[This is a review of Scream Queens season 1, episode 7. There will be SPOILERS.]
Those who have been following these Scream Queens reviews each week will have noticed by now that I’m a sucker for food puns and metaphors when it comes to describing FOX’s new horror-comedy and the guilty-pleasure effect it has on its viewers. And while I’ve had my fun comparing watching this show to indulging in various unhealthy but delicious foods, there’s really no better food item to describe the enjoyment we get out of Scream Queens than the one that took center stage in last night’s episode: bologna.
Sure, bologna’s a little flimsy and may be lacking real meat, but it is undeniably fun to eat and even self-proclaimed foodies can only pretend it doesn’t taste good. As far as sandwich-fillers go, bologna’s about as silly and as strange as it gets, which makes it the perfect entrée for another enjoyable — if somewhat narratively unproductive — Scream Queens episode in ‘Beware of Young Girls’.
When you really think about it, only a show as ridiculous and shameless as Scream Queens could even get away with featuring a half-eaten bologna sandwich as a major piece of evidence in a murder case. After all, this is the same show that continues to serve up mangled corpses with a side of quippy one-liners, some of the planet’s most inept and incompetent detectives, and characters that are truly full of… well… bologna.
Of course, that’s all part of the fun, because even though the seemingly real clues and false leads we’re provided with mostly add up to a bunch of unanswered questions, the show’s complex, somewhat convoluted mystery narrative continues to make us question everything — and continue to play along. For example, when Chanel (Emma Roberts) sets her minion sisters on a mission to take down Zayday (Keke Palmer) and Grace (Skyler Samuels), we’re not sure if it’s a ploy to get the stench of guilt off of her own mink coat, or if she actually thinks the two new pledges are up to no good. When it comes to the devious Chanel, we have to lean toward the former – but with the amount of misdirects Scream Queens throws at us every week, who really knows?
Then again, there are some things we just have to take at face value, with one being that Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) is a killer, but maybe not one of the killers. We learn this near the end of the episode, when she reveals herself to be behind the death of her ex-husband and the framing of his lover, Feather (Tavi Gevinson), a former Kappa sister whose cheating ways put her in Munsch’s crosshairs for years. Using a well-planted bologna sandwich (known to be Feather’s favorite and a source of a violent allergic reaction for Munsch), the dean effectively puts the crime on Feather; and while it was certainly nice to see a character actually come clean about a murder, this news doesn’t directly implicate Dean Munsch in the Red Devil killings.
But another thing we now know (almost) for certain is not only that Gigi (Nasim Pedrad) is the mastermind behind the recent on-campus slayings, but that there are at least three characters involved. We get this rather important bit of info as Gigi says “you guys” over the phone in reference to her henchmen, whom she orders to “go kill some people.” Perhaps even more importantly, during the conversation, Gigi also confirms that the motive is revenge against Kappa house, but revenge for what exactly? While we’re not likely to find out that soon, it should be fun holding on to the dramatic irony as other characters — like Grace, Pete (Diego Boneta), and Wes (Oliver Hudson) — operate around Gigi unwitting of her killer secret.
However, the big reveals aside, the episode — albeit entertaining — was a bit of a sidestep plot wise, with the focus of this week’s investigation being on the murder of Professor Munsch instead of the Red Devils. In fact, for the first time all season, we didn’t see a Red Devil on screen once, or really get any closer to finding out who may be behind the masks. Perhaps Professor Munsch’s demise, the dean’s admission and Feather’s unjust incarceration will play into the central mystery in a larger way – but at this point, the two cases seem only tangentially related. So, from a narrative standpoint, the episode was one of the weaker entries Scream Queens has produced so far.
Even still, such narrative digressions are much easier to forgive with a show as funny and generally enjoyable as Scream Queens. Like almost every hour of the season, last night’s was chock-full of big laughs, with some of the biggest coming from Chanel’s very unflattering eulogy for Chanel #2 (Ariana Grande), Chad’s (Glen Powell) personal lactating goat, and the other Chanels’ terrible plans to kill off Chanel #1. The only character missing this week in the humor department was Denise (Niecy Nash), who has been undoubtedly one of the funniest characters Scream Queens has, along with Chad. Let’s hope we catch up with her — and the main serial killing case of the Red Devils — next week.
Scream Queens season 1 continues next Tuesday with ‘Mommie Dearest’ @9pm on FOX.
Photos: Patti Perret/FOX