Scream Queens Recap: Truth or Scare

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From left: Breezy Eslin, Emma Roberts, Abigail Breslin, and Billie Lourd. Photo: Patti Perret/FOX
Scream Queens
Episode Title
Seven Minutes in Hell
Season
1
Episode
6
Editor’s Rating
3/5

I promised myself at the beginning of this season that I wasn’t going to get bogged down in the classic Ryan Murphy inconsistencies when they cropped up on Scream Queens. I was just going to enjoy this crumbly little trifle for what it is: a silly pop confection full of zippy one-liners. In keeping with my pledge, I am not going to bring up how it was never adequately explained how the girls got locked in the house, how they eventually got out of the house, how the Red Devil always seems to inexplicably escape after he’s been knocked out, or why Grace insists on wearing all of those damn ugly hats.

However, I am going to mention one fundamental flaw in the show’s logic: The killer doesn’t really seem to be after Kappas. Well, he does, but he surely hasn’t killed that many. Right now, if you count Boone (who everyone on the show thinks is dead, even though we know he’s alive), the Red Devil has killed more Dickie Dollar Scholars than he has Kappas. He’s only killed three — Chanel No. 2, Deaf Taylor Swift, and Predatory Lez — but four Dickies — Boone, Caulfield, Roger, and Dodger. To say that the killer is after Kappas is just the same as saying that he’s after college mascots or security guards at the Best Buy parking lot. Yes, many of these crimes seem to happen around the Kappas, but Caulfield losing his arms didn't, and neither did Coney's. For a killer who is after the Kappas, he’s really bad at killing them, instead going after everyone around them.

A truth-or-dare slumber party episode sure was a good idea, though. As Chanel Coco Noir says, it’s the perfect way for the killer to pick them off one by one, even though the killer didn’t try to pick them off, instead settling for Roger, who got a bunch of nails to the face so he looked like the creature from Hellraiser, and Caulfield, the guy who had his arms chopped off by the Red Devil a few weeks ago. This time he got gored with an ax. Do you call all the droplets of blood that got all over his shirt “ax body spray”?

At the end of the episode, the Red Devil did come for Chanel and Zayday (was it just me, or did Chanel not really seem legit surprised when she saw the killer in the tunnels below the house?), but they escaped his clutches once again. This confused me because last time the Red Devil kidnapped Zayday and kept her prisoner, but then released her because he was in love with her or something. Now he’s trying to kill her for real? It doesn’t track.

Oh, but we’re not supposed to talk about such things, are we? No, we are not. Instead, let us talk about the slumber party, where the girls played Spin the Bottle and no one had to explain the rules, but then they played Truth or Dare and Zayday had to remind everyone how to play. It was almost worth it to have Chad Radwell go off about how there is no such thing as “truth or dare or lie,” like an idiot who is also kind of totally awesome.

Both games gave us some insight as to what is going on with Chanel Beige. During Spin the Bottle, we learn that she’s not just using Sam (better known as Predatory Lez) for some unspecified ends, but that she actually has romantic feelings toward her. Later, when Sam has to expose Chanel Beige's darkest secret, Sam tells everyone that Chanel Beige’s father is really Charles Manson, which sort of creeps everyone out and makes them think she’s the killer.

But I don’t think she is. It just seems way too obvious. Just because she thinks that she was born without the part of her brain that makes her feel things doesn't mean she's homicidal. I did love her explanation about the earmuffs, though — that her ex was driven crazy by her ears and threatened to break out of his institution to cut them off. That is entirely plausible, way more plausible than any reason that Grace could give us for all of those ugly hats.

Even though Chanel Beige isn’t the killer, she sort of sent Sam to her death when she told her to go down in the basement and sleep in the Bathtub of Doom. I was sad to see her go. Next to Cathy, the candle vlogger, she was my favorite of the weird Kappa pledges. But, as Dean Munsch said at the end of the episode, she really was just cannon fodder. Her trip to the basement really was pretty darn scary, but it was only made more frightening by the terrifying song on the soundtrack, late-'90s scourge "Tubthumping." That really made my blood curdle.

With one fewer Kappa, it should be easier to figure out who the killer or killers are, but attempting to figure it out really makes my brain itch. I have a feeling it’s going to be like five people, and I just can’t possibly plan for all of those variables. We know that Gigi and Boone are somehow involved in the whole conspiracy, but there have to be more than just the two of them. Something offhanded Chanel No. 5 said makes me think she is a good candidate. At the end of the episode, she tells Chanel Beige that the only reason she’s even in the sorority is because she’s a legacy. Does that mean her mother was there on the night of the Bathtub Baby? Is she there to get revenge for something that happened in the past? Seems likely. Certainly more likely than her vagina having teeth.

The star of this entire episode, though, was Chad Radwell, who is definitely not one of the killers. Before we got him in small doses and he was always adequately funny, but in this episode, he managed to steal multiple scenes, like his homoerotic “keep sucking, keep sucking, yeah, don’t stop” when Caulfield was slurping up SpaghettiOs. There is also his brilliant explanation to Chanel about why he found her attractive, which mostly has to do with her money and gullibility. I guess that almost makes up for the absence of Chad Radwell’s lover and weekly MVP Denise Hemphill from this episode. Do you think she was off investigating? No, she was probably just enjoying her day off at the Burger Shack.

A Collection of Funny Lines Taken Completely Out of Context:

  • “Are you one of those idiot savants that is heavy on the idiot and light on the savant?”
  • “We all know you only hang out with Predatory Lez because you think she knows karate.”
  • “I present to you the acting president of Kappa Kappa Tau, Zayday Something.”
  • “There are two things that always happen at a slumber party. Someone experiments with lesbianism, and secrets are revealed.”
  • “Our vaginas may never touch. It’s too dangerous.”
  • “Jodie Foster’s was small and gross, so I made the whole house into a panic room.”
  • “Mine’s a satellite phone. Elon Musk gave it to me. It’s armed for space travel.”
  • “I love Space Mountain. Best ride at Disney Land. But I love my penis more.”
  • “I’m going to ask my boyfriend, Chad Radwell, to dial out on my pink phone.”
  • “When I think about that girl, the really rich one who is easy to trick, I think she’s pretty special, too.”
  • “Haggie Gyllenhaal.”
  • “Wendy Hart. Kappa President 1970. Personally responsible for crushing the anti-war movement on campus by having the administration ban macramé, fringed vests, and Creedence Clearwater Revival songs.”
  • “What a great way to pretend all these people we know didn’t just get murdered.”