AHS: Unholy Night

Aren’t Christmas episodes the best? All the holiday cheer, families and friends coming together, that magic spirit of Christmas that gives us hope and joy for the rest of the year, and of course the sociopathic Santas, the alien abductions, and murder. It reminds me of my childhood.

Yes, many shows take the holiday season as a chance to infuse their programs with some sentiment and an all over rosy glow. Asylum saw no such need. Instead, in preparation of the holiday season, they gave us some lovely images of a Santa who enjoys torture to ensure no one will be sleeping all snug in their beds.

Our episode began a few years earlier than usual, its Christmas, but someone has a different definition of cheer. His name is Leigh and he kills a bell ringing Santa and then continues on his merry rounds to a family whom he trusses up and (presumably) kills as well. In fact, we learn later that it was 18 families that met their untimely end thanks to the not-so-good St. Nick. This little rampage landed Leigh at Briarcliff, but it was his behavior at Christmas last year that landed him in solitary confinement. Even locked up Leigh found a way to celebrate in style; by ripping out the throat of an orderly with his bare teeth. Hey, everyone has their own traditions.

ahs1His little outburst caused Sister Jude to cancel Christmas for the entire ward, but now that the hospital is under less Godly management, Christmas is back on and Leigh is let out to become Sister Mary Possessed’s seasonally appropriate secret weapon. See, the good sister has a few messes that need to be tidied so she can get back to her “work”. First, Frank is feeling guilty for shooting and killing, poor, unarmed Grace and seems to be of a mind to confess. This would be a bad idea for many reasons, but mainly I think the sister and the doctor don’t want any undo attention being cast Briarcliff’s way.

Second, Sister Jude may have been exiled, but that has hardly stopped her from exercising her protective rights over her former home. Now that Jude knows it is the demon who is out to get her, she believes that God has selected her to bring it down. You can’t argue with a divine quest.

So, at the Christmas party Sister Mary sets the manic loose. He begins by knocking Frank off of a ladder. No harm, no foul and in front of all those eyes that’s all that can happen. But, the sister instructs our security officer with a heart of gold to escort the homicidal Santa back to his cell. Once away from anyone’s gaze Sister Mary Possessed slits Frank’s throat and sets Leigh after Sister Jude.

ahs3Jude gets a pretty thorough work over, but thankfully even in her habit she still has the sensibilities of wanton jazz singer and manages to get her hands on a letter opener and kills Leigh at the most opportune moment. Just when she finally rid her conscious of a dead body, another takes it place. Though something tells me this one won’t weigh as heavily.

In keeping with the holiday tradition, Dr. Arden set aside his disdain for Sister Jude to work with her to bring down a greater evil; Sister Mary Eunice. Just kidding! He totally set her up to be attacked by a monster. But he doesn’t have time to sit around and listen to her being assaulted, he has more important matters to attend to, like getting rid of Grace’s dead body (I’m assuming by feeding her to his monsters), but there’s something else that wants her body; those pesky aliens. They come down and swoop her body away and for the first time Dr. Arden looks genuinely frightened. Side Note: They keep using imagery of Alma and Grace (the two women who have had run ins with the aliens) pregnant. Could there be an alien Christmas miracle on the way? Someone prepare the manger. End Side Note.

Also showing up to claim what he thinks is rightfully his is the man of the hour, Bloody Face himself. See, he didn’t take so kindly to Lana running out on him. It forced him to kill the only person he never wanted to; his serial killing alter ego. But he has the perfect solution; he will create a new Bloody Face using Lana’s skin. They were destined for this. Luckily Kit chooses this moment to come back from the land of morphine and knocks Dr. Thresdon out. And so, captor is now captive, at least until Lana and Kit find a way to prove their sanity and innocence once and for all. Or until the aliens and the devil engage in an epic battle that destroys them all.

Merry Christmas, indeed.

– Devin Mainville

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