So, evil little girl Wren just ran into traffic and died – so John charges to the hotel and demands a grieving Liz produce the 10 Commandments Killer. Liz is not impressed, not intimidated and meets John threat for threat
Sally arrives and agrees to take him to where the 10 Commandment killer is hiding – to where there are “answers.” She takes him to James’s old office, throws in a brief history lesson and shows him a hidden room.
Inside which are the trophies from each of the 10 Commandment Killer’s victims – one for each commandment, all of them grisly – including some trophies that must have come from police evidence.
John panics and has a flash-back melt down (with Sally trying to comfort him) as the obvious becomes clearer and clearer – John is the killer.
He goes to the police station to confess to his partner, Detective Andy Hahn. Complete with all his restored memories – and how his killing and first entry into the Hotel Cortez was 2010 though he had since forgotten. Back in 2010 he went to the hotel after a particularly awful case and Donovan took him to James and the Countess’s one night a year thing they have. They’re all very intrigued (and delighted) by the horrible deaths he just saw and how it affected him.
James is so eager to work on his new protégé, he’s willing to cut his Countess night short. They talk auras (John’s is black), elaborate language and police brutality and vigilante “justice.” James is sure that John will be the super-duper perfect serial killer (dismissing the others with added homophobia). To push him over the edge into serial killerness, James encourages the Countess to kidnap Holden.
We also see that he and Alex didn’t exactly have a sunny marriage before Holden’s kidnapping – John’s drinking and disappearance was not all funsies.
John continues to recap how his life fell apart after Holden disappeared and he spent more and more time at the Hotel Cortez with James being recruited into serial killing as he becomes more disillusioned by the system and him being lured into his first kill of a paedophile. He tried to hang himself