Scream Queens “Drain the Swamp” Review (Season 2 Episode 10)

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On the season finale of “Scream Queens,” things came to a head with the final Green Meanie killer, as Dr. Holt scrambled to try and save Munsch from her deadly disease and we saw who was left standing in the end, in the wryly-titled “Drain the Swamp.”

We began with the Hoffel iternation of the Green Meanie attempting to take down Chanel and once again failing miserably. In this case, it was undoubtedly her method, which consisted of cornering the girl in a locked corridor and firing baseballs at her with a pitching machine!

In the end, all she ended up doing was wacking poor Daria (Riley McKenna Weinstein), aka “Moebius Chanel” in the head- and remarkably, she didn’t even die. Yeah, Hoffel, you kind of suck at this, I hate to tell you. Dr. Cascade didn’t fare much better, predictably finding himself unable to go through with killing Chanel #3, period.

Indeed, he told Hoffel shortly thereafter that he was out and she was on her own, and promised Chanel #3 to talk to his mother once again and stand up for them as a couple for real this time. Hoffel warned him to stay out of her way or else, but he let her know if she came after Chanel #3, he’d make it his mission to take her down, too.

While Chanel and Dr. Holt decided to continue on with their relationship, in spite of, you know, his trying to strangle her- an action she was surprisingly okay with, ultimately- Hester wanted to ramp up Dr. Holt’s other relationship with Munsch by proposing to her, so that when she seemingly inevitably died from her disease, he could gain access to her trust fund and Hester and Brock could run off together to Blood Island to bump off tourists together!

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Meanwhile, Hoffel comes across a wounded-but-not-down Daria and sees that she’s growing tomatoes (which seem to be somewhat radioactive!) near the swamp, using a highly flammable fertilizer found nearby. This gives Hoffel the idea to build a bomb with the fertilizer, which she learns to do online. (“Are you a terrorist? Check ‘Yes, I am a terrorist’ or ‘Nope, not a terrorist’ to proceed,” lol.)

Chanel, after going through Dr. Holt’s phone, gets wind that he’s shopping for a “cheap” engagement ring and naturally assumes he’s going to propose, which he seems to confirm by calling everyone to Munsch’s room, much to Chanel’s delight- at first. Then, of course, Brock ends up proposing to Munsch instead, which goes about as well as one would think it would with Chanel- though Munsch herself is delighted, if a bit surprised.

To calm down Chanel, Brock promises to do what matters most to her- to maintain her “romantic social media footprint” by taking three selfies with her a day until Munsch dies to keep up appearances and to give her the ring afterwards and make her his bride next. This does the trick, more or less, but it’s clear Chanel is still upset by this new development, understandably.

Dr. Cascade confronts his mother again, with Chanel #3 in tow, and it does not go well. Jane disowns her son, and says that if he won’t finish the job of killing everyone at the hospital, she will. He isn’t thrilled, but seems resigned to this outcome, and in turn, finally admits to Chanel #3 that Hoffel is the other killer and that she definitely has something big planned coming up soon.

Back at the hospital, Brock and Cathy get hitched, with what appears to be Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy doing the honors! (It’s actually actor Dan Gilvary, who previously played a priest on “Shameless.”) Afterwards, Chanel #5 approaches Munsch and Dr. Holt, saying that she’s not convinced Munsch even has kudu and that if Dr. Holt performs a craniotomy, they can potentially find out for sure.

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Though dubious and convinced Munsch does indeed have kudu, as she does exhibit all the signs, Brock can’t resist a showboating new surgery and agrees to do it anyway, just to confirm- and to show off to his Harvard buddies. Munsch reluctantly agrees, reassured that, if she stays awake during said surgery, they’ll be able to tell if she’s in any kind of real danger.

Hoffel begins to set up her bomb down in the basement, using a suction tube to suck out the needed fertilizer from the swamp. However, in order to do so, she has to unplug the machine keeping Denise alive- but will it actually kill her? Jane calls to try and horn in on the action with Hoffel, in light of her son bailing on her, but Hoffel refuses her help, saying she can handle it herself, thank you very much.

An upset Jane seeks solace in Zayday, who talks her down off the ledge and convinces her that maybe her son’s heart is in the right place after all, pointing out that, like it or not, the hospital is actually doing what it was supposed to do these days- curing the seemingly incurable- and that her son is a big part of that. As such, maybe it’s time to rethink the whole revenge plan thing.

An impatient Hester, unhappy that Dr. Holt is doing a surgery that could heal Munsch permanently, insists that he “accidentally” slip up and kill her instead, to hasten her demise. She points out that, if Munsch lives, Hester will most likely have to go back to prison and Munsch will get to keep her money, thus ruining their plans to run off together. Dr. Holt refuses, damn the consequences, which doesn’t go over well with Hester, obviously.

Meanwhile, in perhaps the most Millennial white female murder plot ever, Chanel determines she’s going to dump a scalding hot pumpkin spice latte inside Munsch’s open brain during surgery to screw it up, despite the fact that Chanel #5 points out that it likely will have little to no effect.

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The surgery begins, with Dr. Holt instructing an awake Munsch to sing her favorite song so that they can determine if things are going well or not. If not, her singing will go awry and they will know to back off that particular area of the brain. Munsch chooses the classic “Smoke on the Water,” of all things, by the “granddaddies of heavy metal,” Deep Purple.

Sure enough, it alerts Brock when he almost slips up and keeps him on track, when Munsch slurs her speech at one point. When Chanel attempts to enact her nutty plan, her timing is such that she ends up dumping the coffee on Hoffel instead, with Dr. Holt kicking out the Chanels in short order soon thereafter.

The surgery is essentially a success, but at the same time, inconclusive, as there is no confirmation that Munsch has kudu, either. However, Chanel #5 points out that Munsch’s symptoms could also be a simple case of dehydration, which leads Munsch to recall that she never really drinks water, only scotch- even going so far as to brush her teeth with the stuff!

To that end, they call up Swando, her friend with which she supposedly ate brains at his relative’s wake. He slams Munsch for her backwards thinking, and points out that they aren’t savages, and, in fact, only ate lamb that night, as it is custom to eat the brains of one’s pet when it dies in his culture, but not the humans, and that it was, in fact, precisely that- lamb brains- not human ones she ate.

As such, Munsch realizes that Chanel #5 is right, and she’s merely dehydrated and thus, will be perfectly fine once she replenishes her body with water. Before Brock has much time to register what this means, Hoffel sends Daria to gather everyone in the basement to “celebrate” Munsch’s successful diagnosis- even though she couldn’t possibly know about it yet.

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Naturally, it’s a trap, and Hoffel instead locks the Chanels, Munsch, Dr. Holt and Cascade inside a cage in the basement, and holds a gun on them while she reveals her diabolical plan- to blow them up, along with the hospital. She also outs Dr. Cascade as the other Green Meanie killer and the baby they had been seeking, though Chanel #3 points out that he “hasn’t killed anyone in three days.”

It’s also revealed by Chanel #3 that Hester has flown the coop on the sly, as she spotted Hester with her bags packed getting into an Uber. Hoffel tells the Chanels why she’s doing it, though it take a hot minute for them to remember who Agatha Bean even was, with only Munsch remembering it was the Kappa’s maid.

Zayday arrives with Jane in tow, and they confront Hoffel, who shoots Jane and forces the two into the cage as well, where Jane dies in her son’s arms, forgiving him for what he did and saying his dad would be proud. Zayday vows to heal as many people as possible in her wake. Hoffel reveals the bomb- a bigger one than “Cloud Atlas,” she says, lol- and they see the counter counting down to their doom.

Hoffel leaves, just as Denise wakes up and emerges, wanting to know what she missed. Using skills she learned not from Quantico, but from the TV show “Quantico,” of course, Denise is able to successfully defuse the bomb and set everyone free, saving the day. The angry mob rushes upstairs to catch Hoffel before she can flee the scene, chasing her outside to the swamp.

Hoffel tosses a machete at Chanel #3, only to hit Dr. Cascade as he leaps in front of her to save her, even though, as various people point out, he could have simply pushed her out of the way instead. Cassidy pays the price, as the machete kills him almost instantly, with just enough time to profess his love for Chanel #3 before he dies, complete with a (presumably) intentionally cheesy “Twilight”-style last confession: “I knew I was alive because of how good it felt to love you.”

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The group goes after Hoffel again, who has a getaway boat beside the swamp to escape, but runs afoul of some quicksand along the way, ironically likely because of her own draining of the swamp previously. The gang vote whether or not to save her and opt not to- even Zayday, surprisingly- but Munsch’s conscience gets the better of her and she attempts a last-ditch effort to save her, but fails in the end, with Hoffel sinking to her doom in the quicksand.

As the episode wraps up, we see everyone’s respective fates. It turns out that Hester disguised herself as Munsch and drained her entire bank account on the sly, before running off with Dr. Holt to Blood Island, where they live a life of luxury while teaming up to kill shipwrecked travelers and hunt tourists for sport. Munsch lands on her feet after Brock leaves her high and dry, selling the hospital and becoming a “sexpert” for older women, and “boning half the US ski team.”

Chanel #5 and Zayday take over the hospital and become the head nurses, while Chanel takes over Dr. Lovin’s syndicated daytime talk show, which she rebrands “Lovin the C,” with Chanel #3 assuming executive producing duties, “whatever that is.” One night, while leaving the soundstage, we see Chanel get into her vehicle, spotting a broach with the Kappa insignia on it on the passenger seat. Suddenly she spots a figure in the back seat, and turns to see… the Red Devil, back again.

That is where we leave things for the season, and perhaps for the series as a whole, unless it lucks up and gets a renewal. Though the ratings were steady, they weren’t very high, so it’s hard to say if the show will be back or not. TBH, I’m not sure if they should. Though I enjoyed the show as a whole, especially the first season, the hospital locale didn’t do it for me as much as I hoped it would, so unless they came back with a solid premise moving forward, I’m not sure it would be the worst thing in the world if the show ended here.

That said, the cast was on point, with Emma Roberts a delight throughout, as per usual. I don’t know how she manages to remember all that crazy dialogue, but she consistently knocked it out the park. Between her work here and her surprisingly diverse work elsewhere- she’s hardly a one-note actress, as roles in the likes of “Ashby,” “The Art of Getting By” and “Palo Alto” have shown- I have no doubt that, much like Chanel, she will land on her feet regardless of whether the show gets renewed or not.

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Besides, there’s always “American Horror Story,” which reportedly will be resurrecting the “Coven” storyline again soon, which she also figured prominently in. I can also easily see any number of the other cast members faring just fine on that show as well, so if it doesn’t get renewed, hopefully that will come to pass, as it would be a shame to not see the talented likes of Abigail Breslin, Keke Palmer, Lea Michele and Billie Lourde on a weekly basis anymore.

Props as well to the excellent comeback by Jamie Lee Curtis, who clearly reveled in her role here as the sexy, formidable Munsch, and also did a fine job directing an episode to boot. In addition, fellow 80’s survivors Kirstie Alley and Brooke Shields were in fine form as well. And, of course, I’d be remiss not to point out the typically amusing work done by Niecy Nash, who I doubt will ever stop working in comedy for the rest of her days. God bless her and her “Quantico”-loving ways, and I hope to see them all in future projects as well.

“Scream Queens” might have been over-the-top and ridiculous at times, but it was nothing if not fun and often laugh-out-loud funny. Credit where it’s due to Ryan Murphy and his writing team, who may have struggled with plotting at times- something that also occasionally eludes them on “AHS” as well- but never were at a loss with a hilarious bit of biting, sometime political dialogue. Even if “Scream Queens” comes to an end, I’m sure FOX will find something else for Murphy and co. to do on down the line.

All in all, a decent finale, if somewhat abrupt- though you could say the same for any number of “AHS” finales, I hasten to add. Even if the season’s premise occasionally left something to be desired, at the very least I was entertained, more often than not, which isn’t the worst thing in the world. I can live with that. As per usual, I leave you with a list of the songs featured, along with my fave quotes.

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Song List

“Chapel of Love”– The Dixie Cups (as the Chanels head to Munsch’s room, thinking Dr. Holt is going to propose)

“The Wedding March”– Queen (as Munsch and Dr. Holt get married)

“Smoke on the Water”– Deep Purple (as Dr. Holt performs surgery on Munsch)

“When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going”– Billy Ocean (as Chanel narrates the ending and Dr. Holt and Hester celebrate incoming tourists on Blood Island)

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Favorite Quotes

Chanel #3, after Dr. Cascade nearly attacks her: “Thanks for not killing me. What about your mom though?”
Dr. Cascade: “I’m gonna have to kill her.”
Chanel #3: “Doesn’t that seem a little extreme? How about you just talk to her?
Dr. Cascade: “Oh, yeah, that could work, too.”
Chanel #3: “Your not killing me and standing up to your mother is totally turning me on. How about I go home and take a quick whore’s bath and you meet me in half an hour?”
Dr. Cascade: “Um, okay.”

Hoffel, after yet another failed attempt on Chanel’s life: “Oh my gosh. These Chanels are impossible to kill. It’s almost like their narcissism and stupidity create some kind of force field around them.”

Dr. Holt, trying to figure out where he and Chanel stand: “I’m a little bit confused as to whether we’re still dating. I mean, I did try to strangle you and I would totally understand if you thought that was sort of crossing a line.”
Chanel: “It was. Don’t get me wrong. But there comes a point in every long-term relationship where you feel like you just want to strangle your partner. So, the fact that you actually did means that we are communicating those feelings instead of burying them.”

Hester, to Dr. Holt: “I will always let you attack my crack. Even when I’ve had a really large meal and I’m unsure of what you might encounter down there.” (Eew.)

Chanel, justifying her looking through Dr. Holt’s phone to Chanel #5: “Hello? He’s my boyfriend. He trusts me enough not to do that kind of thing, which makes it really easy for me to do that kind of thing.”
Chanel #3: “Your total ignorance about how relationships work is probably the reason why all your boyfriends get murdered.”

Dr. Holt, proposing to Munsch: “Cathy, let’s enjoy your last few days of life the way you should.”
Munsch: “Pounding?”
Dr. Holt: “Yes, darling. Pounding.”

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Dr. Holt, justifying his proposal to Munsch to Chanel: “Think of my proposal as a sort of end-of-life care. Like a romantic hospice.”
Chanel: “Like a ‘Make a Wish’ foundation kind of thing?”
Dr. Holt: “Yes, exactly.”
Chanel: “It’s not fair. I mean, I’m dying, too- we all are, in a way.”

Hester, stating her reasons for wanting Munsch dead to Dr. Holt: “If she’s alive, then she gets to keep her money and I have to go back to prison, where I literally have to draw porn to masturbate to, and I am a terrible artist!”

Chanel, venting about Dr. Holt to the girls: “I’m crushed with jealousy. I mean, jealousy has pinned me down and is sitting on my chest and farting.”

Swando, mortified about Munsch’s thoughts about his culture: “Of course we don’t eat human brains, you xenophobic piece of garbage!”

Dr. Holt, upon realizing he’s marked for death with Munsch, Dr. Cascade and the Chanels: “Can I just say, I feel like I am unfairly being lumped in with this group here?”
Hoffel: “Collateral damage.”

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Zayday, explaining her whereabouts, sarcastically: “Thank you guys for all your tireless efforts to find me. I was trapped in a well…again.”

Hoffel, crushing the Chanels’ hopes and dreams: “Goodbye Chanels. Have fun in Hell. Oh, by the way, there are no dinosaurs.” (Nice callback- well played, “SQ”)

Denise, upon her revival from a coma and in for a rude awakening: “What did I miss? How’s Hillary working out? I mean, the first female president and I missed the moment!”

Chanel #5, making a supposed death bed confession: “I do have teeth in my vagina! (Gets weird looks, save from Chanel, who “knew it” and smiles, self-satisfied.) I didn’t want to die a liar! They are very sharp, and I don’t know how they got there!”

Dr. Holt, after Dr. Cascade jumps in front of Chanel #3 to save her from a flying machete: “You know, pal, you could’ve just pushed her out of the way to save her life.”
Denise: “Yeah. Jumping in front of a machete is, like, option #3 in terms of ways you could’ve kept Chanel #3 alive.”

Chanel, leading a vote on whether or not to save Hoffel from drowning in quicksand: “All in favor of a terrible swamp death, raise your hand.”

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Chanel, narrating the ending: “I know the last girl standing in these things is usually some sweet, virginal heroine, but in my experience, survival is all about being skinny, pretty, fashionable and ruthless. I don’t know why those things matter, but that’s who I am and I’m still alive. So, ipso facto, that must be why.”

Munsch, upon realizing she’s going to be fine, to Dr. Holt on their future together: “Now you get to watch me grow old and I get to see if you actually grow old or if you’re a vampire who never ages, like everyone says.”

Chanel, discussing the day’s theme for the latest episode of “Loving the C”: “Today on the show, we’ll be discussing death panels. How can we make them a real thing for rich people who want their inheritances sooner?”

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Well, that about does it for now. Thanks for reading, and have a happy holidays! See you next season… if there is one.