Scream Queens Season 1 Episode 9 Review: Ghost Stories

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Well, it only took nine episodes but we finally say Chanel Oberlin intentionally murder someone in cold blood. Unless, of course, Hester was miraculously saved by her trademark neckbrace.

Scream Queens Season 1 Episode 9 saw the return (and final demise) of Boone Clemmons, along with the apparent deaths of Earl Grey, Hester Ulrich, and poor old Trucker Guy. All in all, "Ghost Stories" was a rather uneven episode that had a handful of hilarious highs alongside a few totally flat lows.

The high points, of course, were mostly courtesy of the one and only Chad Radwell. He spent his entire sequence of appearances in his room (which is starting to make me think that Glen Powell shot 75% of his scenes for the season over the course of one day and several outfit changes, in that room), obsessively vacuum-packing.

Between Powell's perfectly deadpan explanation of how his family home is haunted (the furniture screams and Mountain Dew turns to blood in your mouth, naturally), Chad's easy acceptance of Boone's ghostliness, and his increasingly frantic and verbose responses to Hester's cryptic "we'll see"s, it is so clear that Chad Radwell is the star of the show.

Everything that comes out of his mouth is just so damn hilarious.

Hester: We'll see.
Chad: Yep, sure will, as the arrow of time flows in one direction, causing future events to flow inexorably towards us.
Hester: [blows a kiss]
Chad: OK, just so we're clear, I only caught this kiss so I could throw it away.

Nick Jonas as the recently returned (not so) dead (not so) gay Boone also provided lots of laughs this time around.

Man, does Nick Jonas have a spectacular creepy smile or what? I was seriously unnerved when he sent Chanel #3 running with that "boo" and then turned to give that freaky little grin. Yeesh.

I'm not sure how I feel about the reveal that he was pretending to be gay to infiltrate the Dollar Scholars (why was that necessary?!) and that he was in love with Zayday (did he even talk to her, ever?)

The confirmation that he was the male twin born to the dead Kappa girl was unsurprising; I think we all predicted that one after Scream Queens Season 1 Episode 8, if not even earlier.

I still stand by my guess that girl twin (and now murderer of her own brother!) is Melanie Dorkuss, the previous Kappa president who was mutilated with acid (probably by Chanel).

Though, to be honest, the mystery is the least important part of the series now, and I've basically come to terms with that. It's clearly not supposed to be the axis on which the show turns; instead, it's more of a set piece than anything else. It's happening for the sake of happening, and isn't much influencing the enjoyment factor of the show.

We know the general motive for the Red Devils (revenge) and two of their three identities. They haven't really left enough of the mystery unsolved to make it compelling (unless, of course, they add in additional layers to the mystery now).

As soon as the Red Devil picked up Boone's knife, it was clear he was a goner. Beyond the fact that Nick Jonas was only credited in a handful of episodes, it seemed obvious that the show wouldn't dispense of Gigi as easily as that.

They are gearing up for an epic reveal scene involving Wes and Grace, of course. Odds are Wes will not make it out of that alive.

Can you really blame Gigi for wanting Boone out of the way? She was right; he was the wild card, the weakest link in their murder-trio. He risked everything to attempt to seduce Zayday with his ghost routine, but he's no Patrick Swayze so it didn't work in the slightest.

Grace went right back to being boring. So much for her mommy reveal bringing out new and unexpected shades of her character. Though I'll admit, I did really enjoy Grace and Zayday teaming up against Boone briefly. Their facial reactions after they accidentally let him fall out the window were priceless.

The most interesting form of Grace is angry Grace, so her mild berating of the idiot detective was really satisfying. That guy is easily the most infuriating incarnation of the dumb cop trope I've ever witnessed on a screen. I get that it's exaggerated for humor but I was right there on the same level of angry as Grace.

The reveal that the detective was laser-focused on the theory that the killer was uncatchable because the killer is dead (and not because said detective is the most inept law enforcement official possibly ever)  was amusing.

He brought in a paranormal investigator (from the D.O.P.E. agency, winner of the too-obvious-acronyms award) who cautioned Zayday not to have sex with recently deceased Earl Grey, in case he was still haunting the campus.

Earl Grey was a good man. With powerful arms and a sexy accent. And now he's dead. His blood is on your hands.

Zayday

Zayday confronting Dean Munsch, and the Dean subsequently snapping into some form of action, was also quite satisfying. As enjoyable as Grace laying into the detective and paranormal investigator was, the Dean trumped it.

She totally annihilated the detective – she told him she's get him fired, called him a moron (recognizing that that was exactly her type of man), and cautioning him that she'll reveal his offbeat sexual behavior.

Jamie Lee Curtis needs more to do, so I'm glad she had this moment. Who knows if it'll go anywhere, though.

In contrast with the Boone and Chad scenes, Chanel and her scheming Chanels were the weaker link in this episode. 

Besides, bubble wrap is fun! I think because I'm not allowed to carry a firearm, I like to pop the little bubbles and then pretend like my finger is a gun.

Denise

I'll confess, I didn't find Denise's lampooning of ghost story tropes to be as funny as I was hoping it would be. Niecy Nash's delivery was perfection, as always, but the ghost stories just seemed like empty filler scenes. Ditto Hester's Meat Hook Killer story, though it was mildly amusing that #5's "near death experience" directly mirrored that legend.

After Hester's faux-pregnancy was revealed, Chanel pushing Hester down the stairs was the only way that their confrontation possibly could have ended. Anything else would have been untrue to her character, so I sensed immediately that her impassioned apology was phony.

Is Hester really dead? Does anyone really die on this show (the first time, at least)?

The one thing I really loved about the Chanel arc of the episode was her extremely meta line at the end. It seemed as if she was speaking directly to the viewers at home –

I realize that my killing Neckbrace might just seem like a bridge too far, but trust me when I say this had to happen. And I'm confident that I'll be able to redeem myself morally in everyone's eyes. And furthermore, what I just did will become a new ghost story. A cautionary tale about what happens to hog-face bitches who try to steal hotter Kappas' boyfriends. A story that'll be told around the campfire by Kappa pledges for centuries to come.

Chanel

Well, not the meat locker part, of course.


Stray Observations:

  • I know I said that the mystery is not the most important part, but this one thing is bothering me – Boone asked his sister (on the phone, in the opening scene) whether she had talked to Zayday, asking how she was doing. This would seem to imply that Boone's sister is actively interacting with Zayday, which would turn suspicion as to the identity of the third killer from Melanie Dorkuss and to one of the existing Kappas.
  • Why was Grace surprised when the Dean revealed that two babies were born to the dead Kappa girl in 1995? Didn't Grace get her hands on that portrait of Gigi and the twin babies during "Mommie Dearest"? Am I missing something here?
  • I can't stand Chanel #5. The way Abigail Breslin portrays her is just incredibly grating.
  • Sacajawea is "the third wheel of Lewis and Clark's gay camping extravaganza" in Chanel-speak, naturally.
  • "Once you go black, you never go back" ... to the afterlife. Fantastic delivery of this moment on Nick Jonas' part and flawless scene overall between Jonas and Glen Powell.
  • Seriously though, how did Boone playing gay help him infiltrate the Dollar Scholars?! They couldn't have just made him bi to explain the Zayday twist?
  • What the hell was the point of Earl Grey? Beyond his sexy accent and powerful arms, of course.

What were your thoughts on "Ghost Stories"? How will Chad react to Hester's "disappearance" right before their Thanksgiving trip home? Were you surprised to see Boone killed, again (and probably for real this time)?

Remember to watch Scream Queens online here at TV Fanatic to catch up on what you've missed and share your thoughts by commenting below!

Ghost Stories Review

Editor Rating: 3.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (37 Votes)

Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Scream Queens Season 1 Episode 9 Quotes

I'm trying to impress Mr. and Mrs. Radwell and I just spent two hours dressing up as the hag who didn't realize she was the third wheel on Lewis and Clark's gay camping extravaganza?

Chanel

Please don't kill me! I'm sorta gay now, too.

Chanel #3