Scream Queens is back for another season of comedy based horror with a new location and a new killer -- moving from a college sorority house to a peculiar hospital. Now, before I get ahead of myself, perhaps we should start with the beginning which included a flashback sequence similarly to the first season premise. The season starts by taking us back to Halloween of 1985, where a hospital party trumps helping the husband of a dying patient. It takes some convincing, but the doctor (played by Jerry O'Connell) acts like he's going to do what's needed in his demonic costume. Once the wife leaves, he and a nurse decide they'll return to the party and dump him in a swamp at the back of the hospital. The nurse says she's been afraid of the swamp since childhood due to stories of a "monster." The heartless MD decides he'll remove evidence by tossing his costume in the water as well, as the pregnant wife waited hopeful in the lobby -- cue a child revenge scheme like the first season possibly?
In the present day, John Stamos and Taylor Lautner greet their first patient at a new hospital with the intent on curing "incurable diseases." It's here that we find out Kathy Munsch (former college dean) took on a new mission of reforming healthcare after gaining success and notoriety from her new feminism movement. She shares the concept in a flashback for a Ted Talks video where people ask about the Chanels. Apparently the three became famously known for a Netflix docu-series (like Making a Murderer) that elaborated on the entertaining trial. Security guard-turned-police chief Denise Hemphill provided new recorded evidence of Hester copping to the murders after humorously mixing up legalities that didn't go in her favor. Ultimately, the three were released, and Hester was sentenced for her crimes -- but Zayday remained the only Kappa sister that Kathy felt was worthwhile. She finds Zayday working three jobs to pay for med school in an attempt at helping people after watching so many around her die. At that moment, the former dean admits she has her own reasons for wanting this hospital to succeed but persuades Zayday by saying she's crucial to making C.U.R.E. be the best it can be.
With Zayday on board, she meets both male doctors and learns that the character played by Stamos was the first to have a hand implant (a major garbage disposal mishap), while Lautner's role is a doctor whose blood runs freezing cold -- but Zayday proposes that they incorporate more women into the mix like the "new feminism" suggests. Their first goal as an outlandish medical team? Curing a woman with excessive body hair (as in a beast-like sense of hairy). Cut to the Chanels: broke, hated and disowned by their families, each find a somewhat medical-related job (very loosely medical-related, I might add). Kathy arrives via limo to make a proposal to join the new hospital staff as med students, an offer they must accept if they want a shot at turning things around.
After an excellent misunderstanding of the phrase "ghosting", the Chanels agree to shadow the doctors and ask inappropriate questions about how someone as hairy as the patient can even look at herself (with a nicely timed inquisition from #5). It only leads to trouble as Nurse Hoffel (Kirstie Alley) expresses a dislike for the girls, and Munsch isn't keen on how they handled the situation (even though Zayday suggested a lobotomy to the patient without outright admitting it). A competition to find a cure kicks off, and, during a flirtation between Dr. Brock and Chanel, they determine a hormonal imbalance should be attempted before anything as drastic as Zayday's ideas. The Chanels begin to gain some confidence in their ways, giving the previously-werewolf girl a makeover to feel normal (the hormone treatment made her lose all body hair), making them sure that, with the help of the Internet, hard work isn't required for them to become doctors -- works for me!
In celebration, Chanel prepares for a date with Brock, and #3 will go out with Dr. Cassidy Cascade, leaving #5 to the graveyard shift -- with a moment of referencing the asylum and #5's refusal to stay on the meds that made her so manageable, according to Chanel. #5 leads the now-hairless patient to a hydrotherapy-style bath of scalding water but includes one for herself (locking them into the steel bath). When some time has passed, a masked figure enters the room with a sharp machete and plays a record while fluid similar to the swamp goo drips off the gloves. When he/she pulls back the curtain, it is revealed to be a costume reminiscent of the 1985 doctor who worked at the hospital and let the husband of a pregnant woman die. Screaming understandably ensues, but the first swing of the killer's blade decapitates the patient, and her head landing in front of #5. She lets out a fearful shriek as he takes another swing of his blade -- ending the first episode back into the horror comedy series.
Overall Grade: 8/10
Scream Queens came back to use the same comedic tone and horror/mystery in a new setting that isn't quite as captivating as the sorority house but still is enough to keep viewers invested in the characters. The Chanels play a major role in making the series one you want to return to after making them have to work their way to the top (not so easy anymore). The comedy elements are certainly present, as is the horror (just barely) by the end of the season premiere -- so I'm curious to see where Scream Queens goes next!
Aedan's Final Thoughts:
-Chanel #5 has a few lines that reminded me why I love the oddball of the vain three.
-The returning cast was selected well, and I'm glad they ditched Grace and her father for the second season.
-Emma Roberts is Scream Queens royalty: bow down.