Scream Queens Season 1 Episode 8 – TV Review
It’s not too much to ask for this episode of Scream Queens to be an improvement on the rancid scum bucket that was last week.
Congratulations, Scream Queens. You gotta take those easy victories where you can get ’em.
TL;DR Grace finds out she isn’t the 1995 baby (and there might have been another one, too); Keke is still a lead suspect in Niecy and Chanel’s books; Nasim has two accomplices, one of whom is confirmed to be Nick Jonas; Jamie Lee gets arbitrarily attacked; Jamie Lee finally closes the university.
It only took the boring death of Candle Blogger to get there. Not a bad deal.
So now that we know Jamie Lee is a cold-blooded murderer and body mutilator, it’s time to put her in danger from the killers and expect us to care. We don’t, but Jamie Lee is changed by her experience, and agrees to give Grace the name of the dead bathtub girl from 1995. She and Pete get little out of it, but are inspired to return to the asylum and ask the painting lady if she ever met the wailing woman that we heard about way back when (who is Nasim). She did, and she shows them a painting of Nasim with two babies. Gasp. Grace confronts Nasim, but is quickly put in her place because Nasim is not easily rattled, and because she’s now engaged to Oliver. Grace goes into a frenzy and starts suspecting her dad of being the killer for some reason, but it’s Chanel to the rescue, as she’s been doing some research of her own. It turns out Grace’s mum isn’t bathtub girl, but the 1995 Kappa president. The meanest of mean girls. She fell down a crime spiral following Grace’s birth, and died in a drunk driving crash. Whatever. Meanwhile, Chanel hires Niecy (and, later, some Scotland Yard detectives) to prove Grace and Keke are the killers. Grace ends up pretty clean apart from her mum’s legacy, but Keke might not be out of the woods, as mere minutes after she chews out Niecy and Candle Blogger for suspecting her, Candle Blogger winds up murdered. This killing cements the fact that the campus isn’t safe (you mean it wasn’t Feather? No way!), and Jamie Lee closes it. And Nick Jonas fucking finally returns to trickle out some details in a phone conversation: Nasim is the one ordering him around, and he wants to unite with his other accomplice to take her out so they can get back to their original plan.
As long as that plan still includes killing Number 3, I’m in.
This episode isn’t as offensively and obviously filler as last week’s. But we don’t make a whole lot of progress, either.
Everything with the Chanels and Niecy is meaningless. The only thing Chanel does that matters is the presentation of the Scotland Yard detectives’ findings on Grace, which wasn’t something she did herself, anyway.
Niecy is sassy and black, but frustratingly redundant.
And she’s the best character in the show. That’s not good.
Why I hate this episode:
Why on Earth would the Chanels offer to pay her three million dollars for her investigation? They’ve seen firsthand how utterly terrible she is at her job. Idiots.
Niecy’s subplot also evolves into her staying at Kappa house, which then spurs her into becoming a wannabe Chanel and ruling the roost. Nobody just tells her to fuck off and shut up, which is the kind of thing that you’d expect from at least Chanel. But no. Lea, Number 3, 5, and Keke just sit and shy away as Niecy lays down new ground rules, and Chanel doesn’t put up a fight when Niecy demands that she go and apologise to Grace for being so cruel about her mum. And Chanel does. Why? Why is Niecy allowed power? Chanel herself earlier rued the fact that, with the university shut down, the sorority doesn’t mean anything. So they wouldn’t need a den mother, then, you know? Good grief.
Grace’s suspicions of Oliver come and go as each scene requires them. First she’s all “get away from me you could be the killer,” but just a few scenes later she’s sitting down for tea with him like everything’s fine. I thought Chanel’s constant up-to-eleven offensive monologuing was obnoxious, but I think Grace’s wishy-washy garbage could be worse.
Like I said, there is no emotional tension in the attack scene on Jamie Lee. We know she murdered and dismembered her ex-husband last episode essentially for the lulz, so there’s no reason to care about her being in danger.
And to add to the absence of emotional tension is an absence of any tension, as Jamie Lee easily dispatches three attackers at once by using some martial arts she learned long ago. It’s supposed to be badass and fun, but it’s just a weasel to keep the only decent actor in this show alive.
There are no opening credits again. That makes it one episode out of eight so far to use them. Bizarre.
Candle Blogger’s death does not include a chase scene.
We get a flashback within a flashback when Candle Blogger tells Niecy about a story Keke told her. It’s silly. And way too short.
Oliver didn’t actually propose to Nasim. She asked his permission to buy homewares for his apartment, and then came back from shopping with an engagement ring already on her finger. But he’s just playing along because it makes her happy. That’s fucking absurd.
Oh, and Nasim advises Oliver to commit Grace to a psychiatric care facility because her grades are bad. Seems fair.
But it’s not all bad:
Nasim does get to expertly shut down Grace when Grace confronts her with her irrefutable evidence: a painting a crazy lady did twenty years ago, and an embellished resume from when she applied as Kappa national president. Grace has nothing. Except a hateful milliner.
And a crazy, evil bitch mum. Personally, I think having the dumb bathtub girl as my mother would have been less upsetting than having the mean girl who allowed a friend to die because she wanted to listen to a TLC song. And, after giving birth to me, started making and/or selling meth, and then died while drink driving. But hey, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving girl than Grace.
One of the better scenes of the episode is when Chanel makes her Niecy-mandated apology to Grace, and reveals her own struggles with a shit mum. Chanel’s mum is basically a big version of Chanel, who groomed her daughter into becoming, well, someone like Chanel. I reckon Chanel and Grace could get a lot done if they joined forces. Chanel is more resourceful than Pete, in any case.
Niecy sasses her way adequately through her scenes.
Nick’s return is anticlimactic, but we now know that he has one other accomplice, and their goals are different than those of Nasim, their final accomplice. I assume the mystery accomplice is the other baby that we see depicted in the asylum woman’s painting; a baby girl.
Number 5 might be a candidate. The Scotland Yard detectives discover that she’s been trawling the deep web in search of someone to help her assassinate Chanel. Get a move on, then.
Jamie Lee gets attacked in a shower scene intentionally reminiscent of her mother’s iconic scene from Psycho. Scream Queens drops the ball on making a reference to that explicitly (Jamie Lee instead remarks how she’s seen Psycho fifty times), but it was reverent enough.
Oh, and I haven’t done one of these in a while: