Scream Queens Episode 8 Recap: "Mommie Dearest"

Photo: Courtesy of Fox.
Don’t you dare call Dean Munsch a bathtub baby. We do not all have to turn into our mothers, damnit! (Unless you’re Grace, and you resign yourself to such, but more on that later.) After luring the stupid Red Devil killers into a Psycho-inspired shower scene with extended takes of her lathering up and really feelin’ that delicious water temperature, the dean expertly sneaks up behind those fools, suddenly fully clothed in a robe and pants. “I saw that movie 50 times!” sneers Jamie Lee Curtis, daughter of Psycho scream queen Janet Leigh. The next two minutes are a thoroughly entertaining blur of Curtis pulling kung fu moves she’d learned from a “beautiful Eurasian man” against two rubber-suited Red Devils (one of whom is Nick Jonas’ character Boone) and a shorter figure wearing a Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia mask (apparently Gigi)

“The homosexual lifestyle is NOT destructive to the fabric of American society!” Dean Munsch yells, smacking down the Scalia mask in a fit of political correctness and common sense. “The Voting Rights Act should be authorized in EVERY state! And the Affordable Care Act does NOT require people to eat BROCCOLI!” I was so jazzed at this point by Jamie Lee’s physical prowess (not to mention broccoli is indeed bogus) that I was praying for the opening scene to go on forever in the style of Wayne’s World 2. It was like a totally different show!

Luckily Curtis’ energy at least carried through to the next scene, in which Dean Munsch cheerfully dashes the dreams of another young coed in her office. Grace actually does want to be a bathtub baby, you see, but a thin file shoved under her doll face proves she’s just some boring regular person or truly evil bitch instead. It might not even be worth the deep dive, warns the wine and Klonopin enthusiast as she explains why she never went into therapy: “Rummaging around in your life is like digging through a landfill. Sure, you may happen upon something interesting, but you’re gonna get filthy.”

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Instead of listening to the wise words of Wallace University royalty, Grace rolls around in the minimal dirt on campus with her investigative reporter partner-puppy Pete searching for clues. But it’s the Scotland Yard detectives Chanel hires (one of whom I think is Ben Kingsley for a hot three seconds) who present evidence of Grace’s gritty true identity: Her mom was Bethany Stephens, the 1995 Kappa president-elect who pushed for TLC’s “Waterfalls” as the official house song and “Pretend that murder never happened” as the official house rule. She later descended into a life of crime before her ambiguous death.

Grace is still super bummed she’s not the bathtub baby and feels nostalgic for a few hours ago, when the distinction made her feel honorable and innocent. But what upsets her even more than the thought of not saying “bathtub baby” every few seconds for eternity is that there’s an explanation for the murderous side of herself that’s been undercover for so long. It’s bubbling up now, more desperate to escape than even the muddled curls beneath her pageboy caps. And now that Grace has accused Gigi of being the Shady Lane Hag and harboring two babies at the American Horror Story asylum back in the ‘90s instead of one, both the non-bathtub baby and her dad’s new faux-fiancée are in full-fledged psycho mode. It’s getting more and more difficult to predict who’ll kill the other first…

That’s right: In an elaborately belted twist, the lady-child Gigi, who is so tacky about 100% of her other fashions, purchases an understated engagement ring for herself at the mall. “I played along, thinking it’d lead to some mind-blowing sex, which I was totally right about,” Wes gushes to Grace. Sometimes it’s hard to believe these two are father and daughter! Suddenly convinced that he must’ve both known about the ’95 cover-up and somehow be involved with the murders today, Grace storms off, leaving Professor Dad (if that’s even his real name) to stare himself down in a series of mirrors and close his eyes slowly while thinking of so many shards of life gone wrong. He’s a film teacher; it’s just what they do.
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Okay, heifers: Who the hell killed Candle Vlogger and why did it take so long? The Red Devil spares no drama with this week’s murder victim, its knife taking to her waxy brain matter like a long-stemmed lighter to a delicate wick. Jennifer met her demise just after spilling the beans to Denise Hemphill of Secure Enforcement Solutions that suspected serial killer Zayday has a “real revenge” plot against peacocks, whether they be the rich, entitled bullies from her high school or the richly feathered monsters scuttling around her sorority house today. Assuming these two incidents were related (which is admittedly a dangerous game on this show), Zayday either had the fleshy candelabra killed or did it herself. R.I.P. to Jennifer, though, for real. Please do stay dead/fully waxed. For many weeks I have held out on discovering whether candle vlogging is a real thing, and now I can go ahead and bury that fear deep within with the murky landfill of the rest of my life. I’m content to live in the dark on this forever.

Meanwhile, Denise Hemphill of Secure Enforcement Solutions gets a $300,000 advance to sustain her aimless stream of consciousness re: Zayday possibly being the killer. Naturally, she takes this as an incentive to relax and turns into a pastel-hued mother hen, threatening to make Chad Radwell her full-time man for important “sex scene role play story time sessions” unless Chanel apologizes to Grace for calling her a ruthless criminal just like her “drunk, degenerative slut” of a mom. Yikes. The pair of misfits seem to have a genuine moment; too bad Chanel had spit in Grace’s coffee after all. But to her credit, she did survive a childhood strikingly similar to Christina Crawford’s in Mommie Dearest.

“I’m a work in progress!” Chanel protests. “Maybe I have to get all this bitch out of me before I can be the real me.” Sounds like she should hire Grace as her therapist, or at the very least write her a check and then set it on fire.

Wicks up, superwomen! See you next week, when Hester gets pregnant, Niecy Nash wears a fur vest, and Boone is aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive!

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