American Horror Story: Asylum – Unholy Night Review

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Well, Christmas may never be the same. This week’s American Horror Story certainly cast a very dark light on the holiday season to say the least.

Ian McShane guest stars as a serial murderer who, haunted by a traumatic Christmas in his own past, chose the festive month of December to commit a series of heinous crimes, landing himself at Briarcliff. He had been placed in solitary confinement for attacking an orderly the previous Christmas. The cannibalistic scene was especially gruesome, even for American Horror Story. This year, with Sister Mary Eunice filling Sister Jude’s shoes as head of the asylum, he’s allowed out. But only to be used as a pawn in Sister Mary Eunice’s evil plots.

Dr. Arden is enlisted by Mary Eunice to prove his loyalty to her and help set up Sister Jude for an attack from the deranged Santa Claus. Sister Jude, always quick on her feet, manages to fight back and save herself. But with the devil in Sister Mary Eunice still afoot at Briarcliff, an attempt on her life is probably not the last of her obstacles.

Threadson is back at Briarcliff to attempt to silence Lana, but in the first stroke of luck she’s had thus far, Kit shows up just in time to thwart Bloody Face’s rebirth. Kit has been having dreams about Grace and his wife causing him to question what’s real, but both Lana and Kit can face the reality that they both need Threadson alive in order to get out of Briarcliff, so instead of killing him they hide him away until they can put a plan into action.

This was one of the most eventful episodes yet, without being overwhelming, and it sufficiently addressed all the numerous storylines that have been steadily building. The further the storylines intersect, the more riveting this season becomes. Giving the spotlight to Lily Rabe as Sister Mary Eunice becomes more prominent has been a fantastic move; she is a very strong actress who’s taking her character as the devil and running with it. I appreciate tonight’s episode even more after last week’s very mediocre one because, as with last season, just when it seems like there might be too much going on, the strength of the main characters manages to shift focus and slow things down. Grade: B+

 

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