none other than Detective John himself. 

I think I prefer the reveal that Colin Hanks had his mentor on ice to this one if we're keeping score.

The end of American Horror Story Season 5 Episode 7, as Wren ran into traffic and died, was shocking. It was supposed to be, both for us as an audience and for John, our serial killer in disguise. The immortal child's death was actually more shocking to me than the revelation that John has been driving himself crazy looking for himself this entire time.

Sorry, but this reveal was sort of lame. Meh. YMMV, and I'm sure for some of you it does. That's okay, though. There's enough AHS to go around, you know?

Not that I necessarily believe there must always be foreshadowing before a big reveal, but it's fun to trick the audience into realizing all the subtle cues they missed while the writers were busy sowing seeds for their shocking moments. Think the appearance of the color red on the screen every time Haley Joel Osment's character saw a dead person in The Sixth Sense. It's nearly unnoticeable for most viewers until the end and then it all becomes very, very clear.

That didn't happen, which led to a clunky reveal and an entire episode of ret-con just for the sake of...nothing? Giving John something to do? 

Forgetting for a moment the fact that the Countess made it so that he wouldn't remember being in the Hotel Cortez after leaving, John's apparently been disappearing for days at a time for the past five years of his life, and Alex never once brought that up to him in their scenes together earlier this season. Instead, they had just "grown apart," and she didn't love him anymore because she loved her son more and couldn't live with having lost him. 

For that matter, neither did his partner, who was dis"member"ed in the sake of continuing the Ten Commandments tableau hidden behind an armoire in room 63. Andy coveted John's wife, so John took "the best part of him" in retaliation after confessing all of his crimes over the body of a dead immortal child.

Plus, James Patrick March's murderous obsession being about the Ten Commandments doesn't make sense in light of the scene wherein he beat a man to death while shouting "there is no god!" over and over. Picking a round number, like 10, for his kills? Okay, sure. But picking the Ten Commandments? There's a religious twist there, and March isn't religious. It's weird.

(I just really dislike this reveal, guys, and I'm having a hard time processing it. This was so clunky and poorly written.)

It makes sense that Sally would fall in love with John and want to keep him. Truthfully, one of the most interesting parts that came out of this episode was knowing that whatever Sally's monster is, it's only kept at bay by James Patrick March. The monster needs to feed and torments the ghosts of the Hotel Cortez. If we never saw the thing again, I'd be okay with that, but something tells me taking care of it is the key to moving James Patrick March onto another plane, and with him everyone trapped inside the hotel.

Sally better hope John finishes his tableau and then dies inside the hotel so they'll be together forever, but since that's almost like a happy ending, that's probably not what we can expect to happen. Plus, Sally sent Wren to protect John and then Wren killed herself, so John's never going to forgive Sally for that.

Second most interesting part goes to the moment when Iris exhaled, glad that the jig was finally up and she could stop pretending to be meeting John for the first time every time he walks into the hotel.

Talk about a poker face...

John was living a double life. That's not a terribly crazy idea for a murder-mystery show like this one. My chief complaint is that this reveal feels like a lead balloon instead of a fun twist. It could've been better written than this. Way better.

What did you think of the twist that John is the Ten Commandments Killer? Would you have preferred the killer be someone else? Will John complete the tableau or will he be caught before he can?

Sound off in the comments below and watch American Horror Story online while we wait for the winter finale, American Horror Story Season 5 Episode 9.

The Ten Commandments Killer Review

Editor Rating: 2.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.4 / 5.0 (53 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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American Horror Story Season 5 Episode 8 Quotes

There are answers on the other side of this door.

Sally [to John]

James: Do you know the difference between you and I?
John: Millions?
James: Pain.