Scream Queens “Seven Minutes in Hell” Review (Season 1 Episode 6)

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On the latest episode of “Scream Queens,” the show upped the ante considerably by, for the first time since early on in the series, taking out multiple victims in a single episode- three, to be exact- in “Seven Minutes in Hell.” Granted, they were all essentially second-tier characters, but still, if you’re gonna go with killing the more minor characters, go big.

We began where we left off, with the vote for Kappa President in motion, with the end results being…a tie? Yep, it seems that both Chanel and Zayday got equal votes, resulting in both girls being elected as co-presidents, as per Kappa rules for such occurrences. As her first proclamation, Zayday opted to declare the sorority to have an inaugural slumber party, complete with various games, like Spin the Bottle, Truth or Dare and, you guessed it, Five Minutes in Heaven.

As you probably also guessed from the title, Heaven turned into Hell in short order as the Kappas got an uninvited guest in the form of the Red Devil, who promptly started taking out people left and right, after first activating the “Panic Room”-style security system and locking them all in. Chanel naturally called the Dickie Dollar Scholars to come to the rescue, with her and Chad eventually making up and settling their differences and Chad even going so far as to- gasp!- promise to be faithful to Chanel, after his frat bros called him out for sleeping with one too many “old people.”

However, as the DDS were breaking in, the Red Devil swooped in and finished off poor Caulfield, who, to be fair, was already armless, and thus, half in the bag as it was and probably better off, as Dean Munsch later pointed out. After axing him in the chest a few times, the Devil proceeded to chop off his head at the chinny-chin-chin. And just after his proud pasta accomplishments! Oh well.

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After Chanel #3 finally explored her lesbionic side by kissing Sam in a game of Spin the Bottle (after spurning one outright from Grace), the two got into their first tiff when, in a subsequent game of Truth or Dare, Sam exposed Chanel #3’s dark secret, about her being the daughter of none other than Charlie Manson.

As payback, Chanel #3 dared her to go to the basement and get in the tub that the sorority girl died in for ten minutes, which she did, promptly getting her killed by the red Devil, who did do her the solid of revealing his/her identity before doing the deed. Talk about Tub-Thumping. (See what I did there?)

I noticed Sam said that she “knew it” when the Red Devil revealed his/her face, and that she “could help,” which makes me think that perhaps it was Boone, what with his being gay and all, which would make sense of her comments if so, but I could be wrong or reading too much into it, admittedly. But I don’t think so. Besides, we already know he’s in on it somehow.

Meanwhile, the girls moved on to Seven Minutes, with Chanel and Chad going first, followed by Chanel #5 and Roger. It was here that the Heaven turned to Hell, as the Red Devil made yet another appearance, and took out Roger with a nail gun, repeatedly firing nails into his face and head until he was dead before a horrified Chanel #3, who really does not have any luck when it comes to men, as she noted later on.

Her screams brought the others running, with accusations flying, especially at Hester, who discovered Sam’s body and Chanel #5, who was, after all, locked in a closet with Roger at the time of his death. But a closer inspection brought to light a trap door, which Chanel confirmed led to a secret tunnel beneath the sorority house, which she and Zayday, as newly-elected presidents, volunteered to explore, in hopes of getting out and finding help.

Naturally, the Red Devil was still about, and it looked as if Zayday would be a goner, but lo and behold if Chanel didn’t come through in the pinch and rescue her by slamming the Red Devil in the head with what appeared to be a light fixture of some kind, thus allowing them to escape and get the cops. Needless to say, this didn’t go over well with Wes, who insisted Grace come with him, but she outright refused, saying she was going to tough it out with her sorority sisters.

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To that end, Chanels #3 & 5 made a pact to also stick together, in light of both having lost their pseudo-significant others, if you can really count Sam as the former’s. Chanel then gifted the remaining ladies with pink nunchakas (!) for protection, which I’m not sure where she got on such short notice, but whatever. The girls then picked up where they left off with the slumber party, going into dance party mode as the Red Devil looked in on them through the window.

Songs of the episode included “I Can’t Wait,” which I had just gotten out of my head, thanks to that damned Target commercial, only to get it right back in it, courtesy of this show- thanks, Ryan Murphy! There was also a rousing rendition of “Tubthumping,” aka the “I get knocked down, but I get up again” song and for the big finale, “I Melt With You,” which seemed like a strange choice to come from Zayday, but at least it wasn’t “Waterfalls.”

Alas, none of these served as the soundtrack to murder this time around, which is probably just as well, given the selections, though the Chumbawumba one might have been amusing for Caulfield’s death, given his situation. By the way, just in case you missed it, there was some fine slapstick work from actor Evan Paley, particularly the bit where he raised his “hand” to vote on whether or not to engage in a panty raid on the girls and especially the scene where he struggled with a brick wall in the background, which I didn’t catch until the second time around. He may not have made much of an impression until he was rendered arm-less, but he made the most of it since that unfortunate occurrence.

Other stuff: Chanel #3 finally revealed the non-Princess Leia-related reason for her earmuffs- it seems that an ex had an unhealthy obsession with her ears and had threatened to cut them off if he ever saw them, so she did it for safekeeping! There was also a bit of amusement involving making ‘smores from chocolate-covered packing peanuts (!), references to the movie “Panic Room,” “When a Stranger Calls” (see below for the quote), and “Nancy Drew,” spoken by the woman herself, Emma Roberts, who once essayed that very role before she went all hardcore bitch on us. The back-stories of the past Kappa Presidents were also pretty amusing.

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Here, as per usual, are my favorite quotes of the episode:

Chanel, on why she didn’t outright win the Kappa President vote: “It’s not my fault that some people didn’t vote for me because they were too intimidated by my hotness! It’s not my fault that because someone is killing Kappas, I didn’t have time to individually bribe each and every one of you to vote for me!”

Chanel, to Chanel #5 about flipping out on her in particular in front of the girls: “Brilliant performance, I know. I’ve had to develop some serious acting skills to have sex with Chad…Oh, I meant everything I said about you. I still think you’re useless, I’m just not sad about it.”

Chanel, to Chanel #3, on her relationship with Sam: “We all know you’ve been cozying up to Predatory Lez because you think she knows Karate…Are you going lesbian, number 3? Because, while I get that Lezzie Pledge is kind of cute in a “if Bruce Lee were a DJ” kinda way, I don’t think we should be having sex with pledges.”

Chad, to Caulfield, after he chugs 4 liters of canned pasta in 45 seconds (!): “If anybody ever tells you that just because you had your arms chopped off by a serial killer, that somehow you’re handicapped, you have ‘em give me a call, and I’m gonna tell ‘em this story.”

Chad’s version of Chanel in bed: “Chanel is good, too, she’s just…when you have sex with Chanel, there’s just like, so much, like…crying.”

Chad, on his frat bros’ declaration that he sleeps with too many “old people”: “While I have always believed one of the most fun parts of college life is sleeping with the faculty, I now realize that concentrating on porking popular girls…it’s in all of our best interests.”

Chanel #3, to Sam: “Hey, was I interrupting you?”
Sam: “No, it’s cool. I was just practicing looking disinterested.”

Sam, on Chanel #3’s explanation on why she doesn’t know how to love: “I understand. I think the only way to be sure of your feelings is if you let me gently rub your uterus right now.”
Chanel #3: “…No…our vaginas may never touch…its too dangerous. Believe me when I say that if it were possible for me to feel anything, I would totally be crying right now.”

Chanel, to Chad on her current situation: “My phone is the only one that’s working because I’m pretty sure the killer, like, knocked over a cell tower or something.”

Chad, on Chanel #3’s prospects of being the killer: “Of course you’re the killer. I mean, your dad’s Charles Manson, dude. If you’re not the killer, you should probably…I don’t know, give it a shot. I mean, you’d probably be really good at it.”

Chad, on the state of the Kappa fridge: “The killer took all the food out of all the cabinets and left us nothing but Watermelon Lime Coolers in the fridge. He’s trying to starve us to death.”
Hester: “There’s never any food in there- just laxatives. Chanel’s orders.”

Chad, to Hester: “Ok, look, I was waiting to talk to you about this because secretly I was hoping you’d be killed and I wouldn’t have to hurt your feelings…I just don’t think it would work out with us. You’re nuts. And not like a typical crazy-ass co-ed, but a wake-up-with-my-penis-in-a-jar lunatic. Now that puts me in a tough spot- because that also means you’d be the screw of my life. I mean, that level of insanity, that means your muffin would be, like, Space Mountain levels of fun. I love Space Mountain. Best ride at Disneyland…but I love my penis more.”

Chanel, on discovering Sam’s dead body: “Wait, if she’s dead, and all the doors are locked from the outside, then that means the killer is inside the house!”
Jennifer: “Oh God, has someone checked on the kids?” (I see what you did there, “Scream Queens.”)

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Chad, to Chanel: “If you get murdered in those tunnels, I promise I will never bang anyone harder than I banged you. (As she leaves) You’re so rich…and hot!”

Chanel, on one of the former Kappa Presidents: “[She was] personally responsible for crushing the anti-war movement on campus by having the administration ban macramé, fringed vests, and Creedence Clearwater Revival songs.”

Chanel #3: “Sam dying taught me that, the next time I feel love for someone, I’m going to tell them- right away. Just in case they’re murdered before I can’t.”
Chanel #5: “It was like her final gift to you.”
Chanel #3: “That’s a nice way of thinking about it. It makes me feel a little bit less guilty about condemning her to die by daring her to go down to the basement alone.”

Chanel #3, comforting Chanel #5: “You are totally gonna find another guy. You’re super cute and you’re a Kappa, and I’m sure there’s some awesome dude out there who looks at you for who you are, vaginal teeth and all.”

Chanel, to Grace: “Thank you for making that announcement that no one cared about.”

Chanel #3, on the “dance party”: “What a great way to pretend all these people we know weren’t brutally murdered.”

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Good stuff all around. I suppose my one quibble was that, to be the third part of the whole “Halloween” trilogy, it wasn’t very Halloween-oriented, despite the other ones being set up in such a way as to lead one to believe it would be otherwise. That said, they really brought the death this time out, after soft-pedaling it a bit for the last few episodes. It’s also worth noting that we’re running mighty low on expendables at this point, so it’s only a matter of time before those deaths start to sting a bit more.

My prediction: Jennifer, the “Candle Blogger” isn’t long for this world- frankly, I’m surprised she isn’t dead already- and Earl’s probably doomed in the not-so-distant future as well. After that, it’s anyone’s guess, but I’ll make more predictions after we see how the next episode turns out, given that the show is going on a brief hiatus for the World Series for the next few weeks until it returns on November 3rd.

I will sincerely miss it while it’s gone, but then I suppose there’s always “American Horror Story” for our Ryan Murphy fix until it comes back, which is just getting warmed up. It’s not nearly as fun, so far, as this show, but then, I can’t imagine it’s supposed to be this season, given the more serious overall approach. I get the sense that they outsourced the humor of that show to this one, as some had complained that it had gotten a bit too frivolous for a horror show for its own good. A valid complaint, I suppose, but “Scream Queens” is so much fun I just don’t care that it’s not scary in the slightest.

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I think there’s a place for both, personally. In terms of my overall favorite genres, I’ve always had one foot in the teen comedy and another in the more typically adult world of horror, so I’ve been enjoying this genuinely original hybrid of the two, even if the humor is a bit more adult than most teen comedies, and thus, admittedly not entirely appropriate for the younger audiences out there. Then again, I was watching slasher movies when I was in my single digits, so who am I to talk? But yeah, I’m constantly astonished by how much they get away with on this sucker.

I can see where horror purists might hate it, though, but then, not everyone likes “American Horror Story” either, or at the very least, they’re divided on which season is the best. But see, there’s the thing. By having a different theme every season, Murphy and his cohorts have assured that there be something for everyone eventually, and I dig that.

Honestly, I think the main reason “Scream Queens” exists is that so many people loved Season 3 of that show, “Coven,” which was my favorite as well, and wanted more of that sort of thing, which is what we got with this show. Meanwhile, they focused on making “AHS” go back to purer horror, which makes sense. Though “Freak Show” was a bit of a wash for me, I’m liking “Hotel” thus far, so maybe the gambit was for the best. We shall see.

In the meantime, I’m happy to have a healthy dose of comedy in my horror with “Scream Queens” and having “AHS” go back to basics with straight horror on “Hotel.” I can live with that, and I think most people who like Murphy’s stuff can, too. What say you, Murphy fans?