There are hours of television you love because they're just great and others that you love in spite of the fact that they actively rip your heart out. Scream Queens Season 2 Episode 3 was one of the latter.
"Handidates," only the third installment of the season, shocked us all with a hugely unexpected, MAJOR (and apparently non-fakeout) death of a main character. And I'm pretty torn up about it, not gonna lie.
Be aware that HUGE spoilers are after the jump!
So, the big news out of the way first: Chad Radwell is no longer with us. He's dead. He was, by the looks of that final scene, brutally murdered. Stabbed right in the neck.
As a fervent enjoyer of all things Chad, I'm taking this news pretty hard.
Chad has consistently been the funniest (and, arguably, best) character on the show ever since his debut in Scream Queens Season 1. He had the most incredibly outlandish and hilarious lines, which Glen Powell consistently delivered to PERFECTION.
If he's truly gone, this is a huge loss. And I honestly don't know if the show can fully recover.
Do I sound a little overdramatic? Maybe. But I honestly believe that Chad was one of the very greatest parts of this series, right up there with Chanel and Denise Hemphill.
The Chad/Chanel relationship will also be missed – especially since it seemed that Chad was maybe-possibly kinda-sorta growing up a little bit and realizing that he actually did love Chanel (as much as someone like Chad could love someone anyway). He even proposed to her!
His proposal was hilarious, though not terribly romantic. A walk through the park, a mariachi band on cue, and the very heartwarming presentation of... a prenuptial agreement?
Chad: Chanel Oberlin, will you...
Chanel: Oh my god! Is this really happening?!
Chad: ... get your lawyers to look over this prenup?
Chanel: Are you asking me to marry you?
Chad: Oh, not really. No, I'll consider asking you to marry me once you sign the prenup. You're gonna want a whole legal team to look over this, there's a lot of stipulations and some pretty specific riders...
Chanel: Chad, I feel like I'm in a fairy tale. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!
Literally every part of this exchange was perfectly Chad-and-Chanel.
Emma Roberts really nailed the precise Chanel reaction – pure, unabashed joy and enthusiasm, while totally ignoring the eyebrow raise-inducing aspects of the proposal. Like, for example, the fact that he never *technically* proposed to her.
Chad's conversation with Dr. Holt when he asked the good doctor to be his best man, on the other hand – that was far more heart-warming. It seemed to open up a whole new side of Chad for us.
I don't want to hurt Chanel. Isn't that weird? I just want her to be happy, I want her to have a great wedding day. I don't want my worries about my future studliness to get in the way of her special day. Whatever happens down the road, I want this day to be for her. Maybe I almost love her, you know?Chad
Cue the chorus of "awwww"s.
In retrospect, that very exchange should have signaled that something was about to go severely amiss. Chad has literally never been as genuine or real-live-human-boy-ish as he was during that moment. It should have been a red flag for his impending doom.
To Chanel's and the viewers' great sadness, Chad never quite made it down the aisle. He did make it above the aisle though, given that he was presumably killed in the floor above the chapel and then fell through the ceiling to dramatically land on the pulpit before a stunned Chanel.
I never thought I'd say this but: I feel really, legitimately badly for Chanel. For all her faults, it's always seemed pretty clear that she actually loves Chad. In fact, he may be the only person she's ever been capable of caring about.
So, who killed Chad? There are a few possibilities.
The most obvious is Dr. Holt. Chad usurped his proposal idea, popping the question to Chanel right after Holt mentioned it to him. We also saw Holt tie that bowtie on Chad a little extra tight. He definitely had the motive to kill his romantic rival – and that hand continues to be very suspicious.
Alternatively, Chad might have been another victim of the Green Meanie – though that doesn't make as much sense, given that (so far) the Green Meanie's M.O. (in present day) has been to kill CURE Institute patients exclusively.
As a third option, Dr. Holt and the Green Meanie could be one and the same, though that goes against Dean Munsch's theory for the killer.
After Tyler – the second CURE victim – was discovered murdered by the Chanels and Munsch, they realized that they needed to attempt to enlist Hester's help yet again. But Hester wasn't budging – not without her increasingly outrageous demands being met.
It still remains to be seen how Hester knows the killer's identity – or whether she's completely bullshitting the CURE Institute group, having no idea who the real killer is and only manipulating them to get her out of her high-security jail.
Hester's clue – "Esrun" cream, which she coldly suggested that Chanel use for her dry skin – led the group straight to Lynn Johnstone, a former nurse at Our Lady of Perpetual Suffering and current Jergen's lotion-reappropriating skincare mogul.
Turns out Lynn was the sole survivor of the 1986 Halloween massacre at that hospital, when the Green Meanie returned to kill Dr. Mike, Nurse Thomas, and a host of other presumably innocent workers not directly culpable in the COPD patient's death. We first saw the massacre unfold on Scream Queens Season 2 Episode 2.
Lynn was called by someone claiming to be the killer and to be striking again, which gave the group the link they needed between the present-day killings and the '86 massacre. Again, it doesn't fully make sense why or how Hester knew about any of this, but I'm sure we'll get a fittingly outlandish explanation for it before the season is out.
Elsewhere, the patient of the week wasn't particularly enthralling. It was Mrs. Baumgartner, played by the wonderful (and totally underused) Cheri Oteri, who was experiencing persistent genital arousal disorder (aka, constant orgasms).
Mrs. Baumgartner basically served as a plot device to get Chanel #3 and Cassidy Cascade closer.
#3 confessed to Cassidy that she had never experienced an orgasm. In return, Cassidy explained to #3 that he was actually dead, having perished after a high school kegger party years earlier.
The next morning, I woke up on my back, covered in puke. And I realized, I did die. And now I'm cursed to walk the earth for all eternity. Like a Highlander.Cassidy Cascade
So, yeah. There's that.
Cassidy being dead (or thinking that he's dead; whatever the case may turn out to be) led him to believe that he couldn't be at rest until he'd found and fulfilled his purpose – meeting Chanel #3, he decided that purpose must be to help her experience an orgasm. How noble of him!
Unfortunately, #3, as into him as she was, couldn't quite manage to get there because of Cassidy's actual-corpse-level body temperature. Their relationship consummation is, presumably, on hold for now. Though they did manage to cure Sheila Baumgartner by working together – so that's a win!
Despite curing Baumgartner, she wasn't meant to make it out of the hospital alive. Poor lady got nearly all the way out the door, cured and ready to go, accompanied by Zayday and Chamberlain – when the Green Meanie threw a freakin' blade and decapitated her right then and there!
Gotta hand it to the Green Meanie – in many ways, he or she is a much more brazen killer than the Red Devil, who did a lot of sneaking-around killing for quite a while.
As with the first season's killer, the Green Meanie is purposely not killing members of the core cast even when s/he had the opportunity to, like with Zayday and Chanel #5. That suggested that the killer is someone they know, who is avoiding hurting them.
Munsch's theories for the killer's identity were Chamberlain, Cassidy, and Chad – all of whom, conveniently had 'C' names and were around the age of 30. Their age and gender made each of them potential candidates for being the unborn child of Jane, the COPD patient's distraught wife.
Now that Chad is (presumably) gone, that leaves Chamberlain and Cassidy as suspects, if Munsch's theory proves correct.
Here's my outlandish Green Meanie theory: This show loves itself some twins, right? Since Chad was the right age, what if Jane was pregnant with identical twins – one of whom was Chad and one of whom was another dude who later became the Green Meanie. This would allow Glen Powell to return in some capacity, though not as our beloved Chad.
Chanel one-liner of the week, describing her engagement ring:
It's a 29 carat, internally flawless, fancy vivid diamond in the extremely rare whore cut, which is the preferred cut for mistresses of Russian billionaires.Chanel
- Chanel asking #3 and Zayday to be her bridesmaids and asking #5 to be her "doggy ring bearer" was absolutely perfect. "Newsflash! We're not that close."
- Green Meanie present-day body count: He's killed four patients, onscreen. Werewolf gal, Tyler, Chad's buddy Randall, and Baumgartner. This Green Meanie is no slouch!
- Our dearly departed Chad was thirty, according to Denise Hemphill, who revealed to the Chanels that he told her he'd been left back "like eight times" in the 2nd grade. Oh, Chad.
- Part of me is still hoping that Chad's death was some epic, Boone-style fakeout because he got cold feet and wanted to fake his death rather than disappoint Chanel by abandoning her at the altar. That sounds like a vaguely Chad-ish thing to do.
- Hester was finally brought to the hospital at the end of "Handidates," which is great because I've missed her interactions with the core cast.
- Chanel #3 owns my heart, as always:
Chanel #3: Can I just say, for the record, before we begin, that yoga is just stretching for douchebags?
Cassidy Cascade: Noted.
What did you think of "Handidates"? Leave me a comment below and watch Scream Queens online anytime here at TV Fanatic!
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.