We’ve all been saying this since week one, but without Jamie Lee Curtis, Scream Queens is nothing. The rest is vapid nonsense holding up a paper-thin serial killer story that’s spread over way too many episodes. But “Mommie Dearest” did actually allow the mystery to creep forward a few degrees.
Ok, so here’s what we learned:
Dean Munsch is a stone-cold boss when it comes to hand-to-hand combat. When the three killers (two Red Devils, one Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia) attack her—immediately following a blatant Psycho shower-scene homage, which this show already did once, though this time it’s more meaningful for obvious Jamie Lee-related reasons—she sends them running with skills she learned from a Hong Kong pit fighter.
Unfortunately she doesn’t unmask any of them when she has every chance to—but of course she doesn’t, because this is only episode eight, and there are at least five episodes to go, maybe more, depending on which source you trust. BUT by episode’s end, we know that Scalia is Gigi’s disguise, and one of the devils is Boone, who appears briefly at episode’s end sporting a fake beard and being mistaken, implausibly, for Joaquin Phoenix.
Gigi is far more interesting. This week, we also found out—thanks to the OH SO CONVENIENT woman in the insane asylum who paints portraits of everyone she sees—that she did time in the 1990s, accompanied by two babies, a boy and a girl. That’s the first bombshell we got this week. We already knew that Gigi is definitely unhinged, was once the Hag of Shady Lane, and is in cahoots with the killers. But we didn’t know there were two babies. The flashback scene clearly shows just one baby, and we were previously told that baby was a boy ... though Grace has convinced herself that she is Bathtub Baby.
Until this week. The truth comes no thanks to Dean Munsch, who grudgingly tells her the name of the girl who died after giving birth that night, and it’s “Sophia Doyle.” Grace finally gets The Whole Truth from a surprising source: Chanel, who’s hired Scotland Yard detectives (??) to dig up dirt on Zayday and Grace, since she’s convinced they’re the killers. Zayday seems to be on the level, but the Brits dig up tons of dirt on Grace—specifically, her mom.
In news that’s made even worse since it’s delivered via Chanel’s shrill tones, Grace learns that her mother was the “Waterfalls”-obsessed Kappa prez glimpsed in the 1995 flashback; she helped cover up the bathtub birth and death, but she also hooked up with Grace’s dad, Wes, that night, and nine months later gave birth to Grace. Apparently she was a piss-poor mother and died as a result of her own drunk driving. Hardly the angel Wes told his daughter she was.
This is, understandably, some harsh info for Grace, who confronts her dad about it (does any scene between these two ever end without Grace flouncing out of the room, warning him to stay away from her?) Talking about it with Gigi, he learns that Grace is flunking out of school (this is Gigi-supplied info, so it’s entirely possible it’s a lie), and looks thoughtful when Gigi suggests he have Grace committed. Uh-oh.
At the urging of Denise—who has moved into the Kappa house and accepted an ungodly sum of money from the Chanels to prove that Zayday and Grace are the killers—Chanel apologizes to Grace for being so bitchy about her mom. These two will never be friends, especially as long as Chanel thinks Grace is one of the killers. But might an alliance, nay, a sisterhood, between them eventually form?
There’s just one gruesome murder this week, taking out frumpy Jennifer moments after she told Denise an unflattering story about Zayday—the timing is probably a red herring at this point, but you never know. RIP Candle Vlogger, we barely knew ya ... nice death tableau, though.
And so there’s one big question left, beyond the identities of the two babies (though the girl is obviously Grace): Who is the third killer? Given the willy-nilly nature of this show, it’s anybody’s game at this point.