This week was part one of the two part Halloween extravaganza. I spent the majority of my viewing time wishing I had Emma Roberts' body so that I too could dress like Big Bird on a daily basis and look chic af while I did it.
The episode starts with a better cold open than SNL has had in the last five years. Ryan Murphy, who clearly fears neither God nor Squad, unapologetically mocked Taylor Swift and her fan gifting spree that preceded the 1989 tour. It was beautiful, if ill-advised.
Chanel Oberlin, philanthropist at heart, takes it upon herself every Halloween to put together care packages for her donkey-faced Instagram followers in the various armpits across America. She sends out these gifts for Chanel-O-Ween and demands that the (usually overwhelmed and sobbing) recipients record the entire experience on social media for her own validation. No description will do it justice, just go watch for yourself. If you listen carefully you can hear the furious clacking of Swifty keyboards around the world as they prepare their onslaught of Twitter vitriol. I honestly can’t wait to see how it plays out.
The episode actually starts right where we left off last week, in the living room of Kappa. Munsch is questioned by the campus police for about 30 seconds before she is declared innocent, much to the outrage of both Wes and Gigi.
Rather than be concerned by this man who clearly has it out for her, Munsch sexually harasses Wes and then asks/commands him to be her date to the faculty Halloween party. Jamie Lee Curtis’ take on predatory cougaring is so convincing that I'm beginning to think she went full method in preparation for this role.
Denise shows up, suspiciously late, to let everyone know that somewhere on campus a dicky dollar douche is running around without his arms, but is apparently alive. She also throws in a quick Zayday accusation, just for good measure.
Grace and Pete have finally arrived at the home of the missing bathtub birth witness from 1995. She lives in a trailer park in the middle of nowhere, which is exactly the opposite of how your life is supposed to turn out post-sorority. They come up with a clever (read: unnecessary) ruse to dress up as early trick or treaters, and settled on the perfectly casted ensemble of Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. It’s honestly uncanny. Pete proceeds to conduct the entire interview in a McConaughey accent and it’s frighteningly spot on, which honestly only lends more credibility to the theory that he’s one of the killers.
The old Kappa sees them and is like “you’re obviously here for the story about what went down in that bathtub 20 years ago,” proving their outfits unnecessary but still the best couples costume I’ve seen in years. However, she’s still super down to tell them everything because she lives in a trailer park out in bumfuck nowhere and recounting her part in an innocent girl’s death is probably the only fun she gets to have these days.
Flashback: After Munsch and the young, yet still large Ms. Bean discover the dead girl in the bathtub, they go straight into cover up mode. Sidenote: I felt bad before when Chanel burned Ms. Bean’s face off, but she literally opted for turning the dead girl into sausage and then feeding her to the rest of the Kappas, so maybe all’s well that ends well.
Munsch, the Greek liaison to the University at the time (single worst job in history), blindfolds the three avid TLC fans, drives them out to an undisclosed location, and makes them bury the body. She then effectively banishes them from campus and tells them to never speak to each other again. Post college life didn’t work out so well for them, evident by the one who is telling this story and another who killed herself. Shout out to the one who made it as a successful Fox News anchor though. Megyn Kelly, if you can get past the negligent death of your sorority sister, you can handle whatever Donald Trump throws at you next.
One last semi important thing: they find out the bathtub baby was a girl. Flash to Grace, who’s face instantly screams “yooooooooo, I am this baby.” Jumping to conclusions 101.
Unexpected pairing of the episode: Zayday and Earl Grey, the Dicky Dollar Scholar. They meet up for coffee to essentially plan a coup of Kappa and ultimately campus Greek Life. Earl Grey volunteers to help Zayd with her campaign for Kappa president, I guess out of the goodness of his heart? He claims to want to save Greek life, which is one hazing ritual and racist chant away from being eradicated completely (true), but I’m skeptical of the kid who is both black and British showing up to save a society built almost exclusively for rich, white Americans. Stay tuned for his real intentions.
Back at Kappa where everyone is carving their Chanel-O-Ween pumpkins, Zayday announces her candidacy. With the assistance of Earl Grey, she plans on holding a charity haunted house to raise money for Sickle Cell Anemia. Despite the fact that multiple people have been murdered on this campus by someone who is essentially running around in a Halloween costume, I have zero doubt in my mind that they will be allowed to hold this haunted house and rampant death will ensue.
Running for president as a freshman is bold, but running for president as a pledge is probably straight up not allowed. Chanel’s confidence in her stability as president is a bit unfounded considering she committed cold-blooded (or in this case, hot-oiled) murder in front of the very people who are supposed to be voting for her, a fact that Zayday immediately points out.
Cue a completely expected meltdown from Chanel. What isn’t expected? That she takes to sharpening fucking butcher knives in her closet mansion while she sulks. Honestly it’s like no one on this show is even trying to not look suspicious.
In an attempt to make her feel better, 3 and 5 brainstorm fundraisers that Chanel can hold to upstage Zayday. If anything, this was an opportunity to get truly offensive, but Ryan Murphy probably recognized that there would already be a hit out on him by the end of this episode and played it safe. The Chanels settle on a haunted pumpkin patch to benefit Black Hairy Tongue disease. Sure.
Meanwhile, out in the boonies, the old Kappa is payed a visit by the red devil, who was presumably led there by Pete and Grace (or is Pete/Grace, who knows). She gets murdered in her trailer home while her pet rat looks on and Leprechaun plays in the background. Jury’s still out on which part of that situation is the most depressing.
In an episode sorely lacking Chad Radwell, we are granted one glorious scene in which he is literally jerking off in a graveyard at night to tombstones and I just CAN’T with this fuck.
Hester/Chanel 6 appears out of the mist like the creepy single/white/female that she is to attempt to seduce Chad. Initially, you’re shocked that it works so well, and then you remember he was literally just about to jizz on a tombstone and you’re like “right.”
The two bond of their moderate necrophilia kinks and the fact that Chanel is such a raging bitch. Hester reveals her master plan to Chad: help Zayday win Kappa president and then kill her and take her spot, effectively making her the HBIC of a house with a grand total of six living members. She then proceeds to taunt him with prospective spooky butt sex and he just about jizzes in his pants. They’re set to rendezvous at another time and place, one that Hester deems creepy enough.
In this week’s installment of wholly inappropriate movies to be showing students living on a campus stalked by a serial killer, Wes plays Children of the Corn for his film class. It’s accompanied by another creepy monologue that inevitably foreshadows some later event, like a child coming back to murder a bunch of adults who fucked up in their youth. Wonder what that could possibly be alluding to?
Grace shows up to confront Wes about her mother, because she literally doesn’t go to class ever. Rolling with the sole information that the bathtub baby was born a girl (a literal 50/50) she assumes that it had to be her and accuses her dad of lying for her entire life and also being the murderer.
Grace: Dad, was I born inside of Kappa house thus making me the ULTIMATE legacy??
Wes: Yo are you on bath salts
Grace vows to get to the bottom of this mystery and storms out before receiving a text from Pete to meet him at 53 Shady Lane. As per usual, he makes a creepy fucking murder face while he does it, so shit is probably going down.
Grace arrives at 53 Shady Lane which turns out to be a creepy abandoned house. Have the police considered checking out the desolate, haunted house on campus during their search of a masked murderer? Absolutely not.
She is met there by Pete (who somehow thinks they’re going to find the identity of the bathtub baby), Zayday and Earl Grey (who are scoping a haunted house location) and Denise (who did some research at the library and came to warn them all about how haunted the house was). How did Denise, the worst security guard in a world where Paul Blart exists, know to show up at Shady Lane to warn everyone? Idk, probably has something to do with her being the murderer.
From what I gathered of the legend of the Old Hag on Shady Lane is that a senile old woman lived there and made weird wailing noises and avoided the college kids running around drunk in her front yard. It's a pretty half-assed urban legend as far as college towns go, but they have a real life murder spree happening now so I guess they made up for it.
Reactions about this story range from suspicious (Grace), to indifferent (Earl Grey) to psyched because it makes for an even better haunted house venue (Zayday). Denise takes some time out of recounting ghost stories and yelling at everyone to accuse Zayday of murder again and honesty, it’s getting old. However, she refers to the haunted house as a buffet for murderers, so we can’t completely disregard her. Denise would have had a fucking field day with PLL.
Zayday comes right back at Denise with some accusations of her own. It turns out that Denise was a Kappa pledge for a hot sec in 1988 before they realized that there was a clerical error and that they gave a bid to a black girl. It was heavily suggested that she would not be the right fit for the house, and Denise promptly dropped out and enrolled in community college.
Zayday thinks Denise is killing people because she’s still mad about getting kicked out of Kappa. Denise thinks Zayday is doing it for reasons that I still don’t really understand but have something to do with the chainsaw she found under her bed. I think that if the two of these teamed up with Earl Grey they could probably figure out the real killer in half an episode.
The Chanels sit down in the cafeteria for an artfully packed lunch of cotton balls. Don’t worry, there was dipping sauce. After Hester points out that it might actually kill them to solely consume cotton, Chanel goes on a wholly unexpected tirade about the extreme disconnect between beauty expectations for men and women. PSA: Not even Chanel Oberlin, quintessential shallow bitch and propagator of bulimia, is down for your fucking dad bods.
Quote of the episode and also my life: “I may die at the end of a serial killer’s blade, but I refuse to die hungry.” Preach.
Mere seconds after confronting body image, Chanel takes an aggressively feminist stance on cat-calling and rape culture, which leads me to believe that Ryan Murphy is trying to make up for the Taylor Swift jab at the beginning of the episode. Whatever the reasoning, I’m all for it. After being approached and harassed by some inherently misogynistic frat boys, the Chanels proceed to beat the absolute shit out of them. It’s a massacre. The entire cafeteria, much like myself, broke into a supportive round of applause.
Chanel and Hester meet up for their freaky necrophilia motivated anal sesh in the haunted house on Shady Lane. Both of them received texts that the other didn’t send, but decide this fact isn’t worth addressing.
They stumble upon a basement bedroom to bone in but soon discover that all the previously stolen dead bodies had been hidden in the house. They try to warn everyone to stay away from the haunted house full of actual corpses, which ends up being the best advertisement Zayday could have asked for.
Pete, Grace, Zayday and Earl Grey show up and realize what none of the other attendees have yet to figure out: all these dead bodies are real. Everyone that’s been murdered thus far makes an appearance, even poor Coney. Zayday tries to call the police but before she can convince them that this is an actual emergency and not just a super sick haunted house, she’s tackled by the red devil.
Everyone reconvenes at Kappa to discuss the issue at hand i.e: five dead bodies, most of which had gone unreported. Munsch refuses to recognize this as a university issue while everyone pretty much just screams at her.
Grace is the only one who is moderately concerned about the fact that Zayday was abducted. I am the only one moderately suspicious that Zayday was abducted and not murdered. Could she be in #CAHOOTS with Boone? God, I hope so. I miss him.
After being grounded in the house by her dad, a order that will absolutely get ignored, Grace reveals new newest theory to Pete: that the old hag on Shady Lane was actually taking care of the bathtub baby, hence the weird crying sounds that started up right around the time of the Kappa death. As she's explaining this the camera pans to Shady Lane, where the wailing has started back up. This time, it's not a baby making that God forsaken sound but Gigi, sitting in a rocking chair, shrouded in black and surrounded by baby dolls. No one should have been surprised that she's certifiably crazy, and this basically verifies what we've thought all along: Gigi was the brunette witness to the bathtub birth.
Questions I'm left with:
Why hasn't Gigi used the cover up to blackmail Munsch yet?
Is Grace the baby or is she guilty of jumping to extreme conclusions again?
How the fuck is that kid still alive after both his arms were cut off?
Episodes since Boone: 2
Episodes until the Radwell family spin off: too many