Friday, December 7, 2012

American Horror Story, Season 2, Episode 8: Unholy Night

 It’s Christmas! Time to murder a charitable Father Christmas bell ringer!

Ah American Horror Story, you do know how to set the tone.

After poor Father Christmas is shot multiple times in the head, we move back to 1962.

Little girl Suzie comes downstairs to find a blood stained, shaved Father Christmas waiting for her. HE’s 6 days early and broke in through the window. Good ol’ Santa muses on how silly the whole Father Christmas idea is and then asks Suzy to take him to see mummy and daddy – who he kidnaps at gun point. (He really should have put in a “Ho Ho Ho” there). He ties to couple up with Christmas lights, questions the amount of Christmas decorations they have and rambles on in an extremely spooky manner – before killing them both.

Everyone got the Christmas spirit?

Back in 1964, In Briarcliff everything is getting ready for Christmas (apparently Sister Jude banned Christmas after it didn’t go to plan last year, but Sister Demon Lettuce has brought it back. AND banished the damn singing nun. Who says demons are bad?) Unfortunately Sister Jude threw out all the ornaments so Sister Demon Nun decides to take things from the inmates to decorate the tree – dentures, locks of hair wrapped in ribbon, making the creepiest Christmas tree you ever did see. Even Arden seems rather disturbed by the display.

Elsewhere in Briarcliff, Frank is praying desperately over Grace’s body, clearly traumatised by having shot her last episode. E blinks and hallucinates Grace looking right at him. He promises to make it right. He tells Arden they should tell the police about the monster, Grace, Sister Felicity (presumably the dead, nameless nun), Kit et al – but Arden reminds him he shot an unarmed woman.

Sister Jude, demon hunter is in the building. In her old office she appears behind Sister Demon Lettuce and holds a razor to her throat. She realises the demon is using Sister Mary Eunice’s innocence and purity to move through Briarcliff despite all the religious iconography and threatens to slit her throat. Sister Demon Lettuce responds with some flashy telekinesis until Arden interrupts.

Sister Jude is escorted out of the building by security and Arden tells Sister Demon Lettuce about Frank’s pesky conscience.  Sister Demon Lettuce has a plan and goes to see an inmate in solitary with a Father Christmas suit – it’s the Murdering Santa from Suzie’s house!

Time for a flashback to 1963 where Murdering Santa, Leigh Emerson, was an inmate at Briarcliff after killing 18 people (presumably including Suzie’s parents and possibly little Suzie). It’s Christmas and Sister Jude is trying to make everyone presentable for the press. Jude keeps him shackled and insists on him being in the Christmas photo to remind the public that, without Briarcliff, he would be out among them. The photographer arrives (early – because of unprocessed Sister Wet Lettuce) and Emerson rips out an orderly’s throat with his teeth – and it’s all photographed. Presumably this is the Christmas debacle that lead to Jude cancelling the celebration.

In 1964, this is the man Sister Demon Lettuce wants to dress up as Father Christmas. Even he thinks it’s a bad idea and mentions what Christmas does to him. Sister Demon Lettuce describes the source of his mental illness – he was arrested for shop lifting and when in prison at Christmas, 5 guards gang raped him. And now he can see who is “naughty” and “nice” and who deserves to die.

Arden goes to see Sister Demon Lettuce and they reminisce about Christmases pass with added Nazi references. He has a present for her – which she opens while mocking his cheap tastes in perfume until two massive ruby earrings are unveiled. “Mother of god are they real?!” she gasps. And Arden reveals the source – they belonged to a Jewish woman in the camp who managed to keep them by swallowing them. Sister Demon Nun isn’t even briefly paused by the fact they’re stolen from Holocaust victims and instead is joyful at how good they look on her.

Which makes Arden despair – he had hoped she’d be horrified by where they came from, that she’d throw them back in his face (at least there’s some acknowledgement of the horror of where they’ve come from) , he misses the innocence she had. She has no time for him of all people admiring innocence and delivers the “with me or against me” ultimatum.

Meanwhile, Lana is being sick – despite not having eaten anything. Dear gods, no, tell me she’s not pregnant with Bloody Face’s child. Not after the first season and their pregnancy storyline. You’ve done this American Horror Story, we do not not not not need this.

Sister Jude is appealing to the Mother Superior to get her back into Briarcliff and having a rant on the War on Christmas (hey she could always get a spot on Fox. And do we notice the contrast with Sister Jude’s extreme “no secular Christmas” and that all the Christmas music Sister Demon Lettuce is listening to is non-religious?) and how secular Christmas is becoming. Her somewhat bemusing rant is interrupted by a visitor eating a big bowl of crow. See, he needs her help – because she’s right about Sister Demon Lettuce and he can think of no medical reason. He’s also, as Jude rightfully points out, afraid of her. He also says he doesn’t believe in god but he does believe in evil – he has seen it. Which is why her purity meant so much to him.

Sister Jude agrees to help – but for her, never for him. And he needs to be a good little Nazi and do as he’s told.

Personally? I’d side with the Demon over the Nazi.

The Monsignor arrives to praise the Sister Demon Lettuce on all the wonderful things she’s done in Briarcliff and present her with a hand crafted, sharp looking, glass Christmas star for their tree (uh-huh, someone is so going to be slashed with that. It has improvised weapon written all over it). Sure enough, Leigh the Evil Father Christmas grabs it and slashes Frank with it – but the orderlies drag him off Frank and Frank beats him then takes him to solitary while Sister Demon Lettuce tuts. And follows – and after Leigh is put in his cell he turns and Sister Demon Lettuce slits his throat with a straight razor, musing about it getting into the building and hoping they don’t have a rampage… this promises for high death counts.

We move, confusingly, to Kit’s dreams, dreaming of pregnant Alma and then Grace and then being woken up by Lana. There’s a manhunt for him, but it seems Briarcliff is hiding him. Lana realises that if they don’t know Kit is here then Sister Demon Lettuce hasn’t told the police about Threadson or what happened to her either. Kit is drugged by manages to tell Lana that Grace is dead. She is determined they both escape and tells Kit that he’s innocent and she can prove it – it was Threadson all along. Lana goes to find a phone, picks up, dials – and Threadson enters the room.

He unplugs the phone and describes how he’s in mourning. He’s killed Bloody Face and has gone through his home with a toothbrush ensuring there’s not a shred of evidence left. He doesn’t consider her a threat – after all no-one’s going to believe a mental patient over a doctor – but he wants revenge for her “betrayal”. He plans to use her skin to make a new Bloody Face – right until Kit smacks him in the head with a fire extinguisher.

Lana wants to kill Threadson, but Kit points out Threadson is the only thing between him and an electric chair. They tie him up and hide him in an old, hardly used storeroom

Jude is in the building, sneaked in by Arden she plans to go to her office, have Arden lead Sister Demon Lettuce there and make sure they’re not interrupted.  Jude waits in the office – but Sister Demon Nun leads Leigh inside and locks the door. Arden tells Sister Demon Lettuce that he trusts that his loyalty is no longer in question. Inside Sister Jude bangs on the door and cries for help as he advances on her with a knife and punches her.

He drags her to her desk and canes her with her own cane, telling her that after she caned him bloody she threw him in the hole and left him with no sunlight or hygiene, leaving his welts putrid. As he canes her, she grabs the knife off her table. He drags her to her bed to try and rape her – and she stabs him in the neck.

And Arden disposes of Grace’s body down the death chute, until a bright light and loud sound incapacitates him – the aliens are here! When he can see again, Grace’s body is gone.

Well, that was dramatic. I just love Sister Demon Lettuce, I really do.

I’m kind of glad Arden did betray Jude. Odd, but I really didn’t want to see a Nazi redemption storyline, I really didn’t

I’m not happy with the evil pregnancy storyline that’s lurking – certainly not after they already played that last year. And American Horror Story needs to drop the rapes – Lana, Jude and Leigh, enough.