Good morning idiot hookers. Welcome to our first Scream Queens recap. If you didn’t watch the pilot last night then you missed out on a whole lot of derogatory language, offensive depictions of Greek life, and a confusing amount of late 80’s/ early 90’s power ballads. In other words: perfection.
The opening scene introduces us to what looks like a raging and yet incredibly well-behaved party inside of the Kappa Kappa Tau House. Not a single part of what I just said even comes close to accurately portraying sorority life, so we’ll just move on.
The year is 1995 and the clothing is just as heinous as you would expect it to be. An unnamed sister walks down a grand staircase and through the middle of the party with blood all over her hands and no one really questions it or offers to help, so at least the depiction of college life is getting a little more accurate. She runs to what are clearly the HBICs of the house to let them know there’s a bit of a situation occurring upstairs. What could it be? Oh, just a freshman giving birth in the bathroom. TSM.
We are three minutes into this show and I already want to hand MVB to the girl who refuses to miss Waterfalls to deal with the dumbass pledge who didn’t know she was pregnant. I mean it’s her jam, we’ve all been there. Not surprisingly, by the time TLC is done playing the pregnant girl has died. Have fun explaining that to nationals.
Fast-forward twenty years and we are greeted with the greatest Emma Roberts monologue since American Horror Story: Coven. Roberts plays Chanel, the president of Kappa Kappa Tau and single most offensive person in this show, which is a feat. Her rampant racism, homophobia, and general bitchy elitism is equal parts sickening and awe-inspiring. If she doesn’t win a Golden Globe for this roll I will do absolutely nothing proactive except probably complain on Twitter a lot.
Through Chanel #1 we are introduced to her three henchman: Chanel #2 (Ariana Grande), Chanel #3 (Billie Lourd), and Chanel #5 (Abigal Breslin). Chanel #5 is a wet blanket try hard and Chanel #3 whispers weird shit and wears ear muffs 24/7. Collectively the three of them have maybe 10% of the personality of Chanel #1.
Next on the list of character introductions is Dean Munsch, played by the OG Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis, who has called Chanel #1 in for a disciplinary chat that sets the tone for the rest of the show. The gist is that of a typical TV rivalry between the leader of a Greek life organization and any school official: mutual hatred and the vow to see to the disbanding and ultimate removal of the chapter from campus. Chanel #1 makes a munch box joke to the Dean’s face, further cementing my love for her and this show.
It turns out Dean Munsch’s concern is kind of valid: KKT has a dark history far more recent than the bathtub baby fiasco of ’95. The last president was horrifically maimed the year before, leaving the position open for Chanel #1 to grab. Weirdly enough, Munsch finds this hella suspicious and blames Chanel.
Chanel: Just because we’re sorority girls doesn’t mean we can’t not die in a freak hydrochloric acid spray tanning accident.
The national president of KKT, Gigi, shows up in the middle of this meeting presumably in the hopes of helping but proves about just as useful as any real life sorority advisory board. However hopeless, Nasim Pedrad kills it as a washed up airhead forever lost in the 90’s.
Cue the arrival of the nice girl: Grace. Played by Skyler Samuels, Grace is the obligatory legacy who is rushing so she can feel close to her dead mom. Yawn. What’s most notable about this car ride is that her dad is a total DILF who for sure has an aptly titled sex playlist on his phone. Grace’s roommate is Zayday (Keke Palmer) who has transcended the role of sassy black friend and embraced the role so soundly that it almost comes across ironic. Grace convinces Zayday to rush KKT with her because it will look good on her resume when she runs for president of the United States. Sure, that’s why we all did it.
We get our first real glimpse at the red devil as Grace is about to walk into her first rush party. Honestly, if there’s ever a time to pray to be slashed down by a serial killer, it’s seconds before recruitment starts. However the party is not ruined by murder but instead by Dean Munsch, who shows up to drop this bomb: anyone who wants in KKT gets a bid. Cue horrified screams from recruitment chairs around the country. It doesn’t matter who dies in the next two hours, this was the single scariest moment of the episode.
Obviously everyone with a modicum of social skills instantly leaves because no one wants to be in the sorority that has to accept everybody. This leaves Grace, Zayday, and the losers who Chanel #1 brands with nicknames that harken back to middle school levels of ridicule: Neckbrace (Lea Michelle at the grossest we will ever see her), Deaf Taylor Swift, Predatory Lez, and the Candle Vlogger. Yes, yes, we know, everyone is offended.
Once word gets out that KKT is a breeding ground for social outcasts, Chanel’s douchey boyfriend dumps her while hitting golf balls at the Gay Straight Alliance with his best (very gay) bud Boone, AKA Nick Motherfucking Jonas. Chad is president of the Dicky Scholars Club, the golf frat on campus, a sentence that was almost painful to type. I am eagerly awaiting the Oscar that Nick will receive for masterfully playing a super hot tool who is trying (and failing) to hide his raging boner for the president of his frat.
In her efforts to save KKT from social suicide, Chanel #1 whips up a poorly thought out scheme with the house’s maid, Ms. Bean. She decides that in order to scare the shitty pledges away she will get into a fake argument with Ms. Bean and then dunk her face into the deep fryer. Don’t worry, it’s not supposed to be plugged in (spoiler alert: it is). The most shocking part of this conversation is that the sorority house has a deep fryer at all, because our house mom made our chef stop serving fried chicken and any recipe with cream in it because we were all getting fat.
The best part about this subversive scheming is that Chanel pauses midway through to get in a screaming match with the barista while ordering her PSL. Honestly, same. Let he who has never considered hopping the counter and punching a barista in the face for over pouring soy milk cast the first stone, okay?
Grace was in line behind Chanel #1, and my innate dislike for her doubles when she pulls some “I’m not like other girls” bull and talks shit on the PSL. Just because you like your coffee tasteless doesn’t make you quirky, you special snowflake. The barista, who is named Pete, and Grace hit it off during their 30 second encounter and the chemistry was so overwhelming that Pete chases her outside to warn her against rushing KKT. No red flags there. It turns out that Pete and Chanel have history and by that I mean she ghosted on him the year before and he went full freshman and blew up her phone day and night, probably with non-emoji winky faces.
The first night of pledging doesn’t go great in the sense that Chanel #1 for real fries Ms. Bean’s face off. I’m still unsure as to whether or not it was an accident. Grace tries to run off and grab campus security, but Chanel #1 threatens to frame her and bribes everyone else by promising them seats on her private jet for spring break. Who amongst us wouldn’t be wiling to toe the line of ethical ambiguity in the face of free luxury airfare to Cabo? We are mere mortals. Together they roll up the body and dump it in the walk-in sorority meat freezer. Sisterhood is.
The second greatest monologue of the night goes to Dean Munsch, who only interrupts her post-coital villainous introspection to call out Chad, the college student she is apparently having sex with, for being so God awful in bed. It’s truly inspiring.
Grace meets up with Pete, who watched the entire body ditching go down the night before and has zero qualms shouting about in the coffee shop where he works. He keeps insisting he’s an investigative journalist, whereas everyone watching knows that he’s actually just a journalism major getting a head start on his far more realistic future career: a barista. Grace volunteers to be the inside man for his expose on KKT in the hopes of bringing down Chanel and restoring the house to it’s former glory. She seems to oblivious to the part where she will absolutely go down as an accessory to murder, and like a good journalist Pete doesn’t correct her.
The two of them sneak back to the freezer so Pete can see the body. I’m not sure what actual purpose this serves, but I’m also not an investigative journalist. When they get there they discover that Chanel #1 and Chad had had a similar idea, which conveniently allows all of them to find out at the same time that the body is missing. This will become a common theme throughout the episode.
After a non-consensual blood oath between the Chanels gone awry, during which such hilarious topics as HPV and Mexican water are discussed, Chanel #2 tells the rest that she can’t handle all this murder business and bails. While packing up her bag and getting murdered by the red devil, I am left wondering why the costume department let Ariana Grande wander straight off stage from a concert and onto set without an outfit change. Apparently the Internet is surprised that she died so early on, as if she isn’t a pop star with an outrageously busy schedule and zero time to film an entire season of a show. Luckily, before she died in a hilariously campy homage to teen slasher deaths, Chanel #2 was able to send out one last tweet. I’m sure this will be important later, especially since the rest of the Chanels cover up her murder to avoid suspicion.
In the most expedited rush process of all time, hell week starts for KKT. In the almighty words of Chanel, the pledges were “about to get hazed harder than a suburban banquet hall during Bat Mitzvah season.” I laughed, I cried, I felt a little bit bad about it, but mostly not really.
To the surprise of no one, Grace puts up a big fuss and storms out of the hazing, resulting in a one on one coffee date with Chanel #1. After a faux heart-to-heart, Chanel #1 tells Grace to suck it up and offers her the position of Chanel #6. Grace turns it down and then storms out again, which is apparently all she does when she’s not spending her time investigating murder.
Back at the house, the rest of the pledges are buried from the neck down in the backyard for a rousing game of “Sexy Gopher Whore Head Challenge.” In a hilarious and insensitive turn of events, Deaf Taylor Swift gets mowed down by the red devil while everyone else screams around her. At least she went out the way she would have wanted: singing Shake It Off while completely oblivious to the absolute horror surrounding her.
Everyone is pretty fucking blasé about the fate of the rest of KKT post-Deaf Taylor Swift murder. Munsch and Gigi convince them all that staying on campus, in the house where the murder occurred, would be the safest bet. Grace’s dad absolutely disagrees, and demands to be made a professor at the school so he can keep an eye on things. Munsch, whose mighty thirst cannot be quenched by sexually inept 21-year-olds, allows it. At this point, only the girls know that Ms. Bean is dead, and only the Chanels and creepy fucking Neckbrace know what Ariana Grande is dead.
In a gesture that kind of resembled helpful, Gigi hires a security guard for the girls. The security guard is none other than Niecy Nash, who means well but is absolutely useless. While she definitely won’t prevent any death from occurring, she wins the award for most realistic reaction to any kind of murder situation.
Grace and Pete, who shared one brief and super weird kiss, are still hell bent on their “investigative journalism.” Like true characters in a teen slasher, they decide to split up this time in their search of clues.
Grace heads to KKT where she discovered a sketch locked door the night before. Instead of assuming “Huh, this is probably the chapter room, something that all sorority houses have and keep locked because it’s where the creepy initiation robes live,” she automatically guesses it’s a room full of murder clues. And what do you know? She’s right.
Chanel #1 finds her snooping around the STILL BLOODY bathtub from twenty years before, because no one had the foresight to rinse it out before stashing it two floors away from the crime scene. Rumor has it that Dean Munsch was the one who helped the KKT girls cover up the bathtub fiasco. Chanel regales her with the story about the fateful party and despite the fact that it reads like any typical sorority ghost story, Grace has a fucking conniption. To be fair, people are getting murdered left and right. But still, calm the fuck down.
While everyone else is downstairs, Chanel #1 is attacked in her room. Her screams alert the rest of the girls as well as Niecy, who rushes into the house only to sprint away once she hears that the killer is inside. She finally vocalizes what generations of horror movie viewers have frustratedly screamed at screens across the country: DON’T GO UP THERE YOU WILL DIE. All the girls run up anyway and find “Sluts Will Die” scrawled across the wall in red paint/blood. Honestly idk. This episode has been so fucking long.
Over at the Dicky Scholars House, we are rewarded for our fastidious one hour and fifty minutes of viewing thus far with a completely unnecessary shirtless Nick Jonas work out montage. Thank you based God. Boone, who had recently decided he was going to come out and join KKT (to the almost outrageously misplaced anger of Chanel #5) has his workout cut short but the red devil, who slits his throat and leaves him for his brothers to find – laid out crucifixion style on the dining room table surrounded by candles. Leave it to the gay kid to have the most dramatic death possible.
Back at KKT, the sisters are having a heated discussion about who the murderer is. Fingers are pointed (rightfully so at Neckbrace, who just to reiterate is so fucking creepy) when Niecy Nash and Chad storm in. They both have news.
Niecy tells everyone that her friend was murdered the night before while dozing in front of the house. The body was snatched after Niecy, the every loyal companion, threw it to the ground and sped away. Who else’s body went missing earlier? Ms. Bean. Curious.
Chad has two important points to discuss
1. That he has banged at least 50 girls since he and Chanel #1 broke up and
2. Boone is dead.
Before you throw your wine/laptop/nearest pet across the room in a fit of rage, fear not: Nick Jonas is not actually dead. With some Halloween makeup that was apparently applied professionally enough to fool the police department and local medical examiner, Boone tricked everyone into thinking he had been murdered. The red devil springs him from the morgue where he hung out as a live body without anyone noticing. Honestly, who the fuck hands out medical certification in this town.
Questions I’m left with after this marathon of an episode:
– Are there only four (now three) girls in this entire sorority?
– Why does Chanel #3 inexplicably wear ear muffs at all times?
– Why are we, as a society, content to just stand idly by while TV networks continue propagate this bullshit lie that you can SEND TEXTS FROM BLOCKED NUMBERS. THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN.
– Will this show fall prey to the Ryan Murphy curse aka: a fantastic and award worthy first season that draws you in a traps you for a subsequent four years of hell? Only time will tell.