You know what ‘American Horror Story’ has been missing this whole time? A very special Christmas episode with a serial killing Santa, of course! Oh yes, this is gloriously demented.
In ‘Unholy Night’, we meet Lee (Ian McShane), a dirty, disheveled psycho with a Santa fetish and a thirst for blood. He likes to invade homes at Christmas time and slaughter the families inside. Sister Jude had kept him locked away in solitary confinement ever since he chewed an orderly’s face off the previous Christmas, but with Mary Eunice now in charge, he’s been let loose to bring his special brand of holiday mirth to the asylum’s general population.
In the spirit of giving, Dr. Arden presents Mary Eunice with a gift of ruby earrings, and a thoroughly disgusting story about how he obtained them. He had hoped to trigger some feelings of revulsion that would prove that the real Mary Eunice is still buried inside somewhere, but no such luck. She thinks the shitty earrings are swell.
Later, Arden visits Jude, asking for a truce. He will help sneak her back into Briarcliff so that she can attempt an exorcism on Mary Eunice. Jude grudgingly accepts his offer, only to discover that it was a set-up so that Arden could prove his loyalty to Mary Eunice. They lock Jude in a room with Lee, who attempts to stuff her stockings in a most unpleasant manner. After a brutal scuffle, Sister Jude stabs and kills Santa.
In other developments, the security guard Frank feels guilty about shooting Grace and wants to bring police in. Mary Eunice slits his throat and stages the murder to look like Lee did it.
Arden carts Grace’s body through the tunnels beneath the asylum to dispose of it, but aliens snatch the corpse away from him.
Lana has been puking a lot. Is this meant to be a hint that she’s pregnant with Thredson’s baby? Would she really have morning sickness already? Having heard that she’d been brought back to Briarcliff, Thredson pays Lana a visit. He informs her that he’s cleaned up all evidence of Bloody Face from his house, and that there is no way anyone would ever believe her story. As he makes a move to finish her off, Kit gets the jump on Thredson and saves her. However, he stops short of killing the doctor, because Thredson is the only hope he has of clearing his own name. Instead, Lana and Kit lock Thredson away in a room where they hope no one will find him.
This episode is a lot of crazy fun. Ian McShane clearly had a ball playing a repugnant Santa Claus, and I like how all of the season’s story threads are playing out. How does the show top something like this? I’m not sure, but I know the writers will try.