For an installment that claimed to be the "deadliest one yet," did anyone else feel that "Seven Minutes in Hell" was sort of anticlimactic?
Scream Queens Season 1 Episode 6 had a few genuinely fun moments, and indeed did have three deaths rather than the standard one or two; but overall, it was one of the weakest so far. It feels as though the momentum of the show is stalling a bit and we aren't even half way through the season. Uh oh.
The main issue, in my opinion, is that the show has repeatedly had a "big reveal" and then dropped mention of it altogether. During the premiere, it was Boone's faked death. Twice it was a Gigi bombshell (with the most recent bombshell coming at the end of Scream Queens Season 1 Episode 5).
I'm not saying that every mystery needs to be built upon throughout the duration of the season. However, we're quickly losing any sense of urgency/immediacy and watching the show is starting to feel a bit pointless. We're treading water; the plot isn't moving any further at all.
Is that the point of the show? Are we supposed to watch for everything but the plot? The show is certainly enjoyable if you're watching solely for the dialogue, character interactions, and sporadic humorous deaths.
We might as well be watching a string of funny horror movie spoof vignettes or SNL skits rather than a season of television. Needs more cohesion! And more of a sense that we're building on what's come before.
This might seem very harsh, but I really didn't hate "Seven Minutes in Hell." The above issues are more of an overall complaint for Scream Queens Season 1 thus far rather than a specific criticism.
The foundational idea this time around was that Zayday and Grace had the "brilliant plan" to throw a Kappa slumber party because naturally when you play Truth or Dare it's the equivalent of administering a truth serum. Foolproof!
It was very funny how confident they were in their plan. It didn't even occur to me until nearly halfway through (when Jennifer brought it up, actually) that they could all just lie – that's how well they sold the confidence in their plan. Chad's furious speech about the implied honor code of Truth or Dare (in which you just don't lie) was one of the highlights of the hour.
I'm sorry, the game's pretty damn simple, okay? It's truth OR dare. Alright? If you pick truth, you have to tell the truth; if you pick dare, it's gonna be really suspicious and I'm gonna think you had something to do with my sweet bro Boone dying and my rad bro Caulfield getting his arms and then his head chopped off!Chad
Really everything Glen Powell uttered as Chad Radwell was a highlight. The cocky bastard is just so amusing.
Thinly strung together plot convenience allowed the Dollar Scholars to be brought in to the KKT house to take part in the slumber party. Did anyone else catch Earl Grey's mention that "a little birdy" told him about the slumber party? Is this little birdy perhaps named "Zayday"?
That, paired with Chanel's quip when announcing Zayday as acting president (which included a shout out to "whoever else might be listening"), seemed to throw some more suspicion on the charming British frat bro that we know absolutely nothing about.
I will be so disappointed if Earl Grey, or another very minor character that we hardly know at all, winds up being one of the Red Devils. I demand a legitimately shocking payoff at the end of this season!!
Grace: The best way to avoid a shark attack is to not go in the water.
Zayday: We all have a crisis of faith sometimes. But no one is gonna tell a sisterhood with Zayday Williams as the president when they can and can't go swimming. So pull it together and let's go play this game of truth or dare. 'Cuz ain't nothing and no one stopping the hot tsunami of truth rolling through this house tonight.
Grace continues to be the human equivalent of a wet noodle. Even though there's a solid chance that Zayday could be one of the killers, Grace's BFF is still about a thousand times more engaging and relatable than the wet noodle with an impressive collection of hats. I even didn't mind Zayday's speech, and I typically despise inspirational pep talks that have no hint of irony in them.
So much for any Chanel #3/Sam romance! It was cute while it lasted. Luckily, Sam's death wasn't for naught. The murder gave rise to some amount of actual humanization and characterization for #3, and a team-up with #5 in which they both plan to outlive Chanel – at all costs.
Not sure why that line was played up as menacing, though. It's not like other of them are plotting to kill Chanel, they just want to make sure neither of them die before her.
I much prefer Chad/Chanel to Chad/Hester, so I'm glad that this episode featured him kicking Hester to the curb in the most Chad way possible.
OK look, I was waiting to talk to you about this because secretly I was hoping you'd be killed and I wouldn't have to hurt your feelings. I just don't think it would work out with us. You're nuts. And not like a typical crazy-ass co-ed but 'wake up with my penis in a jar' lunatic. Now that puts me in a tough spot because that also means you'd be the screw of my life. I mean that kind of insanity means your muffin is like Space Mountain levels of fun. I love Space Mountain. Best ride at Disneyland. But I love my penis more.Chad
Chad and Chanel had several great moments, and they were the funniest of "Seven Minutes in Heaven." To name a few: Chad refusing to rescue Chanel before she took back what she said about being his forever, Chad and Chanel's getting-back-together conversation, and Chad's repeated inability to say "I love you" to Chanel.
Glen Powell and Emma Roberts play very well off of each other, which definitely contributes to how great their scenes are. Plus Powell plays "the affable jerk" to an absolute T.
The show is trying way too hard to make Pete look guilty. I feel very certain that Pete is not one of the killers, unless they're running some kind of reverse-fake out.
I've about had it with Hester. She's been towing the line between weak-kneed Chanel devotee and maniacal death-obsessed legit psycho for a bit too long. I want to see her go full-on crazypants, even if it's unrelated to the Red Devil storyline.
This strange middling behavior is making me lose interest. Hester is best when she's, for lack of a better term, Rachel ScaryBerry – showing off that wide-eyed enthusiasm with more than a hint of malice/instability behind it. The best Hester moments are when she says something that makes even the unflappable Chanel's eyes widen in horror. Emma Roberts' facial expressions are hilarious in those moments!
Chanel's gifting the KKT ladies with pink nunchaku was a strangely heartwarming moment. It's hard to take the show seriously as a sisterhood-affirming feminist manifesto for Murphy when Chanel is brutally cutting #5 off at the knees every other minute – but the gift-giving was certainly a nice moment.
- Here's a thought: maybe Grace and Pete are in it together, the "dos diablos." Maybe they're like Bonnie and Clyde! Haha, what a laugh. (Please, please do not let this be the twist.)
- I get that they were going for irreverent whimsy with that last dance scene, but it was just trying way too hard. Dislike.
- Another delicacy from the Chanel Cookbook: chocolate-covered packing peanuts. Mmm, delicious! Crunchy!
- RIP for real this time probably, Caulfield. The deaths lately have been weaker, but armless Caulfield screaming as he fell from that ladder was quite funny.
- Is Chanel genuinely maturing? Does she really have a begrudging respect for Zayday after the tunnel incident, or is it all just party of her plan? That's why Chanel is one of the most intriguing, engaging characters – you're never quite sure what's real and what's not with her.
- No Denise Hemphill!? Maybe that's why this installment felt so empty. (HASHTAG CAHOOTS!!)
Care to share your take on "Seven Minutes in Hell"? Chime in and join the conversation by commenting below and watch Scream Queens online via TV Fanatic to catch up on any episodes this season you may have missed!
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.