TV Recap: 'American Horror Story: Asylum' Episode 208 - 'Unholy Night'



American Horror Story: Asylum Episode 208
“Unholy Night”
Written By: James Wong
Directed By: Michael Lehmann
Original Airdate: 5 December 2012

In This Episode...

Every show needs a Christmas episode, and AHS is no exception. We meet inmate Lee, who had only been at Briarcliff for about two years. During last year’s Christmas “party,” Lee was forced to attend wearing shackles. This set him off, and he ripped out an orderly’s throat with his teeth. After that, he was sent to the hole, never to be released again. Until, of course, the possessed Sister Mary Eunice came into power. To spread a little holiday cheer, she not only let Lee out of solitary, she gave him a shiny new Santa suit to wear.

Arden has a test for Sister Mary Eunice. He gives her a pair of ruby earrings, then tells her how he got them: he took them from a Jewish woman in one of the concentration camps, who swallowed the earrings, shit them out, and swallowed them again every night in hopes of keeping them safe. They tore up her intestines and she died. Arden retrieved the earrings from her bowels. He was hoping that Sister Mary Eunice would be disgusted by this, but the pure evilness made her eyes sparkle. Arden is disgusted, but Sister Mary Eunice reminds him that he is either with her or against her.

Acting as a double agent, Arden goes to the convent, where Sister Jude is frantically begging the mother superior to get her reinstated at Briarcliff. Arden comes to see her, begging for her help, admitting that he doesn’t believe in god, but he believes in evil, and he has seen the evil in Sister Mary Eunice. Jude agrees to help him. He sneaks her into Briarcliff and has him send Mary Eunice to her office, lock the two in, and leave them alone. Instead, Sister Mary Eunice locks Lee in with Jude. Lee is all too eager to offer her a little payback for the horrible canings that never healed because he was denied sunlight and baths. Initially he just wants to shove a crucifix up her ass, but when he spies the open cane closet, he changes his mind. The two struggle, and Jude manages to get her hands on a knife on the desk. She jams it into Lee’s neck, killing him instantly.

Also: Frank is wracked with guilt over shooting Grace and wants to go to the police. Sister Mary Eunice sets it up so that, during the Christmas party, Frank is on a ladder, placing the star on top of the tree, when Lee knocks him over. He tries to kill Frank; Frank beats the hell out of him and takes him back to the hole. Sister Mary Eunice follows them, slits Frank’s throat, and tells him that the altercation with Lee was far worse than anyone knew. Later, Arden is sneaking out Grace’s corpse through the tunnels, when he has an alien encounter and they take Grace.

Lana is in the Briarcliff infirmary and sneaks behind a curtain to find a doped-up Kit bound to the bed. The authorities still believe he is on the run and there is a manhunt for him. Lana reasons that if Briarcliff didn’t contact the authorities, then Sister Mary Eunice certainly wouldn’t call the cops on Thredson. Lana rushes to find a phone, but is cornered - by Thredson, who claims to have scrubbed down every inch of evidence that Bloody Face ever existed. He plans to rise from the ashes with a new face, made of Lana. Kit comes in and knocks Thredson unconscious. Lana wants to kill him, but Kit convinces her they have to take him to the authorities - it is the only way to clear his name.

Dig It or Bury It?

Frankly, this would have been a perfectly average episode were it not for Ian McShane. Not a whole lot happened but he is just so...  rakish. I love him as an actor and, I’ll admit, this role really recalled his role as Swearengen in Deadwood.  

Patient History

As a young man, Lee was arrested and sent to jail for a petty theft. He was gang raped by five inmates while a guard whistled Christmas carols. When he was finally released, he was a changed man - and by changed, I of course mean fucked up. He shoots a corner Santa, takes his costume, and breaks into a house where he chats with a little girl, Suzy (who is not afraid.) He has Suzy wake her parents. He ties them up, taunts them, and eventually shoots them. In all, he killed 18 people from five families in the course of one evening - hence being sent to Briarcliff.

Bawdy Talk

When Lee has the family tied up, he taunts them, saying he will “Leave a little terror under your tree, and a little rape.” This terrifies the man, who begs Lee to leave his wife alone. “Who said it was her?”


Dylan McDermott returns next week. Um, yay? Also, Jude is now a patient, initially due to injuries, but she begs the Monsignor to believe her when she says “It’s a set up.” So you know they are playing the crazy card there.