American Horror Story: Asylum “Unholy Night” Episode 8 Recap (Spoilers)


[[wysiwyg_imageupload:4480:]]Tonight saw a fabulous performance by Ian McShane as FX aired another terror filled episode of American Horror Story: Asylum.

“Unholy Night” started us off with an introduction to McShane’s character, an insane Christmas killer who had his Christmas Spirit taken from him, which we’ll get into later (pictured right).

In order to really appreciate the episode it’s best if you watch if for yourself, as McShane’s performance can’t be easily recapped through the following text. 


The episode begins with a Salvation Army Santa ringing his bell outside a business, and he tells some kid he’ll get the toy he wants if he is good. McShane then appears and asks the Santa why he did that and then shoots him in the head and steals his outfit. Next, we see a little girl awaken and go down stairs to see “Santa” playing with her dad’s train set. McShane converses with the girl, tells him he shaved, and that it’s not his blood on Santa’s coat! With that, he has the girl wake up her parents as Santa is here! He then proceeds to tie up the mother and father using Christmas lights and explains the reason he chose them is because they had the best decorated house on the block. He says he might do a rape, with the husband saying to leave his wife alone. However! McShane didn’t say who he was going to rape! The parents eventually start screaming, so McShane puts a bullet in their heads. Curiously, it wasn’t revealed what became of the little girl?!

We now see Frank the security guard, the “former Irish cop,” praying next to Grace’s body, as he feels guilty for shooting her in the episode prior. He swears to her he will make it up, and then she looks up at him! Frankie seems to be seeing things, and then Arden is there! Frank wants him to call the police so that he can face the consequences of his actions, with Arden saying he’ll take care of it.

Lana is shown throwing up with a nun beside her. She’s wondering when Sister Mary is going to call the police, with the nun that is present telling her to trust Sister Mary. A patient near them makes a sound, with Lana questioning who it is. The nun says it’s someone sick, and we see it’s Kip!

Sister Jude now has a knife at the throat of Sister Mary! Sister Jude knows who she is and will free Sister Mary’s soul to heaven! Sister Mary uses her powers and opens the cane cabinet as well as destroys a Christmas record that was playing. Arden then discovers them, and the next thing, Sister Jude is being throw out of Briarcliff, as she tells Arden, Sister Jude is the devil. Arden then tells Sister Mary they have a problem, with Sister Mary responding she can handle Sister Jude. But that’s not the problem Arden was talking about — it’s Frank! And he says that she shouldn’t underestimate Sister Jude, with Sister Jude responding she’ll handle Frank.

From there, Sister Mary is getting the Briarcliff Christmas party ready and since Sister Jude canceled it after what happened last year, she lines up all the patients and take some kind of unique belonging from them to use for the tree’s Christmas ornaments! A patient’s false teeth for one, locks of hair with ribbons from another etc. 

We then are taken to a patient in solitary — it’s Ian McShane, he’s a patient at Briarcliff! Sister Mary slides him a present, which contains a Santa suit, and she wants him to take control. He does seem a little reluctant at first, but then she reminds him how he got here. He was a petty thief who got thrown in prison. On Christmas Day, the guards were singing Christmas Carols. Five inmates managed to gang-rape McShane, as Sister Mary remarks they took his virginity — at least the first one did! And then the next took his dignity, respect etc.

We are then back to the Christmas pary and we get a flashback of why Sister Jude canceled Christmas when we see McShane’s character go crazy when he sees one of the guards with a Santa hat. He bites the guard’s jugular — with the press watching, who manages to snap a pic! Sister Jude orders McShane into solitary confinement — permanently!

Since it’s Christmas and Arden is in love with Sister Mary he has a nice little present. It’s ruby earrings from when he was at the concentration camp from a wealthy Jew. Arden goes on to explain that the lady kept complaining of a stomach ache, so one day he followed her to the latrine, in an attempt to get a sample of her stool to test. Well, he saw the lady digging her airings out of her feces, which she did daily! Turns out the earrings were ripping her intestines, which she eventually died from with internal bleeding. As Arden was aware of the earrings, he ended up retrieving them. Well, Sister Mary Eunice loved them, which Arden found appalling because they were “shit covered,” and the real Sister Mary would have thrown them back in his face! He now knows who she is! Sister Mary Eunice then says he better not cross her or else, etc.

The Monsignor is there at the party and he has a special gift, a star for the top of the Christmas tree. He tells Sister Mary how nice of a job she is doing and also sees that McShane is there, dressed as Santa! Sister Mary then asks Frank to get a ladder to hang the star. Frank goes to hang it and is toppled over by McShane who attempts to kill him. Guards grab McShane with Frank then pummeling him. Frank throws McShane back into solitary, turns around, and Sister Mary cuts his throat! Frank is no more!

While all that has been happening, Lana attempts to call the police as she realizes that if the police are not looking for Kip at Briarcliff, they must not be looking for her! She goes into a room — when Thredson appears! Thredson followed the paper trail after Lana’s accident and knew she was here. He tells her that Bloody Face is no more, that he cleaned up everything. However! Maybe similar to a phoenix, Bloody Face can be reborn — using her skin! He wraps a cord around her neck to choke her, opens the door to take her out, when – WHAM! It’s Kip to the rescue! Lana previously went over and took the IV out of Kip’s arm that was drugging him and explained they needed to help each other. So Kip returned the favor! Lana wants to kill Thredson, but he is the only thing between Kip and the eclectic chair, so they tie him up in a broom closet, with Lana saying she is going to bury him!

Sister Jude is then shown talking to the head nun. She wants back into Briarcliff! She now knows that God has a plan for her etc. The head nun says she’ll do what she can, and then the phone rings. Sister Jude has a visitor, it’s Arden! They are in a church where Arden says he knows about Mary, explains he’s done bad things, but the original Mary in being so pure gave him some light, and he wants to now work with Sister Jude to put a stop to the evil Sister Mary. Sister Jude makes him swear that he has to listen to exactly as he is told. He agrees, with Sister Jude telling him to lock her in her office with Sister Mary.

We then see Arden taking Grace’s body to the crematorium. He is wheeling her — when a bright light flashes! We see an alien hand — and! Grace’s body has been taken!

Back to Sister Jude, who is now in her office. The plan is for Sister Mary to be locked in their with her. She awaits for Mary with her back facing the door. She hears the door open, someone come in, and lock. We see Sister Mary locking the door — from the other side! Sister Jude turns — and it’s Ian McShane! Arden is then shown with Sister Mary, asking her if she questions his loyalty anymore! It was all a set-up! Ian McShane then goes over how Sister Jude humiliated and hurt him etc. He discovers the cane cabinet and proceeds to cane Sister Jude’s keister! He then throws her and gets on top of her, saying he’s going to put some of his own light into her. She the stabs him in the jugular, and Ian McShane is — no more!

For a preview of next week’s episode, “Unholy Night,” which features Dylan McDermott head on over here.

American Horror: Story Asylum airs Wednesdays at 10pm ET on FX.