American Horror Story: “Unholy Night “


Grade: B+

Airdate: 12/5/12

Much like “Nor’easter” this episode of American Horror Story focused around the events that happened during the “unholy night” of the Briarcliff Manor Christmas party. The episode took pretty much time to get to the actually party and the episode stop right exactly when everything concluded. That part was a little weird because usually the episodes end on a big moment.

Regardless, this episode starts with Ian McShane, later we learn his name is Leigh Emerson, killing a bell-ringing Salvation Army Santa in 1962. He then breaks into a family’s home dressed as Santa, ties up the parents, threatens to rape them and shots them in the head. Merry American Horror Story Christmas.

Back in 1964, demonized Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) is decorating the common room and playing Christmas instead of the creepily happy French song, which always gets stuck in my head. Demonized Sister Mary decides that taking personal items, including dentures and hair, to put on the tree is a good idea. That got her a couple of weird looks from Dr. Arden (James Cromwell) but everyone else, including the mostly absent — and it seems absent minded — Monsignor Timothy Howard (Joseph Fiennes) finds it perfectly normal.

Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) makes her return to Briarcliff by sneaking into her office and behind demonized Sister Mary to put a razor to her neck. Sister Jude tells her she knows the only way the devil is able to survivor with so Christianity around is because he is using regular Sister Mary’s purity. Demonized Sister Mary laughs at that, makes the canes fly out of the closest and shatters a record. She then has Sister Jude taken out by security.

Over in Dr. Arden’s lab, Frank (Fredric Lehne) is praying over Grace’s (Lizzie Brochere) body. Arden finds him and Frank says he wants to call the police and confess to killing Grace. Arden tells him and later demonized Sister Mary that isn’t a good idea. Demonized Sister Mary agrees and she will handle Frank. Instant thought: “well, he’s dead.”  She goes to one of the solitary confinement cells and gives a Santa suit to Leigh, who apparently hates Christmas because he was prison raped by five guards on Christmas. Demonized Sister Mary is quickly able to convince him that killing Frank is a good idea.

We them hop back to 1963 with Sister Jude preparing Braircliff for last year’s Christmas party. Exposition in this scene tells us that Lee killed 18 people during the five days before Christmas 1962. Leigh is trying to get Sister Jude to take his handcuffs off but she refuses. He then vampire bites an orderly and kills him, which got him thrown in solitary for a year.

While she was being taken out, Sister Jude told Arden that demonized Sister Mary is the devil. He seems to be thinking on that point and goes to test her. He gives her a huge pair of ruby earrings and tells her a horrible story about how they belonged to a Jewish lady in Auschwitz and how he got them. When she wasn’t terrified by the story, Arden realizes something might be wrong.

Sister Jude has gone back to her nunnery and tells the Mother Superior she needs to get back to Briarcliff. She says God has a plan her for and “the devil can turn everyone’s eyes away from God, but he can’t have her.” She also blamed the devil for NBC airing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer for the first time. I laughed at the Rudolph joke. Sister Jude then goes into the church to see her visitor who turns out to be Arden.

He says she was right about Sister Mary. He tried to find a medical explanation but couldn’t. She doesn’t trust him at first. But he points out they both have a commitment to Briarcliff and care about Sister Mary. Sister Jude agrees to work with him but only for Sister Mary’s sake.

Back at Briarcliff, the Christmas party is finally starting and demonized Sister Mary decided they are going to watch Rudolph. Oh, no! She is the devil! So this starts all the major events of the episode happening all at once inside Briarcliff. So here we go:

Kit (Evan Peters) is in the infirmary doped up on drugs and hallucinating  At first he is bringing home a Christmas to his and Alma’s (Britne Oldford) house. Alma is about eight months pregnant. They have a sweet moment and then she turns into Grace. Kit apologizes to her saying if he had just stayed away she would be alive. She tells him it is fine and they start dancing.

He is then woken up by Lana (Sarah Paulson), who is also in the infirmary. She tells him Thredson (Zachary Quinto) is Bloody Face and he tells her Grace is dead. She then realizes nobody knows either of them are there so nobody is coming for them. So, she goes off to find a phone to call the police. But, she is caught by Thredson. He says he got rid of all the evidence of him being Bloody Face but he is going to start over and make his new mask out of Lana’s skin. Luckily, Kit finds them and knocks out Thredson.

In the bakery, Arden sneaks Sister Jude in and she goes up to her office. Arden heads over to the common room, where the party is in full swing. But, it is slightly disrupted by Leigh, dressed as Santa, attacking Frank. He handcuffs him again and takes him back to his cell. Arden then tells demonized Sister Mary that someone is in her office. She leaves, but makes a quick stop by Leigh cells, runs into Frank and very quickly slashes his throat.

She then tells Leigh he most go on a rampage to explain Frank’s death. His first victim is supposed to be Sister Jude, who gets locked into her office with him by demonized Sister Mary. She then goes out and thanks Arden for playing Sister Jude. I think because I thought Arden and Sister Jude would have to start working together I didn’t see that coming at all.

After being craned, beaten and almost raped, Sister Jude is able to turn the razor on Lee and stabs him in the neck.

Down in the death chute, Arden is wheeling out Grace’s body. But, the aliens didn’t seem to like that idea. With the white lights and deafening buzzing, one comes in and steals Grace’s body. Arden witnessed all this, so I wonder what the show is going to do with that.

Back near the room with the phone, Lana wants to kill Thredson, but Kit says he needs him alive. So, they tie him up and put him in a room, which might be the one that had  whatever attacked Lana and Leo, in the present. The episode ends with Lana telling Thredson, “One day, I’ll bury you.”

The episode was pretty good overall, but the strange ending and many characters’ clueless reacts to Sister Mary being demonized lowered the grade. B+.


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