SCREAM QUEENS 1×08 Debriefing: “An Eternal Flame”

SCREAM QUEENS:  Cast Pictured L-R: Lucien Laviscount, Glen Powell, Nasim Pedrad, Nick Jonas, Billie Lourd, Ariana Grande, Abigail Breslin, Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis, Skyler Samuels, Diego Boneta, Keke Palmer, Oliver Hudson, Lea Michele and Niecy Nash in SCREAM QUEENS which debuts with a special, two-hour series premiere event on Tuesday, September 22 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Matthias Clamer/FOX.

Episode 8 provided us with some pretty significant revelations about Grace’s mother, the death of a beloved character, and the return of a “missing” character.  As we get closer to the last leg of the season, it has become abundantly clear that this whole ordeal is much bigger than just an amateur killer with a literal ax to grind.  It would appear that this is an intricate revenge plot with quite a few different players. Since this post is a bit delayed, let’s just jump right into the episode!

This Is What College Is All About

Grace has scheduled a meeting with the dean in hopes of ascertaining relevant information on the mysterious bathtub baby. But Dean Munsch claims to have no recollection of ever saying she would talk to Grace about the baby.  She tells her that it is pointless. It’s all over now. Feather is the Red Devil killer. And the Kappa baby is now irrelevant. Grace is peeved, and proceeds to get a bit intense with Munsch. “You are going to ignore what’s really going on at this school until it personally sneaks up behind you and stabs you in the heart.” Wow, Grace. That’s not suspicious at all. Especially considering what happens later that evening.


Dean Munsch is taking a shower in her home. The Red Devil quietly enters her bathroom, preparing  to stab an unsuspecting Munsch. But she has of course seen “Psycho” fifty times. The dean bangs RD’s head against the bathtub and attempts to contact 911. But unfortunately, the police have a new 911 automated system. It takes too long to get a live person on the phone, and RD regains his/her bearings. Munsch attempts to fight off RD. But then a second Red Devil enters with an ax. As if that wasn’t enough, a third killer disguised as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia joins the party. Three on one. But the dean is not afraid. She knows how to fight. And they all proceed to do just that, with Munsch making all three of the masked killers suffer immensely. They run out, and it looks like she has won. For now.

Those Who Pill Together

At the Kappa house, Chanel is still adamant that Zayday and Grace are the killers. She wants to know any compelling evidence the Chanels have dug up on them. Hester finds out that both Zayday and Grace are on the pill AND are on the same cycle. “Those who pill together kill together.” Chanel is less than impressed. Number 5 rearranged the letters in Zayday’s name to spell “I may slay Liz Daw.” There is no Liz Daw, and Chanel is furious with her clueless minions.

Denise Hemphill is back! And she is cooking mozzarella sticks in the Kappa kitchen. Number 3 finds her, and asks what she is even doing there. Denise informs her that she lives with the Kappas now. We flashback to an earlier conversation between the dean and Denise. She is tired of sleeping in her patrol car, and there is a perfectly good bed upstairs at Kappa. She doesn’t care that someone was murdered in the same room. She will just do her best to ignore the “big old bloodstain on the floor.” Dean Munsch does not seem to care either way. 

Number 3 asks Denise what she would do with “all the money in the world.” Denise Hemphill would buy Sandals. Not the shoes, the island. She dreams big. Number 3 offers her $3 million if she find definitive proof that Zayday is the Red Devil. “I would say Denise Hemphill from Secure Enforcement Solutions is on the case!”

Smugness Gives You Wrinkles

Grace is back in Dean Munsch’s office after her harrowing encounter with the three killers. And Grace is smug. It is not a good look on her. Munsch is not amused. She starts speaking “hypothetically” about the night with the bathtub baby. There is no statute of limitations for murder, so she cannot speak definitively about it for fear she may implicate herself as an accessory after the fact. Grace is disgusted that the dean was previously allowing the killers keep murdering only because she wanted to save her own skin. But now it’s personal because they came after her. “This school could survive a few serial killings, but I really don’t think that this university could handle losing me.” The dean hands Grace a folder with the name of the Kappa who died in the tub. But Grace claims that it is not enough. She wants to know everything that happened that night. The dean has no further information, or so she says. “The rest, as they say Sherlock, is up to you.” Grace is disappointed, as the name in the folder does not match her mother’s. Dean Munsch tells Grace what she finds most appalling about her. “You act like you are this benevolent champion of justice. When really, at the end of the day, this is just about you finding out who your mommy is.” Honestly, she’s right. Grace doesn’t agree. She wants to stop the murders, but also wants to know if she’s the reason why they are happening. Two birds. 

I’ve Got Three Million Reasons To Believe She Is The Killer

Denise overhears Jennifer threaten to kill a “dumb bitch.” Jennifer is furious at the employee from “Candle Junction” who apparently  did not understand a “22 for the price of 20” sale.  “Now my year is ruined.” Denise uses the odd opportunity to get some intel on Zayday. But Jennifer likes Zayday, and claims that there is no way she is the killer. There is also a total lack of evidence and that fact that she displays none of the characteristics of a serial killer. “She’s kind, she’s responsible, she has a great set of social skills, and a healthy network of friends.”  But Denise remains unconvinced. There is just too much (money) on the line.

Jennifer does think of something suspicious. Zayday once told her a story about not fitting in. She tried to make friends with these girls called “The Peacocks” in high school. They made fun of her, and she laughed along with them. She vowed then and there to get “revenge on entitled little rich girls everywhere.” Real revenge. Thinking about that story now, Jennifer realizes Zayday could potentially be the killer. Zayday chooses that moment to walk in the room and make it known that she could hear their entire conversation. She confronts Denise, telling her that she is tired of her “nonsense.” Zayday almost wishes she was a serial killer so she could knock Denise Hemphill off next. She warns Denise to stay away unless she has a warrant. That goes for Jennifer too.

Later that evening, Jennifer is recording one of her vlog entries. She is demonstrating the sturdy wick of a candle when the Red Devil can be seen entering the room behind her. Just as she is giving the candle a 5 star review, the Red Devil stabs her in the back. Literally. RIP Jennifer. At least you went down doing what you loved most.

I Got Nothing

Denise is updating the Chanels on her investigation into Zayday. “I got nothing.” She allegedly does not have the financial resources to uncover anything useful in the investigation. She asks Chanel to front her ten percent of the $3 million. Chanel agrees, and then tells everyone she has to rush off for her date with Chad. It’s the couple’s Night of A Thousand Compliments. They sit across from each other (fully clothed) and Chad compliments her a thousand times. As it turns out, Chad is not so good at the game. He mostly just compliments himself. It’s a work in progress.

As Chanel is walking downstairs with the rest of the girls, they smell something burning. They scurry into the dining room where Jennifer, covered in wax, is sitting dead before their eyes. Cue the hysterical screaming.

Or Is This Burning An Eternal Flame

Grace and Pete are coming up short with the investigation into the bathtub baby and her mother. Grace is convinced she is the bathtub baby. She tells a sob story about talking to the spirit of her mother while growing up. Grace came to this school and joined Kappa so that she could tend to her mother’s unfinished business. “We need to find my mom and end all of this.” Jennifer needs to be the final victim. “The madness needs to end.” Pete suggests they start looking into the Hag of Shady Lane again. They visit the mental hospital and talk to one of the patients who paints portraits of every patient admitted. The woman shows them her painting of the “Hag.” And it looks just like Gigi. They also discover there were two babies with the Hag. A boy and a girl.

Dean Munsch makes a speech to the press, informing everyone that the school will be shut down, effective immediately.  She also announces that there will be a moment of silence for Jennifer. “Or as she was more popularly known: that very unusual girl with the really odd candle fetish.”

“Congratulations Red Devil killer. You have won.”

Chanel is completely outraged at the school’s suspension. Her whole life is ruined for a ridiculous list of reasons, not least of which includes Chad possibly leaving her. She starts yelling at two detectives from Scotland Yard who she tricked into coming to Kappa. They need to prove that Zayday and Grace are the killers. The detectives tell her that they have no jurisdiction in the United States, and are only there because of a death threat regarding the Duchess of Cambridge. But Chanel informs them that there will be a death threat against the Duchess if they do not help her uncover evidence against her “sisters.” She will pay “handsomely” to get what she wants.

Falafel Enchiladas

Grace finds Gigi in the kitchen getting ready to cook an old family recipe. That kitchen is really getting a lot of action this episode, considering that none of the girls in the house eat actual food. Grace confronts Gigi about the painting, but Gigi of course denies all accusations. Grace is not backing down. She had a look at Gigi’s resume from when she applied to be Kappa National Chapter President, and found that it was full of fabrications. Grace also found out that Gigi used to attend Wallace University, but dropped out after her sophomore year due to “medical reasons.” This was strangely left off her application. Gigi feels that Grace’s “evidence” is flimsy. But Grace believes it’s enough to keep Gigi away from her dad. Oh Grace, I think you may be in over your head. Gigi “gently” tells her that she is here to stay, as she is actually now Wes’s fiancee. Grace demands that she stay away from her dad. But Gigi is not afraid of a “little” girl. “Or what? You gonna kill me?”

Your Very Housemate, Libby Putney

The detectives from Scotland Yard are meeting with Chanel again to discuss their findings. They have determined that someone is plotting to kill Chanel- Libby Putney. Better known to Chanel (and all of us) as Chanel Number 5. Chanel seems unfazed and unimpressed by this. She even says she doesn’t care. This was not the dirt she was hoping to find. And they found no evidence linking Zayday to any illegal activity at all. With regards to Grace, they did find a little something. Not on her. But on her mother, who was apparently involved in a string of illegal activities prior to her death. Chanel is convinced. Grace is the killer. The file proves it. Must be some real compelling evidence.

Believe Me When I Tell You That Gigi Is Crazy

Grace pays a visit to her father, but not before Gigi gets to him first with a warning call. Grace confronts Wes about his engagement. In his defense, he is still a bit foggy on the details. Apparently she merely asked him if she could bring over a few items to put around his apartment. But she came home with an engagement ring (if you can call it that) and some lamps- which Wes and Grace both seem to really like. He doesn’t appear to actually plan on marrying Gigi. He just figures he can play along for the time being as not to “bum her out.” Grace tries to convince her dad that Gigi is insane. But he just finds her to be quirky. He promises he will not truly get serious with Gigi before talking to Grace first. “You’re still my number one girl, Gracie.” But she doesn’t believe him. He tells her it’s been sixteen years, and that he deserves a little happiness. But Grace has a realization in that moment. Gigi must have known her mother. Which  means that West must have known Gigi. Something doesn’t add up with this scenario and the current campus murders. She orders him to stay away from her, and flees his home. Wes then very eerily looks at himself in the mirror. Sometimes this guy is really quite shady.

Do You Want to Know My Theory?

Back at the house, Chanel is waiting for Grace. She wants to discuss in what manner Grace will turn herself in. Grace is perplexed. But Chanel “knows” she’s the killer. “Deep down, you’re a ruthless criminal. Just like your mother.” Chanel then proceeds to hand her the file on her mother. She was Kappa House President in 1995. Her platform was very heavily centered upon her intention to make the song “Waterfalls” by TLC the official Kappa House song. Oh hey, I remember her. She was the cranky Kappa who did not want to miss her “jam” while they were upstairs with the bathtub baby. In this particular flashback, we see her sloppily dancing to the TLC anthem, with a very creepy Wes looking on at her. She “hooked up” with Wes that night. Almost exactly nine months later, Grace was born. So it is impossible for her to have been the now infamous bathtub baby. FINALLY. She can stop lamenting over that untruth. Her mother changed her name in order to put her sordid past behind her, but couldn’t quite stay on the straight and narrow. She was arrested a few times for some pretty inexcusable offenses, and Wes ended up suing for custody. Well, I never said he didn’t care for his child. Grace’s mother died a year later from a drunk driving accident. This is where Chanel gets a bit harsh, even for Chanel.  “You thought you were the baby in the bathtub, so you decided to come back to Kappa Kappa Tau and kill everybody. Well guess what Grace, you’re not the baby. So you can stop murdering everybody and accept the fact that your dumb dead mother was nothing more than a degenerate slut.” Grace slaps Chanel in the face and storms out. And for once, I do not blame her.

She’s Wearing My Underwear

Denise is laying out some community service events in which she intends to force the Kappas to participate. The Kappas are less than thrilled, but Denise tells them that things are going to change now that she is in charge. She is wearing Number 5’s clothes, and it’s all getting a bit weird. Except not really, because Denise is amazing no matter what insane thing she is doing. Chanel walks into the scene, and she is not happy. Hester claims it’s a coup. Chanel doesn’t know what’s going on, but she calls the shots. After all, she is Kappa (co) president. But Denise is the self-proclaimed den mother. And they are going to step into the bathroom for a “heart-to-heart.”

Denise heard about Chanel’s little chat with Grace. “You can’t go around insulting somebody’s mama.” Denise wants Chanel to apologize. But this is Chanel she talking to. “Over my rich, hot, dead body.” Denise doesn’t scare that easily. She begins to threaten Chanel with the one thing that will make her quake in her Louboutin pumps. She will just call up Chad for a “booty call.” Denise wants Chanel to apologize to Grace and start treating the girls in Kappa better, “or Mama Denise will take your man.”

Mom Was There That Night

Grace visits Wes again to get the facts straight about her mom. He confirms it all as the truth. He was going to tell her eventually, but Grace got too attached to the fake story. However, their house did burn down. That part was true. Wes was the one who did it. He wanted to destroy any evidence Grace might find about her past. That seems just a tad extreme, in my opinion. But Wes has always been a bit off. “I committed arson. For you.” Sure, that old standard arson guilt trip from your dad. He goes on to tell her that he only did what he thought was best for her at the time. But this does not change the fact that her mother was there the night of the party (and the bathtub murder incident), and so was Wes. He had to know people were getting murdered, and he chose never to tell her. He claims he was trying to protect her. But she tells him that he simply can’t. Grace warns him to stay away from her if he wants to protect himself. I have no idea what this means, but it can’t be anything good.

Gigi walks in immediately after Grace runs out. She tells him she saw Grace, and that she looked “crazy.”  Gigi believes that Grace is falling apart. She has too much stress with both school and the murders. She suggests that Wes should take some “real” action. And she even goes so far to say that he should have her committed. I think that may be an extreme measure, but Gigi obviously wants this girl out of the way.

Happy Oberlin is a Monster

Grace agrees to meet Chanel for coffee, though she doesn’t trust her enough to actually drink any. But Chanel is there to apologize. She admits it was mean to ambush Grace about her mother. She begins to regale her with the tale of her own awful mother. “Don’t you see, we all have mommy issues.” She adds that Kappa is like the mom they both never had. But Grace disagrees with that assessment. Kappa is like the mom Chanel did have. Because the way she’s running Kappa is the same way Chanel’s own mother ran her household. Chanel claims to be a work in progress. She posits that perhaps the two girls came into each other’s lives to help alleviate their “mommy issues.” Grace is still angry about Chanel’s attempt to “destroy” her with the truth about her mother. And Chanel genuinely seems repentant  (I think?). Grace accepts this for now. Maybe they will form some sort of friendly alliance in the final episodes of the season.

I Think That’s Joaquin Phoenix

Boone is back! Finally, we get a glimpse of this illusive character. Obviously he is alive and well, and hiding in plain sight. He is at the gym when he gets a call from a mystery person. He tells the caller that he can’t live like this- “all I do is work out and kill people.” Rough life. So it would seem that he is one of those who is regularly donning the Red Devil suit. He goes on to blame Gigi for “blowing” their brand. How many people are involved in this revenge plot? It seems to be more complex than I initially figured. He says that Gigi has to go. And it sounds like they mean “go” for good. “We take her out, and we finish what we set out to do.”

Well that’s certainly an interesting way to end things. I am definitely looking forward to seeing how Boone fits into all this. And then there is the question of Gigi, and really, to whom all these apparent minions are all answering.  The next recap will be up shortly, as I would like to get this all back on track before Tuesday’s new episode! Until then.

“Body” Count Thus Far

  1. Ms. Bean
  2. Chanel No. 2
  3. Deaf Taylor Swift
  4. Shondell
  5. Boone (He Lives!)
  6. Coney
  7. Mandy
  8. Dodger
  9. Caulfield (Missing Arms Dude)
  10. Sam
  11. Roger
  12. Dr. Charles Munsch
  13. Jennifer (Candle Vlogger)

Marla has been passionately and disturbingly obsessed with television since she was in diapers. She lives and breathes all things TV, and attempts to watch anything and everything. Unfortunately there are just not enough hours in the day. She definitely has her top favorite shows, the identities of which will become painfully obvious if anyone stumbles upon her social media pages.

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