Scream Queens Season 1 Episode 4 – TV Review
Scream Queens: the show where for every genuinely funny double/over-talk scene with Niecy, there is a ripped-from-tumblr, didactic rant dripping in enough hypocrisy to drown a fish.
It really is Glee all over again.
TL;DR Skyler and Pete continue mostly fruitlessly in their investigation of the actual mystery; Keke and Chanel bicker over the Kappa presidency; Lea tries to seduce Chad to supplant Chanel; there’s a haunted house or something; Nasim almost definitely is one of the 1995 Kappa girls.
Probably the lazy brunette who sat around and watched her friend die instead of calling a fucking ambulance.
I’m name upgrading Skyler to Grace. But I’ll be damned if I’ll ever type the name “Zayday.” Keke will be Keke forever.
So Grace and Peter (and, sometimes, Niecy) keep on as the only characters doing anything worthwhile with the mystery proper. They follow up on their lead from last episode and question one of the 1995 Kappas. She tells them about how Jamie Lee forced them all to cover up the girl’s death, and she never told them what happened to the baby. She does reveal that the baby was a girl, shooting down Grace and Pete’s speculation that it’s Chad (so transphobic omg). Grace, because she’s a Ryan Murphy character, naturally assumes that she, herself, is the baby. Because she’s just that special, you know? But Oliver denies it. Meanwhile, Chanel’s joy at the oncoming of Halloween is dampened when Keke announces she will run against Chanel as a Kappa presidential candidate. Keke sets up a haunted house party to fundraise for charity, so Chanel makes plans to host a rival fundraiser. Keke’s haunted house is ruined by the surprise appearance of all the dead characters’ bodies in it, though, and urban legends about the venue’s old hag inhabitant point in the direction of Nasim (but only the viewers get to see that). The people who find the bodies at the haunted house are Lea and Chad, who, despite both boasting to have necrophilia fetishes and planning to have sex because of how hot death is, run at the first sight of actual corpses.
Way to not follow through, Chad. Weak.
For all the steps this episode makes in the right direction, I feel compelled to praise it.
But, just like the poison of the premiere episodes, Chanel is lumped with a bizarre rant that completely derails any good work Scream Queens had been amassing.
Just shut her up, show. Put in a bloody song or something to fill that time, instead. Scream Queens is better when Chanel isn’t talking.
Why I hate this episode:
The rant in question occurs in an entirely tangential, meaningless cafeteria scene that comes out of nowhere. The Chanels (Chanel, Number 3, Number 5, and Lea) are sitting down to their lunch of cotton balls with dipping sauce when they are kind of catcalled by a couple of dudebros. Chanel, the girl who we literally just saw eating cotton balls with dipping sauce, and who we know proudly holds “purge days” at Kappa, calls out the dudebros on objectifying them and creating a society where girls get eating disorders. Remember, this is Chanel talking. The dudebros then make obligatorily smartassed remarks, which pushes crazy Lea to kick one of them in the balls. This then quickly escalates into all four of the girls brutally gang bashing, including kicking them while they’re down (stay classy, ladies), the two guys. And, just to prove that this was indeed ripped from a r/thathappened thread, the entire cafeteria erupts into applause.
It’s just, like, I keep trying to give Scream Queens a chance. You saw how I simmered down last episode. But then something like this happens, and the ghosts of Glee and Kurt’s speeches come to haunt me. Why, Ryan?
The episode, titled “Haunted House, don’cha know, gives us a little local urban legend about a haunted house that used to have a wailing hag inside. Reports indicated that, around the time the 1995 Kappa incident occurred, there was a baby possibly living inside the house. Couple this with the dead bodies that show up later, and we’ve got the makings of a cool little haunted house mystery on our hands. But nope, Scream Queens farts out the answer to the mystery in the closing sequence by showing Nasim sitting in the house in the wailing woman’s cloak. You guys didn’t want a hook for next week, right?
After the appearance of the bodies at the haunted house, Oliver demands that Jamie Lee shut down the college. Because students are getting killed. Jamie Lee smugly rattles off, while police stand there and support her, that several of the victims were not students. Except that Ariana and Coney were. This scene is quickly abandoned without resolution, unsurprisingly.
The episode starts with a sequence showing that Chanel apparently has a legion of Instagram followers who she sends Halloween gifts to. Because she loves Halloween so much. I don’t really do Instagram, so maybe that’s why I don’t get it, but it’s not like Chanel is actually a celebrity or anything. Did the writers forget that she isn’t Madison from AHS season 3, again? Because I can understand their confusion.
I’m disappointed that Chad doesn’t really have a dead body fetish after all. Yeah, the masturbation in the cemetery was gross, but I would have given the show points if it had properly followed through with it.
Nick is still absent.
The death of the 1995 Kappa who Grace and Pete interview does not include a chase scene. Also, I’m getting worried at how arbitrary these “we must have one every episode” deaths are. At least we met most of the characters in Harper’s Island at the start, so we’d seen them at least once before they died.
The frat bro who had his arms chopped off last episode didn’t die. Which means I guess we’ll have to endure more of him.
Keke and Earl Grey are paired up. Because romances need to be race-appropriate.
Oliver says “See you next Tuesday” again, but it falls flat this time.
Oh, and after discovering a slew of for-real dead bodies, Chad and Lea go to a coffee shop instead of going to the police. For fuck’s sake.
But it’s not all bad:
After our main heroes discover the bodies, Keke immediately wants to call 911. Pete tries to persuade her not to, because it could lead to her getting in trouble for covering up the maid’s death. But Keke actually does it, anyway. Kudos, baby.
Of course, the 911 operator thinks she’s just a prankster, and Keke is then abducted from the haunted house by the Red Devil. But the cops do get involved later, so that’s something.
Jamie Lee expertly refutes Oliver and Nasim’s accusation of her as the killer from last episode by pointing out exactly how absurd it is. Scream Queens finally threw me a fucking bone.
I actually did get a chuckle out of the scene where Niecy and Pete say the same thing at the same time when talking about their research into the haunted house. Niecy is no Reese from Urban Legend, but she’s easily the breakout star of Scream Queens so far. Jive talk sells.
We get some important details filled in about the 1995 Kappa incident. Jamie Lee insisted on covering up the death of the mother, and went as far as putting hoods over the girls so they couldn’t see where she drove them to bury the body. She also forced them all to quit college and disappear (the woman Grace and Pete questions says, of the three apart from her, that one killed themselves, one was institutionalised, and one is on Fox News). Jamie Lee’s stake in the coverup was that her career would have supposedly been ruined if it came to light that a student under her watch died. So that’s something.
Niecy still thinks Keke is the killer. Her case is backed up by the recent chainsaw attack on the frat boys, and she knows Keke has a chainsaw.
Keke hits back that she’s discovered that Niecy is a failed Kappa pledge from 1988 who quit college and ruined her life after that humiliation. Jive back at ya, bitch.
Oliver shows The Children of the Corn, another classic horror movie, in his class this episode. But I’m confident that we won’t be seeing Scream embarrassingly show up at any point because it would clash with, well, Scream. Goddamn, I hope so, at least.
Oh, and Chad might be weak-willed, but we almost see him whip his dick out in a graveyard. So I can’t stay mad at him forever.