Scream Queens “Ghost Stories” Review (Season 1 Episode 9)

sq3

Okay, NOW we’re getting somewhere. On the latest episode of “Scream Queens,” for the first time since the premiere, we got multiple deaths that actually mattered, and weren’t just minor characters that didn’t amount to much of anything, in “Ghost Stories.” In fact, one could argue that these were the first major deaths, period, as we barely even got to know Chanel #2 or Ms. Bean before they got it, really, and pretty much every death since has been minor characters, often just after they were introduced.

Now, to be fair, it almost had to be that way, what with creator Ryan Murphy’s announcement early on that there would be a death every episode. If he’d gone through all the major characters, there wouldn’t be anyone left by this point, after all. Sure, killing off Ariana Grande was an attention-grabber, but I think most of us saw that coming, what with her current day job being a full-time business at the moment.

I’d argue he could have easily sprinkled in some more high-profile deaths throughout the proceedings, just to keep things interesting, but I do get why he didn’t: a lot of these characters are too much fun to kill off immediately. But there are some exceptions that could have been made- i.e. Oliver Hudson or at least one of the non-Chanel Chanels (as in anyone but Emma Roberts, who’s obviously way too funny to kill off early on). Unless, of course, one of them is one of the killers, but I’m guessing it’s probably not Wes, as that wouldn’t make much sense, given what we do know.

sq 1

Let’s tackle the deaths first. First up, we had Earl Grey (Lucien Laviscount), who made sense to keep around as long as possible, given that he was a prime suspect, as he had a thing for Zayday, and so did one of the Red Devils. As Chad seemed unlikely, and we all thought Boone was gay, he seemed like a likely suspect for one of the other Red Devils, even though we now know for sure that one of the babies born in the tub is a female. Just because that’s the case, after all, doesn’t mean she’s in on the killing.

Now, with Earl gone, it was plainly obvious that he wasn’t said Red Devil, a fact driven home by the revelation that Boone not only wasn’t gay, but was the one who’d had the crush on Zayday. As it turned out, he’d merely been pretending to be gay in order to infiltrate the Dickie Dollar Scholars- though why he needed to go undercover there is a bit of a mystery. I suppose it could be that the Devil team suspected that one of them was the offspring of whoever the father of the Kappa babies was, and it was easier to wipe them all out than figure out who.

The same logic applies to why they were taking out all the Kappas as well. I don’t think the Devil team even knows the identity of who they’re after, so they’re just killing people willy-nilly. So, why kill off other random people? To throw people off the scent of their real target, of course, and to take out anyone who might know certain things that could point them in the direction of the Devil team.

Well, that, and they’re obviously mad as hatters. It might just be that they DO know who their main target is, and they’re just trying to make it where no one joins a frat or sorority of any kind ever again, or at least anytime soon, by making it seems like you’re doomed if you join one. To make sure the stench of death is upon the Wallace campus, in other words.

We do know that the Dean hates them, but she has already been identified as both a killer in her own right, and as hating Gigi (and vice versa), so I seriously doubt she’s on her team. Likewise, so does Denise, but she was attacked by the Devil in tonight’s episode as well, so once again, not a likely suspect for the remaining Devil, either.

sq5

That means it almost has to be one of the girls, which leaves Chanel, Chanel #3, Chanel #5 and Grace. Zayday is out by default, as she was the object of Boone’s affection and Gigi took him to task for it, which she wouldn’t have done if Zayday was there. So, she’s not one of them, for sure.

Unfortunately, for all you Zayday fans, that means she might also be next in line to bite it. It almost has to be her or one of the non-Chanel Chanels. I’d truly be shocked if Emma Roberts wasn’t among the last left standing in the finale, if not at the end of the show, period. It would be ballsy if Murphy went there, though, I must admit.

The other possibility is that the other Devil isn’t a girl, which would leave Pete, and…um, that’s all I got. Wes seems cleared, for the aforementioned reasons, and it couldn’t be Chad because of his interaction with Boone on tonight’s’ episode. So, Pete is literally the only guy left, save maybe the Detective, and he’s dumb as a box of rocks, so I find it hard to believe it’s him. If it’s not Pete and it is one of the girls, count on him also getting killed sooner than later.

The other big deaths were Boone, who was taken out by his Devil cohort for real this time, after he plotted to kill Gigi and the Devil sided with her instead; and, in an even more shocking development, Hester, aka Chanel #6, who was killed by Chanel herself at the end of the episode, when she pushed her down the stairs after Hester confessed she’d lied about being pregnant in an attempt to steal Chad away from Chanel.

As if three killers weren’t bad enough, along with Dean Munsch, this makes a grand total of five! Granted, the latter two were crimes of passion in the heat of the moment, but still, these are some crazy-ass people we’re dealing with here. No wonder it’s so hard to figure out who the “real” killer is!

Factor in a random trucker killed when Chanel #5 got caught in a real-life version of the Urban Legend tale Hester told earlier in the episode and the grand total tonight was four deaths. Pretty impressive! Least of all with three more episodes still to go. Actually, it’s technically four, as the last two, a la the premiere, are airing back-to-back as a season finale.

sq4

We’re definitely getting down to the wire here, and it’s going to be really hard to justify any extraneous deaths of characters we don’t know if they aren’t backed up with at least one major one, as was the case tonight. That said, count on at least some guest stars no doubt playing members of Chad and Zayday’s respective families to get it. If they’re big names, I might let it slide, which I assume at least some of them will be. (I skipped the preview, as I didn’t want to know one way or another, personally, so no spoilers on that below, if you don’t mind.) Not to mention Chad let it slide that his house is haunted!

Beyond that, we got some amusing references to Candyman, Asian ghost stories (a la “The Ring” and “The Grudge”), a 50’s-era and a modern recreation of the aforementioned urban legend tale, some amusing silliness with “ghost Boone,” a jab at real-life “Ghostbusters” (or should I say D.O.P.E.- lol), Boone confirmed he attacked Gigi that night to throw everyone off her as a suspect, and the usual great quotes after an admittedly slow week for them last week, what with all the exposition.

Tonight’s 80’s tunes of choice were “Don’t Want to Fall in Love” by Jane Child (nice one, and actually appropriate, as with last week’s “Eternal Flame,” given the lyrical content) and The Go-Go’s “This Town,” which was fairly appropriate as well, given the whole “mean girls” vibe of the song. What was once seemingly random musical placement is getting more apropos, thankfully, though I’m always up for a sweet 80’s tune, regardless.

Also cropping up was a song called, perhaps tellingly, “Butcher Pete,” by Roy Brown, which I wondered if wasn’t made up for the show, but turns out to be real. Some might know it from the videogame “Fallout 3,” of all things, but it seems to be about a horny guy whose sexual urges get the better of him and he turns into a killer. Perhaps a clue? Or a clever way for the show to point the finger at Pete, right before he actually gets killed, rather than turns out to be the killer? Only time will tell.

All in all, a fantastic episode, with lots of laughs and fun moments, as well as Murphy finally delivering the goods on some big-name deaths for once. We also got a fair bit of new information and a solid set-up for a potentially fun Thanksgiving-themed episode. Color me impressed, and so ready for next week’s episode. As per usual, we end with my fave quotes for the episode.

sq7

Favorite Quotes:

Hester, correcting Chanel’s mistakenly-identified cosplay choice: “You’re thinking of Squanto.”
Chanel: “Uh, no. Squanto was friends with the Lone Ranger.”

Chanel, after various other costume corrections from her sorority sisters finally lead to the correct one: “Are you serious? I’m trying to impress Mr. and Mrs. Radwell and I just spent two hours dressing up as the hag who didn’t realize she was the third wheel on Lewis and Clark’s gay camping extravaganza?” (I will never think of Lewis and Clark the same way again, lol.)

Chad, paying Chanel a compliment: “You’re so hot you give my bone a bone.”

Zayday, to Grace, after she announces she’s staying at Kappa alone for Thanksgiving: “No way I’m gonna let you be the only box of macaroni in the Red Devil’s cupboard.”
Grace, after she invites her to her house: “I am so glad neither of us has been killed.”
Zayday: “That’s so sweet! Me, too!” (Ah, bonding over murder- only on a Ryan Murphy show!)

Chanel, after one too many ghost stories from Denise: “No more ghost stories!”
Chanel #5: “Or at least stop setting them in bathrooms!”
Chanel: “I really have to pee, but there’s no way I’m going anywhere near a toilet. So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna look for a salad bowl to squat over in the stairwell.” (Now there’s QUITE the mental image!)

Chad, to “Ghost” Boone: “Listen, you probably already know this because you saw it from heaven, but I kinda had sex with a few girls in your bed after you died. I didn’t mean any disrespect, I just kinda wanted that feeling of ‘vacation’ sex, you know?”

Chad, after Boone says he wants to take Zayday on a date: “Hold up- you know Zayday’s a chick, right? Boone, you forget- you’re super gay.”
Boone: “Um, yah. But I don’t want to be dead anymore, bro. Look, if I can get Zayday to love me and have sex with me, I can stay on earth…Haven’t you ever heard the phrase ‘Once you go black, you never go back?’…That’s how it started.”

Denise, on her rationale for staying upstairs after an encounter with the Red Devil: “We ain’t going nowhere. Besides, Denise Hemphill is not gon’ make it down that crazy, overly-dramatic staircase without having a damn heart attack.”

Chanel, after Chanel #5 storms out the room, intending to leave campus: “Let’s wait in here to see if she makes it downstairs to make sure the killer isn’t still here.”

sq2

Zayday: “Boone? I thought you were dead.”
Boone: “Yes, I’m his ghost. I’m ghost Boone. But you can just call me Boone.
Zayday: “Nice shirt.”
Boone: “Thank you. You know what it’s made out of?”
Zayday: “What?”
Boone: “Boyfriend material.”
(Grace comes in.) Zayday: “Boone is in here trying to seduce me with the oldest line in the book. He’s says he’s a ghost.” (What book was that? The Handbook for the Recently Deceased? Lol.)

Radio Announcer, on the APB out on Boone: “Boone is very handsome, but the police are requesting you not approach him, as he may be very dangerous. He also may or may not be gay.”

Chad, on why he’s not inviting Hester to his house: “Reason #1: Last time we porked, I heard a tiny little squeal, like somebody letting air out of a balloon, followed by the smell of death. I feel like you farted. Reason #2: You wear a huge flipping neck-brace. That means you got bum genes, and those bum genes would pollute the Radwell gene pool. Reason #3: Your breath- it always smells like you just ate a cheeseburger. Seriously, it’s like making out with the Hamburglar. Reason #4: You, my friend, have a Pooh belly. Might have something to do with all the cheeseburgers.”

sq8

Chanel, on why they’re not impressed by Chanel #5’s attempted-murder story: “Actually, that story is neither scary nor amazing. That story is an exact facsimile of the ‘Hook Hand’ story Hester told about an hour ago. Honestly, if you’re gonna get attacked, please attempt to get attacked in a fresh, exciting way.” (Line of the evening, right there.)

Chad, when Chanel calls him out for still packing his luggage after several hours: “Um, excuse me for wanting to do a quality pack job, Chanel. Packing matters to me. That’s why I chose to minor in luggage sciences, with an emphasis in packing theory.” (WTH kind of classes are they teaching at this college? Remember the ones they showed on the computer screen that one time?)

Gigi, to Boone, after he goes on a bitch rant against her: “Are you about to break into song? Because all I’m hearing out of your mouth is me-me-me-me-me.”

sq9

Well, that about does it for this week! Who do you think the remaining Red Devil is? Who will bite it next? Were you surprised Hester and Boone got it in the same episode? Will next week’s episode be another mass slaughter? Who do you think will be left standing in the end? Sound off on this and more down below and see you next week for the big Thanksgiving episode!