Scream Queens: 02×10, Drain The Swamp (Review/Recap)

Drain The Swamp
FOX

Scream Queens has reached its final episode of the hospital-based season with “Drain The Swamp,” and the Green Meanies made their final attempt at killing the Chanels — but do they succeed, or does Chanel and her clever minions survive once again?

“Drain The Swamp”

For starters, Chanel begins the episode by discovering a baseball pitching machine with the Green Meanie (Nurse Hoffel) behind the attempted murder by baseballs. The method isn’t too effective, despite injuring one of the new Chanels, and it’s back to the drawing board for the weakest of the Green Meanies. At the same time, Cascade can’t bring himself to kill #3 and decides he will kill (or talk to) his mother to express his feelings. With Hester now aware of Dr. Holt’s desire to kill, she gives him the idea to marry Cathy Munsch before she dies of her cannibalism disease and inherit her fortune. If that were to happen, the two could move to Blood Island to murder tourists and live a twisted happy life.

When Hoffel learns that the toxic fertilizer from the depths of the swamp is extremely flammable, she begins to research fertilizer bombs — while Holt proposes to Munsch and Chanel is distraught when she believed she would be the wife of the surgeon. Holt explains to Chanel, “And maybe when Cathy dies, I’ll rip that ring off her cold dead finger and give it to you.” Scream Queens and romance practically go hand in hand, don’t they? Speaking of love, Cascade tells his mother he has chosen Chanel #3 over her, and she doesn’t take the news well — but, with that behind him, he reveals that Hoffel is the last active Green Meanie.

The day has come for Cathy and Brock to become a married couple, but, after the ceremony, #5 explains to the dean that she has a feeling this supposed disease killing her is actually something else. (Go #5!) She suggests a surgery that uses a sample of the brain to examine, and Holt finds it to be a decent idea for his own Harvard-friends-bragging rights. Nurse Hoffel continues her bomb scheming (unplugging the cryosleep chamber Denise is preserved in) when Cascade’s mother calls to join — but she declines her assistance despite his mother having her own tactics (Zayday is still her prisoner). Mrs. Cascade speaks with Zayday, and Zayday gives her hope that her son has learned to be a good person from her own example, trying to reason with the psychotic, revenge-seeking mother. They end their conversation with Zayday offering to show her the hospital that her son helped build that is the opposite of what it used to be.

With Munsch’s surgery nearly ready, the Chanels hold a meeting where Chanel tells the others she plans on pouring a scalding hot pumpkin spice latte on her open brain to kill the woman who made their lives so complex (such as giving them a chance to become doctors or attaining their own daytime series). #5 tries to tell her it would most likely just kill off residual bacteria in the brain, but Chanel only grows more frustrated by #5’s brilliance and will act on her plan to have Munsch die at her own discretion. The scene debating how to kill their former dean is one that reminds us how perfect the Chanels can be when they unite and that they are, without a doubt, an iconic trio of television.

The surgery begins, and they keep her awake to make sure nothing serious gets jumbled — for starters, they have her sing a song to ensure they don’t affect that area (it nearly happens when she slurs, but it was just a quick mishap). Chanel can’t wait any longer while Munsch sings “Smoke On The Water” by Deep Purple and tosses her beverage, missing and hitting Hoffel instead. When #5 goes over the results with Munsch, she finds out that it is actually a scotch diet and extreme dehydration that started the false signs of her life-threatening disease. To top it off, it turns out that the brains ingested were lamb brains, and Dean Munsch is back to being healthy (except the lack of water).

Nurse Hoffel asks to have everyone in the basement for a celebratory glass of champagne, but they realize something isn’t right when they enter a steel cage and sip apple cider with fake styrofoam cheese (dead giveaway). She pulls a gun on them and has to drop several hints about Ms. Bean for the simple fact that they just didn’t really remember her that well. Zayday and Cascade’s mother arrive to help (and Zayday sarcastically thanks them for searching for her), but his mother is shot and killed, getting Zayday locked up as well. Hoffel leaves them locked away with a bomb in the corner, but Denise Hemphill comes to and proves the cryosleep chamber actually paid off. She may not have been trained for this, but her viewings of Quantico are discussed as her method of reference, as she successfully stops it from detonating (and #5 reveals her vaginal teeth are real when she feared dying as a liar).

The others begin to chase Hoffel (who was trying to avoid the now defunct bomb), and, in her last ditch effort to get another kill in, she tosses a blade like a pro — but Cascade steps in front of #3 to save her from a potential death. (Yes, it totally could have required a push or tug, which was humorously addressed.) With one down and Hoffel on the run, the others pursue her until she ends up sinking into the swamp. A vote is taken to see if they should use “vigilante justice” or save her from the thick swamp-pit, but everyone agrees to let her die. Cathy feels uneasy and tries to save Hoffel, but it is unsuccessful, and the final Green Meanie has met her end.

In the episode’s final moments, we see where everyone is after the murder spree comes to an end. Chanel #5 has partnered with Zayday to run the hospital, proving overall to be people with a desire to do good — and #5 is finally getting the chance to show how unexpectedly brilliant she really is. Hester stole all of Cathy’s money and fled to Blood Island with Dr. Brock, where they live in riches while hunting a fresh batch of victims as a serial killer power couple. Cathy Munsch decides to become a sex therapist of sorts who aids women with achieving spectacular orgasms, and Chanel explains that she has learned you must be skinny, beautiful and rich to survive multiple murder sprees, despite the wholesome cliché final-girl mentality in the genre. That statement is what has made Scream Queens so enjoyable: turning genre rules around and making them a thing of the past. Chanel finally notes she’s gone on to conduct her own show (“Lovin’ The C”) where Chanel is the TV doctor she dreamed of being, with topics that benefit the rich and promote being yourself — a Chanel Oberlin masterpiece. #3 has become the executive producer of the series, so the two remain close, and, just before the series ends, Chanel heads to her car, where she finds a KKT ring as she screams at the sight of the Red Devil in the backseat. Once again, Scream Queens leaves us worried for Chanel — but, if there’s anything I learned, it’s that nothing can keep Chanel down.

Overall Grade: 8/10

Scream Queens Season 2 came to an end with (almost) everyone I wanted to live making it through. “Drain The Swamp” maintained all of the Scream Queens quirks that made the series unique and a helped fill a void that needed to be filled for television. Sure, it wasn’t the Season 1 finale, but it had a happy tone that felt necessary for the characters who had been through such drastic events. Emma Roberts once again reminds us why she is such a star and a talent that can’t be duplicated, so I truly hope Scream Queens will be back to showcase her abilities.

Aedan’s Final Thoughts:

– The Chanels survived! I am so pleased to know the diabolical trio lived through another series of murders. They are easily the best characters on Scream Queens.
– Let’s hope there’s a semblance of hope for a Season 3, but, regardless, the ending was fulfilling — I just don’t want to say farewell yet!
– RIP Dr. Cascade, I was rooting for you.
– Grace MUST be the Red Devil killer — unless Chad Radwell is back from the dead.

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Scream Queens: 02×08, Rapunzel, Rapunzel (Review/Recap)

Rapunzel
FOX

On this week’s episode of Scream Queens, we learn the identity of the third Green Meanie responsible for a season of murders. Consider yourself warned: if you continue to read, there will be spoilers. Now that you’ve decided to be a risk taker, it can be confirmed that Wes Gardner is the final murderer after a string of unfortunate events his daughter Grace experienced in response to surviving the Wallace University massacre. When we initially see Wes again, he has unknowingly eaten his hair to create a massive hairball/tumor doppelganger and reconnect with Cathy Munsch. We find out the two tried to make a relationship post-Season 1, but she inevitably left him and created a wedge between Grace and Wes.

Though Wes initially reiterates that Grace is off pursuing her doctorate at Stanford, he reveals otherwise to Chamberlain after the candy striper is the first to figure out he is involved. Chamberlain is the next hospital patient/employee to meet his demise. However, before he is killed, we do learn that Grace went insane after the murders at Wallace and was unable to overcome the trauma — actually being kept at Stanford Mental Asylum (easy mix up). Wes now holds the Chanels responsible for the struggles his daughter is facing, wanting to use the Green Meanie murders as an easy way to murder the girls and pin the blame elsewhere. The scene that revealed Wes’ involvement and the death of Chamberlain was an intense scene that brought back some of the seriousness to Scream Queens that appeals to me.

Zayday seems to be the one person who continuously explores the ongoing murder-mystery aspect and grows closer to finding out the truth. When fighting off and obtaining materials from the Green Meanie, she takes to fabric shops until finding out three costumes are out there — and that two of them came from Jane (Cascade’s mother). Zayday goes to Jane with the knowledge that she is involved, and Jane tells her she engrained it into her son’s mind to seek revenge; after all, there’s no logic behind a psychopath, she points out before drugging and capturing Zayday. Unfortunately for Zayday, it’s partially her own doing because she pushed away Chamberlain, who could have provided her with the information she needed. (R.I.P. Chamberlain.)

On a somewhat lighter note, Chanel and Brock spend the episode realizing they have vast age differences and life experience, such as Chanel Snapchatting sex or doting on Boy Meets World. As he grows more attracted to Munsch and their similarities, Chanel is granted the idea to seduce him via a World War II-themed party, greatly overestimating his age and offending the already irritated doctor. After coming to terms with the age gap, he decides to stay with Chanel and begin an affair with Cathy to satisfy all his needs and solidify the douchebaggery.

Overall Grade: 8/10

The episode was directed by the insanely talented Jamie Lee Curtis, who handled the interchanging elements with great success. Bringing back Wes in a much darker way was the best way to approach the Wes/Grace dynamic we left behind in Season 1, making them both more interesting as two people who have become unstable from experiencing horror and loss. I am increasingly excited to see how the season closes in just two episodes!

Aedan’s Final Thoughts:

– Thank you for giving us a killer with major ties to Season 1 and a new way to tackle the upcoming finale.
– As usual, the Chanels are too caught up in their own personal lives to realize just how many people are after them, but that’s just part of their charm.
– I can’t be more thrilled to see Hester rejoining the ranks of the Chanel clique, which Chanel humorously addresses by stating her importance regardless of framing them for murder.

Catch up on Scream Queens with Season 1 on DVD.

Scream Queens: 02×07, The Hand (Review/Recap)

Hand
TVLine

This week’s episode of Scream Queens centered on Dr. Brock and his murderous hand along with a few oddities that you won’t find elsewhere on television … The episode entitled “The Hand” lived up to its name by giving Dr. Brock a moment in the spotlight and revealed with the stressors of the C.U.R.E. Institute are causing him to lose control of the former killer’s hand. Not only did that begin to affect his work life but his personal life as well — nearly stabbing Chanel on a overly salted dinner date. Needless to say, Chanel knew better than to stick around when she’s being targeted enough, and Brock is back to the drawing board to restrain himself.

“The Hand”

For this week’s peculiar medical case, a woman who had absorbed her twin was the patient — having grown extra legs and arms to the equivalency of a human spider. Aside from giving her possible advantages in life, it began to make the woman’s heart work even harder to maintain blood flow. Cue the C.U.R.E. Institute’s much needed medical assistance. What made this procedure even more crucial was a looming journalist hoping to bust the hospital and Brock’s on-edge hand. Opposite Brock (Dr. Cascade) is shown to be training on his own at the swamp entrance with some impeccable martial arts skills that would make any reasonable person suspicious of him, but Chanel #3 is only in awe of her love interest.

Speaking of Chanel #3, she begins to help Dr. Cascade diagnose his supposed dead-disease that turned out to be nothing (and his coldness stemmed from an AC unit), but, during the medical investigation, she did figure out that her potential boyfriend was certainly the (or a) killer donning the Green Meanie mask. When taking the time to decide what to do about her revelation, the Green Meanie (at least one of them) attacks Brock, but this is a rare example of his hand helping him when it fights off the killer once again. Another Green Meanie (Hoffel) takes the time to make Brock more anxious and likely to kill Chanel, also hacking his email with the password, “I went to Harvard” in all caps to sign him up for sexual spam mail. Classic Nurse Hoffel if you ask me.

Sometime later, Dr. Cascade and #3 begin to work on another case (where it turns out that a man poisoned himself to avoid a clingy girlfriend), and she tells him about knowing who he truly is. He decides he won’t kill her or the other Chanels, and she concludes she won’t turn him in so they can possibly give their relationship a try. One of the killers next targets the Chanel with too many intestines and strangles her to death (leaving a new heart for the woman with extra limbs). After all of the necessities are gathered, the surgery begins — but Brock has to halt it after growing fearful of what his hand will do next. Munsch tricks him into going back at it with only one hand and the Chanels singing his 80s jam “99 Luftballons,” making the surgery turn out perfectly (retro) and helps Brock regain his confidence.

Now that the patients were shockingly not murdered, the same couldn’t be said for the journalist who discovered how dangerous the hospital really was. Just as he finds a frozen Denise Hemphill in the basement, he is killed by the Green Meanie, which means the truth won’t be getting out about the C.U.R.E. Institute just yet. As the episode approaches its final moments, a changed Dr. Cascade offers to do the hand transplant for Dr. Brock to rid himself of an evil limb, but, in the very end, we see the new hand writes “Kill Chanel” on a pad of paper, which suggests there is more to the hand transplant than meets the eye.

Overall Grade: 7.8/10

Scream Queens knows that it is a series with zany humor and barrage of absurdity, which is something that makes the series even more enjoyable. This week went off the rails with the Brock story, hospital patients and strange medical diagnosis, which may not be as successful as the random stories in Season 1. Even through the hospital setting doesn’t explore the murder mystery aspect as much as Season 1, I do still enjoy the wackiness of Scream Queens and wish that a third season seemed likely to give them a new concept to explore with a phenomenal cast and crew.

Aedan’s Final Thoughts:

Dr. Cascade telling Chanel #3 it was “controlling” for her to ask him not to kill Chanel was pure millennial humor about a ridiculous concept of freedom.

Even though the chances aren’t looking great, I hope Scream Queens finds a way to carry on past this shortened second season.

Catch up on Scream Queens with Season 1 on DVD.