When watching a horror themed television in fall there is always a kind of strange moment after Halloween passes. The mood shifts and suddenly the show only feel like half of what it once was. This was definitely the case for the latest installment of Scream Queens which stumbled more than usual.
Spoilers ahead, Sweetie…
This episode opened up with some KKT flare as the Chanels hosted a Wake for the deceased Chanel #2. It seems like a nice gesture but Chanel promptly ruins the moment by being horrible. The whole moment shines a light on the fact that the Chanels as a group have a lot of wounds. Almost all of them have backstabbed and hurt each other so #3 offers a solution. They’ll contact #2 with a Ouija Board and work out their problems.
The girls acquire the board and gather around for a late night commune with the dead. As soon as they call upon #2 the board begins to respond. When dealing with a Ouija Board the big question is if someone in the group moving the indicator? And in a group like the Chanels I wouldn’t put it past one of them to use the moment to manipulate each other (I’m looking at you #6.) This is evident when the message #2 tries to communicate with them is, “Chad is cheating.” Sending Chanel into a fit of worry.
Meanwhile Gigi suggests Grace looks into an old KKT sister named Feather McCarthy who has some juicy information on Dean Munsch. We find out Feather was once a student to Dean Munsch’s husband and the two feel in love. Mr. Munsch later divorced his wife and kicked her out of the house. In the months that follow Feather recalls the Dean Munsch stalked her and eventually got her kicked out of KKT.
Alright, so Munsch was a little angry that her husband found a younger woman. This doesn’t seem to tie in with the recent campus killings, that is… until Feather returns home after talking to Grace and Pete only to find her husband chopped into tiny pieces. His head, floating in the aquarium.
Immediately Dean Munsch is arrested for his murder.
Grace and Pete congratulate themselves, thinking they’ve solved the campus murder problem. Not once wondering why the “Red Devil” Dean Munsch would decide to kill her husband and the KKT girls and a few Frat Boys. There are still so many questions and we don’t have any answers but yay, we caught the killer? I don’t think so.
The happy celebration is interrupted when Dean Munsch calls them to talk about her arrest. She’s been dispatched into a mental health institution that looks like the same one used in American Horror Story: Asylum. Munsch tells them her suspicion that Feather is setting her up and Grace agrees to look into the ex-sorority sister and Munsch promises to tell her everything about the 1995 baby.
Together she and Pete sneak some evidence from Munsch’s house and cross-examine it with a half-eaten bologna sandwich that was found at the crime scene. When they test it, it miraculously matches Feather’s DNA. It’s a loose connection honestly, assuming the sandwich was made by the killer during the time of the murder, but apparently it is enough for Munsch to go free and Feather to be locked away.
Grace, for all her sense of self justice doesn’t question the ease in which everything fell into place in order to track down Munsch for information on the baby. In which Munsch replies, “Come to my office next week.”
Next week!?!?! Are you serious? Alright, so the death of Mr. Munsch had nothing to do with the Red Devil and we got nowhere on tracking down the baby. In fact, at the end of this story line Munsch is indeed revealed to be the killer, exacting her revenge as a woman scorned. So the whole episode is used just to highlight how ruthless she can be. Its good insight, but not helpful in moving the plot along.
Maybe the Chanels and the cryptic news on Chad will give us some information on the killer’s identity? Right?
…. I should know better than to expect that. The Chanel story line goes about where you’d expect to. Nowhere. Chad, for once, isn’t cheating on her. When they call upon #2 on the Ouija Board again they impress me by asking the question everyone’s dying (pun totally intended) to know, “Who’s the killer?”
To our surprise #2 points to Chanel.
Scared the other Chanel’s immediately decide they’ll need to kill the killer. You know, instead of turning her into the police or looking for evidence. Someone needs to tell these girls that using murder to solve a murder problem isn’t the best solution.
While they plot, Chanel is visited by Chanel #2’s ghost. Surprisingly #2’s dialogue provided the most humor in the entire bland episode as she reveals what hell is like. To sum things up, there are no dinosaurs. So to get to Heaven she needs to apologize for wronging Chanel. Namely lying about Chad’s cheating and lying about Chanel being the killer. So the entire Ouija experiment was a lie.
She also warns Chanel of the plan to kill her, which I guess was kind of nice. The next morning Chanel is quick to squash the plan by buying her minion’s loyalty back with fun gifts. The Chanels, who couldn’t agree on one way to kill her, shrug and fall back into line without showing any of the suspicion they held the night before.
So all seems right in the world of the Chanels as they band back together under their leader and turn their eyes to who Chanel thinks the real killer is: Grace and Zayday.
The problem with this episode lies in the fact that it does nothing to move the plot along. In essence it is filler, showing us just how horrible Dean Munsch is but not convincing me that she is involved with the Red Devil murders. On top of that the logic followed by the Chanels is baffling as they jump from one extreme solution(murder) to another (Grace must be the murderer.) I can’t imagine why they would assume Grace and Zayday were involved in the murders especially when Grace has been the one pushing to solve the murders the whole time. Nancy Drews they are not.
I get that stretching out a Horror Slash Flick into a 13 Episode Season must be difficult, I’ve been wondering how Ryan Murphy would pull it off and so a stumble like this was bound to happen. It’s unfortunate that when it does happen it just highlights the shows more obvious faults. Strange pacing, lackluster humor and no movement on catching the killer.
Now the Halloween is over it is time for the show to stop messing around with fake scares and ramp up on the mystery solving.
Also, we need more Officer Hemphill. Her presence has been lacking these last two episodes.
Episode Body Count: 1
RIP Mr. Munsch.
Cara Averna is a movie nerd, an Otaku, and known bibliophile. She writes about Fandom studies, Anime, and Manga on her blog year around, but during fall she watches way too much horror movies and consumes everything pumpkin. Follow her on twitter.