Scream Queens “The Hand” Review (Season 2 Episode 7)

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On the latest episode of “Scream Queens,” Dr. Holt’s hand went completely rogue just before a game-changing surgery, Chanel #3 worked overtime to help Dr. Cascade figure out what was really wrong with him and Nurse Hoffel stepped up her game to eliminate Chanel, in “The Hand.”

We began by learning just how dire things had gotten for Brock, as he was existing on a mere 45 minutes of sleep a day most days, kept awake by his demanding hand, which not only talks to him (!), but works overtime to keep him awake. The more stressed out and tired he gets, the more control over him the hand has, so the hand was trying to gain control by keeping Holt on edge at all times.

This naturally takes its toll on him, but also his love life, which is starting to ramp up, in terms of his relationship with Chanel. Forced to duct tape the hand to his side to keep it in line on his first official date with Chanel, things come to a head- or a hand, as it were- when the hand breaks free and tries to attack her again.

Chanel is not amused, pointing out that she already has someone trying to kill her at work as it is, and doesn’t need it in her love life as well. As such, she dumps him on the spot and storms out, as the hand taunts Dr. Holt in her wake. Clearly, something needs to be done here.

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Then, to make matters worse, Munsch presents a patient, Anna Plaisance (Amy Okuda, “How to Get Away With Murder”), who has a pair of extra arms and legs, who seeks to have corrective surgery to remove them. The extra parts are from a conjoined twin that basically died in the womb, but left parts of itself behind- fully functional parts, I might add. Suddenly, Dr. Holt’s situation isn’t looking all that bad.

Naturally, Munsch wants Holt to perform said operation, but he balks, saying that one wrong move could paralyze her for life. Munsch says that a member of the medical press is going to cover it and that it could change things for the better for the CURE Institute. As such, she demands Holt does it, as the hospital could use the win.

Meanwhile, Chanel #3 approaches Dr. Cascade, saying that she thinks she might have an idea of what it is that is making him think he’s the walking dead: Cotard delusion, a mental illness which causes a person to think that they are already dead, do not exist, are rotting from the inside and/or have lost their blood and/or internal organs somehow.

It can be caused by a traumatic brain injury- which Cascade insists isn’t the case with him- or it could be purely psychological. Unfortunately, there is no real test for it, so Chanel #3 takes it upon herself to create one from a barrage of official psychological tests- and ones from Cosmo Magazine! (Why not throw in a BuzzFeed quiz while you’re at it, lol?)

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Naturally, the test questions are completely ridiculous, such as “How many times do you think about death or murder in a day?” (37, in his case), “Which Madonna era do you prefer?” (the “Desperately Seeking Susan” one, naturally- doesn’t everyone?) and showing him a series of pictures and asking him which ones are dead and which ones are alive (among them are a table, Bob Barker, Dick Van Dyke and, most amusingly, Creed). She also gives him a urine test for good measure.

The results are that “Scar Jo is your spirit celebrity and yes, you have Cotard’s,” according to Chanel #3. Cassidy is actually overjoyed at the news, as it means he isn’t actually a dead man walking and his symptoms are actually psychosomatic and can be controlled. In addition, Chanel #5, who assisted in the tests, notes that he’s cold all the time because he sleeps in a water bed next to an air conditioning unit every night.

Alas, Chanel #3 held back some of the results, as she informs #5 afterwards. It also seems that Dr. Cascade would likely want to be in the front for spooning- oh the horror!- and that he’s a psychopath whose most likely occupation is a serial killer. As such, he could very well be the Green Meanie. However, much to Chanel #5’s upset, Chanel #3 doesn’t want to turn him in, as she is in love with Dr. Cascade, so Chanel #3 bribes Chanel #5 with candy to keep her quiet.

Knowing that his hand is going to be a problem during the surgery, Dr. Holt tries to cut it off, but it evades him every time he tries. Then, the Green Meanie comes in a tries to attack him to boot, but the hand actually successfully fends him off and sends him- or her- running for their life! It seems that the hand knows Kung Fu, lol.

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Chanel #3 “talks it out” with dead Myrtle, a corpse in the morgue, weighing the pros and cons of dating Cassidy. On the one hand, he’s “thinning out the herd,” on the other, the situation would force her to work overtime to maintain his interest and thus, go a long way towards giving her good reason to “keep the love alive”- and herself by proxy.

Another patient is brought in, a man by the name of Thomas Benderhall (Kasey Mahaffy, “Modern Family”), who appears to have acne all over his face and body. However, his symptoms only began mere weeks ago, unlike many of the patients they typically get. What caused them? His girlfriend Shelly (Marissa Jaret Winokur, “Melissa & Joey”) aims to find out, which is why she brought him there, after hearing about it on the news.

Chanel tells the other girls, minus Zayday- who was absent this episode entirely- about Dr. Holt and his hand trying to kill her, but also how she still loves him and wants to be with him, in spite of everything. Chanel #3, sensing how this mirrors her situation, comes out in favor of it, as does the ever-nutty Hester, but Chanel #5 is mortified once again by how insane everyone else is around her.

On the plus side, Hester does finally confirm that, in fact, Dr. Holt is not the Green Meanie, but that she can’t say who is. However, she does drop a big hint when she indicates that Chanel #3 might. Overhearing everything is Nurse Hoffel, who starts planning overtime how to use all this to her advantage.

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Hoffel confronts Dr. Cascade, demanding to know what Dr. Holt’s computer password is, if he knows, so she can set her plan to take out Chanel into motion, by driving Brock to madness. Dr. Cascade is starting to feel guilty about everything, though, in light of his breakthrough with Chanel #3, and is hesitant to help her, least of all since she wants to kill Chanel #3 herself next. When she threatens to expose him as the killer, he caves, giving her the password, which is, in all caps: “I Went to Harvard.”

It turns out that Hoffel’s initial plan is to drive Holt crazy by loading his computer with a virus causing erectile dysfunction pop-up ads. He then handcuffs his hand to the desk to keep it out of trouble while he attempts to rectify the situation. Naturally, Munsch comes in, with the reporter in tow, Slade Hornborn (Robert Townsend movie regular Roy Fegan), who can’t help but notice Holt’s odd behavior, least of all when Holt slaps him right across the face, which Munsch dismisses as a “Baltimore custom.”

After returning the favor to Holt, Munsch once again demands he do the surgery, but Holt says that he’s looked into it and the patient’s heart is much too weak to withstand such an invasive operation. Munsch suggests a heart transplant to rectify it, but Holt points out that they don’t exactly have one lying around. Munsch ominously says she’ll take care of it.

Dr. Cascade determines that Thomas’ condition is determined by Dioxin poisoning, which is found in Agent Orange. As such, he needs to be quarantined immediately, until they find out what caused it in the first place, as him being exposed to Agent Orange seems unlikely. As Shelly is at risk as well, Cascade says she needs to leave the room, but she refuses, which touches Chanel #3’s heart.

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Cascade finally confesses to Chanel #3 that he’s the Green Meanie and she confesses she already knows, so it’s not that big of a deal. However, when she discovers his next target is Chanel, she does have a problem with that, and says that she’ll help him condition himself to not kill people by giving him a distraction, like solving Thomas’ case.

Meanwhile, one of the new Chanels (Dahlya Glick) is happily informing her mother about her new position at the hospital when she is attacked by the Green Meanie, who strangles her until she passes out. This doesn’t kill her, though, only renders her brain dead, which makes her a perfect candidate for a heart transplant for Anna, naturally- and not so coincidentally her heart happens to be a perfect match for Anna, which does not go unnoticed by Dr. Holt.

Dr. Cascade discovers that Shelly works at a chemical company, which could give her access to Dioxin. Cascade thinks it’s a case of Munchausen syndrome by Proxy, in which a person intentionally drugs or incapacitates someone on purpose to keep them dependent on them, often inducing mental or physical health issues to do so. To that end, he confronts Shelly, who denies it forcefully.

Cascade threatens to call the authorities on her, but Thomas speaks up and admits he did it to himself, thinking he could run Shelly off. It seems that she was way too controlling and it was driving him crazy. At the same time, she was too fragile and dependent for him to break up with her, so he devised this plan to run her off by default, but it had backfired when she doubled-down on helping him and sticking by his side even more.

Naturally, this upsets Chanel #3, who thought she had been watching true love in action, only to find out it was the complete opposite, at least on Thomas’ end. As such, she wonders if she might need to turn Dr. Cascade in after all. He, in turn, says that if she tries, he might just have to kill her as well.

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Dr. Holt, more stressed out than ever, unintentionally mauls a patient and goes to Munsch, begging to not have to do the surgery. She tells him either he does it, or he’s not only fired, but she’ll tell everyone about his hand situation and he’ll never work again as a surgeon. He calls her out, saying that the real reason she’s doing this is jealousy that he picked Chanel over her. She doesn’t deny it, but doesn’t back down, either, even when Holt’s hand tries to choke her out.

Dr. Holt agrees to do the surgery, with literally one hand tied behind his back, using a brace-like device to strap it down behind him, thus rendering the hand essentially harmless during the operation. Munsch informs the reporter that Holt is doing it to impress him and show how incredibly talented he truly is. As the hand struggles to get free, the operation proceeds without much of a hitch, until it’s time for the heart transplant.

Chanel, who is the attending, tries to calm him down, asking Holt to tell her something that his mother did to do so when he was a kid. He says nothing, but that his au pair did used to sing “99 Red Balloons” to him to get him to relax and fall asleep, despite the fact that, as another of the Chanels points out, he would have been about 20 at the time. Whatever the case, the Chanels serenade him with the song and he completes the operation successfully.

Dr. Cascade gives Thomas some medication to cure his Dioxin poisoning, and Thomas tells him and Chanel #3 that he and Shelly broke up, given the circumstances. He does admit it was nice having someone care so much about him, though. Given that confession, Cascade apologizes to Chanel #3 for threatening her, and promises to not kill her or Chanel, but says, ominously, if someone else does, it wouldn’t be him.

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Chanel #3 asks if that means there’s another killer on the loose. He says there is, but he can’t say who it is, but that he has his reasons for doing so. However, he says he’ll do what he can to make sure everything’s okay in the end, which Chanel #3 is understandably not entirely comforted by.

The reporter, who’s by now seen a whole lot of insane things, including all manner of ethical violations, calls into what is presumably a boss or colleague, telling him he needs to get down there ASAP, as Hornborn might be on to something big, also noting he thought he saw serial killer Hester on the premises to boot. As he comes across Denise and tells the person on the phone he’ll send him some photos he took of everything, the Green Meanie stabs him in the head, instantly killing him before he can do so.

As a present, Dr. Cascade gives Dr. Holt a new hand on ice, taken from Anna’s surgery, which he notes was actually a man’s hand, as Anna’s conjoined twin must have been a male. Cascade says, if he’ll allow it, he’ll perform a hand transplant on Dr. Holt to give him a new hand to take the place of his old, serial killer one.

Holt obviously agrees, as we cut to his hand in bandages, as he sleeps comfortably beside Chanel, who he clearly slept with as well. However, as the episode ends, the new hand “wakes up” as Holt sleeps and writes down on “Brock Star’s To Do List” that he should “Kill Chanel,” so maybe the hand wasn’t the problem after all?

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This was a pretty stuffed episode, which didn’t leave a whole lot of time for crazy quotes and much in the way of music, though those that were there were pretty memorable, nonetheless. Overall, I enjoyed it, especially the focus on primarily Chanel #3 and her struggles- she definitely got most of the best lines- and Holt, to a lesser degree. (Cute “Amityville Horror” reference with the whole 3:15am thing, BTW.)

I think it’s also safe to say that Munsch has joined in on the fun, as she almost certainly was the one who strangled that Chanel for the heart, so know there are at least five killers on the loose! For the record, there’s Hester, Dr. Cascade, Hoffel, Munsch and an as-yet-unidentified additional killer- more if you take into the account that Chanel killed, albeit accidentally, Hoffel’s sister, but I don’t count Chanel, as she’s not actively trying to kill anyone at the moment- that we know of.

All in all, a fun episode, if more than a little silly, what with Holt’s hand shenanigans and the whole doing an operation with one hand tied behind his back thing, in addition to Chanel #3’s ridiculous quiz. But that’s sort of par for the course with this show, so it’s fine. As ever, I leave you with a list of songs used and my fave quotes.

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Song List

“Scarface (Push It To The Limit)”– Paul Engemann (as Dr. Cascade works out with the stick beside the swamp)

“99 Red Balloons”– Nena (as Dr. Holt performs the heart transplant and the celebration after)

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Favorite Quotes

Chanel, giving Dr. Holt her reasons for breaking up with him: “I already have someone trying to murder me at work. It is the last thing I need when I am sitting down for an elegant salty dinner and a romantic bone sesh.”

Chanel #3, observing Dr. Cascade work out: “You’re like ‘Kill Bill’ or that guy who got his head smushed in on ‘Game of Thrones’.” (Nice “Karate Kid” reference, too.)

Chanel #3, after “confiding” in the dead Myrtle: “I’ll make sure no one defiles your corpse.”

Chanel #3, reassuring Thomas, after she diagnoses him as having acne: “It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Jessica Simpson had terrible acne and inexplicably chose to make a commercial about it…Edward James Olmos had terrible acne, too. He’s got more pock marks than the moon, but I feel like he wears it like a badge of pride and frankly, I think he gets more work because of it.” (She may be onto something there, lol.)

Chanel, rejoicing in the fact that she and Dr. Holt are giving things another shot: “He also said that figuring out a way not to murder me is going to be his top priority!”

Hoffel, giving Dr. Cascade her reasons for wanting Chanel #3 dead: “I mean, that earmuff thing is so obnoxious. It’s not even cold out.”

Chanel #10, telling her mom about what a Chanel is: “I didn’t know what that meant, either. I think it just means being a bitch all the time.”

Hoffel, assessing Chanel #10 after her attack: “She’s brain dead. Even a Republican legislature in Florida would be cool with us pulling the plug.”

Chanel #3, on her reason for suspecting Shelly of Thomas’ condition: “I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t have at least one sex toy in their nightstand.”

Thomas, confirming Chanel #3’s suspicions somewhat: “You know, [Shelly] won’t even let me keep one sex toy in the bedside table. You can’t trust someone who does that.”

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Munsch, after seeing Dr. Holt covered in someone else’s blood: “Is that the blood of someone who could be referred to a a murder victim?”

Thomas, assessing the fact that he and Shelly broke up: “Considering I was literally poisoning myself to get rid of her, it’s probably for the best.”

Dr. Cascade, apologizing to Chanel #3: “I feel bad about how we left things.”
Chanel #3: “You mean by saying you were probably going to kill me?”
Dr. Cascade: “I promise not to murder either you or Chanel, so if either of you end up dying, just know that it wasn’t me.”
Chanel #3: “Wait, what?”

Well, that about does it for this week. Join me next week for the next, no doubt crazy episode!