Scream Queens recap: Seven Minutes in Hell
If ever you need to make an air-tight case for staying in on a Saturday night to binge-watch Mafia shows on A&E, use Chanel Oberlin as Exhibit A. After all, the lessons she gleaned from mob culture may very well have saved her life this week. To wit, you never want to be the boss in times of crisis — you might as well pin a “Slice me up with your ax, Red Devil Bro” sign to your back. Which is why Chanel purposefully threw the election for Kappa Kappa Tau president, ultimately splitting the vote with Zayday. (KKT bylaws state that in the event of a tie — which has never happened — the two sisters will share duties.)
Phase 2 of the Chanel Dies Last Plan? Handing over the keys to the downstairs storage room (and, by extension, acting-president duties) to Zayday. The newcomer’s first act in office is to lock all the girls in for the night and throw a slumber party. Her rationale: “There are two things that always happen at a slumber party: Someone experiments with lesbianism, and secrets are revealed.” And Zayday wants the secret of the Red Devil’s identity exposed. To that end, Grace suggests a game of truth or dare, but No. 3 is adamant that they start the festivities with spin the bottle, so she can explore her feelings for Sam (a.k.a. Predatory Lez). And the two do share a spin-the-bottle kiss after a bit of rule-rewriting, after which No. 3 finally reveals the story behind her ever-present ear muffs. You see, everyone who falls in love with her eventually goes mad, and her last boyfriend threatened to cut off her ears if he ever saw them again. So…one mystery solved!
Across campus the Dickie Dollar Scholars get wind of KKT’s PJ party and decide to crash for a panty raid. But not before Earl Grey shames Chad for boning too many old ladies. (I mean, Denise Hemphill is pretty awesome, so whatever…) Chad decides to refocus on his relationship with Chanel. And speak of the Red Devil, Chanel calls him on her Elon Musk-gifted satellite space phone to come rescue her after she discovers the Kappas have been locked in their sorority house. Apparently, the killer hacked into the alarm for Chanel’s 15,000-square-foot panic room (otherwise known as the whole of Kappa House). And, wouldn’t you know, the kill switch is on back order like some highly coveted cashmere sweater from J. Crew. With everyone locked in one house Clue-style, Hester comes to the only logical conclusion: The Red Devil plans to pick them off one by one.
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Luckily — or perhaps not so luckily — the Dickie Dollar Scholars arrive…but with the Red Devil in tow. The guys are able to break into a second-story window and climb up. All of them, that is, except for armless Caulfield, who makes it only a few rungs before he’s flung off the ladder and once again hacked by the Red Devil. This time, mortally.
But there’s no time to mourn when a game of truth or dare is afoot! And, no, you can’t lie in truth or dare, so if you pick dare, you’re going to look shady as hell. After an inquiry about No. 5’s vagina teeth, Sam is the next up and picks truth. She’s asked to reveal No. 3’s biggest secret. Worried that her feelings for Sam will be spilled, No. 3 blurts them out, just as Sam reveals that No. 3 is Charles Manson’s daughter. Two truths for the price of one! No. 3 is furious at the betrayal and dares Sam to go take a nap in the storage room bathtub. “The only feelings I have for you are rage and pissed off-ed-ness,” No. 3 sneers.
Sam is downstairs for no more than a few seconds before the Red Devil appears. Her final plea is for the killer to unmask him- or herself. “I knew it was you,” she says before being suffocated with a plastic bag.
Upstairs, Hester is trying to make moves on Chad, but he thinks she’s just too crazy. (Despite that kind of insanity in the sack being “Space Mountain levels of fun.”) So instead, he agrees to seven in minutes in Heaven with Chanel. And monogamy. Surprising. No. 5 and Roger take the closet next, and while No. 5 may not have fanged lady bits, hooking up with her is nonetheless a dangerous prospect. After all, Dodger was felled in the Shining maze last week, and now poor twin Roger gets a dozen nails blasted into his cranium thanks to a power-tool-wielding Red Devil. (Notably, the killer leaves No. 5 unharmed.)
At the same time, Hester has discovered Sam’s body in the tub. Total body count: Three. When the gang reunites with No. 5 and the now-deceased Roger in the closet, they discover a secret passage that must serve as the killer’s entry point in and out of the house. Chanel and Zayday decide to investigate what turns out to be an ornately designed hall of Kappa presidents past, complete with dubious resume fodder like banning Credence Clearwater Revival songs and introducing cocaine to Kappa Kappa Tau. While the co-presidents contemplate what their own legacies might be, the Red Devil materializes, double-fisting axes. Zayday trips as she tries to flee, but Chanel comes to her rescue, smashing a sconce into the Red Devil’s head. They escape into the night through a manhole.
And now the adults (sans Denise Hemphill — boo!) make an appearance to clean up the mess. Wes tries to pull Grace out of school (finally — a voice of reason!), but she’s having none of it. And neither are No. 3 and No. 5, who make a pact that they will outlive Chanel.
Speaking of Chanel, she’s bought the entire house gifts: pink nunchaku. “Kappas don’t take any crap from anyone,” she declares. Cue the dance party!
Prime Suspects: Something Zayday said early in the episode is still niggling at me. Namely, that she wanted to lock all the sorority sisters in the house for the slumber party. Yet, when all the doors and windows were in fact sealed shut, the Red Devil was blamed. Is this simply coincidence? Or a clue that Zayday might be in on it? As much as I hate to say it, I think I have to add the newly minted KKT president to my Most Wanted List, alongside Red Devil No. 2/Boone and mastermind Gigi. What do you think? Am I totally wrong to suspect Zayday? Leave your own theories in the comments below. And we’ll be back in two weeks after the World Series. (Ugh, sports.)