Scream Queens has never been a perfect show, and I’m not asking it to be, but there’s something wrong about this second season. Until I watched “Warts and All,” I had a hard time putting my finger on what it is. (Maybe that’s because my finger would rather be on Dr. Brock Holt’s serial-killer hand so that it could do inappropriate things to Chad Radwell in a steamy shower stall.) We still have fierce bitches wearing ridiculous outfits and making catty remarks, we still have a bunch of sexy guys willing to strip down at the drop of a hat, and we still have Denise Hemphill being her charming, hilarious, clueless self. So what is this season missing?
I finally figured it out — I don’t care who the Green Meanie is. Last season, the Red Devil could have been anyone. We didn’t know any of the characters, which meant even the seemingly innocent might have been hiding a deep, dark secret that turned them into a homicidal maniac. That is no longer the case. We know that the killer isn’t a Chanel or Zayday or Denise or Dean Munsch or Chad Radwell. It would take a level of reconning that would make even Ryan Murphy squirm like an agoraphobe in the Mall of America.
Which suspects does that leave us with? Only the new characters: Dr. Brock, Dr. Cassidy, Nurse Hoffel, or Chamberlain. It can’t be Dr. Cassidy because he came out of the elevator when Dean Munsch just finished fending off the killer with a medical file. (I’ve heard that the pen is mightier than the sword, but a manila envelope?) I’m also going to rule out Chamberlain because the killer seems to be the child of the woman whose husband Dr. Mike killed 30 years ago. Since both of that baby’s parents were white, that excludes him. Also, since when is Chamberlain straight? This man is in control of a closet full of flair and he’s trying to hit on … Zayday? That don’t make no sense.
Dr. Brock seems like a good candidate, now that we know his hand is actually the appendage of Marshall Winthrop, a serial-killing squash champion who also likes to write out pretentious menus on prescription pads when no one is looking. But that seems too easy. If we’re finding out about the serial-killer hand in episode two, there’s no way the show will reveal that he’s the killer 11 episodes later. So Nurse Hoffel? Maybe, but she’s too old to be the couple’s kid. Maybe she has another connection to the murders?
Hoffel is definitely up to something. She’s very intrigued not only with the Chanels, but also with Dean Munsch. She quizzes Zayday about the Chanel’s whereabouts so she can enact some sort of revenge. She’s also installed a bug under Dean Munsch’s desk so she can overhear her conversations. But doesn’t that necessarily point to her wanting vengeance for what happened during the Red Devil’s killing spree. Maybe she’s Boone’s grandmother or something?
And do we really think Hester knows something about the killer? When everyone goes to visit her in the asylum, she Hannibal Lecters out on the whole crew, demanding for a transfer, a room with a view, and some high-end beauty products if they want her help. Denise, always the realist, responds that she better take a Chapstick and tell them what she knows, but Hester refuses. I would guess that Hester just has a few bits of information and she’s strung them together to tantalize everyone, but she probably doesn’t know the identity of the killer. If she does, that would probably tie things back to her time growing up with Gigi in her first asylum. Was there someone in there who killed all those people back in 1986?
It isn’t that hard for Zayday and straight Chamberlain to discover the massacre. All it takes is a little bit of patience and a quick visit to the local library. (Which is also how I met my first boyfriend.) It turns out that, a year after Dr. Mike killed that man and dumped him in the swamp, the Green Meanie murdered the entire staff of the hospital. Damn, and just when Dr. Mike’s missile was finally about to arrive on Uranus!
This also calls into question the Green Meanie’s motive. The first time around, he wanted to get rid of the hospital staff, which makes sense considering what they did. However, he’s killed patients in the past two weeks. If this ghoul hates the operators of the hospital, why is he punishing the people in their care and not the practitioners themselves?
Speaking of dead patients, Tyler (yes, it was Colton Haynes under all that makeup) used his Encyclopedia Brown fanfiction skills to deduce the killer’s identity … but he is wheeled off to his death before he could tell Chanel No. 5, of course. I find it very amusing that everyone is figuring it out so easily, but all of our principals are left in the dark, defending themselves with manila folders.
It is a cute story line for Chanel No. 5 and Tyler, with her falling in love with him despite his grotesque appearance and maybe getting over the awful rumors about her vagina dentata that Chanel Prime keeps perpetrating. I hope that she’s not alone forever, but now that she’s off her medication, she probably won’t remain stable for very long.
The best addition to this episode is the return of Chad Radwell, and it’s not only because the half-shirt, headband, and tube socks he wore to play squash seemed to be telepathically communicated from my sex fantasies to the costume designer’s brain. As always, Chad brings the funny, whether it’s wheeling in his friend Randall, who now has Jumping Frenchmen of Maine syndrome, an incurable ailment that makes him startle at every stimulus, or the imperious way he treats the private investigator who is showing his dick pic around town.
The absolute best thing, however, is Chad’s combative and homoerotic relationship with Dr. Brock, a man whom Chad considers gay because he “celebrates Palm Sunday with another dude’s hand.” Their shower scene (is there going to be a wet shirtless Stamos every episode, because that alone is a reason to set your DVR) where the two whip their curtains repeatedly before letting their penises accidentally touch is the sort of thing that one used to only see in movies that you had to rent behind the swinging doors in the back of the video store. It was hot, and also hilarious. But I don’t think it brought us any closer to the killer. And even if it did, I’m finding it hard to care about anything other than matters of the flesh.