Happy Thanksgiving, y'all. It was a joyous celebration featuring Pictionary, an excess of Radwells, and a little inquisition back at Kappa house.
Scream Queens Season 1 Episode 10 was strangely heartwarming and legitimately shocking at the same time. I was certainly not expecting Gigi to die off-screen, within the first few minutes, only to reappear at the very end as a decapitated head on the Kappa dinner table, that's for sure.
As expected, the Radwells were a group of awful (if hilarious) people. To have raised a one-of-a-kind dude like our beloved Chad Radwell, we knew they were going to be a bunch of weirdos, and the show delivered on that front.
We have a newcomer this year. So let's all give a round of tolerant Radwell applause to our newcomer, Chanel Oberlin.Bunny Radwell
Unbearably pretentious Bunny Radwell verbally skewered her son's potential love interests as her lush of a husband swilled wine, intermittently made priceless facial reactions and attempted to bribe Chanel with money to skedaddle.
Notice that I said love interests (plural)? That's right, Hester's faux-death didn't even last half of an episode. I'm not shocked because there was no way that Ryan Murphy would kill off his beloved Lea Michele before the finale. It just wasn't gonna happen. I also speculated in my review of Scream Queens Season 1 Episode 9 that Hester's neckbrace, which conveniently reappeared immediately prior to the attempted murder, may have saved her life.
And lo and behold – predictably, Hester's neckbrace saved her life.
While it was a little bit lame to have such a swift reversal like that, the pay-off was worth it in the end. Even though Chanel's supposedly heartfelt apologies seem to spring up and vanish from one episode to the next, Chanel telling off the Radwells and sticking up for Hester was a wonderful moment.
The Radwell scenes were largely pretty good (with a few great moments), but left some aspects to be desired. For one, Hester had almost nothing to do for the entire arc of that story.
Aside from her big announcement at dinner about her faux-baby, she basically lapsed into a shocked kind of silence once the formidable Bunny verbally smacked her down. She said basically nothing for the rest of the night, leaving Chanel to take charge and put an end to the most mean-spirited game of Pictionary in the history of Pictionary once Chanel noticed Hester's distraught expression.
I'm sorry, but someone needs to contact the good people at Hasbro because the odds of you picking "neck brace whore" are astronomical!Chanel
I'm not sure what I expected of Chad Michael Murray's and Patrick Schwarzenegger's guest spots as (respectively) Brad and Thad Radwell, but they felt like little more than set pieces. Chad Michael Murray plays a fantastic d-bag/villain (see: Gilmore Girls and Agent Carter), so he felt very underused here.
I mean, interrupting his wife Muffy was amusing, and his little speech about making bank off the backs of creative people was a good moment, but there could have been more.
I would have traded one or two Bunny barbs for more of CMM. He had maybe three lines. What was even the point? This would bother me less if they hadn't trumped up his appearance (along with Schwarzenegger's and Alan Thicke's) so much earlier in the season. I was expecting big things.
The one strong response that sex-criminal-waiting-to-happen Thad Radwell elicited came during that post-Pictionary dance-move of victory. I desperately need to know what the direction in the script was that resulted in Patrick Schwarzenegger's pelvic thrusting. That was amazing and weird and wonderful.
To return to my earlier point to sum up the Radwell family extravaganza: I liked it, but it could have been better. Chad Radwell deserves better, guys. The best bit was Chanel's smackdown of the Radwells, and the way she and Hester bonded as a result of the Radwells' abuse.
Back at Kappa house, the various members of the cast assembled over the course of the day, culminating in a hashing out of every fan theory that's been floated around on the internet. That was a clever meta nod, because fans have absolutely broken down, piece by piece, all of the evidence for each of the potential suspects named during "Thanksgiving." I loved these scenes.
Of all of those present at Kappa house, four were directly accused and three were suspiciously ignored as suspects. The four accused were Chanel #3 (by Dean Munsch), Dean Munsch (by Chanel #3), Grace Gardner (by Wes) and Wes Gardner (by Pete). Zayday, Pete and Chanel #5 weren't directly addressed as suspects.
Dean Munsch's rationale for suspecting Chanel #3 was the flimsiest by far, but it led to this fantastic exchange:
Zayday: That seems like an unnecessarily complicated cover story.
Dean Munsch: Yes, but aren't those the best kind?
It's like Ryan Murphy is speaking right through the screen to me! Hello, Ryan Murphy!
Chanel #3's evidence against Munsch was decidedly stronger, but it wasn't particularly interesting because we, the audience, already knew the evidence presented – back in Scream Queens Season 1 Episode 7 we heard Dean Munsch confess to having faked the bologna allergy and having killed her ex. I'm disinclined to believe either #3 or Munsch are involved in the murders.
The Grace and Wes accusations were much more interesting. Wes suspecting his own daughter was hinted at during his earlier interactions with Gigi, but I didn't think they'd fully go there. Grace is the most boring character by a landslide, so it would be great if she was actually involved in the killings.
Wes and the Chanels presented new (unseen by the audience) evidence against Grace – she visited Kappa at the time of Melanie Dorkus' maiming, and she was spotted talking to a Red Devil (supposedly Pete, but who even knows anymore?).
Chanel #5's motive theory for Grace (that she was killing to make her mother look less terrible in retrospect? Basically?) was incredibly lame though, so it again seems unlikely that Grace is involved.
Pete, finally becoming useful, presented a whole swath of evidence against Wes. I guess that kind of explains where he's been the past few episodes that he's been virtually absent? It also led to the reveal that Wes fathered Boone!
Many of the twists in Scream Queens so far have been predictable, but Gigi's head winding up on that table and Wes being the tub babies' father were two things I didn't see coming. Did you?
In all, the Red Devil mystery has been slightly reinvigorated now that we appear to be back down to one killer. It also adds another layer of intrigue to the whole mess – what could the last killer standing's motivation be in offing his or her accomplices, Gigi and Boone? What the hell is going on there?
Finally, of the three who were ignored as potential suspects, my focus is now on Chanel #5. She's been consistently underestimated by each of the other characters and her excuse for showing up back at Kappa house on Thanksgiving (she went home, but her parents forgot to tell her they were in the Maldives) was beyond suspicious. Could #5 be the other baby/Boone's twin sister? It's looking more and more likely.
- Gigi revealed that she had a real family that she gave up on long ago.The closest thing that she had to a real family was the Red Devil, who, alas, didn't feel quite the same way (decapitating her and all). This bit of info would seem to put the kibosh on the idea that Gigi was related to the bathtub twins or the dead girl (any idea I've seen floated around). So whatever Gigi's connection was, it wasn't familial.
- Loved Chanel's tiny clap when Chad announced his name at Thanksgiving dinner. Emma Roberts played Chanel's shock and discomfort throughout that Radwell dinner to an absolute T.
- Chanel #3's family drama moment fell flat. There was a lot going on, here, and it wasn't clear why only Chanel #3 needed the my-family-sucks reason to come to dinner to be shown on-screen. At the very least, I'm more convinced than ever, from that scene, that #3 isn't one of the killers.
- Where was Denise?! This whole accusations-a-palooza shindig would have been totally right up her alley. I get that Niecy Nash is a guest star and not a main cast member, but it made literally zero sense that they introduced her as having moved into Kappa house only for her to be missing with no explanation or mention in the very next episode. A huge pet peeve of mine with shows is when they know a character is recurring/guest starring and yet treat them like a regular who is sporadically absent. It's illogical, distracting, and annoying.
- They set up the final dinner scene so that nearly anyone present may have been the one to switch out Tiburon the turkey for Gigi's head, which was very clever and well done. They threw suspicion in all directions since several people filtered in and out of the dining room with various excuses. It's going to be so fun piecing this all together at the end of the season when the truth is revealed.
Thoughts on "Thanksgiving"? Did you prefer the Kappa scenes or the Radwell moments? Sound off by commenting below and watch Scream Queens online here at TV Fanatic.
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.