Scream Queens Season 1 Episode 7 – TV Review
Yeah, not this week.
TL;DR Jamie Lee gets arrested but then exonerated but then turns out to be a murderer (if not the Red Devil); most of the episode is tied up in some bullshit between Jamie Lee and her ex-husband’s new, former Kappa, girlfriend; Grace and Pete are incompetent investigators; the Chanels talk to Ariana on a Ouija board.
For fuck’s sake, don’t remind us.
So you know how we had a halfway decent slasher setup, and even a scene with actual tension last episode? Those days are gone. This episode is all about Feather, a former Kappa from a couple of years ago who stole Jamie Lee’s husband, Steven, and was then forced out of the college by a bitter Jamie Lee. Feather relates her tale to Grace and Pete, who, given the breathtaking incompetence of the actual detective on the Red Devil case, take it upon themselves to root out the killer. Steven then ends up murdered, and Jamie Lee is arrested as evidence at the scene points to her. Again, because the actual detective is useless, Jamie Lee appeals to Grace and Pete to prove Feather actually did it. They find out Feather did, Jamie Lee is released, Feather is imprisoned, and then, because tension isn’t allowed on Scream Queens, Jamie Lee tells us in voiceover at the end of the episode that she actually totally did kill Steven. Because hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Particularly one who is willing to wait arbitrarily until episode 7 of a season to take her revenge. Meanwhile, Number 3, Number 5, and Lea convince Chanel to contact Ariana via Ouija board to get some closure. Ariana’s spirit fingers Chad as cheating on Chanel, but it turns out she was lying. She also fingers Chanel as the killer, which causes her minions to band together to murder her. But before they can, Ariana appears to Chanel in a dream and apologises for the lies. Chanel brings her minions together, instead, to expose Grace and Keke, because they are obviously the killers. And Nasim gets a big scene where she talks on the phone to her Red Devil and in no uncertain terms makes it clear that she and her (multiple?) accomplices are the real killers.
But are they the only ones?
This episode is such obvious filler. Feather comes and goes for no reason other than to give Jamie Lee some backstory that could have been easily covered in a few sentences of dialogue (“My husband left me for a college skank. I’m not happy about it.”). Likewise, the Chanels don’t do anything plot-forward.
The only one who is plot-forward is Nasim, who gets her phone conversation just dumped in without ceremony, and then vanishes for most of the episode.
If you and your Red Devils are here to kill people, fucking hop to it, already.
Why I hate this episode:
Yet again, the kill of the week is a random minor character who is only introduced this episode (Steven). Fuck you, Scream Queens.
His death does not include a chase scene. He dies offscreen, and we just get to see his dismembered body parts. Boo.
The full reveal of Jamie Lee as his killer at the end of the episode was such overkill. If that secret had been kept, then there would be some mystery surrounding the death that could be played for tension in a later episode. But no, Scream Queens is all about instant gratification. And it’s not even gratifying. And with Jamie Lee now confirmed as a woman able to kill and dismember her ex-husband in cold blood, she also loses any emotional stake as a potential victim.
The Chanels are just treading water with this Ouija board bullshit. I’m surprised Scream Queens even bothered to bring Ariana Grande back on screen after her character died several episodes ago. Don’t you know that costs money, Fox?
The net outcome of the subplot is that the Chanels band together to go after Grace and Keke. Because Chanel says so. Chanel could have saved us all some time and just said so at the start.
The episode repeats the ending of the last episode where Chanel buys presents for the girls. It’s only for her minions this time, but it’s embarrassing that Scream Queens would play the exact same beat two episodes in a row.
The absolute nadir of the episode comes when Chanel barges into Chad’s bedroom after Ariana’s ghost accuses him of being a cheater. Firstly, Chad is a huge fucking cheater, so Chanel’s soaring disbelief that he could fail his monogamy pledge is ridiculous. But it gets so much worse when Chanel finds him shirtless and in bed with a goat. Naturally, she assumes he’s fucking it. But oh no, it’s actually there because Chad wants its milk. You see, Chad is lactose intolerant, and that’s why he was shirtless and in bed with a goat. Scream Queens has done some stupid shit, but this is one of those moments that you just have to wonder how, when dozens of people work on this show, this scene can not only be written, but can be proofed, filmed, edited, and aired without anybody stopping it.
Number 3 is still a fucking awful actress. Die soon. Goddamn.
There are no opening credits again, which just keeps piling on the baffle factor for why they were suddenly included in (and only in) episode 5.
There’s a pathetic clunker of a joke about how Feather doesn’t know what a radio is. It’s not as “what planet is this from?” as the goat thing, but, like, come on. Just come on.
Grace and Pete become convinced that Feather must be Steven’s killer because a half-eaten bologna sandwich is found at the crime scene, and they had recently witnessed Jamie Lee going off on an asylum (she’s held in an asylum after her arrest) worker for trying to give her a bologna sandwich. She fucking fed you that information, you idiots. Jesus Christ.
Oh, and there are several “jokes” about the sandwich (so randumb lolz!!!1!) and the pronunciation of “bologna.” Really?
But it’s not all bad:
Jamie Lee certainly gets shit done.
Nasim is the most valuable player this episode. She gets a phone call from someone, of which we only hear her side. It’s presumably the Red Devil she spoke to a couple of episodes ago, and she goes on about how they’ve got a big revenge plan going and that they’re killers and stuff. She orders the person on the other end of the phone, and they are apparently reluctant, to get out and start killing more people. The conversation also implies that Nasim has more than one killer at her disposal, and that they could be family.
Although it would be a pretty big cheat, I’d be okay with a season-ending reveal that there were several killers/groups of killers, all with different motives, and all unaware of each other. That has some comedic potential.
The gift Chanel gives her minions is a Nancy Drew kit-out, including a hat and magnifying glass. I get it.
Chanel badmouths the shit out of Ariana during her funeral, which Chanel holds at Kappa because Ariana’s parents were too busy celebrating their daughter’s death. It worked.
Chanel gets the best line of the episode when doubting whether the Ouija board idea will work. Lea uses poor evidence to convince her:
Lea: “Didn’t you see the movie?”
Chanel: “The movie ‘Ouija?’ No. No one did.”
And those of us that did wished we hadn’t.
Oh, and we get a shirtless Chad scene. It’s better than nothing.