Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Scream Queens 1x03 "Chainsaw" (Everybody's a Suspect) [Contributor: Melanie]

Original Airdate: September 29, 2015

This week’s episode was a little less in-your-face than last week’s season premiere but still had plenty of cringe-worthy moments no less. Though, excellent comedic timing by Niecy Nash’s Denise continues to be a bookend of entertainment for any scene she’s in, and Lea Michele’s Neckbrace (who becomes Chanel #6) makes the show still watchable, Scream Queens continues to blur the line between parody and actually expecting us to take it seriously (and no, that parody is not the same as the genre-defining way Scream was). Jamie Lee Curtis also continues to own her role as Dean Munsch, with more Mean Girls flare than ever in this week’s episode. And one thing you cannot fault the show for is the ever-moving plot. Though some scenes do seem fairly pointless, the show keeps a fast pace as it plows through events, reveals, and suspect lists.

So, let’s get down to what happened.

The episode opens with Grace and Zayday visiting a convenience store for some late-night grocery shopping before they’re seemingly attacked by the Red Devil. Turns out he’s just some guy named Eugene dressed as the school mascot (for a reason which is, by the way, never explained). While this is going on, Chanel and Chanel #5 have an argument over Chanel #2’s missing body, which ends in Chanel #5 looking more suspicious than ever as her vendetta against Chanel grows. Zayday and Grace come home and team up with Denise to investigate Chanel #2’s room and hypothesize that she might have been murdered (um, duh).

After the “death” of Boone, ruled a suicide by Dean Munsch, the school organizes a Take Back the Night protest where they unveil their new, less threatening, ice cream cone mascot to a less than impressed crowd. Meanwhile, Chanel has yet another ridiculous and horribly written argument with Chad over their very odd (and open?) relationship. Zayday, Grace, and Denise visit Chanel #2’s house and learn from her family that she is not in fact working off a mental breakdown at home as Chanel told them, but she did have a history of substance abuse and they haven't seen her in weeks. Someone, whoever took the body, seems to be uploading pictures of her as well to her Instagram (pictures that Denise wonderfully reminds us, "ain't even cute").

Back at the school, Grace is mortified to find that her father has taken a position as a lecturer for her film analysis class in an effort to keep tabs on her and, after she storms out, he treats the class to a strange (and, shocker, totally suspicious) viewing of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Dean Munsch makes some more ill-received attempts to flirt while Grace’s dad asks the sorority chief Gigi, who’d been sitting in on the class, on another date (over salad). Thus begins one of the best parts of the episode: a minute or so montage of Aaron Cohen, the person behind the school’s new mascot, toasting his new found popularity and privileges before being brutally murdered by the Red Devil in his dorm room. I don’t even think dear Aaron got a credit.

Neckbrace wanders into Chanel’s closet and, after a scolding, Chanel decides to pull a Glinda Upland and turn Neckbrace into a posh and pretty Chanel #6 to impress Chad. While this is happening, Munsch and Gigi decide to move into the Kappa house for a week to keep tabs on the sisters. Predatory Lez (whose real name is apparently Sam, we learned this week) discovers from Chanel #3 (still in earmuffs by the way) that a DNA test proves Charles Manson is her biological father (yes, that is a sentence you just read) and she wants to keep it on the down-low to prevent people in the house from assuming she is a suspect, declaring Sam her soulmate and “alibuddy”.

The sorority has a house meeting, and none are happy to see a sixth Chanel take the floor, or the dean and Gigi coming in the front door with luggage, sleeping bags, and 90s Trivial Pursuit. The Dickie Dollar Scholar fraternity have their own meeting to discuss Boone’s death where Chad, ever the Sherlock, deduces that it was not a suicide and they decide to take revenge which leads to the other greatest scene of the night: the fraternity dressed in white, walking down a foggy street to the sounds of “Backstreet’s Back” while fighting off two Red Devils (confirming there are in fact two killers), ending in the death of one of the brothers. Grace meets back up with Pete, declaring him no longer a suspect, and they decide to visit the house of the only Kappa sister from the 1995 incident they can track down.

Zayday and Denise have it out in Denise’s car over whether or not Zayday is a suspect. It’s ridiculous and super funny, because everything Niecy Nash does on this show is flawless. But it, of course, makes Zayday look extremely suspicious. Grace’s father gets that salad date with Gigi, third-wheeled by Munsch, before he rushes out to locate Grace after they realize she’s not in the house. Gigi and Munsch have an Odd Couple moment in their room and after Gigi decides to retire to the couch, she is attacked by the Red Devil. She fights him off but as soon as Munsch appears downstairs, they both declare her to be the prime suspect.

Episode three's total body count: 2

In this week’s WTF moments…

  • Who the actual heck is Eugene?
  • Grace’s dad showing up as the professor is a little bit ridiculous with a side of completely impossible.
  • Neckbrace’s one-off joke about calling Chanel “mommy” has outlived its humor and now it’s just strange.
  • Zayday’s grandmother sent her a chainsaw to replace her taser? As one does, I assume.
In this week’s killer suspects…

  • Grace’s dad: He’s weirdly shot to the top of the list with his way-to-into-it showing of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and his pathological need to keep tabs on Grace at all times.
  • Boone: He's essentially been confirmed to be one of the killers at this point but until the mask comes off, he's just a suspect.
  • Chad: It’s revealed he dated many of the sorority sisters behind Chanel’s back and apparently has a knife collection.
  • Zayday: Actually keeps a chainsaw under her bed and is accused by Denise.
  • Chanel: Still on the list because she just seems to hate everyone and that is motive enough.
  • Chanel #5: Even creepier than last week.
  • Stu and Billy: HA. Just kidding.
As each week promises to be a deadly one (Murphy has confirmed one character is biting it per episode), stay tuned for more recaps! And catch the show every Tuesday at 9 PM on Fox.

1 comment:

  1. I have to disagree I do not think the show is asking us to take anything seriously.