It's been one hell of a year! Or, y'know, hell on Earth. Whatever.
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.
FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 2, Episode 4: “Halloween Blues”
Directed by Loni Peristere
Written by Brad Falchuk
* For a review of the previous episode, “Handidates” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Chanel Pour Homme-icide” – click here
After the bloody events of Chanel Oberlin’s (Emma Roberts) would-be wedding to Chad Radwell ended with his death, she weeps over the body, as everyone wonders exactly what’s happened. Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) is of course ready for the whirlwind of another serial killer in her midst. Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash) continues with her conspiracy theories, as everybody goes a little mad. #5 (Abigail Breslin) oversteps her boundaries and sets Chanel off on a rant against them before being carted off in a fit of madness. Taking the lead is Denise, but can she be trusted? I’m not saying she’s a murderer, though she is completely god damn foolish. We do get a window into Chad and Denise’s roleplaying, involving some Brokeback Mountain stuff. Weeeeird.
So Denise dresses like Mrs. Chad Radwell for Halloween. She and Munsch go to see the Lecter-ish Hester Ulrich (Lea Michele), who spouts mostly ominous bullshit.
Everybody gets together for Chad’s will – his family died on the way trying to stop him from marrying Chanel. Haha, dig it. Turns out that Chad – in sound mind and “bitchin‘ body” – leaves his estate to Cathy Munsch. Wow. And he changed it just before dying. Hmm, coincidence? Red herring? Either way, Chanel absolutely flips out, charging at the accountant reading the will before beating the shit out of him a bit.
But there’s still Chanel-O-Ween! She decides to send out terrifying gifts this year to separate herself from the masses: “For my disgusting hippo fans.” And they positively eat it up to ridiculous lengths.
In other news, Dr. Brock Holt (John Stamos) checks Chanel out, she’s not feeling so hot. From mind to body. Can’t be nice having another serial killer in her life. Is it Dr. Holt? Or maybe the literally dead Dr. Cassidy Cascade (Taylor Lautner)? No telling for sure, not yet.
At home Chanel wakes up after taking the colloidal silver Brock gave her for a rash on her leg – to find her skin is blue. As if things couldn’t get any worse for the rich white girl.
The night before Halloween, Denise is setting up decorations on one of the hospital’s floors at the nurse station. Then the power goes out. Uh oh, Mrs. Chad Radwell! In the darkness of a nearby room the Green Meanie comes at her. They tussle a bit, but you know Denise can kick some ass, boy. She gives the Meanie a run for his money, eventually pulling a gun. Although the green killer makes off without taking a bullet. This sends Denise to get Hester: she’ll be wearing an anklet for the Halloween party, then later she has to give up the killer’s identity. Even gets a Jason Voorhees mask to put on. Denise then hilariously goes on to mix up Michael Myers as being played by Mike Myers, y’know, after Wayne’s World. Love her and love the dialogue the writers give her.
Lots of shade thrown around between Chanel and Denise, as they stand toe to toe in their costumes. And again, more of the roleplay between Denise and Chad – this time, American Beauty. Christ, this episode is awesome and funny, too! Lots of movie references flying around usually. This episode is on another level, and doing so wisely.
Finally, Chanel goes to see Holt about her tinted skin. He says there’s no cure. Yikes! Well right now Holt also has himself an alibi, he can’t be the killer – he was boning Munsch while Chad was killed. Holy christ, Cathy gets around, doesn’t she? Good on you, ma’am. But now Chanel is taking off, sick of all the bad luck she’s immersed in. Then someone in an Ivanka Trump outfit turns up, silent, trying to murder her. No change in that luck. Oh, and it’s Hester underneath that mask. Where’d she get it, though?
Tsk, tsk, tsk. #5 is outed now. Zayday (Keke Palmer) and #3 (Billie Lourd) reveal they helped #5 find herself an Ivanka Trump costume earlier in the day. GASP! COULD IT BE? Nah, we know the truth. However, everybody turning on #5 – more so than usual – isn’t any good. It doesn’t look good having her left all alone, especially during the Halloween party. Chanel warns her plainly: “If you show up to that party, we‘ll kill you.”
October 31st hits and the party is on. Zayday is Isis – no, not like caliphate-style, like the Egyptian goddess. Again, hilarious! Then#5 turns up as Ivana Trump, not Ivanka. They make a super funny and kinda disturbing point about the Donald and his daughter. Then there’s the fact Ivana is still wandering around, Hester in disguise. She disappears through the halls when a Halloween party full of people turn up puking and going crazy. Seems that they were bobbing for apples and ergot (a fungus) was growing on them, making people quite sick. Although, Zayday doesn’t believe that diagnosis from Dr. Holt, she challenges him.
Meanwhile, Denise and Chanel are conducting a Ouija board ceremony, fighting over the dead Chad Radwell. He event contacts Chanel over his goat, the one he keeps for milk – being lactose intolerant and all. He also tells Chanel he loved Denise more than her, but doesn’t quite get to tell her about the killer before everyone rushes off somewhere.
And all alone is #5 just as I suspected. As if Ivana Trump hasn’t been through enough married to Donald all those years. Eventually Ivana comes across Ivanka. Hester doesn’t kill #5. She lets the Green Meanie do it instead. Ohhhhh shit.
With the help of a girl dressed as Snow White, Zayday and the others figure out what happened at the party. She saw the Green Meanie changed out the apple bobbing water: the water got dosed, as I suspected again, with DMT. Yowzahs, very wild. Anyways, things are settled at the hospital. For the time being. But maybe the Meanie didn’t want to kill him. Perhaps he needed “a distraction,” as Zayday notes. Now, there’s trouble.
Denise comes across a stabbed #5, and once more she’s also confronted with the Green Meanie. The killer tosses a punch bowl all over Denise before shocking her with some paddles. Is she dead, or can her heart take it?
An awesome, exciting episode. Really dig this season so far. Next up is “Chanel Pour Homme-icide” and I bet we’ll get more Hester, too! Can’t wait.
FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 2, Episode 2: “Warts and All”
Directed by Bradley Buecker
Written by Brad Falchuk
* For a review of the Season 2 premiere, “Scream Again” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Handidates” – click here
With murder on the hospital grounds, Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) has more trouble on her hands again. Chanel #5 (Abigail Breslin) is being sweated by the police, even though she was stuck in the hydrotherapy tub the entire time. Lots of whodunnit already! Chanel #1 (Emma Roberts) and #3 (Billie Lourd) arrive to circle their other namesake, berating her about not getting any dick at all, especially in light of Dr. Cassidy Cascade (Taylor Lautner) and Dr. Brock Holt (John Stamos) respectively asking them out. Of course, it’s like nobody believes #5.
Back with Drs. Cascade and Holt, along with Zayday (Keke Palmer), the Chanels suffer through another consultation being insensitive as usual. This latest guy, Tyler (Colton Haynes), essentially has these tumours forming bumps like pebbles under his skin, all over. Wonder how this might play into the episode, or if it’s just a bit of background mess. In the meantime, Zayday worries about Munsch and her motives for running this hospital. Zayday doesn’t like how things sound about the latest murder, and well, she was around for Season 1. She knows what that crafty bitch gets up to now and then. “I think she wants revenge,” Zayday says re: Munsch. And she asks Chamberlain Jackson (James Earl) to help her out with a bit of low key investigating.
Out at the movies, Dr. Holt and Chanel #1 bond over being horrible people. Ironically The Hand is playing (as well as Pieces). We start seeing more of Brock’s “out of control hand” and she talks about “his hot mouth” – I can’t wait to see where this whole hand transplant thing is headed, because I love it. Meanwhile, #5 is bonding, too. With Tyler. And she comes round to deciding she’ll help him raise the money for the surgery he needs.
Late in the night, Chanel #1 is on duty at the nursing station. Power goes out. Screams. The Red Devil Killer shows up! He lifts his axe, and then removes his mask: it’s Dickie Dollar Scholar, Chad Radwell (Glen Powell), bitch. Who else?
Now that’s an interesting return. His buddy Randall can’t stop screaming, so there he is to get a bit of help. As well as discover that Dr. Holt and Chanel may be “boning.” This scene is god damn hilarious. When Brock keeps clicking the pen, showing off Randall’s exaggerated reactions. In between we find out that Chad’s started a band: “Gold–plated Nutsack.”
Zayday’s digging. Plus, Chamberlain went and got some of the microfiche for her to help, along with a machine setup downstairs. They come across the Halloween Massacre at the hospital. We zip back to 1986 with Dr. Mike (Jerry O’Connell) and a bunch of partygoers, other doctors, all rock out. When a couple of them head to take a few shots alone, they encounter the Green Meanie Killer who promptly chops them to bits. He then pulls a Michael Myers on Dr. Mike, lifting him off his feet impaled before chasing down his next victim to Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now” and tossing a machete through her midsection. Wickedly nasty sequence. Dig that.
Ingrid Hoffel (Kirstie Alley) asks suspicious questions about whether Zayday might let her know where the Chanels are at all times. She makes a case, but seems pretty sketchy. I wonder what her deal is, I hope she’s got an interesting story.
In the showers, Chad tries to stand his ground against Dr. Holt. They argue over the “dateable guy checklist” and who’s most fit to be dating Chanel #1. This scene gets more homoerotic by the second, as Chad gradually works his way further and further until literally being tip-to-tip with Brock in the shower stall. I laugh way too hard at Chad Radwell. He’s the ultimate douche and he’s written as such. Powell plays the role incredibly well.
With #1 and #3 convincing #5 that Tyler won’t like her anymore if he gets the surgery, #5 is quite on edge. She kicks the shit out of two dudes who make fun of Tyler in a diner before screaming: “I do not have teeth in my vagina.” Another role played way too funny, written wonderfully, is Chanel #5. Breslin is magic.
Munsch says she could “really use a friend” and so with Chamberlain and Zayday at her door, they agree to listen to her secrets. She tells them about having awful headaches, bad joint pain, a ton of various symptoms. So it looks like Cathy may be straight up this time around. Although there’s no telling if she’s even being truthful. You know how underhanded she can get. Oh, and a lurking figure outside – is it #1? Or is that Ms. Hoffel? – hears all. A little later in the dark corridors, Munsch winds up confronted with the latest Green Meanie Killer. Luckily she has some ass kicking experience. Fighting hard she downs him. When Dr. Cascade and #3 come across Munsch, this distracts her, and the killer gets away. In a meta moment, Curtis goes off on those moments when somebody kicks the killer’s ass and nearly unmasks him but gets distracted. Fucking awesome! This episode is full of fun writing.
Still, Drs. Cascade and Holt are trying to cure Randall of his screaming. In an aside, Brock’s hand acts up again, scrawling a note; that only Chad cares to read. Funny enough it seems to be a grocery list for a fancy dinner. Hmm. Afterwards playing squash, things get tense between Chad and Brock, though the latter asserts his dominance, as well as possibly a homicidal streak? We’ll see.
You know Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash) is kicking around, apparently an FBI trainee at this point. She calls Zayday a “stone cold hoe” and believes it’s likely her killing people. Even though she already barked up that tree last season to no avail. But Nash is outrageously funny and I love every time she’s allowed to let loose.
And the moment we’ve all been waiting for – or at least I have – the return of Hester Ulrich (Lea Michele). They’ve got her in a Hannibal Lecter-like cell, even talking like Hopkins a bit and there’s plenty of homage dialogue, the dungeon cell area highly reminiscent of The Silence of the Lambs – a patient even throws… birthday cake mix… at Chanel #1. So the crazy Hester locked away has demands for helping with their case. One of which includes transferring to Munsch’s hospital. “Bitch, ain‘t nobody got time fo‘ dat,” Denise tells her. But I’m guessing they’ll be enlisting Hester soon enough.
So we get a good dose of story about the hand Holt has now. The guy was a world class squash player, finding people to play with and then killing them. That menu Brock wrote down is the last meal he had before going to jail. The guy was executed, a notorious serial killer, and gave up his organs for donation. Chad brings this newfound information to Dr. Holt and they have a bit of a face-off. We also see another tiny slice of that possible crazy person inside Brock.
Munsch talks of going to Papua New Guinea, which Zayday believes led to her having a disease cannibals get from eating human flesh. There’s nothing they can do: less than a year to live. Yikes. We further discover Ms. Hoffel has a bug planted in Munsch’s office, and she knows everything.
Seems as if Tyler’s been trying to help #5, finding information on the Green Meanie Killer. And then all of a sudden, his surgery is switched, someone wheels him off. Problem is that Drs. Cascade and Holt are gone home to have a “Handsome Contest.” With Tyler on the table, the Green Meanie puts an end to his prying. Tyler gets the laser all right. The Chanels are too late to stop his untimely death.
Loved this episode! Maybe one of my favourites of the entire series, honestly.
Excited for more. Next up is “Handidates” and I can only imagine what we’ll see judging by the title.
FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 2, Episode 1: “Scream Again”
Directed by Brad Falchuk
Written by Falchuk & Ian Brennan & Ryan Murphy
* For a review of the Season 1 finale, “The Final Girl(s)” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Warts and All” – click here
The bitches are back, bitches!
This season opens on October 31st, 1985 (just seven days after my birthday). In a hospital people are partying. But one woman’s husband is in trouble, and she can’t find anyone to take her seriously. Until they come across Dr. Mike (Jerry O’Connell), who – after a bit of prodding – takes care of the man. He and one of the nurses plan to dump a body out back in a swamp, let the animals and nature take care of him. She talks about the “Green Meanie” – an urban legend from when she was younger, a monster that stalked the swamps. Now, heading to the present, are we going to see someone taking revenge for this crime? You betcha.
It’s 2016. Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) is all over the place as the face of “new feminism.” Meanwhile, hands Doctors Cassidy Cascade (Taylor Lautner) and Brock Holt (John Stamos) are taking care of a Ms. Catherine Hobart (Cecily Strong); an unfortunate lady who’s had to deal with werewolf syndrome. So we come to find out it’s Dr. Cathy Munsch. She received the honorary doctorate they “stripped from Bill Cosby.” Mostly she’s a lot of talk. As usual. But she’s awesome, and she opened up the hospital. Via voice-over, Cathy takes us back through how she got to this point. A fun little romp with Jamie Lee Curtis; ever cool, ever hilarious in a dry, sly way.
And what about the Chanels? Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts), #3 (Billie Lourd), and #5 (Abigail Breslin). We go back over their court case, the involvement of Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash) in her crack up testimony during trial. There’s a bit of Hester Ulrich (Lea Michele) on tape claiming “double jeopardy” while arguing with Denise: “It‘s single jeopardy!”
Then there’s Zayday Williams (Keke Palmer). She’s in med school, trying to get by like many students. Munsch is swooping in on her, offering to pay for her tuition, offering a position at the hospital. Too good to be true? Well, Zayday takes her up on it. Whether that’s a good thing will have to wait a while.
Starting her schooling, technically a direct entry residency, Zayday meets the obnoxious Dr. Cascade and the weird Dr. Holt. Particularly we get a story about how Holt actually lost a hand a few years back. Lost a ring in the sink, garbage disposal got turned on, and VOILA! These days he’s doing surgery like a magician. His speech is both tragic and hilarious – the way he keeps hitting things, scaring Cascade and Zayday made me laugh. Lots of eeriness, all the same. Cascade seems like an ass, as well as the fact he’s strikingly cold to the touch. Best is when Chamberlain Jackson (James Earl) shows up. His charm is undeniable, if not a bit in your face.
Zayday makes a big with Munsch to get more women around the hospital. You know what that means. Oh, yes.
Chanel and her “idiot hookers” are back. Everybody hates them now to the point they’re having shit thrown at them in the streets. They majored in Communications, they all got jobs. Not exactly what you’d think. Especially after ending up poor, tired, and knocked down a few social pegs. Once Munsch shows up, everything changes. Naturally the girls are sceptical of the former Dean’s extending her hand, asking them to enrol as students and work at the hospital. But really, what else will they do? Their arrival throws Zayday for a loop, too.
So the fashion clash begins when the Chanels realise they have to wear scrubs. Although things feel more palatable after seeing Dr. Holt taking a shower. Curious: #5 notices a tattoo, sort of like a coat-of-arms with an H in the shield. Hmm. Anyway, the girls each have their jobs. After a bit of brutally funny banter on the term ‘ghosting’ as per Munsch: “Isn‘t ghosting when you do a number two and you look down at the paper and there‘s nothing there? And so you stand up and you look in the toilet and there‘s nothing there either because the turd somehow got shot down the hole before you even flush?”
The Chanels don’t have much bedside manner. Neither do Dr. Cascade or Dr. Holt, the first rambling on a Nietzsche-like thought and the other texting. Poor Catherine, the werewolf lady, is trying to get a bit of sense out of the doctors. Only one providing that is Zayday. We also get introduced to Ingrid Marie Hoffel (Kirstie Alley), R.N., who doesn’t have time for Chanel or any of their bullshit. Speaking of which, Munsch puts the Chanels on academic probation because of their treatment of Catherine earlier. Everything quickly feels like it’s crumbling beneath the Chanels after discovering they also don’t get paid, only free room, board, so on. So they head back to their room and brainstorm about what to do next: find a cure for “werewolf girl” first.
Chanel goes to talk with Dr. Holt about Catherine’s case. We see a bit of his weird, transplanted hand. In the midst of everything, Holt and Chanel figure out there may be a testosterone problem in Catherine, which prevents any further hand madness. Thus starts the fierce competition between Zayday and the Chanels. After a bit of treatment, Catherine loses ALL her hair. Not just a little. Every last bit. They give her a bit of a makeover, so that patches things up for now. Making Munsch’s hospital look great and pissing Zayday off.
#5 is on graveyard shift while the other two have dates. While she helps Catherine with a bit of hydrotherapy, someone watches in the shadows. #5 opts to get in one, as well. Both of them locked in a tub. Smart move, dummy. Then, a green-masked intruder appears with a couple blades in hand. He puts on a bit of music for the occasion. Before lopping Catherine’s head off.
And we end on a last chop: is it to #5? Or to the head? Or maybe just a last scare? We’ll find out next week.
An exciting, weird, creepy first episode for the second season of Scream Queens! Really loved this one. Can’t wait to see “Warts and All” next. Lots of promise, new characters, new setting, and a fun mask for a new killer, too.
FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 1, Episode 13: “The Final Girl(s)”
Directed by Brad Falchuk
Written by Brad Falchuk/Ian Brennan/Ryan Murphy
* For a review of the previous episode, “Dorkus” – click here
With a seemingly shocking reveal by Hester (Lea Michele), high heel in her eye at the end of the penultimate episode “Dorkus”, #5 (Abigail Breslin) was pointed to as the other Red Devil Killer.
This finale episode begins in January 2016, with Zayday (Keke Palmer) and Grace (Skyler Samuels) at the head of the sorority. Even further, Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) is there smiling. Plus Hester (Lea Michele), who has an eye patch, and she claims via voice-over she grew up in a mental institution, she is the only Chanel left. Her 20-year plan went off just as planned. Wow! Really? I was all bent on #5 actually being the other killer, but I’m slightly surprised now with Hester’s revelations. We get great flashbacks to Gigi Caldwell (Nasim Pedrad) teaching little Boone and Hester in the asylum all about chainsaws and hammers, and the terrifying things for which they’re quite useful. A ton of fun moments with Hester in the asylum, ranging from darkly comical to full-on horrific. Hester specifically talks about her rockin’ bod, therefore it was necessary to find a “cloak of social invisibility” which came to be the huge brace.
Hester: “What I‘ve noticed is that the more weird and gross you are, the less people wanna know about you. No one asks the kid with terrible acne what their favorite movie is or where they were born.”
Then Gigi and Hester found the Red Devil costume, ironically killing the Red Devil as their first victim. Very eerie scene where Gigi stabs him to death, sort of shrouded in a little darkness and looking completely insane. The filling in of back story is good fun, explaining how Hester and Boone (Nick Jonas) never went to high school, so it became hard for them to get into college; Hester slipped in due to Munsch’s idiocy, Boone simply showed up among the Dickie Dollar Scholas and pretended to be a student. Best of all is watching the eye patched Hester doing a voice-over, as Grace and Zayday talk to the new sorority pledges.
Gigi: “Hammers are good for bashing people in the skull and watching them bleed to death.”
Then we’re back to Hester preparing to jab herself in the eyeball with the high heel shoe. A perfectly nasty little scene. We see her being rushed out by paramedics, still claiming #5 is the Red Devil Killer. Everything is looking rough for poor #5, how could I have doubted her? Well Chanel #1 (Emma Roberts) and #3 (Billie Lourd) are especially convinced, throwing all kinds of accusations at her. New Chief Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash) strolls in talking about a male body with chiseled abs and possibly a “gay face“, even though everyone is already aware Boone is dead and gone. Still, Grace and Zayday are convinced of Hester’s guilt. Then the crazy shows up, her eye patched with gauze, claiming she was home schooled and that’s why her high school transcript was faked, et cetera. She continually blames #5, trying to sway everyone to believing her obviously fabricated truth. Then up shows Hester’s father and mother, so she says; it’s obviously a fake family, they even say they’re in the CIA, but they’re clearly a couple actors. Chanel #5’s parents show up and they’re not more interested in her than any of her sorority sisters are. They give up a story about her being adopted from Gigi: a flashback sees Hester going to #5’s parents, they actually hate her claiming “our daughter sucks“. So many ridiculous notions flying around. Denise still thinks Zayday is the killer, too.
Chanel #1: “I think you‘re a serial killer because I know you, #5! You bite your own toenails!”
Chanel #5: “Okay, I am flexible. Why would I waste my money buying toenail clippers when God already blessed me with toenail clippers in the form of teeth in my mouth?”
On top of everything, #3 is accused as being in cahoots with #5. We get more hilarious Billie Lourd here, talking about bathroom duties: “I was past number two. I had to go: number three.” I mean, I actually fucking choked laughing at this part. Especially when Lourd refers to taking a dump as “laying pipe“. Then there are more inclusions of #3’s father as being Charles Manson – letters from prison talking about killing people, strapping bombs to people, and so on. Another laugh out loud moment: “Dirty Helen.” So much back and forth between Chanels #3 and #5 and Hester, with occasional interjection from Chief of Police Denise Hemphill. But basically what happens is Hester accuses all the Chanels, even #1, of being in cahoots together. Except we actually see Hester dressed up as #1, buying things at a home improvement store. Not like we don’t already know what’s happening. But I still dig how they’ve combed through so much fabrication on Hester’s part.
The sequence afterwards where the Chanels are arrested, perfectly by a bunch of deputized male strippers in police officer uniforms, all of which is accompanied by a great tune.
Flash to May 2016. Dean Munsch is very happy, about the campus open and free, the Chanels having their bail revoked, and other fun stuff. Turns out Chad Radwell (Glen Powell) and Denise Hemphill have broken up their long steamy affair, including her TLC “Waterfalls” quotes; great return to the pilot with reference to the song. “We got too close to the sun baby, we shined too bright,” she says. To which Chad replies: “I promise I‘ll never bang anybody like I banged you.” Moreover, Chad starts a ridiculously abbreviated charity in the name of Roger, Dodger, Earl Grey, and the boys. He can’t exactly explain to which charity the money will go, “I don‘t know – all of them.” Then there’s Munsch with a book out on “new new feminism”, making lots of light of her past terrible year. So when will all this break? When will the lives of these survivors be impacted by the reality that Hester was one of the Red Devil Killers?
Then, Dean Munsch reveals to Hester she knows the truth. She remembers the baby in the bathtub, the girl, she knew it was Hester all grown up. To all this, Hester replies she needed a real father, she needed good influence instead of the painful upbringing she experienced. Even with all her amorality, Munsch knows the death of all those people was wrong, they did not deserve her wrath. Only Hester strikes a tentative deal: she won’t say anything about Munsch covering up the death of her mother those two decades ago, or the suspicious death of her husband, if dear Cathy won’t say anything about her murderous rampage. Deal struck. For now.
Grace is showing Wes (Oliver Hudson) around the new sorority house, including lifelines for girls like his wife who were forced into situations like happened twenty years ago, when she gave birth and died in that bathtub. They have lots of nice father-daughter catching up, including some typical hilariousness.
Then the courtroom scene with the Chanels is pure comedy gold. Especially when we see the jury’s ballot as marked NOT GUILTY, before Chanel #1 makes a scene, then the jury foreman crosses those decisions out and marks off GUILTY on “all 47 charges“. There are amazing instances of surreal comedy throughout Scream Queens and this whole scene is a perfect example of that. Even while the Chanels are complete pieces of shit, there’s something tragic about them being sent away to an asylum while Hester still walks around, murder in her heart. My favourite part of the episode is when the Chanels are shipped off to the asylum, as Simple Minds’ hit “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” plays throughout. Even after a bit Chanel #1 & #5 become best friends, as well as they all gorge on food because there are “no boys to stay skinny for“. Most laughs here: Chanel becomes House President of the asylum, toasting with prune wine brewed in lock-up. I mean, how can you not laugh? Such a downright funny sequence.
In the night at the asylum, Chanel tries to go to sleep. Only above her bed appears the Red Devil Killer. And so comes the end of Season 1.
I know others weren’t as pleased as I am, but I’ve got to say: I loved this finish. The whole thing didn’t wrap up completely, so Season 2 will come organically out of this finale. I’m excited to see where Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan take their unique horror-comedy vision for the next season. People are saying it was a predictable end. Why does everything have to be so twisty that you NEVER see it coming? Part of the fun of a slasher movie, and in turn a slasher styled series, is that you keep guessing. Sure, maybe you guessed with blind luck early on. Or maybe you guessed, then second guessed yourself, over and over, until finally your first guess was right. Either way, it’s all part of the fun. If you didn’t enjoy it, be done; don’t tune into Season 2. Me, I’ll be back with bells on. Looking forward to more hilarity and horror mixed together, with new adventures for the remaining Final Girls to look forward to down the road.
Will Dean Munsch pay for her indiscretions? Will Chanel #1 survive? Is Hester still the only one in the Red Devil Killer costume, or does she have new help? We’ll see next year.
FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 1, Episode 12: “Dorkus”
Directed by Bradley Buecker
Written by Brad Falchuk/Ian Brennan/Ryan Murphy
* For a review of the previous episode, “Black Friday” – click here
* For a review of the finale, “The Final Girl(s)” – click here
Starting at the end of “Black Friday“, Pete (Diego Boneta) reveals to Grace (Skyler Samuels) his role in everything happening. When Pete found Boone (Nick Jonas) out to be the Red Devil Killer, he thought it made sense that the Kappa House sorority were pure evil, everything that was wrong with society even. So Pete believes “the Kappas, the Chanels“, all that is the evil here; not the Red Devil. He compares the 100+ deaths at the sorority since the ’70s to the 8 or so at the Devil has taken. No big deal, right?
We get to see a bunch of scenes where Pete recounts which victims were by his hand. First, there’s Rodger, “or Dodger, I don‘t know – I get ‘em all mixed up,” says Pete. Yet even though crazy Pete is now confessing all this to Grace, there’s still the other Red Devil Killer. We haven’t yet figured that part of it all out. But there is a lot of good revisiting of scenes, plus Grace chastises Pete for being a murderer AND a douche, quoting Nietzsche like a dummy. Then there’s also the fact Pete was the one that actually killed Boone, not the supposed twin sister.
Pete goes back and tells Grace about his encounter with Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts). She reveals her darkest fantasy, or so she says, involving Clan of the Cave Bear, pulling Pete into a humiliation scenario where Chanel #3 & #5 (Billie Lourd/Abigail Breslin) watch him act just like a caveman, face and body point and all. Rough, and hilarious.
But Grace doesn’t want any part of Pete or his confession: “If you want me to stay, you‘re gonna have to kill me.” Pete has more information, though. The identity of the other killer; one of Grace’s sisters. Is it #3, who claimed Charles Manson was her birth father? The oft-tortured #5? It couldn’t be Chanel #1, could it? Before Pete can reveal who the “other baby in the bathtub” was, the Red Devil Killer appears from the closet, stabbing Pete who can only croak: “Run.” Grace and the other Red Devil wrestle awhile, before Grace gets knocked the hell out.
More great voice-over from Emma Roberts, as Chanel #1 struts her stuff down the sidewalk at campus. This is where we get the Delta Gamma parody from Chanel. Even better, the stylized sequence we get with the letter itself is AMAZING! Everyone from #3, #5, to Zayday (Keke Palmer) reads the letter on their phone, while we simultaneously get to watch/hear Chanel # 1 type the whole thing out. One of my favourite scenes out of the entire first season. It has all the venom and hilarity of the original letter it is satirizing. The whole thing has to do with Chanel #1 ending up alone at the pool with Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis), looking like an idiot with a bunch of chains. I couldn’t get enough of this sequence, it was so well done. Even more than that, I think we can count Ms. Oberlin out of the running for the other Red Devil Killer. Personally I can’t see her being the other killer. Especially seeing as how the other killer brought the missive she wrote to the world. And the plot thickens.
Chanel #1: “You can all SUCK IT!”
Chanel decides to kill herself, “like Cleopatra“. Zayday finds her on her bed with a deadly snake, supposedly, in a box. Turns out it’s just a garden snake in a knitted sweater half its body length. But Zayday sort of talks her down. They have a heartfelt chat about being nice, and not saying “the first horrible thing that pops into your head all the time”. Funny at times, sweet in others. I really love Zayday’s character; Keke Palmer is talented and has a ton of charisma, perfect for this role.
Then out of nowhere, the Red Devil Killer shows up, bumbling and acting like an idiot. When Zayday knocks him out, there’s a strange anonymous guy under the mask. Downstairs, Hester (Lea Michele) is also rambling, talking about a woman with scars on her face saying something like “Dork“. Not hard to tell: Melanie Dorkus (Brianne Howey) is somewhere lurking about.
Our anonymous guy in the Red Devil costume reveals he’s a pizza delivery guy. The real Devil wrapped his waist in dynamite. When the timer finally counts down and all the girls run away, it blows the pizza guy to bits. Pretty awesome and nasty scene, too. Afterwards, we see Chanel trying her hardest to turn a corner, planning an “apology tour“.
Over at her dad’s place, Grace sits for a drink with Wes (Oliver Hudson). He’s another great character who is pretty damn hilarious. This whole conversation at the start was a crack-up. Even further, they have a bit of a serious chat about trust, life. And then more conversation on the Red Devil Killer. Wes suggests “lie detectors” and “waterboarding“. Grace has other plans.
When Cathy Munsch arrives home, she finds her place littered with lit candles. Then upstairs on the bed, Wes is stretched out with a rose, a couple petals on the bed, in nothing but his underwear; in the background, Heart’s “Crazy on You” plays. Wes even switches over to some “Listen to Your Heart” by Roxette, pouncing on Munsch, as Zayday and Grace sneak about in the background.
The Chanels go to see Melanie Dorkus, except for #6, Ms. Hester. Instead, she stays back at Kappa. She rifles through all sorts of drawers in Chanel #1’s massive walk-in closet, sauntering around smelling shoes and touching dresses. Such a weirdo.
At the same time, Grace and Zayday try researching the other Kappa House ladies. They need to find out information pertaining to who might be the other killer, looking through the courses they’ve taken, their families, et cetera. Nice little reference to Sweet Valley High by Francine Pascal, too.
After some wild sex, Wes and Dean Munsch lay in bed as she smokes a joint. Then he rolls over and claims it was the best sex of his life. This whole bit made me laugh super hard, in the greatest way. But it ends with Wes wanting a relationship, and Munsch claiming they need Grace to “go away“, at least for a little while.
Wes: “I never knew sex could be like that. I mean, at first I was like, ‘Wow, she‘s being really loud. Are the neighbours gonna call the police?‘ And then I was like, ‘Wow, now I‘m being really loud! Why am I screaming so much? They‘re definitely gonna call the police!‘ And then I just stunned at how flexible you are. I thought you had to be a gymnast to get both feet behind your head.”
At the Dorkus residence, Chanel #1 & #3 are there to visit Melanie. Except they start things off comparing her to Freddy, Jason Voorhees, and even the Toxic Avenger and Rocky Dennis from Mask. Plus, #3 is in the background filming the apologize. Then #1 pulls out a pair of scissors trying to stab Melanie to death, claiming she’s the killer with all sorts of half-baked evidence. But Grace and Zayday show up to help stop Chanel; they say Hester is the Red Devil Killer.
Only #5 is lurking around Kappa House when the others return. She mysteriously earlier took off because of a Tinder swipe, or so she said. Maybe she was alerted to the fact someone was looking into the information of each of the Kappa girls? Perhaps #5 is the other baby from the bathtub.
The girls all find Hester in the walk-in closet, a high heel driven into her eye socket. She points at #5, shaking, saying: “Red Devil.”
Is it true?
Wait for the final episode, “The Final Girl(s)“. Let’s find out together.
FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 1, Episode 11: “Black Friday”
Directed by Barbara Brown
Written by Ian Brennan
* For a review of the previous episode, “Thanksgiving” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Dorkus” – click here
The beginning of “Black Friday” is naturally sassy. Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts) and her crew of brown nosers are in their glee. This is their favourite day of the year. Chanel loves it so much because she’ll buy cheap presents for her friends, making them question the bonds of their friendship. She also loves the stampede of piggish Americans forcing their way through the doors, charging one another and so on.
At Kappa House, Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) is consoling Zayday (Keke Palmer), who reluctantly admits Gigi’s roasted head actually smells sort of delicious. However, Munsch and the Chanels have a bit of a confrontation. #1 talks her down, like only she can with brutal sorority house vigour.
Wes (Oliver Hudson), Grace (Skyler Samuels) and Pete (Diego Boneta) show up at the police station. Turns out the mayor is pissed about the Red Devil Killer. He went ahead and fired most of the cop. But makes sense doesn’t it? The lead detective was an idiot.
At the mall, the Chanels end up in the darkened halls, the doors locked and chained. Then from behind the glass, outside, it’s the Red Devil with what looks like a crossbow. The Chanels all run screaming. The Red Devil is inside now coming for them. But instead of running with Hester (Lea Michele) and the others, Chanel #1 goes to confront the killer. She taunts the Red Devil, before taking an arrow to the chest. Though, before the killer can take her out, up shows Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash) who is now Chief of Police after all the nonsense. Of course the killer gets away.
Denise: “Man, why didn‘t I shoot him when I had the chance? I was busy talkin‘ too much”
Chanel survives, and back at Kappa she rallies about who the killer is: Dean Munsch. Not everyone believes it. However, Grace somehow ends up on the same side as Chanel #1. She gives an impassioned speech to all the others stating: “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to stop her. Dean Munsch has to die.” A consensus comes up between Chanel and Grace: they’ll poison Munsch. Really? Let’s see how things go down.
Hilarious douche Chad Radwell (Glen Powell) stands up at the podium giving a Dickie Dollar Scholar speech, but everyone is dead. Aside from Pete, who is there for some reason. Chad reads out Boone’s supposed Last Will and Testament. It’s full of things left to – dun, dun, dun – Pete Martinez. Strange, right? Chad’s convinced they’re gay lovers. But fact is, Pete seems to have been using Boone as an undercover source for his investigative reporting. Through all the foolishly funny nonsense Chad spews, he eventually asks Pete to join the Dickie Dollar Scholars. Pete refuses, as if he would ever say yes.
Chad: “Your body, Pete Martinez, is not a wonderland.”
Grace and Chanel #1 take a meeting with Dean Munsch at her place. They put on a ton of fake charm and sincerity. Honestly, I’m loving the writing from episode to episode, just because of how Ian Brennan/Brad Falchuk/Ryan Murphy & Co. take down a lot of the dumb things our society today has brought forward.
But there’s lots of mystery and suspense, as the girls bring Munsch a jar of apple cider. One which they’ve poisoned with fish venom. The Dean drinks a whole jar back quick, giving off a burp and exclaiming: “Yes – absolutely nutmeg! Excusez moi.” Jamie Lee Curtis is absolutely perfect for this role and I can see why it was specifically tailored for her. Not only has she gotten the chance to play off previous roles she played in horror films, even her mother’s performance in Psycho. Curtis gets a great chance to show off her comedic chops. She’s one hell of a funny, witty person.
Another thing I love is, again, the suspense. There are plenty of excellently suspenseful scenes throughout this first season. We get more of them in this episode, aided by an equally good score (as usual). The music of the series is beyond cool.
When Grace decides to change her mind about taking Dean Munsch out, Chanel #1 and the others – even Zayday sort of – decide to kick her to the curb. Back at home with her dad, and Pete apparently, Grace learns what the two have been up to. Wes confirms he didn’t know much about Gigi, to the point of not even knowing how to spell her last name. Doesn’t matter – her name isn’t Gigi Caldwell, but possibly Jess Meyer, a name she checked into the asylum with. A couple eerie, twisting plot points here. Plus, I find it funny Wes and Pete are bonding in any sense of the word because the whole dynamic with Grace and her father is a crack up anyways. Only makes things funnier. But then there’s also the fact Wes fathered the two Red Devil Killers, whose rampage has not yet ended even with Boone dead. So there’s a good deal of complexity happening, even among so much silly fun.
Chanel #1 has a plan for Dean Munsch. A bit of cryotherapy. Chanel and the other girls watch as the Dean heads down into the big chamber, waiting until she freezes to death. Except when they bring her back up, expecting her to be a frozen corpse, tough ole Cathy is still alive!
Pete receives a call at his place. Someone we don’t hear. He asks: “Why do you want to take this any further?” Then he ominously opens up his closet, looking at the Red Devil costume hanging there like we saw a bunch of episodes back when he and Grace were at his apartment. What’s Pete’s connection? Did he help any of the killings, or is he merely aware of it all?
The Kappa House girls all try to think of how Dean Munsch could’ve possibly survived. #5 (Abigail Breslin) rambles about Teen Wolf (the movie). Hester talks about Rasputin, and the tale of his supposedly vicious death after the first several attempts on his life did not work. A creepy little scene just from the way Lea Michele recites the whole story. So the final plan ends up with Munsch headed for a drowning, says #1.
Only when the signal goes out to the other Chanels, they’re busy being idiots. At the campus pool, #1 ends up alone. She and Munsch are there by themselves now, with #1 bringing along a bunch of chains. Nothing happens, only a bit of back-and-forth between them. This prompts Chanel to end up writing a missive, surely reminiscent of the Delta Gamma letter which took the internet by storm a while back.
Grace comes to Pete, wanting to give her body over to him. Yet he’s reluctant. Then he drops a bomb before the episode ends: “I don’t want your first time to be with a murderer.” What, Pete? What?
I’m beyond excited to see the next episode, “Dorkus”. Stay tuned with me to find out more about Pete and his revelations!