[This is a review of Scream Queens season 1, episode 8. There will be SPOILERS.]
With ratings suffering, it’s becoming more and more apparent that Scream Queens may not survive FOX’s cancellation chopping block this winter. However, the knowledge and understanding that the series might get the ax still won’t stop us from enjoying the series’ rookie season until the very (perhaps bitter) end, as its fun whodunit murder mystery continues to unfold.
After last week’s episode seemed to take a slight narrative detour, it looked like that mystery might unfold at a decidedly slower pace than we had become accustomed to with Scream Queens. Fortunately, last night’s hour, ‘Mommie Dearest’, got things moving again by dropping a few major reveals that pushed the story along – and its characters (along with the audience) closer to solving Wallace University’s serial murder case.
While we’ve appreciated Scream Queens‘ ability to keep us guessing all season and have thoroughly enjoyed playing detective with Grace (Skyler Samuels) and Pete (Diego Boneta) along the way, it was nice to get some answers to big questions, especially considering the series has only a few more episodes to wrap things up.
Following a clever nod to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (which starred Jamie Lee Curtis’ mother and the true original Scream Queen, Janet Leigh) and an immensely entertaining battle between Dean Munsch (Curtis) and a trio of killers (one sporting a mask of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia), the first reveal came early in the episode, as the dean fulfilled her promise to Grace by providing her with the name of the tub baby’s mother: Sophia Doyle. To Grace (and the audience), the name doesn’t mean much initially, but the clue is important in a couple of ways. Firstly, and most obviously, it gives our amateur sleuths something more to go on, but it also raises doubt to a suspicion we’ve shared with Grace since the season premiere: that she was the baby in that Kappa tub.
Later on, that doubt essentially becomes confirmation as Grace learns that her mother was Bethany Stevens, a former Kappa Kappa Tau president with a long rap sheet who had died in a drunk driving accident. This info — courtesy of the two Scotland Yard detectives Chanel (Emma Roberts) spared no expense to bring overseas — might spell bad news for Grace, but ultimately, it’s good for the show. Since most of us could easily see Grace as the tub baby, some kudos goes out to the Scream Queens writing staff for not always being predictable.
And when it came to one of the episode’s two other reveals, things took an unpredictable and pleasantly unexpected turn as well. Working off a hunch that the Hag of Shady Lane was most likely institutionalized at some point, Grace and Pete revisited their favorite insane asylum sketch artist, who happened to have a painting that looks a lot like Gigi (Nasim Pedrad) cradling not one, but two babies — a boy and a girl. Of course, this bombshell of a clue begins to bring things into focus, considering it’s all the more likely that the two tub babies round out the trio of serial killers (we learned that there are at least three last week), with their adopted mother Gigi leading the homicidal Red Devil crew.
However, at the end of the episode, we learn that Gigi may not be in charge for much longer, as Boone (Nick Jonas) — reappearing for the first time since episode 2 — reveals himself as one of the Red Devils who feels she isn’t necessary to their plot anymore. Based on the fact that Boone faked his own death and had been mysteriously missing for most of the season, his reveal was the least effective of the bunch – after all, many could have surmised he was one of the killers. However, it was still nice to concretely nail down one of the Red Devils’ identities.
Now, with Gigi and Boone, two of the killers have been unmasked. But who is the third? While we suspect it is someone from the sorority — given that the other tub baby would be a young female in 2015 — it could also be Wes (Oliver Hudson). His “engagement” to Gigi, (still somewhat secret) past history with the sorority, penchant for lying to his own daughter and that sinister glare he gave himself in the mirror certainly have us wondering.
Scream Queens season 1 continues next Tuesday with ‘Ghost Stories’ @9pm on FOX.
Photos: Patti Perret/FOX