Scream Queens Recap: “Thanksgiving”

After a long steady stream of “meh” episodes, Scream Queens finally finds its groove again with an episode full of surprise revelations and a genuinely great anti-bullying scene.

Spoilers ahead, Sweetie…

With Halloween well behind us, this week Scream Queens tackles the next terrifying holiday, Thanksgiving. In the case of Kappa girls I imagine Thanksgiving must be a chore of a holiday, everyone in the house appears to have their own familial issues, whether it’s how money drives #3’s family to hardly interacting (and thus not caring) or how Grace seems to be constantly fighting with her father recently, it is clear no one really has the ideal home for a happy thanksgiving. Which makes all the more sense that throughout the course of the episode each member of the main cast slowly finds their way back to Kappa House for an Orphan Thanksgiving.

This is also an ideal setup to spend much of the episode having the characters discuss who the Red Devil killer could be. Each person throws out their own suspicions, which we the audience can quickly dismiss as nonsense. #3 claims it is Dean Munsch and Dean Munsch believes its #3, and so on. It allows us to pause and try to remember the course of the season and where everyone places on the list of suspects. It also reveals some interesting plot points about some characters.

Two people are missing from the happy gathering. Officer Hemphill and Gigi. In the beginning of the episode we see Gigi having her own mini-thanksgiving meal with the Devil as they plot and who knows where Hemphill disappeared to.

Now let’s address the elephant in the room. #6 is dead. Chanel killed her Kappa sister in order to go with Chad to his family’s for Thanksgiving and when she tells him, he’s oddly turned on at the news. I briefly forgot that Chad has a weird necrophilia thing going on. He’s still one of the funniest characters on the show.

He urges Chanel to show him the dead body and when they go to the meat locker it’s gone! I don’t know why they keep putting bodies in the meat locker. They always disappear! Chad suspects #6 might not be dead. Dun Dun DUN!!

It’s a worry that will have to put on hold because we’re off to meet the Radwell Family! And guys, would you believe me when I say they are the worst people in this show. Yes, even more horrible then Chanel. Chad’s mother is a woman solely concerned with their long lasting bloodline, his father doesn’t believe Chanel is from money and thus can’t be a prospect for their son. His two brothers (Thad and Brad) are self-indulgent asshats. They are. The. Worst.

To make everything even more awkward, Chad’s theory about #6 is right, She isn’t dead in fact she arrives just in time for the family meal. Not long after being introduced Hester announces she’s pregnant to the entire Radwell family. Only for them to blow her off. Papa Radwell promises to pay her off and Mama Radwell threatens to get her lawyers involved. They even go so far to say she isn’t pregnant but instead fat! It promptly shuts down #6’s plan of getting in with the Radwell family. They weren’t much impressed with Chanel, but their outright viciousness towards #6 is astoundingly hard to watch. Even Chanel seems to have a hard time with it.

Things come to a headway with a family game of charades. Chanel and #6 are on a team against the entire Radwell Clan. First up is Brad who tries to mime the phrase, “Neckbrace Whore.” Yeah, the Radwell’s went there. It’s clear all the bullying is making #6 feel uncomfortable and to everyone’s surprise Chanel is the one who finally calls the family out on their uncouth antics. I have to say, it’s a great scene. In the past, any moment of heroism on Chanel’s side has always felt forced in the story, but this scene feels organic. It’s hard watching someone being put down so terribly, even in a television show and it seems that even Chanel has her limits.

It’s a great scene that handles both bullying and how girls are easy targets for being torn down. Too bad I’m sure next week Chanel will be back with her usual biting remarks, but if the show actually uses this to help her grow into a more empathetic person for the future I would call it a win.

Afterwards, she and #6 go back to Kappa house where everyone is going over their theories. No one really presents anything eye opening and the whole scenes appear to just be recapping moments and ridiculous theories, Grace’s dad believe she could be the killer. Oh come on, do we really still think Grace is the killer?

Finally, Pete contributes something useful after he announces his suspicion that Grace’s father is the killer. It sounds strange, but he actually has some evidence to back it up. It turns out he ran a DNA test on Grace’s father and Boone’s DNA, it’s a match! Meaning the Devil twins are Grace’s siblings! WHAT!?!?!

And if that wasn’t surprising enough it appears this episode might end with a body count of zero until they lift the tray cover for the turkey and reveal Gigi’s head!

It’s been a while since Scream Queens has surprised me. The plot twists and seeing the soft side of Chanel really made this episode a good one. As we near the finale in two weeks I hope the series can keep this momentum and not let us down.

As for theories, I’m thinking either #5 or #6 are the killers. Most likely #6, who never mentioned her family on Thanksgiving and showed a strange fascination with calling Chanel, “Mommy” in earlier episodes. This with the pregnancy announcement all seems like a shout out to the killer’s deeply embedded mommy issues.

Episode Body Count: 1
RIP: Gigi


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.

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