Scream Queens Season 1 Episode 5 – TV Review
Thank whatever deities you hold dear, we finally get a chase scene.
It’s fucking rubbish, but Scream Queens, unlike its big sister, is at least trying.
That faint flicker of hope is yet to be fully extinguished.
TL;DR But damn if Chanel doesn’t try her best to ruin this episode by never shutting the fuck up; the kill of the week is another incidental, nothing character; most of our main characters spend the episode searching for Keke, but she escapes the Red Devil on her own, anyway; Nasim is in league with the Red Devil; Chanel’s rival Halloween charity event thing is cancelled, if anybody even cares about that.
I know I don’t.
So it’s, sadly, another Chanel-heavy episode, as she prepares herself and her minions for her upcoming pumpkin patch Halloween charity party. She faces resistance from a rebellious, but eventually subservient, Chanel Number 5. And Lea enacts a plan to get rid of Chanel that results in Chanel being arrested, but it’s only a temporary inconvenience. Jamie Lee finally institutes a curfew on campus that almost derails the party, but it takes the death of one of the frat boys at the venue to get it officially cancelled. Chanel tries to take consolation by forcing the presidency vote while Grace and Keke aren’t around, but they end up making it in time for the ballot. Boo. Meanwhile, Grace, the only Kappa who gives a shit that Keke has been abducted, rallies Pete, Niecy, Oliver, and Nasim to search for her. They track down the Red Devil’s lair, but Keke is gone (Keke later explains that she managed to escape. Or is it!?). Nasim tases the Red Devil, but before Niecy can bring the rest of the gang back to get him, he escapes. Which is probably owing to the fact that Nasim is his accomplice, which we learn to close out the episode.
Maybe Nasim just has a thing for mascot costumes?
Each episode brings me a little closer to liking Scream Queens.
And, despite it still being a Glee-hangover, American Horror Story wannabe trashpile (and who’d wanna be that these days?), this episode is thankfully devoid of any totally reprehensible scenes. Like that bullshit cafeteria tumblr rant last episode.
If Scream can become a decent show, then surely Scream Queens, with its mountain of dirty Fox money, can get there.
Why I hate this episode:
Unfortunately, Chanel is still the star of this show. And she does a lot of not shutting her mouth this episode, which is her worst move. Every time she starts a monologue I just tune out.
Chanel’s choices for her minions’ Halloween costumes are extremely disappointing. She wants them to all go as fallen presidents’ wives. Naturally, she chooses the only cool one, Jackie O, for herself, and then palms off a bunch of lower tier costumes to the others. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m not up to speed with American history, but those weren’t very exciting choices, right?
Chanel Number 5 sees the indignity of being forced to dress as Mary Todd Lincoln as the final straw in the string of abuse Chanel levels at her and attempts to revolt, but capitulates hardcore. What a waste.
Of further waste is Lea’s subsequent revelation to Number 5 that she’s planning to take down Chanel, get Keke elected, and then usurp Keke. This should have been an epic development, but the execution of the plan, which includes the excellent step of getting Chanel arrested for the maid’s murder, is only momentary. Chanel is bailed out of jail within milliseconds, and then Lea arbitrarily rolls over on Number 5, which doesn’t do anything to further her plan to rule Kappa.
Chanel blackmails Number 5 into breaking curfew and setting up the pumpkin patch by using footage she has of Number 5 masturbating to Dora The Explorer. Omg. So edgy.
The chase scene in the hedge maze is pretty low speed. The frat twins decide now is the time for Number 5 to choose which she loves more, which unsurprisingly ends in the other one, who separates from them, getting killed. Yet another victim we barely knew.
The twins can’t fucking act at all. It looks like Number 3 has met her match.
Keke gets locked in a hole in the Red Devil’s lair, and there’s a stinker of an allusion to The Silence of the Lambs. It’s sad, really. Like, the PLL version of that allusion level sad.
Lea’s assigned costume for Halloween is Ida McKinley. Ugh, we fucking get it. Jesus.
Scream Queens, now in episode 5, finally bothered to include an opening credits sequence. God, why?
I’m sick of Chad now. Unless he’s shirtless, I’m not interested. His monologues are almost as bad as Chanel’s.
Oh, and Chanel plans to hold her pumpkin patch beginning just after midnight on 1 November to dodge Jamie Lee’s newly-instated curfew. Because curfews expire at midnight? What?
But it’s not all bad:
The pumpkin patch provides the most compelling scenes of the episode. The hedge maze is modelled after the one from The Shining. Scream Queens must be out of its fucking mind to think it even deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as The Shining (besides, isn’t an embarrassingly pale imitation of The Shining American Horror Story’s thing this year? Curate your brands better, Ryan Murphy), but I actually appreciated the effort. The maze looks good.
Number 5 throws off the shackles of arbitrary emotional imbalance and acts like a real human being this episode. She gets the best line of the episode when she’s exasperated by the frat twins’ insistence that she choose which one she loves more while a serial killer is hot on their heels: “Why are we doing this right now?” Yep.
The other half of the episode following Grace’s search party feels almost like a proper slasher movie. Grace even gets to have a mini arc when she finds out Oliver and Nasim are hooking up, which is apparently his first hookup since her mum, and she assures him she’s learning to be okay with it.
And this team gets shit done. They make the smart move of using a Find My Phone-esque app to locate Keke, and it leads them to the cellar lair. Keke’s not there, but the scuffle with the Red Devil is cute enough. He turns out the lights and stalks Niecy and Nasim with night vision goggles. It works.
I’ll give Chanel points for calling the Kappa election while Grace and Keke, two guaranteed votes against her, are absent. Keke, thankfully, promptly shows up. And then Grace makes it in time to vote, too. I wonder who will win?
Keke explains that the Red Devil actually treated her well, including making her favourite nacho dish. Keke is no fool, though, and takes the opportunity to use her fork at the sit-down dinner to stab the Red Devil in the hand and leg it. Or so she says.
Jamie Lee and Niecy gossip about Jamie Lee having sex with Chad. Niecy reveals that she, too, has had sex with Chad. And unlike Jamie Lee, she thought he was pretty good in bed. I’d like to see some of that, please.
Grace is the only Kappa girl who is at all concerned when Keke is missing. I, too, don’t care about Keke. So I can relate.
Oh, and the rejected twin’s kill is off-camera, but a little spilled guts did wonders for Scream’s cred. I’m glad Scream Queens is following suit.