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Scream Queens
Review of Episode 4: Haunted House
and Episode 5: Pumpkin Patch

Air date: 9/29/15

Editor’s Note: Stevie’s Scream Queens reviews are done on a weekly basis and are for watchers of the show, therefore it’s worth mentioning that there will be spoilers and heavy speculation in all of the reviews. For those of you who wish to not be spoiled, please stop reading.

I’m doing another dual review this round since I was out of town on vacation. I’m finally caught up on my DVR and sorry Scream Queens, but The Walking Dead and The Strain were more important than you.

But anyway, on to the review!

Episode 4: Haunted House – directed by: Bradley Buecker

Air Date: 10/6/15

So we start this one off with a super annoying “Chanel-O-Ween” montage where Chanel talks about how she sends creepy gifts to her Instagram followers to let them know she appreciates them and insult them at the same time. I have to say even after watching episode 4 and 5 back to back, the Chanel-O-Ween bit contributed nothing to the story and was more annoying than anything else. I’ve come to find that the first ten minutes or so of Scream Queens seems to be reserved for annoying girl drama, bickering, and plain old nonsense. It’s definitely a pattern.

Once we finally get into the story we are back at KKT House and the police are wrapping up an interview with Dean Munsch after the failed attack on Gigi. Grace’s father is still convinced it’s the Dean but the police are not buying it. In Grace world, her and Pete finally arrive at a trailer in the middle of nowhere and meet Mandy, one of the only known Kappa sisters who was in the house on that fateful night in 1995. The woman (Mandy) informs Grace and Pete that Dean Munsch was indeed involved in the cover up and forced them to bury the body (at an unknown location) and then leave school so no one would know of the death in the KKT house. Mandy confirms that the surviving baby was a girl but no one knows where the baby is to this day. Once Grace and Pete leave, a very predictable sequence of events occurs in which the Red Devil shows up and murders Mandy. This leads me to believe that either the Red Devil followed Grace and Pete or that Pete is the Red Devil (since we were shown Grace back at KKT house during the attack but not Pete).

Zayday decides to run for KKT house president to overthrow Chanel and plans a haunted house themed party. Chanel is clearly not happy about this and proceeds to have a nervous breakdown in her closet where she plans to outdo Zayday’s party while wildly waving knives around. Yeah, that doesn’t sound crazy at all. While all the party planning is going on, Chad is being weird in a cemetery and Hester shows up. She tries to seduce him and reveals her plans to overthrow both Chanel and Zayday and become the next KKT House President as well as the most popular girl at Wallace.

Grace finally confronts her father about the mysterious circumstances surrounding her mother’s death. She accuses her father of being the killer and is starting to believe that she is the baby from the bathtub. Her father neither confirms nor denies this, he just stands there looking stupid as she runs off dramatically. A cool thing worth mentioning though is that this episode’s featured movie for Grace’s father’s class was Children of The Corn.

Grace, Pete, Zayday, and Denise all meet up at the abandoned house where Zayday’s party will be later in the week. Pete and Denise reveal that after some digging they’ve discovered there is a legend that goes with the house as well, the legend of “The Hag on Shady Lane.” A woman dressed all in black would randomly be seen standing at the windows of the house crying and some people in the neighborhood would find a haggard looking woman often rifling through their trash and then retreating to the house. Come to find out, Grace does some investigating and discovers that shortly after the bathtub incident at KKT, several thefts involving diapers, milk, and other baby items occurred in the area. Obviously the two incidents are connected.

During Zayday’s party, all the bodies of the murder victims are found in the abandoned house and Zayday calls 911 from outside, only to be kidnapped. As the episode ends, we’re treated to a scene of Gigi sitting all alone in the house, dressed in black and crying. I think this episode was far better than the last and it really piqued my interest in the story once again. I was beginning to lose faith, but with the addition of the Hag on Shady Lane and the fact that Gigi is connected somehow, the plot is beginning to thicken and I’m digging it.


Episode 5: Pumpkin Patch – Directed by: Brad Falchuk

Air date: 10/13/15

Again, brace yourself for about ten to fifteen minutes of nonsense before things begin to pick up. Chanel plans a haunted pumpkin patch, Dean Munsch puts a curfew into effect (basically cancelling Halloween), and the campus is placed on lockdown after the bodies were found in the haunted house. Chanel and Chanel #5 are at it again, more confrontation ensues in the closet. These scenes effectively did nothing for the show except showcase annoying dialogue that made me feel like I was watching a CW show. I also feel the same whenever Chad opens his mouth and I really wish they would get rid of him already.

Anyway, things pick up when Chanel is arrested for killing the KKT housekeeper (aka White Mammie, aka Miss Bean) and it’s made clear that one of the KKT girls ratted her out. We then flash to the missing Zayday and we’re shown that, in a nod to Silence of The Lambs, she is being kept in a pit as the Red Devil holds a little white dog and looks down on her in silence. Since no one wants to help Grace find Zayday besides Pete, Grace reluctantly seeks out the help of her father and Gigi, and the detective work begins.

While the rest of the group is trying to find Zayday, back at KKT, Chanel has been bailed out of prison and confronts Chanel #5, threatening her for turning her in. Chanel knows that the killer is running around campus at night and forces #5 to go out to her haunted pumpkin patch and make sure things are ready for the party, risking her life in the process. #5 goes, accompanied by her boyfriends (who are twins). There is a maze set up, along with fake snow, and instantly I recognized this as a nod to The Shining. A pretty hilarious stalking scene then ensues and the Red Devil kills one of #5’s boyfriends.

The gang discovers where the Red Devil has been keeping Zayday, but by the time they get there, she’s gone. In another nearly identical Silence of The Lambs scene, Denise and Gigi confront the Red Devil but he gets away. We then find out that Zayday escaped and that the whole time she’d been kept captive, the Red Devil actually never harmed her and treated her well.

In the final scene of this episode, Gigi is walking alone across campus and I really thought we were about to be treated to yet another lame ass predictable Red Devil kill. Instead, it’s revealed that Gigi was actually meeting up with the Red Devil. Gigi tells one of the killers “he’s gotta go.” Who exactly “he” is, I’m not sure, but it’s clear now that Gigi is working with the killers. She does make mention of meeting Grace’s father for a date, so I’m more than sure that she doesn’t mean him. Could she mean Pete? His detective work is obviously getting them closer and closer to finding out the truth and he may be an actual threat after all. Or perhaps she means the other killer? Maybe he’s getting sloppy and that might get them caught.

The show seems to be picking up steam, and the story is getting better. There was a lot of humor in episode 5 and I appreciated it. I just wish the show would find an appropriate balance between humor and horror. Scream Queens has a lot of potential, that’s why I keep watching. Some of the acting is stellar while the rest of the cast seems to irritate the hell out of me. Normally with shows like this there’s more than enough talent to make up for it, but unfortunately there’s more bad than good. The writing seems to be improving, I just wish they’d get rid of Chanel #5 and Chad; sorry Abigail Breslin, but I’ve seen you do better.

I’m sure we’ll find out more about the killers and delve deeper into the secrets of Wallace University and KKT. In the meantime, check out the trailer for episode 6, Seven Minutes in Hell.

Stevie Kopas, HMS

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