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‘American Horror Story’ 2×08 Review: Crazy Santa Spreads Death, Rape And Christmas Cheer

The Angel of Death (played be the always amazing Frances Conroy) carried last week’s episode on her big, beautiful black wings. It would’ve been entertaining without her glorious presence, but because she makes everything better, you can’t argue how much better she made that episode. This week, she’s gone, and her absence has left a dark angel sized hole in my heart. Thankfully, Ian McShane has come to town, and he successfully manages to add some much needed Christmas cheer to this week’s episode. More after the break!


The episode starts off Christmas-y enough, with a charity Santa ringing one of those annoying bells outside a market. He spreads some wisdom to a little boy and as he’s packing up to go to his wife — who we quickly learn he dons Santa’s robes to escape — Ian McShane pumps him full of lead.

As if that’s not awful enough, immediately after that murder he visits a seemingly random house while dressed in the bloodied outfit of the guy he just slaughtered. That’s when the stupidest kid alive sees him, mistakes him for Santa — even though he’s not fat, jolly, bearded, and it’s six full days before Christmas — and decides to lead him to her parents.

Even after he puts a gun to her head this little idiot still calls him Santa. I know kids are dumb, but this little girl is beyond dumb. She deserves to be orphaned (did I seriously just write that?).

After Crazy Santa threatens to rape the dad, he shoots both of them in the head and goes on to murder another sixteen people. This is just the first five minutes! American Horror Story sure knows how to do a Christmas episode right.

It’s a year later and we’re back at Briarcliff where Evil Sister Eunice is preparing her Christmas Orgy and Virgin Sacrifice, or, well, not really. Her event seems pretty tame, even if she is cutting off patients’ hair and slapping it on the Christmas tree alongside empty bottles of alcohol and some poor guy’s dentures.

The guard that shot Grace at the end of the previous episode (belated spoiler!) is feeling pretty bad about it. He tells Dr. Nazi that he wants to tell the police and that he doesn’t care what happens to him. He’s a good guy, so obviously, that means he’s going to die (just not for another twenty minutes).

Sister Jude only recently found out that Sister Eunice is evil now and she’s not too happy about it. Jude decides to confront Eunice with a razor to the throat in one of the many showdowns we see this episode. Unfortunately, Dr. Nazi interrupts their little tiff just as it’s getting interesting — and by interesting, I mean Eunice is mind-throwing shit all over the place. Angry Jude gets escorted out of Briarcliff, and my hopes of seeing an epic showdown between her and Eunice leave with her. For now.

Evil Eunice sure does recover quickly: In one scene she has a blade to her throat and in the next she’s freeing Crazy Santa, who’s been locked in solitude for a year after he went all Hannibal on a guy’s face for wearing a Santa hat. We find out a little more about him, too. Apparently, he was thrown in jail for shoplifting, then on Christmas day five inmates took turns raping him in his cell while the guards went caroling. Yikes.

One of my favorite scenes is the one where Dr. Nazi gives Eunice a pair of ruby earrings. She loves them almost a little too much, and as she’s admiring how good they look, Arden dishes on their origin. Back when he was a Nazi in one of the concentration camps, he met a once wealthy Jewish woman who was having stomach troubles. He followed her one day only to see her sifting through her poo so she could get the ruby earrings she swallowed every single day. She eventually dies of internal bleeding and Arden takes her earrings to he can “give them to someone who is worthy.” The whole time he’s telling this story, he’s staring at Eunice in disbelief as she admires herself. When she shows no signs of giving a damn, he admits he hoped Eunice would turn the earrings down in disgust. After she didn’t, he knew there was no humanity left in her.

It’s a neat scene, and it almost made me feel bad about his situation.

Angry Jude sure is angry! She’s complaining to who I can only guess is the Queen of the Nuns about needing to get back into Briarcliff. She throws out her best religious fanaticism, ranting about how the devil is trying to avert humanity’s eyes away from god bit by bit (one of these bits being Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, apparently.)

Arden then does what he does best and interrupts again, only this time it’s so he can admit he was wrong and team up with Jude to take down Evil Eunice! I’m ashamed of how excited I got when this happened, but I couldn’t help but picture Sister Jude and Dr. Nazi walking down a hallway in slow-motion with the camera facing them as they look supremely badass. Dubstep may or may not have been blaring in said fantasy. Unfortunately, my dream of a spin-off series gets dashed rather quickly.

Meanwhile, the festivities at Briarcliff are continuing, where a very pale Monsigneur visits to give Eunice a special star to put on the tree — side note: does anyone else get weird vampire vibes from him? — and Ian McShane utters one of the best lines in the episode.

Let me set the scene first.

He’s sitting on a chair facing a gorgeous, denture-laden tree, with an almost definitely doped up woman on his lap. She looks at him, he looks back. Their eyes meet, and he says “”what do you say we blow this pop stand, go savage some elves, and then suck on each other?” So great.

There’s also a sweet and brief flashback of a pre-committed Kit and his girl on Christmas. They have a stunning tree, there’s a kid on the way, then, suddenly, Grace is there and she’s pregnant (and, possibly, sans accent)! Now, obviously Kit’s doped up and feeling bad about getting Grace killed, but seriously AHS writers: don’t bring her back. I know anything’s possible in this show and the aliens seems to have a weird fascination with Grace, but please, let her stay dead. I don’t want her to have a recurring hallucinatory role in this show.

I bet you were wondering when we’d have another showdown, huh? Well, we’re about to get not just one, but two.

Lana meets up with Kit to let him know she totally knows who Bloody face is. She also realizes the cops aren’t coming, because Kit’s still there. When she goes to get help, fucking Threadson shows up wearing his best creepy face. He’s a little pissed he had to destroy all his Bloodyface stuff, but now he’s looking to reinvent himself, and he’d very much like to use Lana’s skin to do that.

Than, Kit saves the day! Lana desperately wants to kill Threadson, but the duo decides to lock him up instead.

The other showdown happens when Arden leads Sister Jude into her old office so she can have her showdown with Eunice. Unfortunately for her, Arden actually wasn’t on her side, and instead, Eunice (who just got back from killing the guard who shot Grace) locks Crazy Santa in with Jude, who immediately begins to freak out. I would too, it’s just weird to see Jude begging for her life.

Long story short: Jude stabs Crazy Santa in the neck right before he got too rapey.

Oh, and the aliens took Grace’s body. I don’t know why.

Burning questions: The aliens. What’s going on there? They appear every once in a while to make me wish they’d leave and never return. And the Also, Monsigneur: is he a vampire? Lastly, Sister Jude says Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is one of the things to blame for humanity’s corruption, then Evil Sister Eunice (hilariously) says she plans to play that same movie during the “entertainment portion” of her Christmas event. Does that mean Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer really is one of the devil’s tools? DISCUSS!

What did you think of this week’s episode?

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