Scream Queens “Handidates” Review (Season 2 Episode 3)

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On the latest episode of “Scream Queens,” the body count rose considerably, as the hospital staff scrambled to cover it up to stay afloat, Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) considered taking Hester (Lea Michele) up on her offer to identify the killer in exchange for a transfer to the hospital, and Chad (Glen Powell) and Dr. Holt (John Stamos) continued their fight over the heart- such as it is- of Chanel (Emma Roberts), in “Handidates.”

The title is a reference to the fact that Chad let the cat out of the bag about his suspicion that Dr. Holt was, in fact, the serial killer on the premises, as he was in possession of a serial killer’s hand and all. To that end, Munsch gave Dr. Holt an ultimatum: either get a new hand, or look for another job elsewhere.

Chad being Chad, he, of course, offered up his services in the transplant, despite training that basically came down to sawing a bunch of cadaver’s hands off for “practice”! Dr. Holt was naturally, not having it, and likewise scoffed when Chad gave him a list of potential “handidates” that were willing to donate their hands to the cause- hence the title.

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In the end, it proved unnecessary, as Dr. Holt was cleared of the main crime at, um, hand (sorry about that, but if they can do puns, so can I), in light of new information about the likely killer- or killers, as the case may be, and probably is. It seems that there was one survivor of the massacre back in 1986, after all: Lynn Johnstone (Alec Mapa, “Switched at Birth”), a retired nurse/high-end beauty cream salesman.

After a visit to Hester gave them the clue they needed to track Johnstone down, Munsch, Denise (Niecy Nash), Zayday (Keke Palmer) and the Chanels all flew down to where he lived in the Florida Everglades to question him about the incident. It seems that Lynn was friends with Nurse Thomas (Laura Bell Bundy), and as such, was privy to the fact that she and Dr. Steve had disposed of the body of that patient they had failed to save in the premiere episode.

Given that, he suspects that the killer that massacred everyone on site the year after was likely the woman who was then pregnant with the man’s child who wrongfully died. As such, it also seemed likely that either she, or she and her child were responsible for the current deaths plaguing the hospital, with the motive being their wanting to keep the hospital closed.

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As the person Munsch tangled with in the last episode was a good six feet tall and strong, she suspected it must have been a male, and as the child would have been around 30, it automatically crossed Dr. Holt off the list, leaving Chad, Cassidy (Taylor Lautner) and possibly Chamberlain (James Earl) as potential suspects, though Zayday scoffed at the latter- with seemingly good reasons.

Lynn was also being plagued as of late by threatening phone calls, likely because he not only survived, but allowed himself to be bought off by the hospital in exchange for his silence. In fact, it was this money that he parlayed into his successful business, which by his own admission was a total scam- his creams were nothing more than repackaged Jergen’s lotions. As such, don’t count on him sticking around for much longer.

Speaking of Cassidy, he and Chanel #3 (Billie Lourd) found themselves getting closer and closer, as he professed his love for her and told her his darkest secret: that he suspected he was actually the walking dead. The reason being, he had drank too much at a kegger and fell asleep on his back, then vomited in his sleep and choked on it, which had been known to kill people, notably Jimi Hendrix.

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Pointing out that he’d been without feeling since and preternaturally cold- 61 degrees, to be exact- Cassidy assumed that he’d escaped death somehow, but not some of its effects. This was, in fact, why he’d become a doctor- to figure out what had happened to him. Alas, this very quality would come between him and Chanel #3, as it prevented them from being intimate, as she shirked away from his icy touch and couldn’t quite go there.

We also discovered, through the patient-of-the-week, Sheila Baumgartner (yet another “SNL” alum, Cheri Oteri), who suffered uncontrollable orgasms, that Chanel #3 had never had an orgasm. Cassidy had aimed to fix that, but his condition came between them, so to speak. He fared better with the patient, readily identifying her state as PGAD, or Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder, which, yes, is indeed a thing.

After prescribing antidepressants didn’t work, Cassidy finally realized that she had pulled a muscle doing yoga and a simple surgery could cure what ailed her. That successfully completed, we all know by now what that meant, as poor Sheila was barely released when the Green Meanie lobbed a sickle at her and lopped off her head in amusingly spectacular fashion- loved the rotating decapitating head cam!

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The killer then assaulted- but didn’t kill- Chamberlain, but surprisingly, didn’t harm a nearby Zayday at all, even though it would have been easy to. This would seem to lend credence to my theory that Zayday is, in fact, the child of the pregnant woman in question. Yes, she’s supposedly the same age as the girls, which is too young to be the killer- also the killer was obviously right there killing at the time- but who’s to say the woman didn’t have more than one kid?

Given the pregnant woman’s late husband was of mixed race, it isn’t too much of a stretch to say that she took up with another man of mixed race and viola: Zayday was born. As such, that would make her the half-sister of the killer, assuming that he is the son of the same mother. So, she’s not the killer, per se, but she is related to them.

The most obvious candidate for the mother is Nurse Hoffel (Kirstie Alley), who clearly had an axe to grind with the Chanels and Munsch for some reason, but not Zayday, if you’ll recall. If that were her daughter, then that would make perfect sense, and also fit Hester’s bill of the clues being right there in front of them.

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The only thing it doesn’t account for is the “who” of the killer. As Chamberlain was attacked himself, and obviously present during the killer’s attack, that would seem to eliminate him, and for reasons that are obvious that we will get into in a moment, it isn’t Chad, either, which leaves only Cassidy of the known characters.

Of course, there could be other potential suspects that we don’t know about as of yet, so it would probably be premature to say it must be Cassidy by process of elimination, but so far, he’s the most likely suspect, that’s for sure. We’re going to need some more suspects if the big reveal is going to be surprising at all. There is one other possibility: it’s not a man, but a woman, and Munsch was wrong. Still, not much in the way of suspects there, either.

Finally, the other big development was Chad proposing to Chanel, after feeling threatened by Dr. Holt’s advances towards her. Proffering up a big old diamond engagement ring- and an even bigger pre-nup- Chad popped the question in the park, as a jealous-looking Dr. Holt, who had also told Chad he was going to propose, looked on from afar.

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An overjoyed Chanel asked Chanel #3 and Zayday to be her bridesmaids, relegating poor Chanel #5 to ring-bearer status. Not wanting to waste any time and worried Chad might change his mind if he thought about it too long, Chanel fast-tracked the wedding for the very next day, and it was off to the races.

Alas, when Chanel walked down the aisle, there was no Chad to be found, and she worried that he’d already had second thoughts. That proved to not be the case, when Chad, who was resting on a stained glass window above the proceedings, “Suspiria”-style, eventually fell through and landed on the wedding altar, clearly very much dead as a doornail.

So, given that, he obviously wasn’t the killer, not that I really thought he was going to be in the first place. However, I don’t necessarily think he was the victim of the killer, either. It seems much more likely that it was Dr. Holt who did the deed, given his jealousy of Chad over the Chanel situation. At the very least, it seems to be what they want us to think, though I can’t think of another person who would have the motive to do it if it wasn’t Dr. Holt.

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Beyond that, if one includes the confirmation of the death of Tyler (Colton Hayes), who Munsch and the Chanels promptly dumped in the swamp; and that of Randal (Kevin Bigley), Chad’s friend, who was bumped off just as soon as his ailment was cured at the beginning of the show; there was a whopping four deaths this episode, so things are definitely escalating.

That said, it seems unlikely that they would bump off any other main characters this soon, so I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting on Munsch, the Chanels or Zayday to bite it anytime soon. However, Lynn seems a foregone conclusion, and I wouldn’t rule out Denise, Chamberlain, or Cassidy, either- that is, if Cassidy isn’t the killer himself, which is a distinct possibility.

This was a fairly action-packed episode, with some great moments and at least one spectacular death, courtesy of Cheri Oteri’s character, though the others were entertaining enough, I suppose. As ever, the devil was in the details, with amusing nods to “Sweating to the Oldies 2,” “Pretty in Pink,” “New Jack Swing,” tricky Yoga positions, LoJack and WiFi hotspots.

I also thought it was cute when Chanel #5 opted for a doggie-style choker with a bone rather than caving to Chanel’s insane demands (see below). As ever, I’ll end with a list of the songs featured in the episode and my favorite quotes.

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Song List

“The Killing Moon”– Echo & The Bunnymen (during the 1986 flashback- some may recall this from the cult classic “Donnie Darko,” which was also set around Halloween)

“Home”– Dave Tolliver (the first song that plays as Chanel #3 and Cassidy make out)

“Pump It Up”– Joe Budden (the second song Cassidy plays)

“Baby Love”– Regina (the song that Chanel walks down the aisle to at her wedding)

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Favorite Quotes

Chanel #5, correcting Chanel on her use of swamp in a description: “You’re thinking of a bog.”
Chanel: “Okay, fine, I’m glad you took a class in comparative wetlands.”

Chanel, after Chanel #5 says goodbye to Tyler and presses down on his chest, causing him to vomit: “Oh my God, did you just make his corpse barf?”

Chad, after presenting his evidence that Dr. Holt is the killer: “Chanel, you have no choice but to reject this man and his gay, murdering hand and start boning me again.”

Chanel #3, after Sheila suggests having her vagina removed as a course of action for what ails her: “Wait. Can you actually do that? How do you remove negative space?”

Chanel #3, on orgasms: “I thought they were just moans you did to let the other person know to roll off of you, like an ‘I’m ready for you to stop’ alarm.”
Cassidy: “That’s terrible. Orgasms are pretty much the only thing everyone in the world agrees is great- at least until Hamilton came along.”

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Chanel, on her skin regiment: “I moisturize three times a day with this really shady stuff I have to order from China, which I’ve heard is either: A) Panda sperm; or B) Stem cells of political prisoners.”

Denise, to a testy Lynn: “Alright ‘Pretty in Pink,’ don’t get your panties in a bunch. You mind if we come inside? It is hot as fish grease out here and Special Agent Denise Hemphill is getting a little damp in the crack.”

Chad, to Dr, Holt, after he tells Chad he knows nothing about removing someone’s hand: “You know what no one likes? A back seat hand surgeon. And because you interrupted my doctor flow, I’m not going to sedate either one of you.”

Chanel #3, before engaging in Yoga with Cassidy: “Can I just say before we begin that Yoga is just stretching for douchebags?”

Chad, proposing to Chanel: “Even when I told all these other chicks I was banging how awesome it was that they didn’t have wangs and I was in love with them, really, I was in love with you.”

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Chanel #3, on R&B: “It stands for rhythm & blues, but it’s the least bluesy style of music and its rhythm is hardly what’s most remarkable about it.”

Chad, on his posthumous plans: “When I die, I’ve left instructions to grind me up into a fine powder to be given out to underprivileged dudes who have trouble getting laid, because I’m convinced if they rub my essence on ’em, they’re pretty much guaranteed to get ass.”

Dr. Holt, telling it like it is: “You should know, when you guys break up in six months, I’m going to be there to comfort Chanel by having lots of sex with her.”
Chad: “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Chanel, on her engagement ring: “It’s so heavy, it comes with its own chiropractor on call, has a built-in LoJack system and is its own WiFi hotspot.”

Chanel, to Chanel #5 about what’s expected of her as ring-bearer: “FYI, you’re gonna have to dress up like a dog and walk down the aisle on all fours with the ring sitting on a cute little pillow that is strapped on your back like a saddle.”

Chanel, on why she came down the aisle ahead of Chad: “Chad asked me to come first- he said I should get used to it.”

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Well, that about does it for this week. RIP Chad, you will be missed! See you next week…