The 13th Floor

5 Things about AMERICAN HORROR STORY: HOTEL, Episode 508 — “The Ten Commandments Killer”

Rather than just recapping the most recent episode of AMERICAN HORROR STORY: HOTEL, each week we are going to break it down into the most interesting, weird, delightful, and mind-boggling bits… like these!


1. The Menendez Brothers

This obscure reference was lost on me until tonight. Earlier in the season, two of the Ten Commandments Killer’s victims were a pair of twins who killed their parents in order to gain their parents’ considerable wealth. Though not twins, Eric and Lyle Menendez were arrested in 1990 for the murder of their parents, Jose and Mary, in their Bel Air home. The highly publicized trial, aired in full on Court TV, became something of a media circus when the brothers put on a defense that stated they killed their parents because of years of physical and sexual abuse. Though tried together, each brother was judged by a separate jury. Both juries came back with hung verdicts. The brothers were immediately retried. The judge in their second trial would not allow cameras in the courtroom, making for less media attention, and the brothers were both easily convicted on life sentences. Eric and Lyle are each housed in separate maximum-security prisons in California, with no possibility of parole.


2. Kirlian Photography

In tonight’s episode, James March mentions that his interest in auras came when Kirlian visited the hotel. Kirlian would be Semyon Kirlian, a Russian engineer who, in 1939, accidentally discovered “electography,” the process by which an object, connected to electricity on a photographic plate, will create an image, including the corona discharge, which resembles an “aura.” Over the years, Kirlian photography has mainly been embraced by parapsychologists and fringe scientists.

3. The Timeline

The timeline of events tonight seems a little bland. According to his story, John first met March in 2010, which led to Holden’s abduction and John leading a double life. But the first murder didn’t occur until 2015. What the hell was John doing in those five years? Does it really take that long to mold a serial killer?

4. The Teeth

March killed the field workers who were working on Sunday to fulfill the “Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy” commandment, but how do the teeth fit in to that?

5. An Unremarkable Episode

This was probably the most dull episode of an otherwise outstanding season. It was a wordy episode and all the “action” took place in schizophrenic flashbacks to action we had already seen. Plus, it was very predictable that John was the killer. He is too fucked up of a character not to be a killer.