Elf on a Shelf has never been more powerful.
He's watching. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The "Elf on the Shelf" keeps growing in power. What started as a children's book about a holiday tradition led to the creation of physical elf dolls. Parents place these around the house to spy on their kids for Santa. It has since warped into a capitalist empire.

This year, "Elf on the Shelf" had a musical made about it. There was an "Elf on the Shelf" balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. There's an "Elf on the Shelf" spin-off series.

They have infiltrated households and schools and now, even, the Washington State Patrol.

Meet Leo, a rosy-cheeked, dead-eyed plastic doll dressed in a custom state trooper outfit complete with a nametag, badge, conical elf hat, and handcuffs strapped to his belt.

The "Elf on a Shelf," in theory, is a narc that keeps kiddies' toes in line. So it only makes sense that the Washington State Patrol would celebrate holiday cheer by employing Leo, whose name stands for "law enforcement officer," according to Trooper Heather Axtman. Meaning he's literally a cop. A cop elf.

Leo, like all elves on shelves, appears after Thanksgiving. This is how he arrived this year:

"Donut worry I'M BACK" he declared, each phrase a different chaotic color. We have no NEED for these caps, Leo.

Sure, he does seemingly cute things like give in to his sweet tooth:

Or ride this dog named Kobe:

Look closer, however, and you will see that he is watching. He is waiting. Is this elf plotting a concerted takeover of the Washington State Patrol? Here, you can see him manning the 9-1-1 desk:

What about this picture of him in front of a surveillance video of a pedestrian on a trestle?

Why is the pedestrian on the trestle? Why is this elf so gleeful with his spying?

And then here he is bathed in the color of blood:

Oh god. He's done it. He's taken control:

He's seized another vehicle:

There is no going back. It's like the end scene of Animal Farm when the pigs are sitting at the human's table and you can't tell pig apart from human:

How did we let this elf get so powerful?

The death bells are ringing.