American Horror Story
Unholy Night

Episode Report Card
Joe R: A- | 4 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Mad Santa

Which she does because she's credulous as hell. Maybe she should have asked Santa for the Gift of Fear for Christmas. She wakes up her daddy with the hugest smile on her face and tells him that Christmas in fact is not six days from now, it's tonight. She knows because Santa told her so. Dad rolls over to see Ian holding a gun to Mom's head. Cut to downstairs -- hopefully Susie's playing with her new toys upstairs or something -- and Mom and Dad are tied up, back to back, with Christmas lights. Ian tells Dad that the reason he chose them was their gaudy outdoor decorations, "I mean what are you trying to prove?" Dad offers him $5,000 cash plus all the jewelry they have to let them go. Ian starts crazy-babbling about how it's Christmas and he wants families to be together, which is why he's bind-torture-killing them right now. He states his intentions for Santa to "leave a little terror, a little rape" for them. That last one's not just for Mom, he stresses. Though, really, how often does a rapist say the word "rape"? He asks Mom and Dad to help him choose who to kill first, but their begging saps his Christmas spirit. So he just pulls out his gun and kills them both, bang-bang.

As a Christmas present to us all, Ryan Murphy has decided to splurge for the music rights to all the Christmas songs he can manage for this episode. (Sure, some of them must be public domain, but I bet not all.) For the moment, Devil Eunice has chosen to mark that transition from Sister Jude's reign of terror to her own by replacing "Dominique" on the record player with "Here Comes Santa Claus." In the common room, the patients are milling around a sparsely-lit Christmas tree. Eunice gets everyone's attention with her whistle.

She reminds the patients (us) that "after last year's debacle," Sister Jude forbade Christmas in the ward, but the new management thinks "we need a little Christmas." (Sadly, no Muppets emerge at this obvious cue.) She lines the patients up and informs them that since "that mean old Grinch tossed out all of our ornaments," they're going to have to improvise. She looks at elderly Mr. Deacons and asks if he's wearing dentures. Cut to those very dentures hanging from a branch on the tree, as proud as any glazed ceramic angel. As for everybody else, Devil Eunice walks down the line, snipping out a succession of red hair bows for the tree. Did I miss the part where every Briarcliff inmate is given a red hair bow? They're, like, identical. Eunice compliments everybody's "sacrifice for the greater good," while across the room, Dr. Arden eyes her with some suspicion.

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American Horror Story

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