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Recap: SCREAM QUEENS – Scream Again


Episode 201 “Scream Again”
Written by Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk & Ian Brennan
Directed by Brad Falchuk

We open on a sweet Halloween party where a Morticia Adams lookalike is wiggling rhythmically on a table. Is she dancing? Drunkenly swaying? You don’t know and neither does she. A tearful pregnant blonde lady starts begging Morticia to help her husband, because apparently this bacchanalia is actually occurring in a hospital??? Dang, 1985, you crazy. Morticia looks pretty annoyed at this buzzkill.

Your dying husband is really a buzzkill, tbh.

They go and get a doctor wearing a green devil looking mask. The audience can presumably see where this season is going, because between the red devil of last season and the green devil of this one, they’re obviously gunning for some kind of Nightmare Before Christmas vibe.

The blonde pregnant wife tearfully fawns over her dying husband in a scene that would be equally at home in an eighties soap opera. The super drunk doctors assure her they will drain his lungs and he will be just fine…right before they drag his unconscious body out into a swamp with some sweet green mood lighting.

Schwasty green devil doc and Morticia fling the dude into the swamp like a beanbag in a game of cornhole. Devil doc explains that they can just say he died on the operating table and then get back to the super sweet party. Again, I cannot emphasize this enough: they have literally killed a guy for the sake of a party. A really sweet Halloween party, but still.

Devil doc has the sudden epiphany that a man in a green devil costume is pretty dang recognizable and tosses his costume into the swamp. The mask and costume land perfectly on the body and slowly sink beneath the murky waters. Somewhere nearby, a frog starts croaking “foooooreshadowingggg”.

We abruptly pivot to watching two doctors swagger down the hallway like they own the damn place, and hell, they probably should. We rate their swag a strong 12/10. We learn these are doctors Brock Holt and Cassidy Cascade (aka John Stamos and Taylor Lautner). Looking into their eyes is like looking into the sun.

They talk to a girl with wolfman syndrome, whom they are evidently treating. Wolfman syndrome girl says she uses Kiehls because product placement is important.

Suddenly, their supervisor shows up and it is….drumroll please…Dean Munsch! She is evidently a doctor now? Quelle surprise.

We are taken through an absurd backstory to explain this turn of events. Dean Munsch explains that “The University of Pennsylvania gave me the honorary doctorate they stripped from Bill Cosby”. Oooo Bill Cosby joke 5 minutes in? Didn’t play so well for the Emmys, brah.

She has established an organization called CURE (Caregivers Uniting in Restorative Etiology) and is funding it entirely through her publishing fortune. She wants doctors to find cures for diseases deemed incurable.

As we veer and zoom through the Department of Backstory, we are informed that the Chanels became a national sensation thanks to a Netflix documentary called Entrap a Kappa Kappa: Murder on Sorority Row. In clips from the documentary, we see Denise Henfield (now a special agent with the FBI) testify on the stand about extracting a confession from Hester. Hester clearly does not understand the concept of double jeopardy.

Back in the present, Dean Munsch finds Zayday Williams carrying out the trash at the restaurant she works at because she is a hardworking brilliant future President/angel. Munsch offers to buy her a drink. Zayday explains that she powered through undergrad in a year and a half because of her aforesaid angelic/future President powers. She is in her first year of med school and working three jobs to pay for it. Munsch explains that she has opened a teaching hospital and that she wants to hire Zayday (it will count towards her residency). She says Zayday is “integral to its success”. Despite the veritable tapestry of strings that are probably attached to this offer, Zayday accepts.

We return to our pair of beautiful doctors and begin to discover that they are also beautifully dysfunctional human beings. Dr. John Stamos likes cutting people open to discover what happens and staring at his hands until he cries. Dr. Taylor “Twilight” Lautner turns Zayday down before she evens asks for a date because he is “female viagra”. Zayday’s facial expression is solid gold and should be framed in museums across the nation. You best back the hell up, son.

“I’m here for my M.D., not my MRS.” (SNAPS GIRL, PREACH MHMMM).

John Stamos explains that his hand fetish fixation stems in part from the fact that he has had a hand transplant. We are taken into a flashback. During a Super Bowl™ party, the power goes out. Dr. Stamos is in the kitchen washing up when his Harvard ring goes down the drain. His friends are  playing with what they believe to be the light switch as he reaches in to get it, and the garbage disposal suddenly turns on. Red blood spatters everywhere! T-minus 16 minutes in and hella blood splatter, bless you SQ.

Back in the present, Zayday brushes up against Dr. Taylor Lautner and discovers that he is incredibly cold (Twilight nod, amirite). Dr. Stamos stares pensively off into the distance and moodily explains that this is “his last shot”.

Everyone abruptly remembers they have an actual patient they are supposed to be helping because apparently doctors aren’t just paid to stare moodily into the distance. Wolf girl explains to her team that she wants a normal life. Zayday is sympathetic. The doctors display the emotional sensitivity of robots and say there is nothing they can do because chromosomes or w/e. Suddenly, a friendly unpaid nurse’s aid busts in like the Hogwarts Express food trolley witch ON CRACK. His name is Chamberlain Jackson. He hands out vaguely offensive candy. “Candy striper” does NOT mean what he thinks it means.

Image courtesy of romper.com

The wolf girl is fed up with their “scientific facts” and offensive candies and threatens to leave. Zayday convinces her to stay by promising to find a cure by next week.

Potentially realizing that her promise may be impossible if she continues to be slowed down by the intellectual dead weight of the hot docs, Zayday decides to make some changes. She goes to Dean Munsch and points out that the hospital staff, apart from her, is currently a weird sausage fest and that they need more ladies in the house. Dean Munsch gets an idea. A terribly awful, wonderful idea.

We cut to a bed where Chanel wakes up with her signature “good morning idiot hookers”. The Chanels thought they would be heroes after being exonerated by an award winning Netflix documentary, but are universally reviled and have been disowned by their wealthy families. Not to be deterred, the Chanels finished college (communications majors), but after graduating, found that communications majors make basically no money. To revamp their images, Chanel decided it was time to give back. No. 5 got a job as a receptionist at a dentist’s office and No. 3 got a job mopping up at the local men’s fertility clinic.

Chanel No. 1 has discovered she LOVES blood, and so took a course to become a certified phlebotomist. They are poor and exhausted and bemoaning the fact that they were on top of the world two years ago. The Chanels are shown doing what they do every night: eating fruit pies and sitting on a stoop because no one will give them their HBO Go password.

chanels scrubs
“I’m just really not sure where they’re going on this season of Game of Thrones…” Image courtesy of HelloGiggles.com

Suddenly, a mysterious limo pulls up. Literally everyone can see where this is going.

Dean Munsch emerges as Eminem’s “Without Me” plays in the background (well, in my head, anyway). She wants the Chanels to enroll as med students and come work at her hospital. She explains that hey seem to have work experience in the medical field and says that “you girls still have a lot to learn…and I want to help you learn it”.

We cut to a scene of Zayday doing laundry. The Chanels abruptly sashay in and she starts screaming.

I didn’t sort my laundry by color!!! Image courtesy of Yahoo.com

They explain the sitch. Zayday hugs them, says this is going to be fun and then runs off because they are going to be late.

Munsch leads them to lockers and Chanel gripes about wearing scrubs even though literally all of them were wearing them for their previous jobs? Despite the absurdities of literally every other plot point in this show, THIS is apparently the one point of plot continuity that bothers me. Go figure.

In the (coed???) locker room, a hot wet tattooed Dr. Stamos performs a stript…I mean, takes a shower. Even no. 3 is into it. Chanel immediately strips off her clothing. Same girls, same.

We cannot confirm or deny that Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” was playing during this secene. Image courtesy of Yahoo.com

Once Dr. Stamos exits what is arguably the dirtiest shower, Dean Munsch lays down the law and explains that the girls are supposed to silently follow the doctors around and observe them (“ghosting” as she puts it). The girls debate the meaning of the word ghosting for an annoyingly long time.

Back in the patient’s room, Zayday announces they may have found a cure. Wolfgirl questions why the hell the real docs aren’t talking, voicing the thoughts of basically every audience member at this point.

Why AREN’T the actual doctors talking? says everyone and their mothers. Image courtesy of Popcrush.com

Dr. “Twilight” Lautner says that, “I find that oftentimes silence is the only appropriate response to the gaping expanse of emptiness that stretches out before each and every one of us”. Wow, Twilight. Dr. McSexy is finishing up a text (more like Dr. McTexty. Now that we’ve established that the wonder twins are weird as hell, Zayday spews techno bio science babble from Berlin. The TL:DR is that hey want to drill a hole in her head. Wolfman syndrome girl is freaked. They need her to sign a consent form. She hesitates, leading the ever-classy Chanel to yell, “Just sign it, sasquatch!”

After exiting the room, the Chanels discover that nurses exist and decide that since they are “doctors” now it is open season on bullying the nurses. Ingrid Marie Hoeffel (I. M. AWFUL???) is an advanced practice registered nurse and the CURE’s head of administrative staff.

Image courtesy of Hollywood Reporter.com

Dr. Hoeffel (hi, Kirstie Alley!) says she has read their files and is unsure why Dean Munsch has asked them to work here unless it is to kill them (foreshadow foreshadow foreshadow) because they are utterly unqualified to practice medicine. Dr. Hoeffel promises to eat Chanel for lunch if she messes with her. We all believe her.

Zayday calls them into Dean Munsch’s office and threatens to resign if Munsch doesn’t reign in their heinous bedside manner. Munsch puts the girls on academic probation, confines them to their dormitories, and makes them write a 10,000 word essay on bedside manner in clinical practice. The Chanels figure out they aren’t getting paid. Screaming ensues.

It is IS in the name of the show, after all. Image courtesy of Nerdist.com

Back in the dorms, Chanel no. 3 argues the house arrest isn’t so bad as she could use some chill time. No 1 turns on her followers, yelling “You stupid dugongs!”, which is seriously an underused and underappreciated term. They begin reviewing where their lives and dreams for the future went wrong. No. 1 mournfully regrets that she had a dream to be the next Diane Sawyer. She then comes to the sudden epiphany that the next best thing to her original dream would be becoming a TV doctor, like Dr. Oz. The other Chanels agree that they should get back in the Dean’s good graces and finish their medical degrees. No. 1 decides that to do that, they will pull an all nighter and figure out a cure to that wolf girl’s syndrome before Zayday does.

Chanel sneaks up behind Dr. Stamos to talk shop about the wolf girl. Stamos agrees that Zayday’s lobotomy is maybe not a great idea. They review the facts; 1. Hella hairy girl. Thats pretty much the only fact Dr. Stamos gets to. Seriously, they are like the worst doctors. Chanel brings up her super weird diet. Dr. Hot says all the foods listed are extremely high in Vitamin D, which can boost testosterone production. He explains this while caressing Chanel’s neck in a loving chokehold.

If this happens to you, run, do not walk. Image courtesy of popcrush.com

Not long after, Chanel and Dr. Stamos burst into the operating room just in time to stop the procedure and say they will put her on a soy based diet to boost her estrogen and will give her DHT which will help her lose hair naturally.

After starting the treatment, the Chanels sashay in in perfectly coordinated pink nurses uniforms.

This show’s costuming department is a gift to us all. Photo courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.

This show’s costuming is a gift to us all. The wolfman syndrome girl, who we learn is named Catherine, while overjoyed that she no longer resembles Chewbacca, isn’t pleased she’s lost ALL of her hair and is now bald.

Not pictured: the face of a satisfied customer. Image courtesy of popcrush.com

The Chanels perform one more procedure (a makeover) and change her life using the power of Sephora binge buying. Dean Munsch is super pleased.

The Chanels peace out. Chanel no. 1 has a date with Dr. Hot and Chanel no. 3 has a date with Dr. Lautner. No. 5 doesn’t want to work graveyard shift alone, but the other Chanels bully her into it. She regrets losing the closeness they had in the asylum. Aww.

While working, No. 5 puts Catherine and herself into hydrotherapy tubs to de-stress themselves and keep wolf girl’s skin from flaking. The tubs lock, but No. 5, who, may I remind you, has already survived a serial killer stalking her sorority, sees NO problem with this. At all. No. 5 says she told Chamberlain to come down and let them out in an hour.

Instead of soothing baths, a terrifying green devil begins dancing outside the curtain of their hydrotherapy baths. “Be My Baby” plays as they scream. Wolfgirl gets beheaded and the killer strikes a final blow just as the screen goes dark, leaving us unsure whether No. 5 survived.

Image courtesy of yahoo.com

Overall, the premier of Scream Queens really pushed the absurdity of the first season to a new level. Rather than a slow build, this episode really just takes the suspension of disbelief, lights it on fire, and then flushes it down a toilet. Once you get used to the pace of the ridiculous things being hurled at you, it’s actually quite a fun ride for returning fans of the show. We get to enjoy good standbys, like Chanel No. 1’s over the top bullying, Zayday’s absurd levels of overachieving, and of course, buckets upon buckets of fake blood splatter and gore.

Lurking among all the weird, however, is still a good sprinkling of mystery and intrigue. What is up with the weird doctors? Why is Dean Munsch hiring all the girls? How does I. M. Hoeffel fit into this? And most importantly, who, exactly, is wearing the green devil costume? We can’t wait to find out.


Scream Queens airs Tuesday nights at 9/8c on Fox.


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