Ryan Murphy revealed the title of the latest AMERICAN HORROR STORY season with a brief teaser on Instagram.
Three women. One was recently in a mental hospital; the other two students left stranded at their boarding school. Their lives come together violently.
FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 2, Episode 10: “Drain the Swamp”
Directed by Ian Brennan
Written by Brad Falchuk & Ian Brennan
* For a review of the penultimate Season 2 episode, “Lovin the D” – click here
Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts) is confronted by the Green Meanie again. She’s trapped in one of the hospital’s dark hallways, as the killer has a baseball throwing machine aimed right at, running full speed. Chanel ducks and dodges, until one of the newest Chanels takes a ball right in the head. Luckily, she’s not dead. Chanel #1 gets away, and we see it’s Ingrid Hoffel (Kirstie Alley) behind the mask.
At the same time Chanel #3 (Billie Lourd) is sneaked up on by the remaining Green Meanie, Cassidy Cascade (Taylor Lautner). But he doesn’t kill his love. They both want to try and convince his mother Jane (Trilby Glover) otherwise. So #3 runs off for a “whore‘s bath” so they can bang, and Cascade threatens Hoffel: leave his girl out of it, or face his wrath. Things between the Meanies aren’t looking good. Uh oh.
Dr. Brock Holt (John Stamos) apologises for the hand’s actions, nearly strangling her to death, although Chanel doesn’t think much of it, other than it’s progress in their relationship. Yikes. Meanwhile, Hester (Lea Michele) is still kicking around. She’s scheming over Cathy Munsch’s (Jamie Lee Curtis) fortune, who is on the verge of dying. Hester wants Brock to help her steal all her money, then they’ll run off together: “Just two murderers with no one to murder except for each other, but we never will because we love and trust each other.” What could go wrong, right?
Out in the garden, Ingrid gets some nasty ideas when one of the new Chanels is fertilising the tomato garden. Explosive substances. Green Meanie. Murderous impulse. You know what’s coming.
Also, Chanel mixes up the fact Brock is looking at engagement rings for a pending marriage proposal. Only when Dr. Holt calls everyone to Cathy’s room, where she’s lying waiting for death to come, he proposes to the former Ms. Munsch, soon to be the new Mrs. Holt. But he works on Chanel behind the scenes, too. He strings her along.
Cassidy and #3 talk with his mother Jane. He tells her that the “killing and revenge stuff” is all her thing. However, mom isn’t so willing to let all that go. She doesn’t want it to stop until the job is done.
So the wedding of Brock and Cathy goes ahead, right there at the CURE Institute. They’re now officially husband and wife. Then as they snuggle later, Chanel #5 (Abigail Breslin) comes in with information saying that maybe Munsch isn’t dying. She wants to get a sample of her brain, to test for sure. And though Brock isn’t thrilled, Cathy wants more time to be with her new husband.
Downstairs, Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash) is still in cryogenic storage. And Ingrid is down snooping around. She gets a call from Jane, who has her own secrets with Zayday (Keke Palmer) trapped in her cellar. “Now it‘s just you and me,” she says. But Ingrid’s more interested in her latest plan to kill the Chanels.
Things at the hospital are getting tense with Hester wanting Brock to kill Cathy. She doesn’t want to go back to prison where she has to “draw porn” so she can masturbate. Not to mention Chanel can’t deal with Brock and Munsch together, no matter what fairy tale he spun for her earlier. Later, the biopsy goes ahead. Cathy sings “Smoke on the Water” while Chanel plots on throwing her pumpkin spice latte into Cathy’s open skull, which doesn’t work as planned.
Now the verdict: no evidence of the nasty disease, but it’s inconclusive. And she’s still going to die. Maybe. Could even be extreme dehydration. Silly, no? “I only drink scotch, or vodka,” Cathy gasps in a hilarious moment of revelation. She even rinses out her toothpaste mouth with scotch. She goes on to find out the brain eating wasn’t human brain; it was lamb. She’s not going to die!
Everybody heads to the basement for a celebration, champagne included. But it’s all a trick by Ingrid. She traps them in a cage downstairs. She reveals to them all her identity, sister of Agatha Bean who was accidentally burned alive in the deep fryer during Season 1. Out of nowhere Zayday arrives, alongside Jane who doesn’t want to keep on killing after seeing the CURE Institute’s good work. Only Ingrid guns her down, and they’re all left in no better position than before. She further reveals a huge fertiliser bomb, leaving them to die. Afterwards, Denise is alive! And she’s hilariously missed a few things while in her cryogenic coma. Waiting for Denise to defuse the bomb, #5 finally admits she does have teeth in her vagina: “I didn‘t want to die a liar.”
Upstairs the crew chase down Ingrid. They head out back into the swamp. There, Cascade takes a machete right in his torso trying to save #3. In the forest Ingrid runs through a patch of muddy ground which slowly sucks her into the earth. Nobody helps. Until Munsch suddenly feels her conscience tug. She tries to save the woman, but the mud suffocates her and sucks her to the bottom.
Everything is over, and the Chanels have made it through alive. A little worse for wear. You know them, though. They’re bouncing back. #5 is doing her thing at the hospital; she and Zayday are essentially running the place. Munsch hit a rough patch when she finds out someone cleaned out her bank accounts – Hester, of course, who took off with Dr. Holt to an exotic beach on Blood Island. Where they play The Most Dangerous Game. Munsch went on to become a sex expert, like you didn’t see that coming after all her friskiness.
And Chanel, she went on to become a TV doctor with #3 as her executive producer on Lovin the C. So it looks like things have progressed for them after being hunted by the Red Devil killer, the Green Meanie(s). Things are back on track in their lives.
Or are they?
One night as Chanel leaves the television studio, she finds a small broach in her car inscribed KKT. Who’s that in the backseat? It’s the Red Devil.
Wow, loved this episode, and loved that final scene! Didn’t expect it, honestly. Works great and maybe gives us something to expect for Season 3, which hopefully is on the radar for FOX. What did you all think about Season 2? I thought Season 1 was spectacular, and I’ve felt that Season 2 got even funnier, weirder, and wilder. Overall, a solid season.
Let me know your thoughts, and if you want another season with the Chanels, Cathy Munsch, and that sneaky Red Devil.
A Green Meanie Summit. A deep fried victim. And the Chanels take their MCATs.
FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 2, Episode 8: “Rapunzel, Rapunzel”
Directed by Jamie Lee Curtis
Written by Brad Falchuk
* For a review of the previous episode, “The Hand” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Lovin the D”- click here
Well, well, well – look who showed up again! It’s Wes Gardner (Oliver Hudson) from Season 1. He’s not well. So he came to see ole Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis), his old bang buddy at the CURE Institute. He has a big tumour. But we find out more about what happened after the Red Devil murders. They ran away together. He grew a beard and made microbrew. Wrote a book about quarters called Quarters: An American History about “our most important coin.” She drove a wedge between him and his daughter. After which Cathy walked out on him. And now he’s basically a complete mess.
Oh, Wes doesn’t have a tumour, either. It’s a giant hairball: “Looks like Trump‘s wig,” mutters Dr. Brock Holt (John Stamos).
With Chanel (Emma Roberts), #3 (Billie Lourd) and #5 (Abigail Breslin), present, Dr. Holt and Dr. Cassidy Cascade (Taylor Lautner) reveal that poor Wes has a condition that causes him to pull out his hair and eat it. Hence the large ball of hair in his stomach. Tony Robbins screamed at him a while and then he was fine, until the ball created problems. Having Wes in the mix makes Brock a little jealous, despite him and Chanel being together. So it’ll be interesting to see how all that tension plays out.
Finally we get more Zayday Williams (Keke Palmer). She does a bunch of videos around the hospital, though her comments are constantly filled by Chamberlain Jackson (James Earl), who’s got no game at all. She lays it out straight for him about it, and that’s pretty honest of her. They don’t let that get in the way of their Green Meanie investigation. Now they want evidence, like a piece of the killer’s costume, to try tracking more information down.
Brock and Chanel hang out while he cooks, talking a bit about himself. She’s a bit too busy with Snapchat. Then they further figure out their large “age gap,” as he talks about M*A*S*H and she talks about Chumbawumba and Boy Meets World. Things get worse after they’re in bed and Chanel looks anything but aroused or interested. Brutally funny scene, especially after Brock pictures Munsch and mumbles her name in ecstasy.
Oh no, Zayday! She’s taking a soak while the Green Meanie skulks in the shadows. Or is she? “Surprise, bitch,” she quips before shooting a taser at the killer. Then Chamberlain takes the Meanie down and a fight breaks out. And even though the Meanie makes it out, Zayday gets a piece of the suit.
Chamberlain gets a bit of help with Zayday from the Chanels. #1 does a bit of cell magic to help him out. I really like Chamberlain, he’s funny and also a good dude, so it seems. Let’s hope there’s more of him.
The wonderfully creepy character actor Bill Oberst Jr. plays a man that owns a costume shop where Zayday goes to figure out where the Green Meanie got their costume. He says that he’s used the fabric before – three scary costumes, different sizes. One in 1986. One a few months back. One only a few weeks ago. He remembers them because he got a “handy” associated with those dates. Anyways, he gives her a bit of information to go on, gets creepier, and Zayday heads off further on her journey towards the killer’s identity.
Hester (Lea Michele) offers her own help to Chanel. She believes it’s a generational thing. So they’re going to learn everything they can about him and his generation, then throw Brock a dinner party to impress.
With Chamberlain’s phone blocking calls from Zayday until 9pm, he doesn’t get her call for help. She’s headed to see Jane (Trilby Glover), who tries slamming the door in her face. After that she invites Zayday in. Oh, my. Jane looks downright sinister, even if she’s only pouring tea. And Jane says she bought a suit back in ’86, for her brother to go kill the people who killed her husband. She also says that she raised her son to kill in case the hospital opened again, which it did under Munsch. “Why are you trying to bring logic into this conversation? You do realise that we are insane people, right?” Now I worry terribly for Zayday. She’s been drugged. What will Jane do next?
The Chanels are throwing a post-WWII-themed dinner party for Brock, as if he were born in 1920. Hilariously off base. Lots of great confusion over the “Greatest Generation” and other bits, which is perfect and timely after I just recently read a poll where a lot of people messed up the generation they think they belong in. A little later Brock is willing to work things out with Chanel, appreciating her effort despite the lack of knowledge. Only Dr. Holt also wants an affair with Cathy; a long one.
Over with Cathy and Wes, things are getting sexy. They drink, they lie together in bed. Then the Green Meanie attacks. Wes uses body spray to get them out of a sticky situation, but the killer takes off before they can find out any more.
And as I worried, Zayday’s been put in a terrifying predicament, strapped down in a well-like enclosure, the nearby sound of water. Uh oh. Meanwhile Chamberlain isn’t getting any messages, unaware of where his friend’s being kept. When he throws out some trash he ends up finding a receipt stuck in the hairball from Wes’ stomach: for a machete and chainsaw. And a piece of that green fabric. Hmm. So Chamberlain goes to see the man about what he found. Wes talks about how things went bad for Grace after the Chanels ruined her life. Turns out that Wes swallowed all that hair willingly, after getting drunk. He’s there for revenge, to use the Green Meanie as a cover for him hopefully killing the Chanels.
Remember what I said about loving Chamberlain? We won’t be seeing him again.
Wow. I never saw this one coming! But it’s an awesome addition. I always loved Oliver Hudson in Season 1, so I’m loving that he’s actually a psycho this time around and not just a red herring. Next episode is “Lovin the D” and I can only imagine what’ll happen. A bit of eeriness creeps in with Wes back and certainly with him posing as the 3rd Green Meanie.
FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 2, Episode 7: “The Hand”
Directed by Barbara Brown
Written by Ian Brennan
* For a review of the previous episode, “Blood Drive” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel” – click here
Poor Dr. Brock Holt (John Stamos) has everybody thinking he’s the Green Meanie. And the worse he feels, the more stressed the hand gets, acting out. Having belonged to a serial killer previously. The more tired Holt gets, the more the hand fucks with him. Even so far as wedgies. He and Chanel (Emma Roberts) have a big night, so he duct tapes his hand to his leg to control it. After dumping a bowl of salt into the pasta sauce he made for dinner. Worse, the hand freaks out and pulls a knife on Chanel. So she does the first smart thing and walks away from an “elegant salty dinner and romantic bone sesh” likewise walking away from their relationship.
A woman named Anna Plaisance (Amy Okuda) has four arms, four legs. She’s come to the CURE Institute for help from Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her talented team of doctors, particularly Brock. Will the hand give him trouble? Basically he’s dealing with a surgery involving Ms. Plaisance’s essential twin that grew partly formed in her body. Big time shit. Lots of pressure, too. A ton of media bears down at the will of Munsch. But Brock worries he can’t do it. The hand’s definitely gonna make things shitty for him.
Dr. Cassidy Cascade (Taylor Lautner) does some crazy martial arts in his spare time out back near the swamp, to “Scarface (Push It to the Limit)” by Paul Engemann. Hilarious. Afterwards he’s joined by #3 (Billie Lourd). They talk, about The Karate Kid and other things. She’s still thinking about the fact Cassidy believes he’s dead.
Cassidy: “I didn‘t realise you were prejudice against dead people”
#3: “Everyone is, I‘m just willing to admit it.”
Well, #3 – with help from #5 (Abigail Breslin) – gives Cascade a test she’s gone and researched herself. Things come out fine in the first phase, then they go through the rest. Seems he isn’t dead, he has Cotard delusion. Yay for him. Although he’s still ONE of the Green Meanie killers.But wait, #3 didn’t reveal to him what she does to #5: he is a psychopath, likely a serial killer. A-ha!
More and more Brock’s hand gives him grief. It takes him for a ride, as he even tries cutting it off. Only the Green Meanie – one of them – turns up to try killing him. Turns out the hand’s original owner knew a bit of serious kung-fu. He kicks the shits out of the killer, sending him, or her, packing.
A man named Thomas Benderhall (Kasey Mahaffy) comes in under Dr. Cascade’s care. He has what looks like pock marks all over his face. However, accompanied by terrible stomach flu, yet no fever. Yikes.
Chanel gets no good advice from #3, while #5 speaks the truth and gets shot down hilariously. Hester (Lea Michele), now #6, won’t give up the killer’s identity and plays games with the others, teasing of #3 knowing who it is, and this makes things tense. Meanwhile, Ingrid Hoffel (Kirstie Alley) goes to Cassidy with more information about Holt’s hand. We also see Dr. Green Meanie actually feels a bit guilty. Not guilty enough to stop, though. Now there’s even a bit of blackmail on Ingrid’s end. Very tricky.
With a Northeast Journal of Medicine writer at the hospital, Dr. Holt is having a rough time. Hilarious to watch, but rough. Munsch doesn’t make anything easy for him, pumping things up beyond belief. She’s one crafty lady.
Dr. Cascade thinks that Thomas has been poisoned. By the Russians. Now he’s got to be put in quarantine. Plus there’s a risk of contamination. But Thomas’ girlfriend Shelly refuses to leave, holding the doc to his promise of curing her boyfriend. In other parts of the hospital, the Green Meanie kills one of the newest Chanels, strangling her into a coma. Ah, so the killer’s helping the need of a heart donor for the hospital. And things get worse for Dr. Holt. Not to mention he pokes a bunch of holes in the comatose girl’s arm, that god damn murderous hand!
Finally Cascade figures out that Shelly’s got Munchausen syndrome. She’s poisoning her boyfriend. OH NO – that’s not it? Thomas is poisoning himself because Shelly is domineering, clingy, et cetera. He wants to die. God damn, that’s brutal. Unfortunately #3 feels like loves is a lie, and that maybe she’ll need to turn Cassidy in. Or will he kill her first? Dun, dun, DUNNNNN!
There are other things going on. Brock’s trouble deepens, getting bloodier. Munsch makes clear he has only a couple options, the only good one involving him doing the surgery and doing it well. “I am screwing you,” she admits freely.
Game day: big surgery on the books. Doctors Cascade and Holt wash up, readying for the job. Brock’s made a deal with Munsch that he’ll do the whole thing with his killer hand strapped behind his back. During the operation it gives him a slight bit of trouble, although nothing too serious. Until he has to put the heart in, he can’t finish. Chanel pushes a bit of truth about Brock’s life out of him. A song helped him calm down as a boy, so the Chanels sing “99 Red Balloons” for the doctor. And it relaxes the hand, relaxes Brock, so that he’s able to finish the surgery. But will the heart pump? Oh yes, it will. They’ve done it. More importantly Brock has control of himself, at least a little.
So what’ll happen between #3 and Cassidy? He reveals that he won’t kill her, or Chanel. And that he’s “not the only killer.” That’s all he’ll say right now.
You know that the writer from the journal won’t be making it out alive. He makes a call to a friend about a major “medical ethics scandal” right before the Green Meanie puts a blade through his head. Upstairs, Cassidy gives Brock a present: one of the hands they removed. The twin was male, the hand fits. Cassidy wants to do the transplant himself.
Can they get rid of that serial killing hand before it does nasty damage? Or will it kill Chanel?
Loving this season. So much weird and wild stuff happening. Next episode is titled “Rapunzel, Rapunzel” and it’s directed by the great Jamie Lee Curtis herself!
FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 2, Episode 5: “Chanel Pour Homme-Icide”
Directed by Barbara Brown
Written by Ian Brennan
* For a review of the previous episode, “Halloween Blues” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Blood Drive” – click here
Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts) hears #5 (Abigail Breslin) from across the hospital. As #3 (Billie Lourd) explains, #1 has developed a “fine tuned” addiction to #5’s pain. Along with Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis), the Chanels and Zayday (Keke Palmer) find #5, as well as the corpse of Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash). So now sleazy Cathy has to come up with a story while they dispose of the body. Oh, and they leave #5 to wallow in agony alone. With more dead bodies piling up they’re forced to call the police in.
Downstairs, Munsch shows Zayday a cryogenic chamber she bought with some of the Radwell cash. They put Denise’ s body inside to test it out. Meanwhile, Cathy is still dying little by little.
No longer blue, Chanel and Dr. Brock Holt (John Stamos) continue getting closer. He apologises for the mix up with the medicine, then goes on about his relationship with Ms. Munsch, how he did it only because of being distraught from missing out on Chanel. But she has no “emotional object permanence” and surely they’ll be together sooner than later.
A week later after the publicity surrounding the murders, Munsch’s CURE Institute is booming again. All kinds of strange illnesses pour in and the place is on wheels. Ingrid Hoffel (Kirstie Alley) is up in her business trying to get more and more all the time. Otherwise things are fine, except the fact Cathy is a complete fucking loon. She winds up on a case trying to treat a woman who’s switching from accent to accent, all over the globe. Her name is Penelope Hotchkiss (Mary Birdsong), and she can’t control the voice she uses. Now that’s an interesting one.
Ingrid gets under everybody’s skin, including the Chanels; she calls them “non–doctor idiots“, “dead inside“, “Dr. Tiny Bitch“, among other names. Usually I find Alley a irritating pain to watch, but the writing is too good not to enjoy. Her delivery is perfectly condescending. She has #1 and #3 doing the worst of chores around the hospital, which they’re obviously not happy about, and thems the breaks, right? Not when Ms. Oberlin’s putting her mind to it. Or, y’know, trying to.
Zayday goes to see Munsch about Chamberlain Jackson (James Earl). Turns out there aren’t any candy stripers. Cathy says she hasn’t hired anybody. Certainly not off Craigslist. Might have something to do with all the serial killing going on. Like Season 1, another baby mystery is at hand, and Zayday decides she’s in to solve the puzzle.
Chanel sent out word she’s accepting applications for more Chanels. Concerned about the Green Meanie. #1 wants “cannon fodder” in case he’s intent on doing her in. So when everybody on their previous list passes, they turn to the patients in the hospital getting a couple new recruits.
Then, they have no choice but to talk to someone named Tristan St. Pierre (Pablo Castelblanco). He started writing explicit, lesbian fan fiction about Chanel. He got extremely obsessed with her. Creepy. Tristan is brought in as a Chanel Pour Homme; brilliant title. They have Chanels #7 and #8, as well. All for human shields in the face of murder.
Dr. Cassidy Cascade (Taylor Lautner) and Chanel #3 try to work on Ms. Hotchkiss. In rushes Brock with information, but then it seems as if the accent issue goes viral. All three of them start talking like Penelope, shifting accents themselves.
In the lower levels of the hospital, Chanel gets a scare from Hester (Lea Michele). She tries to ingratiate herself to the Chanels again. And #1 lets her back in. She’s intent on finding the Green Meanie. No matter how crazy things must get.
Zayday and #5 go visit Jane Hollis (Trilby Glover) about her husband who died that night two decades ago. She believes Dr. Mike and the nurse covered that up. Obviously Chamberlain is out of the running for the baby. Or is he? Because Jane’s husband was black.
The accent virus keeps going strong, changing in everybody. The writing does a smart job poking fun, as they even make fun of how bad the accents are, too. Great little bit. They also drop a lot of movie references. Also, Doctors Holt and Cascade and Chanel #3 come up with a treatment to help Ms. Hotchkiss. Moreover, Dr. Holt figures out they’ve contracted “Madonna syndrome.” They have to lock themselves up watching American films to get themselves back on track.
Zayday keeps on trying to figure Chamberlain out. He explains his presence there is only about making people feel good. “I‘ma let my freak flag fly,” he tells her going about doing his Willy Wonka hospital routine. In other news, Cathy has a talk with Ingrid; to fire her. She doesn’t dig the way Ingrid treats the staff. The woman has a drug addiction, however, she knows of Cathy’s disease – blackmail.
The Chanels have a big night planned. A slumber party, including makeovers. Never a good sign when the girls are being nice. Chanel #8 has to go to the morgue to find a gift they’ve supposedly left her. A “sacrifice” to the Green Meanie. Will he take it? Tristan confronts #8 because he wants the gift, putting himself in the way of possible death. When #8 turns up it’s clear who’ll be killed. And boy, is he ever dead.
Naturally, Munsch is pissed. The Chanels are always bringing her more trouble, as if she doesn’t have enough on her own. Chanel #7 is now down with being a human shield, and #8’s been in for a while. Now, Cathy has three more Chanels for admittance; #11 even has eleven fingers. #1 has the girls put to work already cleaning up #5’s “monster dumps” in her bedpan. Man, the writing kills me sometimes. I rarely laugh out loud by myself unless something is really funny; this series does it to me often. Anyways, Munsch wants to find Hester, and she wants #1 to give up the info.
The Green Meanie kills #11, after first doing a bit of homemade machete surgery on her extra finger. That poor girl didn’t last long.
Most intriguing is the finish, as Jane Hollis receives her son for dinner: it’s Cassidy. He was the baby in the belly. And now he tells her that their secrets will be safe: “I‘ll take care of everything.”
Solid episode. Well worth the wait!
Next up is “Blood Drive” and I anticipate more intensity, foolishness, and more importantly – MURDER.