It’s the time of year again when normally sensible TV genre shows abandon all logic in favour of doing “the Christmas episode”. While Christmas episodes sit well in comedy shows, they always seem oddly forced in shows like, say, The X Files, Supernatural or Grimm. Unfortunately it now seems de rigeur, especially for US shows – though we in the UK have the wildly fluctuating in quality annual Doctor Who special, which this year seems to have outdone itself by actually including Santa.
It’s only a matter of time before even critically acclaimed dramas will be obligated to produce a “Christmas episode” every year. What could that look like? Let’s find out…
The Walking Dead
“A Very Walking Dead Christmas”
Rick and the gang are shocked out of their usual bleakly contemplative nihilism when Carl discovers a still-functioning digital watch telling them it’s December 24th. Unfortunately a trip into abandoned Atlanta to obtain a Christmas tree turns into a bloodbath as our heroes are attacked by a herd of Walkers dressed as Santa and his elves. Fortunately Daryl is on hand with his trusty crossbow to defend Carol while she bakes a Christmas pudding.
Game of Thrones
“I’m Dreaming of a Red Christmas”
Think spending the holiday with your fractious relatives is tense and annoying? Spare a thought for the warring houses of Westeros, gathered together for their annual Christmas truce. This year it’s the Lannisters’ turn to host the festivities, and since they can barely get on with each other, a fraught dinner with Stannis Baratheon can only make things worse. While Tyrion has a drunken row with his father, Jaime and Cersei search for some mistletoe and Littlefinger has used Sansa Stark to infiltrate Casterly Rock’s kitchens with some deadly poison. Can Arya and the Hound’s rendition of “O Come All Ye Seven” save the day, or will it be a ‘Red Christmas’ indeed?
When the Islamabad CIA field office Christmas party is interrupted by news of a mysterious ‘star’ over the Israeli city of Bethlehem, Director Lockhart assigns Carrie Mathison to investigate. A deadly deep cover mission into Taliban territory uncovers the truth – the ‘star’ is a hijacked US drone, which Taliban supremo Akhbar Al-Herod intends to use to assassinate Saul Berenson, who’s visiting the city for the birth of his child and brokering a new Gaza peace accord.
Still struggling with bipolar disorder, Carrie is further depressed when her reports are discredited by a black ops faction within the CIA. Meanwhile, Peter Quinn has discovered that the black ops faction have replaced the drone’s warhead with a new variant of white phosphorus that will cause peace and goodwill to all men – whether they like it or not. Can Carrie and Peter expose the conspiracy in time, or will peace be imposed on the Middle East in the name of freedom?
Sons of Anarchy
“Christmas with the Reaper”
The raucous SAMCRO Christmas party is brought to an unexpected halt when three members of rival biker gang the Magi turn up with unexpected revelations about Jax Teller’s son. Jax has more to worry about though, as Gemma finally reveals her secret meetings with Hell’s Angel Gabriel (Christopher Walken), prompting Jax to stare melancholically into the middle distance before exploding in rage and pistol whipping him.
Meanwhile in nearby Stockton, the Mayans are outraged when Tig ruins Alvarez’s children’s nativity play by having sex with the donkey. A spate of bloody reprisals ensue, when Mayans dressed as Santa ride into Charming on Harleys and spray Main Street with machine gun fire. With Jax consumed by angst, only Chibs can save the day by arranging for Bobby Elvis to deliver a heartbreaking rendition of ‘Blue Christmas’ which will bring Mayans, Niners and Sons together for a singsong Christmas truce.