Hey, folks! Welcome to this week's recap and review of "Scream Queens!" Glad to have you back for another week. So, please…. Let's be honest. How many of you lost sleep after last week's premiere episode, scared the Red Devil could be waiting for you outside your bedroom? Well, it doesn't look like you'll rest any easier this week. Just saying. (But again, in the spirit of the show, as much as it freaks me out, it's also kinda awesome). So, let's dive into our recap, shall we?
We begin the hour following Zayday and Grace on their food shopping trip — because "there is food nowhere in Kappa House. Guess it makes sense. The cook did get her face fried off" — where they mull over who the killer could be. (Girls, I feel you. I've been doing the same thing all week).
When the girls separate (albeit just by one aisle), Grace finds herself face to face with RDM. :-O. Luckily, she pulls out a gun (!!!) and aims it at him, while Zayday pushes over a shopping rack and sends him to the ground. Zayday then unmasks the killer to reveal…. Eugene, a kid in her political science class. (???!!!)
Hmmm… Somehow, it doesn't seem like we've caught the killer. First of all, there's the logistics of this only being the third episode — the reveal just wouldn't come this quickly. Second, why would RDM be some random guy in Poli-Sci (just introduced now and with no previous mention) when there is so much other (logical) evidence and reasoning pointing toward the killer being someone in the main cast/in the Kappa House/related to someone in the series. Maybe this supports my theory that there's more than one RDM. Could he have been the one watching Grace on pledge night in the pilot? I doubt he was the one in the cellar. But still, what was he doing there at that moment… in that costume? (Could Grace have been taking the last chocolate syrup or something? Was he comically diving for it?) Grace looks around nervously. Though the killer may not be Eugene, something's definitely not right.
Back at Kappa House, Chanel #2's body has apparently disappeared from the meat locker. Grace and Zayday go up to check on #2's whereabouts (isn't Hester the only one who knows the truth?), and run into Officer Denise. And yes, Niecy Nash is still in full comedic form, delivering another LOL monologue du jour, this time focusing on Luminol — a reactor to iron in hemoglobin — and Arby's. I can't do it justice… just do yourself a favor and look it up. Man, it's crazy how Murphy and Co. can pack such comedic moments into a series that can be equally bone-chillingly thrilling. (Well, it's easier when you have Niecy Nash…)
So, as we discovered at the end of the episode last week, Boone is still very much alive, but it's clear the rest of the Wallace University campus believes he's gone, as they're all attending his candlelit vigil. Chanel uses the opportunity to attempt to win Chad back. He doesn't budge, though, and once again refuses the princess for her lack of popularity, telling her to "pray that all those donkey-faced Kappa pledges get murdered so you can be popular again." Mm... that look in Chanel's eye is very telling. Could she be the killer, with that statement fueling her motive to continue her spree? Or… Could it be Chad, who's simply killing off the sorority ladies for being "the worst pledge class in the history of the university"? And could Chanel be next, for being responsible for that pledge class? Or is it neither of them? I'm just speculating, people.
Because of all the trouble the RDM killer has caused, Dean Munsch feels the Red Devil is no longer fit to be the school's mascot or represent the school in any way. As a result, she introduces Coney, the new mascot, chosen due to the fact that soft serve ice cream was invented in the state in which Wallace is located. (P. S. Yes, I'll admit I Googled it, but that statement is indeed fictitious. I knew something was fishy when the name Randy Barfman came up).
Grace and Zayday visit #2's parents (hey, shout out to Roger Bart, of Broadway's The Producers and Young Frankenstein) to give them the news about their daughter. But the girls receive a shock of their own, when #2's parents reveal that #2 — whose real name is Sonya, BTW — was a former alcoholic and rehab patient who previously dated Chad. So, could that be evidence as to who the killer was? Did Chad murder his former girlfriend? And then did he steal her out of the meat locker? IDK. That's all we get on #2's background for now. Maybe there'll be more revealed in later episodes? We'll have to see. (Though, important to note: it's also revealed that, although she's dead, her Instagram account is still active. Who do you think could be posting, and why?!)
Back at school, Grace arrives in Intro to Film Analysis to find that her professor is none other than Wes Gardner, AKA her father. She, appropriately, leaves in disgust.
For class, Wes decides to screen and analyze "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." "Has there ever been a more perfect weapon of destruction?" he asks in admiration at the film's end. Hmmm… could be a clue. Also, Gigi pops in during the screening, and from the tone of her conversation with Wes (and from other sparks present in last week's episode), it looks like these two are hitting it off. #WallacesNewCouple? Wonder what Grace will think.
Munsch enters. She wants to see how Wes' first day went, and also, if Gigi could meet her for a chat on the tennis court. It's really trivial, and doesn't even warrant mention. I just had to note there's something eerie about the three adult suspects all being in the same room together. And you can tell they totally suspect each other, too, but don't wanna say anything. #Tension
Elsewhere, Coney (whose real name is Aaron Cohen) is living the high life as the new Wallace mascot. However, that high life (and his regular one) is short-lived when RDM attacks him in his dorm room. Weapon of choice? A chainsaw! Looks like someone really enjoyed what they learned in class. Poor Coney. Who do you think did the deed?
Meanwhile, for no real reason at all, Hester sneaks into Chanel's closet and rummages through all her clothes. Within seconds, she's caught by Chanel, who's super pissed about the "heinous violation" of her privacy… until the topic of conversation becomes about her.
Turns out Hester's just jealous — her scoliosis has kept her from fulfilling her dream as a model, and the bulkiness of her brace from fitting into designer clothes… But Chanel's exactly her size! The queen bee then realizes she can use Hester's problem to her advantage: She will make over the new pledge in an attempt to get Chad's attention. (Tsk tsk. Always thinking about herself…)
And make her over she does! Hester emerges sans neck brace (can that be safe/legal?), decked out in a sparkly, strapless white dress, like a princess, with shoes and jewelry to match. She looks truly beautiful (I can't remember, but did Kurt do this with Rachel on "Glee"?), and Chanel christens her with a new name: Chanel #6. Chanel #5 is livid, and rightly so. She threatens to take Chanel down, claiming the queen doesn't deserve to be President — only creating further speculation that she, #5, may be the killer — but their feud is cut short by the news that Munsch and Gigi are both moving in with the Kappas for the week!! :-O
Grace visits Pete, who reports he's found dirt on Mandy Greenwell, a KKT sister who was present on the night of the birth 20 years ago, and never actually graduated from the university, dropping out "just two credits shy [of graduating] the same year that baby was born." (She also wasn't the best student, it seems, but that's beside the point). Mandy's not dead, though — she's alive and breathing… six hours from Wallace. Sounds like a road trip. The two lovebirds load up the van and they're on their way.
While out on a mission to avenge Boone's death, the Dickie Dollar Scholars are attacked by the RDM — well, two of them, which supports my theory — who takes fraternity member Caulfield as his latest victim, and seriously injures Chad (but Chad's not dead, I don't think). Either way, it rules out Chad as the killer: he can't attack himself. (But then, did he still take #2?)
In another part of town, Denise tracks down Zayday, and unloads a bunch of evidence on her that could expose her, Zayday, as the RDM. Denise also proposes the idea of two killers, which, again, I have to point out, I've been saying all along. (And which we know is true from what we saw with the frat boys). #Cahoots. It's all there in writing.
When Denise reveals the biggest piece of evidence against the young pledge — the chainsaw — Zayday presents an alibi explaining why she's got it lying around: her grandmother gave it to her to use for protection. Okay, that is a logical explanation as to why she has it… but that doesn't answer the question of if she used it or not. Hmmm….
Back at Kappa House, while Wes and Gigi are enjoying their date — or "salad," if you will — Munsch is totally third wheeling. I mean, it's hilarious, but… you know. I do think there's a motive behind it, however; I just can't quite figure out what it is. Having the killer be the dean who wants to do away with the sorority is just too easy (don't you think?), so I'm personally ruling that out. But there's a glint in Munsch's eye that says she wants to keep a close watch on these two, sort of silently insisting the three of them not split up. But, if she's indeed not the killer, why?
Wes excuses himself from the table to give Grace a call, who lies and says she's at the library when she's really at a gas station pit stop — called Last Stop Gasoline, natch — en route to tracking down Mandy Greenwell.
Say what you will about Grace as a suspect, but I think there's enough evidence out there to prove that she, too, can't be the murderer. She's too into solving the case of the baby and that mysterious KKT death, and she's too naive about the whole case. If she was the RDM, she'd definitely know more about the topic. Also, given her nature, I think she probably also would have come clean (at least to Pete) by now. Additionally, she's clearly too far away from the sorority house at this point, and I highly doubt she raced back that fast just to perform another murder (more on that later). It's simply not plausible.
I will say, however, she definitely does have some ties to the murder that happened 20 years ago. It's just an inkling I have… she's so into solving the case… there are definitely going to be some shocking clues that are uncovered. I just can't figure out what they are. Oh, well. Again, all the more reason to tune in next week!
Anyway…. after Munsch's white noise machine proves too loud for her to fall asleep, Gigi resolves to catch her Zzz's on the couch downstairs. Oof. Bad move. Almost immediately, she comes face-to-mask with RDM, who, for the third time this episode, is wielding the chainsaw.
As RDM lurches toward her, Wes bursts in and attempts to save her, but gets injured in the process (don't worry, he's still alive!). Nonetheless, Gigi karate-chops RDM, causing him to fall behind the couch. As a result, she is spared.
So, here's my verdict: I believe the killer isn't Zayday — though it is suspicious she's not with the gaggle of girls who run downstairs frantically post-murder-attempt (but again, she had an alibi) — but rather, someone using Zayday's chainsaw. Someone who knows about Zayday's chainsaw. In the Kappa House. Who's not Gigi, Wes, Chanel, Sam, #3, or #5. Hmm…
Heck, all the evidence this week points to the Chainsaw Massacre-er being Denise. She knew about the blood in Chanel #2's room, she knew about the chainsaw, and she knew that there were (allegedly) two killers. Just speculation, but again… some darn good clues.
But I will say, I still don't believe — even if Wes and Gigi do — that Munsch is the killer. For me, it's too easy.
So, in review, a lot of proposed killers were ruled out this week (IMO), due to their one-on-one interactions with the RDM. It's good, though; keeps us on our toes.
Performance-wise, the star of the week IMHO is Keke Palmer, who's a Broadway vet — late of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. I'm really glad her character was able to be fleshed out in this episode, 'cause she was definitely pushed to the wayside last week, in favor of focusing on Ms. Bean, Chanel #2, and Boone (And on that note, where was Boone this week? I'm dying to know the full story behind why and how he's still alive). Even though we didn't spend a full hour on Zayday (though we didn't need to), we've gone a little deeper into who she is as a person and we know a heck of a lot more about her life, from the big details to the small: She's taking political science and philosophy, her grandmother gave her a taser and a chainsaw (the latter of which she keeps in her bedroom), and she likes chocolate syrup on her ranch chips. That's some pretty A+ character development there, Mr. Murphy.
So, where do we stand? Chad's frat bro has been killed, though Chad himself is still alive, as is Wes, who's also injured; Zayday's looking suspicious, though Gigi's blaming Munsch. Meanwhile, Grace and Pete are off uncovering more info on the '95 death, and… Oh, yes. Hester's gone rogue without a neck brace. There's no stopping her now! Seems like we've got all we need to be ready for next week. Tune in, and hopefully, I'll see you then!
Total Body Count: Chanel #2, Tiffany, Shondell, Aaron Cohen, Caulfield