FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 1, Episode 10: “Thanksgiving”
Directed by Michael Lehmann
Written by Brad Falchuk
* For a review of the previous episode, “Ghost Stories” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Black Friday” – click here
Another week at Kappa House, and the murder certainly isn’t stopping!
With Boone (Nick Jonas) dead by the hand of his yet to be revealed twin sister, the other Red Devil, how will things go now?
Chad Radwell (Glen Powell) says his “wanger is way stressed out” because of everything going on. Though, Chanel #1 (Emma Roberts) reveals the situation with Hester (Lea Michele) – not only is she not pregnant, she’s pretty dead. But tragedy for Chanel when she shows up down at the meat locker and – surprise, surprise – the body is not there. Smarty Chad asks whether or not Chanel checked if Hester was actually dead, to which she obviously replies no. These two are made for each other – a murderer, and a guy with a seriously creepy fetish for corpses.
Chanel #1: “Duh. I put it in the meat locker. That’s where we’ve been putting all the dead bodies.”
Gigi (Nasim Pedrad) sits with the remaining Red Devil, who of course is silent. They’re having “room service Thanksgiving” together, the Red Devil eagerly cutting out paper hearts and who knows what. This whole scene was a RIOT! Pedrad is a crack-up, coupled with the other killer whose silence is almost even funnier, the way she gets excited, wringing hands over the approaching dinner. Still, there’s also an unsettling, unpredictable quality about their relationship. Now that Boone is dead, will the twin sister under that mask find it just as easy to get rid of Gigi? Hmm.
Even funnier, and one of my favourites of this series, is Billie Lourd as Chanel #3. I mean, her at times deadpan delivery, the uninterested eyes, so many awesome facial expressions; she’s a good hand at comedy. In my mind, anyways. But the best of it is the family, alongside her character. They’re the Swenson family, similar to Swanson yet not quite. Makes it downright hilarious when she goes home, they’re all sitting at separate La-Z-Boy chairs, each with a tv tray in front of them with a microwaved frozen dinner on it and six separate screens on the wall, individual football games playing on every one; maybe even a couple are just the same game. I couldn’t get enough of it, especially once Chanel #3 flips and calls them on their bullshit. Brad Falchuk wrote a great script for this episode and it had me laughing out loud at this point.
Back at Kappa, Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) tells #3 all about the turkey they supposedly pardoned: “It’s more like a stay of execution“. These two together are as close to a classic pairing as you can get. Overall, I love this section of the episode because we’re getting, among the comedy and the horror bits, a look at different families, different versions of Thanksgiving. Poor Grace (Skyler Samuels) is at odds with her father Wes (Oliver Hudson), but they manage to work things out slightly.
Then there’s the Radwell Family Thanksgiving at the ranch where Chanel #1 is introduced, sassily, to the family – including patriarch Tad Radwell (Alan Thicke), mama Bunny Radwell (Julia Duffy), plus brothers Brad (Chad Michael Murray), Thad (Patrick Schwarzenegger), and Brad’s wife Muffy (Rachele Brooke Smith). Falchuk hauls out all the stops in this part of the episode. Each of the Radwells gets up and introduces themselves, ridiculously. A ton of wildly funny moments happen in such a short time, from Chanel #1 threatening to strangle Mrs. Radwell, to a still alive Hester showing up, and Chad Michael Murray doing a perfectly brief cameo (I laughed pretty hard at his introduction/talk). Although, Hester still claims to be pregnant: is it more nonsense from her, or too true?
Bunny (to Hester): “That’s not a baby bump, that’s a poo belly.”
At the cobbled together Thanksgiving in Kappa House, Dean Munsch proposes a game of sorts – they’re going to go around and say who they believe the remaining Red Devil Killer to be. First up, Munsch believes it’s Chanel #3. Lots of deliberation, concerning #3’s claim of having Charles Manson for a father mostly. But #3 fires back at Munsch, saying it’s she who is the killer.
Tad Radwell confronts Chanel #1 in the bathroom. He wants to pay her off to leave, to never see Chad again. Then downstairs, Chad is getting more ridiculous by the minute – they’ve got a nasty dessert looking similar to the recent Jell-O + mayo concoction in the news, as well as the fact he starts telling Chanel maybe she ought to leave and Hester should stay. Messed up right?
This episode is one of the funniest out of the first season so far. It’s killing me, a contest between Kappa House or the Radwell Ranch for who is being more hilarious. Furthermore, there’s lots of suspicion getting thrown around. Zayday (Keke Palmer) and Grace each have their share to throw at the dean. Things get sticky for Munsch, as #3 reveals seeing her eating a bologna sandwich, something which couldn’t be, right? All due to the bologna stuff when her ex-husband was killed. But even wilder, daddy Wes accuses his OWN DAUGHTER of being the Red Devil Killer. Crazy! He says he can explain away all doubts in regards to everyone else, aside from his own little girl. “Thanksgiving” on Scream Queens reminds me of a Murder on the Orient Express sort of situation; excellent stuff. Pete (Diego Boneta) shows up at the sorority, while Wes is grilling his daughter about certain dates, events, et cetera. Is there actual credibility to any of this? Red herrings? Well, Pete throws his hat in the ring and accuses Wes right along with all the other mix of suspicion boiling over.
Dean Munsch: “God, I hate you people.”
The Radwell shitshow continues with Pictionary, which quickly devolves into savagery. Someone replaced the card HORSE with NECKBRACE WHORE. A terribly vicious round of Pictionary goes down with insult after insult being hurled at Hester. This actually prompts Chanel #1 to give a sort-of-apology to Hester, but also pushes her to give a verbal smackdown to the Radwells. The insults begin to spill out of Chanel, going between every last one of the Radwell clan including a breakup with Chad; a forever split this time apparently. Then the two slighted sorority ladies leave in a huff: together.
Wes is in the hotseat at Kappa. Junior investigative reporter Pete starts giving him the business, laying out a supposed motive and plan which Wes has been working off the whole time. The eager beaver investigator seems to have drummed up old pictures from a party, so long ago, speaking to a possible way Wes may have known enough about the sorority house in order to sneak in/out, and so on. Craziest bit yet? Wes was caught on camera in the meat locker, spray painting over its lens; he claims it’s due to the paleo diet, he couldn’t afford all the meat and stole it from them. That’s what he says. But more comes rolling out of Pete, who has a “friend at the Maury Show“: Wes is Boone’s father! WHAT!? Grace’s half-brother and half-sister are out there killing, neither her nor her father had any idea of the link. It feels like Wes truly didn’t know. I’m still not sure, though. He freaks me out at times.
Wes: “And it was the ‘90s, so nobody wore condoms.”
Dean Munsch: “Pff – believe me”
The finale brings Chad back to Chanel #1, with everyone sitting around the table for Thanksgiving at Kappa House. Only when the lid comes off the platter on the table, Chanel reveals the dead head of Gigi.
I knew she was about to get it earlier, the Red Devil wasn’t having any of her bullshit anymore. Now, will there be more and more terror? More bodies to drop? Only a couple episode left.
Stay tuned for the next one, aptly titled “Black Friday”.