Scream Queens Recap: Un-American Psycho

By
Keke Palmer. Photo: Patti Perret/FOX
Scream Queens
Episode Title
Mommie Dearest
Season
1
Episode
8
Editor’s Rating
3/5

There were a lot of awesome things in this episode. The first of which was Chanel’s dress with the sequined snake slithering up it, which is perhaps the coolest thing I have seen since I saw a Fendi monster purse in the store window at Saks. If I were a lady, I would wear that dress every day, and since I’m not a lady, I’m just going to wear it on Halloween, Saturday evenings on Fire Island, Thursday nights at home alone, and other homosexual occasions that require dressing up as the opposite gender. Chanel’s snake dress is diametrically opposed to Grace’s ugly hats of which there are only three, which is the saddest fact about them. It is one thing to want to wear an ugly hat every now and again, but to have such a finite number in rotation makes it seem like she’s a USPS letter carrier whose uniform choices include those weird necktie things, a polar-fleece vest, or something with shorts and a bucket hat. Grace would probably love the hat.

Another awesome thing was Jamie Lee Curtis reenacting the shower scene from Psycho. When the Red Devil goes to stab her she escapes and shouts, “I’ve seen that movie 50 times.” That’s especially funny because Psycho starred Curtis’s famous mother, Jennifer Jason Leigh. You might ask, “How is Jennifer Jason Leigh Jamie Lee Curtis’ mother?” To which I respond that Jennifer Jason Leigh is actually much older than you think and just has a really excellent dermatologist. Oh, just kidding. Jamie Lee Curtis’s mother is Janet Leigh and she played the crazy roommate in Single White Female. Wait, now I’ve even confused myself.

Anyway, this whole episode was about mothers, and we finally got some answers about Grace’s mother, the Bathtub Baby, and just what Denise Hemphill would do with her lottery money. There were other awesome things, too, like the return of Boone and his beautiful, beautiful arms, Denise Hemphill threatening to steal Chanel’s man if she’s not nice, Chanel and Chad Radwell’s compliment competition, and Chanel Beige admitting that no one has ever once used the fry-o-lator in the kitchen. Still, even with all of that and some more clues to the mystery, it somehow seemed a little bit flat. Maybe it’s because this was the least funny episode yet and we’re just so used to the quips and insults that without them it seemed to drag a bit.

The episode starts with Dean Munsch getting all Psycho in the shower and facing off against two Red Devils and a third Red Devil wearing an Antonin Scalia costume that Gigi got in the 70 percent off bin at the Halloween store. Not only was it great to learn that Dean Munsch is a kung fu master, but that she also beat the crap out of Scalia for his ultraconservative rulings. The one crazy thing, however, was that she didn’t try to take off one of their masks while they were passed out on the floor. Hasn’t she ever seen an episode of Scooby Doo?

Back at the Kappa House, the remaining Chanels offer Denise Hemphill $3 million if she can pin the murders on Grace and Zayday. While interviewing Zayday’s roommate, Jennifer the candle vlogger, Jennifer admits that when ZD was in high school she got “real revenge” on the popular girls who ridiculed her. We never quite found out what that revenge was. Hmm.

After Zayday overheard, Jennifer the candle vlogger became the Red Devil’s next victim, which seems a little bit convenient, doesn’t it? This death irked me for a few reasons. If she was filming on her laptop, wouldn’t she have seen the Devil approaching her from behind before he stabbed her? And how did the Devil not choke in that room with all of those scented candles burning at once? It must have smelled like a cesspool of vomit let out by a dozen fourth-graders who were binging on the Dylan’s Candy Bar fruit-chew buffet for six hours. I give mad props to the PA who lit all of those candles at Jennifer’s memorial, because you know it was not easy to keep all 500 candles burning at once so the director could get that one, amazing (and very short) shot of it.

All of this was really tangential, however, to Grace’s story, which took up most of the time this week. Chanel hires Scotland Yard to find out who the killer is and they only found out that Chanel No. 5 has been working on the deep web to try to find people to help her kill Chanel Prime. They also discovered that Grace’s mother was the president of Kappa when the Bathtub Baby was born — you know, the one who wanted to make “Waterfalls” the national anthem. It turns out that Grace is not the Bathtub Baby as she suspected all along.

From the dossier we find out that Grace’s mom met her father, Wes, at that fateful party (or shortly thereafter), got knocked up, dropped out of college, became a drug addict, and died in a car crash when she was driving drunk. Wes, more than a little bit psycho, told Grace that she died in a fire and even burned their house down to make his story look real. Anyone who will commit arson is more than a little bit nuts. Speaking of which, what was up with Wes staring into that ugly mirror like that? Does he not know what his face looks like? Was he inspecting a budding zit on his forehead or something?

Now that Dean Munsch is a target for the killers, she wants to help Grace find the Bathtub Baby and offers up the name of the girl who died: Sophia Doyle. That’s not enough for Grace and Pete to figure out who the killer might be so they try to determine the identity of the Hag who took the Bathtub Baby. This leads them back to the lady in the nuthouse who paints the pictures of all the patients. I told you! She hands them a portrait of Gigi, but also a portrait of Gigi with two babies: a boy and a girl.

I also called that there were two babies and that Grace and Pete are somehow siblings and they’re hooking up and that’s totally gross. That doesn’t seem like it could be the case now, because Grace is certainly not the Bathtub Baby, unless Wes is a really great liar, and the fire wasn’t to cover up Grace’s drug-addict mother, but that she was the child of a dead woman. But if it’s not Grace, then who is it? Chanel? That seems unlikely, since we learned this episode that she has siblings and her mother was a total monster who didn’t seem to want the kids she had. Zayday is ruled out for race-related reasons. Who’s left? Chanel Beige? Hester? Those are the only other choices. Pete has to be the boy baby. Either Pete or Boone, right?

Anyway, when Grace confronts Gigi she says that the proof is only circumstantial. Seriously, everyone on this show needs to learn the difference between things that sort of look kind of bad and actual legitimate proof, because they’re always finding out things and accusing people of being the killer even though they are not at all related. It’s like someone fingering me for the crime because I have about 20 Sausage McMuffin wrappers wadded up under my bed. I mean, it’s really gross, but it doesn’t mean I’d put on an Antonin Scalia mask.

This is especially true when Grace accuses Wes of maybe being the killer. Her logic is that if Wes knew her mom and her mom knew Gigi then Wes had to have known Gigi, and that makes him the killer? Um, sorry, but that just doesn’t track. I blew plenty of frat boys in college (sorry, not sorry) but that doesn’t mean that I was on a first-name basis with everyone who lived in their Solo-cup-infested house. And why does knowing Gigi make him the killer? Just because Gigi is the Hag doesn’t mean she must be working with the killer (even though we know she totally is).

Gigi now has it out for Grace. She tells Grace that she and Wes got engaged, and she shows off the saddest-looking ring with barely any diamond in it that is too tight for her finger. Later Wes tells Grace that Gigi bought her own engagement ring, which makes me even sadder because she couldn’t buy a ring that fit or one with a little bit more than a diamond chip? Gigi tells Wes that Grace is really having some mental problems and that she is failing out of school with a 1.4 GPA, which makes sense because no one on this show ever even pretends like they go to class. If aliens were to take their cues about college life from this show they would think that it is 40 percent sitting around in someone’s closet, 30 percent running from a mass murderer, 10 percent hating your friends, 5 percent talking about vagina dentata, and 15 percent picking molted faux-fur hair out of your teeth.

What we did learn about Gigi is that her Red Devil killers are starting to turn on her. We see Boone, back from the dead and sporting an “Every Day I’m Musclein’” shirt at the gym speaking critically about her with another killer on the phone. Now he says that Gigi got the Scalia mask, but does that mean she was wearing it? If Boone is one of the killers (and possibly the boy baby), who are the other two? This is turning out to be one mother of a mystery.

A Collection of Funny Lines Taken Completely Out of Context:

  • “I was probably high on Klonopin at the time.”
  • “Zayday is the killer and that walking jawline Grace Whatshernuts is in on it.”
  • “Those who pill together, kill together.”
  • “I moved in. I live with you dumb hoes now.”
  • “I’m an American. I don’t have to know anything.”
  • “I don’t know what brand of G string you use, but I feel like angels are flossing my buttcrack, so thank you.”
  • “Your underwear is probably relieved to be touching human genitals.”
  • “Mommy said I was a prodigy at firing nannies and top of my class at ruining people’s self confidence.”