American Horror Story (2011–…): Season 5, Episode 8 - The Ten Commandments Killer - full transcript

John closes in on the Ten Commandments Killer and Sally details her arrangements with Mr. March.

- Good-bye, John.
- Wren!

She ran out in the middle of the road.

I never had a chance to stop.

She's dead.

It's time to make him stop.

I really like you. I hate to see it end.

Where is he?

Where's who?

That monster you've all been protecting.

The Ten Commandments Killer.

He's here! Wren told me.


That girl is full of lies.

She's dead. She killed herself
trying to protect him.


she was old enough to
make her own choices.

Where is he?

I swear to God, asshole,

you touch me one more time,

I will cut your throat while you sleep!


What the hell are you doing?

The man I've been hunting
is in this hotel.

She knows it!

You know it! I'm tired of being lied to!


You want to know where the
Ten Commandments Killer

has been hiding?

I'll take you there.

You might want to take this with you.

In case you find
what you're looking for.

Is this a joke?

You're telling me he's in this room?

I'm telling you there are answers

on the other side of this door.

This used to be where his office was.

Did you know that?

James Patrick March.

Many years ago.

James March is dead.

In fact, this is where he died.

February 25

at 2:25 in the morning.

We don't have to do this.

We can turn around

and walk out of here right now.

Go to the bar, have a couple drinks.

Why did you bring me back here?!

Behind the armoire.

That's where you'll find
what you're looking for.


How long has this been here?

Since the beginning.

The hand of a thief.

"Thou shalt not steal."

Dead thief, cut off his hands.

That was the first one.


"Remember the Sabbath day

to keep it holy."


harvested from a field
of migrant workers.

"Thou shall not worship false idols."

What was left

of Martin Gamboa's brain...

after his skull

was bashed open.

No serial killer has a 90-year lull.

If it's taken him

this long to find a successor.


to complete his work.

"Thou shall not

commit adultery."

James Briggs' tongue and eyes

- taken while he was still alive.
- That's bullshit.

The parts cut out
of James Briggs are in the lab.

I catalogued it myself.

"Honor thy mother

and thy father."

The hearts of two ungrateful children.

They murdered both of their parents

in order to inherit the family fortune.

The Rylance twins.

"Thou shalt not bear false witness."

Gossip mongers.

After he nailed

their slanderous tongues to their desks,

he ripped out their vocal cords.

"Thou shalt not take

the Lord's name in vain."

A false prophet who would go

on television and vent his spleen.

So the killer took it.



He would have had to have been bringing

these things back while
I was still here.

Who let him in?

Nobody let him in.

He had a key.


Take my hand.


John, take my hand.

It's okay, baby.

It's all okay, baby.

You're here with me.

With your Sally.

We are almost there.

There's just a little more work
left to do.

- No. No.
- John, John, John.

- Stay with me. Stay.
- No, it's not true.

This is my problem

with police officers.

All you care about is evidence.

Evidence, evidence, evidence.

John, look at me.

You're saying someone's

picked up where this...

this March guy left off?

I don't remember anything.

Anything at all.

You have made yourself
blind to everything

but what your eyes can see.

You remember everything.

- It's not true!
- John.

Everything you did.

And it's gonna happen again.

And again and again.


You can't stop it.

No! It's not true!

It's not possible.

- It's not possible.
- You've lived in my hotel

long enough to know that
what is impossible becomes...

very possible here.

It's you, John.

It's always been you.

# American Horror Story 5x08 #
The Ten Commandments Killer
Original Air Date on December 2, 2015

- Any sign of him?
- No.

He disappeared in all the commotion.

Send someone out to his house.

Make sure his wife and kid are okay.

Thank you.

Nice of you to look after my family.



You look terrible.

I've come to confess.

To helping this one escape?

Assaulting a guard?

We can make it go away.

And what about murder?

Multiple murders?

Ten Commandment killings?

Can you make those go away?

John, what are you saying?


You think I've lost my mind?

I'm here for you.

Talk and I'll listen.

I remember where it all began now.

It all started

those first few days and nights
at the Hotel Cortez.

The first time you
walked into that place

was three weeks ago.

These murders began
months before that, John.

The first time I walked into the
Hotel Cortez was five years ago.

I know that now.

It was the same night we caught

that multiple deaths call
in Glassell Park.

The dead family.

Gunshot and asphyxiation.

I needed a few drinks before I
could bring myself to go home.

More than a few.

It's not as easy as you would think

to find a drink in the middle
of the night in Los Angeles.

You sure you're in the right place,


I heard this is where

a man could find
the best martini in town.

Well, then,

I guess you are in the right place.

- Another.
- Oh.

Can I buy you your next one?

I pay for my own drinks.

It's cheaper than whatever
it is you want from me.

Just trying to be friendly.

Do I look like
I need a friend right now?

Well, yeah.

You want to go to a party upstairs?

Liz's martinis are awfully expensive.

But they're worth every penny.

I'm not looking for a party tonight.

I'm just looking to
drink myself blind and forget.

And I'm married.

It's not that kind of party.

Well, last call here is in five minutes.

If you really want to get as blasted as

you say you do, it's time to hit

the after-party upstairs.

You look radiant tonight, madam.

Though I have no idea
how one would launder

something like that,
all those sparkly bits.

How is the outside, darling?

Tell me about one of

your recent kills.

All you ever want to talk about

are the kills. Pervert.

Damn it, who is interrupting us?!

I'll break the finger
who dared ring that bell!


What's wrong with you,
barging in on his night?

Not that I mind, but a deal is a deal.

I get one night!

One night with her the whole month!

Who is that with you?

What is this, a... costume party?

This is John.

He's a detective, and
he's had the kind of day

that makes a man want to
drink himself to death.


Jimmy loves to hear about the bad days.

I'm The Countess.

Countess of what?

With those blue eyes,

I'll be the countess
of whatever you like, baby.

Tell me, John, was someone killed?

Did you have to discharge your revolver?


But people died.

Five of them. Children.

And their father shot himself
in the head because of it.

Brains are still
hanging off the ceiling.

You speak about this
with such calm indifference,

as if life and death
have no meaning to you.

I'm a homicide detective.

What I know is that death
is the only thing in life

that has any meaning.

I was promised
there'd be drinking up here.

I'm thirsty.

Leave us.

I need to spend
some real time with this man.

But, darling...

it's our night.

Yes, dear, and usually
I would hold that sacred,

but there is something about
John that has drawn me in,

and so, therefore, I release
you from your service.

Good-bye, John.


Yes, I know it's not technically legal,

but no need to play Eliot Ness tonight.

My name is James March.

I own this hotel.

What is that accent?

You sound like a 1930s movie.

You look like one, too.

Ah, yes.

I had a marvelous professor at Exeter.

I freely admit that I
mimicked his Brahman diction

until I made it my own.

As for my clothing, my choice of decor,

the modern world is an
awfully uncomfortable place,

don't you think?

Yes, I know the accoutrements
of modern living allow an ease

of communication, but the
price paid for that is

that no one actually sits
and talks over a drink,

like the good old days.

Down the hatch.

Some time ago, we had a guest here

at the Cortez named Kirlian.

A photographer.

He claimed to be able to use electricity

to photograph a man's aura.

I became fascinated by these auras.

Over time, I began to be able

to see a man's aura
the moment I met him.

The moment you walked into my suite,

I was struck by the
intensity of your aura.

See, most folks radiate red or blue,

purple if they're quite mystical,

but yours... was jet black.

Black as the ace of spades, as they say.

What does that mean?

Two schools of thought.

One is that you have a
protective cloak around you.

It allows you

to focus on any task at hand,

regardless of the other's judgment.

The other is that you
have a need to dominate

and control the world around you,

bend it to your will.

That is a man who is willing to do

bad to do good.

You are full of shit.

And you are full of rage.

Dangerous to keep it all inside, John.

It will give you the cancer if
you don't let it out sometimes.

Tell me,

have you ever roughed up
a suspect a bit?

Put him in handcuffs and then

forgotten to read him his rights,

and then just given him
some good old-fashioned

justice right there on the spot?

You think I don't want to?

I feel your constant battle
to keep it in check.

I once walked in on a 273D...
domestic dispute in progress.

It took everything I had not to...

pound this guy's face,

make him swallow
his own teeth and blood.

Don't tell anyone that though.

Why not?

Why should you be ashamed?

You would just be doing your job.

My job is to arrest them.

And how does that make you feel?

When you collar a man, as
opposed to letting your fists

be jury and judge?

If it was up to me?

- Yes.
- I don't need a judge to tell me

whether someone's guilty or not. I know.

I believe you, John.

If they took the leash off me,
crime would drop in this city.

I truly do.

We drank his absinthe.

We talked for two straight days.

We talked about the law...
man's law, God's law...

and about the meaning of true purpose

and the meaningless of everything else.

Most importantly, he helped me forget.

He is the one.

I don't want him, not now.

He's been poisoned
with that moonshine of yours.

I didn't invite you here
to feed off of him,

you perverted animal.

I need your help.

He... is the one.

All the others I've tried
to mentor to finish my work...

Gacy, Ramirez, that poof Dahmer...

all amateurs compared to this one.

He won't do it.

Why? This man has greatness in him.

Once-in-a-generation rage.

A man only has a grip as tight
as he does because he knows that

if he lets go, even slightly,

he will hurl himself into the abyss.

He won't let go.

He still has hope.

Easily remedied.

He just needs a little shove.

Why would I help you
when it gives me so much joy

to see you suffer?

He has children.

The boy is very beautiful.

Like I said,

he just needs a little push.

A nudge into the darkest

places of his heart.

He needs to hate the whole world

and everything in it.


I didn't remember...

where, who with, what we did.

It was lost time in my mind.

Scarlett carpooled with Wendy.
I'm late to take Holden.

There's coffee though.

I'm sorry, Alex.

You should send a bottle of Scotch

to your friend Hahn.

He tried covering for you,

at least for the first day and a half.

I wasn't cheating on you.

Of course you weren't cheating.

If you were, you would have called

and lied about where you were.

You're a terrible husband.

If we didn't have two kids
and I didn't still love you,

I would tell you to pack your bags.

I'm sorry.

It's just a slipup, that's all.

Hey, buddy.


Are you home now, Daddy?

Yeah, yeah.

Hey, what do you say we all
go to the beach this afternoon?

I drove by
and saw there's a big carnival

- or something going on down there. Yeah?
- Yay!

All right, we got to run.

Come on.

I love you guys.

We love you, too.

Along with my son,
I lost everything else

that mattered to me.

There was always something more
to do, until there wasn't.

And after the volunteers had gone,

and the house was empty,

I was never more alone

than being there

with my wife.

You went through a
boatload of shit, John.

Child went missing.

But you got through it.

You pulled yourself together.

I was never the same again.

There was only one place

I could feel any measure of peace.

A place where I could lose myself

and never be found.

I began to live two different lives,

completely separate from each other.

One at home with Alex,

where a minute lasted
every bit of 60 seconds.

The other at the Hotel Cortez
with James March.

Time had a way of making

a different journey in that place.

Five years went by
like it was yesterday.

- Foie gras.
- Oh.

It's surprising how delicious
a little cruelty can taste.


His voice was like
a sliver of silk thread,

a thin strand that would
wrap around my head

before burrowing inside me
with his ideas.


do you know the difference
between you and I?




I've shed my load.

You carry yours like a man

with a sack full of rocks
crossing a river.

One false step

and you go under.

I submit you've received

no justice for the pain you've suffered.

You're constrained by the very laws

you promised to uphold.

It's not your fault, you see.

It's what you've been taught.

I've got 40 files on my desk.

Be lucky to clear ten of them.

Real criminals

never pay.

Come with me.

You're ready for a new lesson.

My trophy room.

Why's it so dark in here?

Some things you're not yet ready to see.

Magnificent animals, all.

The bison almost trampled me
in a stampede.

Ah, yes.


My accountant, Henry.

Henry was stealing from me, to be sure,

but he had so much more to pay for.

Halitosis, for one.

You're a monster.

I'm gonna report this.

You can report me, but it won't take

an ounce of weight
off those broad shoulders.

What's holding you down is
a moral code contrived by man.

Laws written by bureaucrats.

Take my hand
and climb out of that morass.

Three people died and they dismiss

- because of a technicality.
- The system, man.

March was right.

The law had nothing to do with justice.


You're a sight for sore eyes.

Why the glum face?

A splash of brown plaid
will set you right.

He would have been ten today.

My boy.

So much potential on the day of birth.

Should be a cause to celebrate.

Not a day to mourn.

Didn't work out that way.

Maybe it did.

Not for Holden.

For you.

To be reborn.

If I could find the man who took him...

You would bring him justice.

There's no such thing
as justice anymore.

All I see is how justice
is perverted every day.

I want to share a story about a guest

who came to this hotel.

He brought his nephew to stay overnight

for a weekend of fun at the theme parks.

The boy bore no familial resemblance,

as far as I could see.

Ms. Evers found something while
she was changing the sheets.


He's just a little kid.

Around ten, I would say.

What room is he in?

He checked out this morning.

You're confused, John.

I worked the Gamboa case with you.

He wasn't a pedophile.

But that wasn't Gamboa's only sin.

I saw your ad on Craigslist.

You have the money?

There it is.

The thing that dreams are made of.

The most important award in the world.

And you can have it for $5,000 cash.

Oh, it's heavier than it looks.

Y... You can

smudge it all you want,

after you hand over the cash.



I'm gonna have to ask you to leave

and take those horrible
photographs with you.

You checked into the Cortez
with this boy.


I'm just a man
who likes to write about movies

on the Internet.

Where is he now?

Did you make him disappear?


He's ten today.

What are you talking about?

You destroyed his family.

Where's his justice? Where's mine?

What price are you gonna pay?

I'm gonna call the cops.

Beat you to it.


There's no such thing
as justice anymore.

It should have ended there.

Somebody cut you down.

I've had help, Andy.

And Sally... she was always there,

like a shadow

dancing at the corner of your eye.

She wormed her way in.

The way smoke gets into your clothes.

Before we lost Holden,

the idea of cheating
on my wife, on my family,

would have been unthinkable to me.

Then along came Sally...

a bottomless pit of need.

When I was with Sally,
I was someone else.

I didn't know where she came from.

I didn't want to.

Man lying with man...

She accepted me and I accepted her.

...through your generous love offerings.


how I hate this man.


Won't you pick up the phone...

Spewing hate and calling it love.

...and call now.

I have to go.


I shouldn't be here.

She knew I'd always come back.

And though I never made any promises,

I think a part of her
hoped that I would stay.

What is the matter with you?!

- I didn't do anything!
- Precisely!

You were just going to let him expire?

He's not yours. Not yet.

Or have you forgotten
our little arrangement?

My protection comes with a price.

This demon that you
and your kind have conjured

with your diseased acts must feed.

If not on others, then on you,

- dear Sally.
- Fine.

I'll do whatever you say.

I swear.

I'm afraid.

What if he dies out there

and I lose him forever?

You're a clever girl, Sally.

Find someone who can move in his world.

This accomplice of yours, this Sally,

she look anything like this?


That's her. Sally McKenna.

She jumped out of a window
at the Cortez in '94.

She's been dead for
more than 20 years, John.

John, can't you see
what's going on here?

Man, you're confused!

I'm not confused.

Something's not real.

When I leave this place...

I can't remember you.

Why can't I remember?

The Cortez is a selfish mistress, John.



She will never let you
take anything with you.

Come on.

Come on.

I killed a man tonight.

And how did it feel?

Like justice.

Like I was punishing the
man who stole my boy.

But you tried to kill yourself.

Because I loved it.

I loved it more than anything
I've ever experienced

in my life.

Of course you did.

And why not?

You're discovering who you really are.

Your true purpose.

Everything's chaos.

It's up to us as civilized men
to impose order on that chaos.

Just as you did tonight.

I lost control.

You let go.

That's very different.

It didn't bring Holden back.


Your son is gone.

And the pain you're feeling

will never go away.

But you used it tonight.

You took your pain, and you made
the world a cleaner place.

That's a decidedly positive first step.

I'd like to show you something.


The unfinished work of
James Patrick March.

This was to be my crowning
achievement, my Hamlet.

Well, really more of a sonnet
when you compare it

to my earlier work.

What I really loved about this project

was its simplicity of statement.

The elegance of a round number... ten.

Which makes it even more vexing

I was never able to complete it.

Finish my work, John.

Make it your own.

I'll get caught.

No, no, no, no, no.

You won't get caught.

Because you're going to make yourself

lead detective on the case.

Do it in loving memory
of your only begotten son.

So you want me to believe that

wasn't your first time at
the crime scene?

My third.

When I killed him,
when I went back there

to remove the evidence,
and when you met me there.

John. Uh...

I thought Alvarez caught this stiff.

The hell we doing here?

- It interests me.
- You really think

taking on an extra case
is such a good idea?


Frankly, pal, you haven't
really been 100% lately.

I'm fine.

That's not what your wife thinks.

She called me the other day.

Wanted to see if we
could meet for coffee.

You had coffee with my wife?

She's worried about you, brother.

Says you disappear for days at a time.

You had coffee with my wife?

I know they're banging each other.

She pushes me away.
Turns to my partner for comfort?

I'll kill them both.

March wants me to finish his work?

I'll start with them.


You cannot begin
by killing your own wife.

It has to be someone
they can't trace back to you.


They meet once a week.

Every Thursday afternoon,
like clockwork.

They're both married with kids.

They met on Ashley Madison.

She puts the room
on her company credit card.

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

They're in 53.

They like to do it in the shower.

The Emery murder didn't happen
at the Cortez.

No. It couldn't happen there.

Every act must be dramatic, theatrical.

You must give it meaning.

But never here.

Never at the Cortez.

Both victims had the same
text on their cell phone,

each asking the other to
meet them at the Bel Air.

Only, they didn't send them
to each other.

Then I got their family photos

from the Internet... social media sites.

- I don't believe you.
- And then I waited for them.

You remember that big pharma
bust we had a few months back?

I got the male potency drugs
from our evidence lockup.

You can check.

And then... I took his tongue

and his eyes.

We already know that's how it happened.

If you really did it,
tell me something new.

And what about that suspect

you reported seeing
at the Rylance house?

The man with the bowler hat.
You can't be

in two places at once, John.

It was me.

I was seeing myself manifested
as James March.

Except you couldn't remember
any of this until today.

Listen to me, John.

Look, I know how bad
you wanted this guy.

And you feel responsible.

But you're not.

I know you, brother.

Now, you are a lot of things,
but you are no killer.

You're wrong.

Thou shalt not covet
thy neighbor's wife, Andy.

It's one of the Ten Commandments.

Admit what you've done,
and I'll show you some mercy.

You don't deserve Alex.

To what do we owe this pleasure,
Mr. Police Officer?

Is it that obvious?

You must have a lot of run-ins

with the police.

Checking in?

I know who I am, Iris.

And I know who you are.

I've been coming to this hotel
for the past five years.

But now you remember.

Oh, thank Jesus.

Oh, it was exhausting.

Every time I saw you,

I didn't know which
John I was talking to.

Some nights,

I'd be so tempted
to set you straight, but...

then I'd look into your eyes,

see the pain.

Didn't feel right for me to add to it.

I wasn't ready.

Are we ever ready

to see ourselves for what we are?


Sounds like you have no regrets.


Except for Wren.

That one isn't on you, John.

Wren died because of Sally.

Follow him wherever he goes.

And do whatever you have to do.

Just don't let my man die out there.

What manner of shit are you
trying to put in her head?


Wren was trying to protect me.

I guess, in some twisted way,
we all were.

You know the truth.

Walk out of here.

Leave all this behind.

You can do that.

Give me the key to Room 64.

Thou shalt not covet.

The instrument of adultery.

I'd say you took the best part of him.

There's something different
about you, John.

What is it?



You can finally appreciate
the beauty of your work.

Death is your art.

I stand in awe of your talent.

But what will you do with it,
now that you understand?

Two more.


Then the masterpiece will be complete.

You're home, John.

sync and corrected by
Gianluca Belfiglio