Scream Queens: New Leads on the Killer

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Death, mystery, rivalries, and marriage. The third episode of Scream Queens left off with the death of Tyler (Colton Haynes), a patient admitted to the C.U.R.E. Institute, and Chanel’s (Emma Roberts) proclamation that a new serial killer is on the loose. Being Chanel, she automatically accused #5 (Abigail Breslin) of being the person behind the Green Meanie mask. Chanel’s reasoning was that Tyler saw #5 naked and gagged so #5 got angry and murdered him. This theory is far from the truth and keeps the absurdity level on this show very high. #5 was with the Chanels the whole time so this theory serves more to critique #5 than to find the identity of the true killer.

So far, the patients admitted to the C.U.R.E. Institute in the previous episodes have all died after being cured. Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) decided to throw Tyler’s body into the swamp adjacent to the hospital because she believed that no one would discover the body in that area. Munsch’s reasoning for disposing the body rather than reporting a murder to the police is that she cannot afford to get her hospital shut down. She realizes that having a new serial killer present in the same hospital that the Chanels are working in will only bring her bad publicity. Since Munsch needs the hospital to find a cure for her kuru illness, which she contracted from consuming a dead human corpse during her trip to Papua New Guinea, she is willing to do anything to hide these killings.

Desperate, the Chanels and Munsch go back to the asylum to see Hester (Lea Michele) since Hester knows the identity of the killer.

Much like the character Hannibal Lecter in the film, Silence of the Lambs, Hester knows every detail of each murder in the hospital and understands the connections between the hospital’s past and its present. The parallel between the two stems mainly from Hester’s character traits which are similar to the film’s antagonist psychopath Hannibal Lecter. Because Munsch and the Chanels are not willing to meet Hester’s outrageous demands of being transferred to the C.U.R.E. Institute and having a six-week vacation in Mexico, Hester refuses to reveal any information. She does provide the group a clue to follow however, which Zayday (Keke Palmer) cracks, thus allowing the characters and the viewers to narrow the options of potential killers.

It is an interesting choice to have Hester seemingly know who the killer is because it is not always a good strategy to have a character in a series know more than the viewers. It is only episode three out of thirteen. Hopefully the writers will have a trick up their sleeves or else the audience may tire of being dragged along when they know that the killer can be easily revealed by one character. Maybe Hester does not actually know who the killer is since this is Scream Queens and nothing really makes sense.

Yet, this episode did give viewers a clue about who may be behind the murders of all the C.U.R.E. patients. Based on the information from this episode, the killer could be the child of the pregnant mother featured in the first episode. In the opening sequence of the first episode, a pregnant woman urges a doctor to save her husband. The doctor, not wanting to miss his Halloween party, decides to dump the husband into the swamp since the doctor had other priorities. This theory makes sense, but I am still cautious and think that there will be more to this story.

The biggest plotline featured in this episode is the rivalry between Dr. Holt (John Stamos) and Chad (Glen Powell) in regards to Chanel. If viewers remember back in season one, Chad and Chanel had an on again/off again relationship. Chanel was very much in love with Chad, but Chad did not want to commit to one girl. Now that Dr. Holt is in the picture, Chad’s jealousy has flared. Their rivalry includes who has the best body, who has the most money, and who has Chanel’s affections. Their competition is pretty misogynistic, and Chanel realizes this in her overly dramatic feminist speech where she chooses herself over the men. Munsch’s face after hearing Chanel speak is priceless because Munsch’s face is every viewer’s face at that moment. Everyone knows that Chanel will go back on her decisions as soon as either guy shows her affection. Chanel does exactly this when Chad proposes to her, fulfilling her dreams. The episode ends with her wedding that she organizes in a day by using Chad’s wealth.

Episode three is worth watching because there is a character death that has major ramifications for the show. Frankly, I was shocked to see this character die because this character is a fan favorite and provides some of the show’s most humorous moments. But, episode three did answer my wishes of having more important character deaths rather than killing off minor characters that are introduced at the beginning of each episode and who no viewer cares about. This kind of shock is what Scream Queens should be aiming for.

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David Chan

David, some know him by his nickname DJ, is a sophomore from the Bay Area. He has plans to major in film and media studies and to minor in English Literature. He enjoys swimming and traveling to different places. Because fall is the season when new and returning TV shows premiere, he will spend a lot of his free time during fall semester watching all of his favorite shows, which include American Horror Story, Scream Queens, and How to Get Away with Murder.

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