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'Scream Queens' Season 1, Episode 8: 'Mommie Dearest'

Adrianne Ramsey |
November 10, 2015 | 9:08 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Dean Munsch is cornered by the Red Devils (FOX)
Dean Munsch is cornered by the Red Devils (FOX)

With only four episodes to go until we find out who the Red Devil is, tonight may have been the darkest episode of "Scream Queens" yet. This broadcast was a vast improvement from last week’s episode, as the storytelling was consistent and the pace moved quickly, instead of dragging along.

Grace (Skyler Samuels) meets with Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) to find out more about the 1995 bathtub incident, which was promised to her in exchange for getting Munsch out of the asylum. Instead of helping Grace, Munsch tries to claim that she doesn’t even remember striking up their deal. She tries to disclaim Grace’s theories by saying that she believes Feather (Tavi Gevinson) is the Red Devil killer, and now that Feather has been locked into an asylum, the killings are over. Munsch then goes home, undresses, and hops into the shower. The Red Devil shows up, carrying a butcher knife and ready to attack. This is probably one of the more anticipated scenes of the series, because it is modeled after Janet Leigh’s (Jamie Lee Curtis’ mother) famous shower scene from Hitchcock’s iconic movie Psycho. The Red Devil pulls back the curtain to discover that Munsch isn’t there – she knocks him or her out from behind and runs downstairs to call the police. However, things aren’t looking too well for Munsch – both Red Devils and a mysterious person in black show up, all armed with weapons and ready to attack. Munsch takes all three of them on with no problem, making for a great fight scene. Subdued, all three attackers quickly leave the house. 

Now realizing that the Red Devil killings are far from over, Munsch meets with Grace again and finally gives her what she wants – the name of the dead mother. Grace is dismayed to find out the woman’s name is Sophia Doyle, which is not her mother’s name. Disgusted, Munsch plows into Grace, accusing her of only caring about the murders because of her messed up mommy issues. 

Back at Kappa, Chanel (Emma Roberts) meets with her minions to discuss clues that could hint at Zayday (Keke Palmer) and Grace being the killers. However, the only evidence that the Chanel’s are able to find is completely bogus. Meanwhile, Denise (Niecy Nash) is cooking in the kitchen when Chanel #3 (Billie Lourd) confronts her about her presence. Denise reveals that she is now Kappa’s “House Mom” and that Munsch has given her permission to live in the house. #3 decides to strike up a proposition with Denise: if she can prove that either Zayday or Grace is the killer, she’ll give her 3 million dollars. 

READ MORE: 'Scream Queens' Season 1, Episode 7 Recap 

Denise begins her investigation by talking to Jennifer (Breezy Eslin). Jennifer is convinced that Zayday is not the killer; however, she does tell Denise that Zayday confided in her that she wants to get real revenge on entitled rich girls due to being bullied in high school. Unfortunately, Jennifer didn’t realize that Zayday was in the connecting bathroom and heard the whole thing. She warns both Jennifer and Denise to stay out of her business and away from her. Later, Jennifer is in the middle of making a candle v-log when the Red Devil sneaks into her room and fatally stabs her. Her body is found surrounded with candles by the Chanel’s and Denise, who scream their heads off in terror. 

Next, Grace vents to Pete (Diego Boneta) about being convinced that her mom is the dead Kappa pledge. But because he doesn’t have a social security number, Pete can’t do much research on the girl. Instead, they take a different approach and decide to try and find more information on the Hag of Shady Lane. They figure a person like that must’ve ended up in an insane asylum, so they head to the asylum from the previous episode. There they find an artist who has painted every person who has ever been admitted – not only does she give them a portrait of solely Gigi (Nasim Pedrad), but also a portrait of Gigi with two babies, a boy and a girl. 

Due to Jennifer’s murder, Dean Munsch holds a press conference and announces that Wallace University is indefinitely closed. Back at Kappa, Chanel brews with fury, believing that with the campus closed, her reputation and sorority are officially over. So in response, she calls in two detectives from Scotland and orders them to dig up dirt on Zayday and Grace, confident that they can do a more competent job than the local police. And that they do, finding out a couple of things: one, that Chanel #5 (Abigail Breslin) has been hosting chat rooms asking for advice on how to poison Chanel, which Chanel decidedly ignores, two, that Grace and Zayday have no criminal history or connection to the Red Devil killing, but lastly, that Grace’s mother had a disturbing criminal past…

Grace then confronts Gigi with not only the painting, but also the revelation that her resume had many fabrications. Gigi plays dumb and is able to manipulate the situation with a surprise: she and Wes (Oliver Hudson) are engaged. Grace is horrified by the news and confronts her dad, who confesses that while he didn’t actually propose to Gigi (she bought herself the engagement ring), he went along with the engagement idea just so he could have some good sex. Grace is disgusted and leaves. 

The Chanel's and Denise find the Red Devil's latest victim (FOX)
The Chanel's and Denise find the Red Devil's latest victim (FOX)

However, Grace’s night is far from over. She goes back to Kappa and is confronted by Chanel, who practically shoves her mother’s criminal record in her face. She reveals that not only was Grace’s mom president of Kappa house, but she was also known for playing “Waterfalls” a little too often…which can only mean one thing: Grace’s mom is none other than Bethany Stevens (Anna Grace Barlow), the awful girl from the 1995 flashback who let the Kappa pledge bleed out and die. It’s also revealed that she met Wes at that same party and they hooked up, and once they got married, she changed her name to Mary Mulligan. After Grace was born, she began a life of crime that involved shoplifting, grand theft, drunk driving, child endangerment, and dealing meth. Wes divorced her, sued her for sole custody, and won. Chanel also reveals that Grace’s mom died in a drunk driving accident, not a fire like Wes had led her to believe. Distraught and in tears, Grace violently slaps Chanel before running off. While this had to be one of the darkest moments of the episode, it was also the saddest, because Grace had been hoping all along that her mom was a good person. 

READ MORE: Retro Movie Reviews: 'Space Jam' 

Denise pulls Chanel aside and scolds her for harassing Grace about her mother. She demands that Chanel apologize and warns her that if she doesn’t, she will make Chad (Glen Powell) her boyfriend. Frustrated, Chanel gives in to her demands. Grace meets up with Wes again, who admits that everything Chanel said was true and that he was the one who burned down their house, all so they could move on from her mother. Grace is furious with Wes for lying to her for so many years and storms off again. Gigi arrives right after Grace leaves and begins to coax Wes with the idea that maybe Grace should be committed to a hospital, as her behavior has become erratic and her grades are slipping (which is no surprise – there’s been maybe three scenes of these characters in class).

The episode ends with Chanel and Grace meeting up and making amends. Chanel admits that she has a very strained relationship with her overbearing mother, while Grace is adamant that she is not the killer. The scene then cuts to a fitness center, where we find none other than a heavily disguised Boone (Nick Jonas)! Boone is living under the alias of “Joaquin Phoenix” and spends his time either working out or killing people. This pretty much confirms that he is one of the Red Devils. He calls up the still unmasked Red Devil, saying that Gigi is ruining their plans and that she “has to go.” Uh-oh! 

With suspense mounting high, the next episode better be a great one. Nick Jonas looks to be heavily featured throughout the episode, and things may get a little sticky for Gigi – will she be killed off next?  

Reach Staff Reporter Adrianne Ramsey here.



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