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Recap / Scream Queens S 1 E 2 Hell Week

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"It was only a matter of time before... someone got killed."
Dean Cathy Munsch

The second part of the two-episode opening night, we continue with the hazing of the pledges of Kappa Kappa Tau, Hell Week, if you will. Even though the last challenge got someone killed. She was annoying, anyway.

In fact, we open the next morning in Chanel #2's bedroom, the body still on the floor. The idea of meat processing and eating her isn't attractive to the Chanels, so instead they decide to put her in the freezer where Ms Bean. Even though that body disappeared rather quickly. Meanwhile, a detective and a security guard, however, have been hired. Three murders does kind of call for that, even though the official word on Chanel #2 is that she went home because college just isn't her thing.

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Grace, playing spy for Pete, is down in the dark basement all alone. Given how she's the lead it would appear to be a Foregone Conclusion that she lives, but we wouldn't put it past RIB to kill any of these off — even if Ryan Murphy went on record saying that basically everyone would die and so we highly doubt the truth of that statement. Oh, wait, she lives till the end. There's a locked door that she wants to investigate, but one of the Chanels (maybe Carrie Fisher's daughter?) handily provides a Jump Scare to tell her that only Chanel has the key. She tells Pete everything, and he tells her in return that people have been saying for years that the sorority house has a dark secret. We're going to guess it's the girl dying in the bathtub. Duh. Pete also proposes that if something on-campus is being hidden, there has to be a record of it in the Dean's office.

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Then they rather inexplicably start making out. Shall we call it Gartinez?

Grace then stops it and tells him that it's no time to be kissing when there's a serial killer on the loose. Pete agrees, and decides to break into the Dean's office if Grace will break into the basement of the Kappa house. I mean, first he's telling her to stay away and now he wants her to investigate a creepy barricaded basement room by herself? We're barely an hour into the series and this guy doesn't know what he's doing.

Given the deaths, a lot of media people turn up at the school and keep the Dean occupied. Her job is on the line, given the death of a student. Why is it that nobody actually seems to care about the student that died? Oh, and remember Grace's dad, Kate Hudson's brother, Wes? Yeah, he wants Grace to not be in that sorority even more than he did before. Understandably. But Grace, being a detective now, wants to stay more than before. They appear to be at an impasse, but the Dean convinces Wes to let her stay and is very immediately enamoured with him; however, he insists on being around to protect his daughter. He gets installed as a professor.

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It does seem strange that the Kappa girls spend so much time in their creepy basement, because when Grace does break into the secret room she is interrupted yet again, this time by actual Chanel. She gives a lot of exposition that leads into another flashback! Basically, the room contains all of the sorority's darkest secrets — note the superlative, suggesting that dark things that aren't quite as bad (e.g. decapitation by lawnmower) are hung out, dirty laundry style. When Grace finds a dirty bathtub she questions the darkness of its story. Turns out that 20 years ago, a girl died in it giving birth and for some reason it was moved to the crypt and kept all these years. Also, Dean Munsch knew all about the events but covered it up!

All that Grace gleams from this is that the baby must be the Red Devil. It's a massive jump of logic that turns out to be totally correct, but being told things very randomly and quickly leaves more time for gore since there's very little time spent working things out or questioning if your assumption could be false. You know, just go with it. At least Ryan is consistent with this mindset, seamlessly transferring it from the final season of Glee to the first season of Scream Queens.

There is the tail-end of a sex scene with Chanel and Chad, and Chanel decides that Chad doesn't love her so breaks up with him. He goes back to his own bed for the night, and begins a discussion with roommate Boone — gay Nick Jonas. Boone is scared of the Red Devil and asks if they can share a bed. Chad is a decent guy to all of two people in this series, and Boone is one of them so he lets him in, on the condition that Boone does not touch him anywhere personal — it's cool that he's gay and got a crush on him, but don't act on it. This is intercut with Chanel deciding to accept Chad back once he apologizes because she wants a relationship with him (and his money, the boys' pseudo-fraternity called the Dickie Dollar Scholars). Of course, she walks in on Chad and Boone spooning, Boone with an erection, and thinks that he's gay. She freaks, not wanting to be his beard. Still, Chad chases after her and explains how Boone was scared and he's a good guy, but now he's breaking up with her for being homophobic. Remember folks, that's the worst thing you can be because it's this jerk's standard.

We interrupt Murphy's activism, such as it is, to bring you Pete finally breaking into the Dean's office. He finds some names in a folder and decides that they are, like the baby, the key to this mystery. When we cut away from his perspective, though, the Red Devil is breaking the darkness behind him. Well, you tried, Pete. Clearly someone doesn't want you snooping but it's not the Dean, except they also deem you useless/irrelevant enough to not kill. Pete wakes up in the quad having been smacked upside the head and with a sign attached to his body reading "MYOB". This has nothing to do with Black Music and instead is the acronym of 'Mind Your Own Business'.

He returns to his dorm, where he needs to obviously change shirt from the wreck and where he also finds Grace. She tells him, though momentarily distracted by almost-abs (you try Diego, but Harry Shum Jr. you are not), about the legend of the Kappa bath baby. He begins to talk about the names he found when she goes to get him a shirt, opening the closet to reveal the Red Devil.

Psych! It's only the costume. Wait... what is Pete doing with a Red Devil costume? Didn't we already tell you it's not actually him? Oh, he's the actual mascot, a nice detail he decided to leave out when listing all the other extracurricular things he does. Grace, as expected, is still a little put off and asks him how old he is. Even though she knows it, he reiterates that he's 20 next month, and Grace does some pleasantly simple math to work out that he's the same age as the bathtub baby and so is obviously the murderer. Yes, being that baby is a reasonable motive for the brutal killings, but the show is set up in a way where not only could most of the students be that baby, but that anyone else could reasonably be the killer, too. It does turn out that the baby guess is the correct one, and that there are, in fact, two bathtub babies.

Chanel is planning ways to push Boone out of the closet, which is the textbook definition of a very bad thing, until he interrupts the Chanels' scheming to ask her not to, telling her to give him some time to come out in his own way by himself. Finnegan Hudson, we're looking at you. He also proposes that when he does, he joins the sorority: even though he's not a girl, they have to accept everyone this year, and he'll most likely be kicked out of the DDS when he comes out. She'll also get some good rep from being the first head to accept a gay man into her sorority.

Night falls, and we're noting that there doesn't appear to have been any deaths during this Hell Week. Yet. Gigi has gone on a date with Wes, and the security guard Denise has been joined outside the house by her friend Shondell. Both are asleep. There's no protection for the girls now! Chanel is in her quarters when the Red Devil appears and begins to attack her, preparing to throw her out of the window but she manages to put up her own. She knocks the Red Devil out, but when she tries to get to him over the sofa he's disappeared. Why do bodies keep doing that? Well, she's also managed to wake Denise up outside, who leaves Shondell in the van to very nervously check inside the house. She runs into the girls in the foyer, and while they're discussing whether they should check upstairs or run for their lives, the screen cuts to the van. The Red Devil is very much not upstairs, he's killing Shondell. The girls decide to ignore Denise, sending her away so they can check upstairs — obviously the first thing you'd do. Denise finds Shondell's body ("why you got a knife in your throat?!") just as the girls find a blood-written message in Chanel's room: "SLUTS WILL DIE".

On the other side of campus, Boone is working out when the Red Devil appears, Boone picking the fight. Cut to the Dickie Dollar Scholars also find something disturbing in blood: Boone, laid out in a sacrificial pose surrounded by candles, with his throat slit. Chad does explain to DDS, including British Earl Grey, Boone's sexuality, before rushing over to Kappa to interrupt the last task of Hell Week to tell them about Boone. He's joined by Denise, who rushes in to tell them that Shondell's body (that she pushed out of the cab onto the road before getting police) has disappeared, too.

The official stance on Boone is suicide, and we can see him being put into a freezer tray in the mortuary. Then the Red Devil appears, somehow let into the mortuary. This place is already full of dead bodies, is he just wanting to make these disappear, too? No, he's come to open up Boone's freezer and the boy then pulls off the fake cut on his throat and gets helped down by the Red Devil.

Deaths:

  • Shondell Washington: Stab wound to the throat whilst unconscious.
  • Boone Clemens: Throat slit, though it is faked.

Songs:

  • "If You Were Here" by Thompson Twins
  • "Automatic" by The Pointer Sisters
  • "Have You Really Ever Loved a Woman" by Bryan Adams
  • "Always" by Bon Jovi
  • "Sunglasses At Night" by Corey Hart

Tropes:

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Non-fatal version. Chanel begs Chad to take her back after they split up.
  • Anything That Moves: Inverted. Chad says that anything that moves wants to get with him.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Pete and Grace have one when they exchange information about the bathtub baby.
  • Body Horror: What Hester proposes doing to Chanel #2's corpse.
  • Buffy Speak: Because Boone is Chad's 'bro' and has a boner for him, Chanel dubs it his "broner".
  • Everyone Has Standards: Despite appearing to be a Jerk Jock, Chad is very supportive of his gay best friend. He allows him to crawl in bed with him when he's scared, and warns Chanel not to tell anyone Boone is really gay.
  • Facial Horror: Shondell gets a knife through the throat.
  • Faking the Dead:
    • The end scene reveals that Boone faked his death and is in league with the Red Devil.
    • Inverted with Chanel #2 where the others try to pretend she's still alive.
  • Hypocritical Humour: Denise insists that she'll always be on the premises. She then says that if she doesn't come running when one of the Chanels calls for help, it means she's not on the premises.
  • Info Dump: Hester runs down her Freudian Excuse for the Chanels to explain why she's obsessed with death.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Chad gets mistaken for gay when Chanel sees him and Boone in bed together. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Moment Killer:
    • Chad keeps ruining sex with Chanel by role-playing that he's trying to kill her.
    • Pete sort of does this with Grace after their kiss.
    Grace: "Can you stop talking? You're sort of ruining whatever was good about it."
  • Not What It Looks Like: Chanel walks in on Chad and Boone together, not helped by Boone having a Raging Stiffie.
  • The One Guy: Boone strives to become the first male pledge of Kappa House.
  • Secret Keeper: Hester becomes one for the Chanels when she helps dispose of #2's body.
  • Shirtless Scene: Pete gets one, to establish even more sexual tension between him and Grace.

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