Scream Queens Recap: Texas Chainsaw Mascara

From left: Breezy Eslin as Jennifer, Abigail Breslin as Chanel No. 5, Skyler Samuels as Grace, and Keke Palmer as Zayday. Photo: Skip Bolen/FOX
Scream Queens
Episode Title
Editor’s Rating

Wow, my neck sure is in pain. It’s not because I took my neck brace off in a She’s All That moment where I went from a total dweeb to the queen of the prom with the removal of one unfortunate accessory. No, it’s from all the whiplash I got from the plot of Scream Queens moving like a roller coaster flying off the track and careening toward a black hole.

But, no, I’m not going to fall into the trap of trying to analyze the plot of a Ryan Murphy show. I’m not going to do it this time because that leads to nothing but heartbreak and despair. I am just going to enjoy this fuzzy confection for what it is — a parade of faux fur and silly deaths — and not look too deeply into what is going on.

That means I am not going to mention that Grace’s phone’s GPS says she’s upstairs in the Kappa house, even though when her father calls it, she is four hours away with her soon-to-be-boyfriend, investigating the Bathtub Baby. I’m not going to bring that up. Nor am I going to address the fact that before tonight the Red Devil didn’t have a signature weapon, and now, suddenly, everyone knows that he uses a chainsaw, even though we haven’t seen him murder anyone with a chainsaw yet. Nope, throwing that right out the window, too.

Instead I’m going to focus on the wonderful things, like the frat boys roaming the streets like a badass NKOTB dressed in white ascots, which is, strangely enough, a recurring erotic dream that I have every time I go see an Oscar Wilde revival. I’m only going to talk about Chanel’s closet vagina that her Uncle Karl fills up every fall. Wait, that came out wrong. These are the things that bring me to my happy place, which is also the same place where Nick Jonas is lying naked with a fake gash along his throat.

But a lot sure did happen, even though there were only two deaths — the unnamed Dickie Dollar Scholar with the weird tooth, and Coney, the new mascot that was meant to replace the Red Devil. In other hideous news, Grace only wore two ugly hats this episode, though she wore the plaid flat cap multiple times. Coney’s death was nothing more than a joke, and a pretty funny one, at that, where we see school mascots battle to the death like some sort of extreme version of a halftime show. Sadly, we never got to see what the dude on the inside looked like.

The Red Devil’s attack on the Dickie Dollars (which really should be spelled with a Z at the end) was basically to establish two things: that there are multiple people in the suit (which is something anyone who has seen Scream probably could have already guessed), and that Chad Radwell isn’t one of them. Well, unless he is, and there were just two other dudes in the suits, and there's a whole cabal of people dressing up like the Red Devil and killing willy-nilly. Which, let’s be honest, the Red Devil kind of seems to be doing. Sure, there seems to be some basis in revenge, but how can going after the new mascot and a random Dickie Dollar reach that end? And while we’re talking about dumb things, how stupid is it to use a baseball bat to attack a guy with a chainsaw? It’s like bringing your toaster with you to swimming lessons.

All the suspicion landed on Chad after Grace and Zayday started doing some snooping and are convinced that Chanel No. 2 is still alive. I have decided that numbering the Chanels makes them hard to remember and is a bit dehumanizing, so I have decided to rename them all after Chanel fragrances. Chanel No. 2 will henceforth be known as Chanel Coco Mademoiselle.

Like the Fresh Prince, Grace and Zayday go to Chanel Coco Mademoiselle’s mansion in Bel-Air, where they discover that she was also dating Chad Radwell behind Chanel’s back. When they reveal this to the group, it turns out that Chad was also dating Chanel Beige (formerly No. 3) and Chanel Egoiste Platinum (formerly No. 5). Grace takes this info to her lover, Pete, convinced that Chad is the Bathtub Baby, but Pete has other info. He found out that one of the names on the list, Greenwell, belonged to a former student who dropped out of her classes just days before graduation. The two of them find her address and drive four hours to go visit her. Seriously, has Grace even cracked one book the entire time she’s been at college? She sure takes a lot of road trips for a freshman who is also rushing a sorority and trying to hold down an academic career.

Zayday has some problems of her own because Denise Hemphill (#TrueDetectiveSeason3) thinks that she is the murderer, mostly because she once tweeted something suspect @ShondaRhimes and there was a chainsaw under her bed. Zayday explains that her grandmother sent that to her for protection, which, strangely enough, Denise sees as a reasonable excuse for having a chainsaw under your bed. (This is not the time to mention that no college kid still buys CDs at Best Buy whether or not Shondell worked there, and that I’m not even sure Best Buy even sells CDs anymore. Nope, this is not the time.)

Things are not going well for Chanel because Chad refuses to have sex with fewer people so that he can be with her. It’s because the pledge class is so ugly, so no one wants to date her with all those dogs around. Combine that with the fact that she’s losing all of her minions quickly, and she decides to give Hester Neck Brace a makeover and upgrade her to Chanel Coco Noir, enraging Chanel Egoiste Platinum, who wants to leave the sorority anyway because she had a really good three-way with two frat boys.

Speaking of weird stuff going on with the Chanels, Chanel Beige now has a new thing for Lez and decides that they should be “Alibuddies” so that when the next killing goes down, they can provide each other with alibis. This is all because her real father is Charles Manson. It all seemed like some kind of lie to cover up the fact that she is actually the murderer, but she has an 8/69 tramp stamp, which is also the month and year of the Sharon Tate murders, so maybe it is actually a thing? It seems like a thing, but a different thing from the Bathtub Baby thing. If she were closer to auburn, I would call Chanel Beige a red hairing. (Yuk yuk.)

However, the most action in the Kappa house is, strangely, thanks to Dean Munsch and Gigi, who move into the house under suspect circumstances. Munsch is after Wes, Grace’s father, because she must be sick of boffing hot but stupid students, and goes so far as to call dibs on Wes.

Then there was the whole hilarious bit with her white-noise machine that only plays baboon attack, depressurized airplane cabin, and slasher movie, and her chaste nightgown, which just makes us think she was the one who attacked Gigi and nicked Wes’s arm with a chainsaw before escaping out the window. Could she be the killer? I don’t think so, because that seems too easy. Same with Zayday. The Law  & Order Theorem states that the first couple of suspects never turn out to be the ones who committed the crime. One thing is for sure: One of the people in the Red Devil costume seems to be a much better murderer than the other (or others?). If you can’t even manage to kill Gigi right, your shit is busted.

A Collection of Funny Lines Taken Completely Out of Context

  • “Is she alive? Is she dead? What is going on with all of these bodies?”
  • “Do you know how many times it is ketchup? Zero percent of the time.”
  • “Your boobs are symmetrical, and you shave your box in an attractive way.”
  • “I heard that munching box is what killed Michael Douglas.”
  • “Find that tortured gay kid in your life and hold them close.”
  • “I’m, like, sorry, but that Lanvin sweater does not work with your job at Roy Rogers, welfare queen.”
  • “I totally slept with him, but my heart wasn’t in it.”
  • “Number of days without a Kappa getting murdered.”
  • “Chanel says I can hold her hair back on purge nights.”
  • “My grandmama sent me that chainsaw for protection.”
  • “Hashtag cahoots.”