Scream Queens: “Black Friday” Season 1 Episode 11 Review

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Scream Queens tackles its biggest problem head on…or, at least, pokes fun at it.

As anyone who’s read my previous Scream Queens reviews knows, my biggest problem with the series has been its inability to act like an actual slasher show and slash the people that matter. “Black Friday” is yet another episode where no one important is offed, leaving the levels of suspense on this show dangerously low. Still, this episode has one big thing going for it, and that’s its keen sense of self-awareness. The show doesn’t do much in terms of correcting its problem—for now, at least—but it sure knows how to poke fun at its own ridiculousness.

The majority of the episode revolves around the Kappas deciding that it’s high time for Dean Munsch to get what’s been coming to her. Seeing as how Chanel was unsuccessful in her attempt at killing Hester and murdered Miss Bean without meaning to, the chances that her and her loyal band of pledges would be able to skillfully do away with Munsch was already pretty low.

Still, the possibility of them doing the deed becomes even lower when they realize Munsch is some sort of unkillable super-being like Rasputin, those monks who can survice sub-zero temperatures, or even, dare I say it, Michael Meyers.

Yes, the nod to the very series that made Jamie Lee Curtis the original Scream Queen was more than apparent, but more compelling was how much fun the writers had with the Kappas inability to complete this very important task of offing a major character. There’s even a scene in which Chanel lists off the the names of the dead as if to highlight just how unimportant all of the victims so far have been.

Curtis has been a delight this entire season, but she stood out especially well in this episode. Her final scene with Emma Roberts by the pool is the type of operatic mysteriousness I’ve been craving from this show all season. We need more scenes like that and, now that the series has addressed its unwillingness to touch its core cast, it’s time for some of them to go.

Grace, who has been kind of a dud this entire season, sparked to life in this episode, especially during her scenes with Roberts. The nonverbal moments between them—such as the anxious looks they give each other while Munsch drinks her poisoned apple cider—are great, and her resolve to give Munsch the boot in the first place is an unexpected character change.

The one bummer subplot that brought down this episode, however, was Pete becoming a suspicious character. Pete isn’t even an interesting character, and his possible involvement in the Red Devil killings raises too many questions for the two-part season finale to answer next week. Boone was his source, but also one of the killers? Pete has a Red Devil costume in his closet—something we already knew from the premiere—but now it’s a little suspect because of the phone call he just had? What is going on?

I liked the direction Scream Queens was heading into for its final two hours. Loose alliances were being formed in the Kappa house and there was one killer left to unmask. Now this wrench has been thrown into the mix, and it’s not even that exciting. “Black Friday” was certainly one of the funnier episodes of the season, but I can’t help but wonder if all this stalling and evasiveness will lead to a big finish or a big letdown. Grade: B+


Some Other Notes:

  • The best part of the Black Friday opening sequence was Chanel getting let into the store before everyone else.
  • What was with all the character switches this episode? First Grace wanted to kill Dean Munsch, then she backed out. Zayday was against it and then changed her mind. So much unnecessary back-and-forth! Also, isn’t Zayday co-President? Shouldn’t she have had a more authoritative stance on the matter from the beginning?
  • Grace is wearing less hats, and that’s something we can all be thankful for.
  • Also, if Grace is a virgin that means she’s likely the Final Girl.
  • MVP of the week is Abigail Breslin for the A+ delivery of Chanel No. 5’s recap of the “documentary” that is Teen Wolf
  • Denise Hemphill as the new Police Chief: “Damn! Why didn’t I shoot him when I had the chance?!? I was just talking so much!”
  • Hester, after the sales clerk at Victoria’s Secret doesn’t understand why Chanel No. 5 wants size 0 tags on all her size 4 underwear: “This is discrimination! Make her happy! She’s a terrible person! Look at her! Give her something to be happy about!”
  • My love for Chad Radwell will never stop, even though all we got from him this week is one brief scene with Pete where he challenged him to a fight to the death. Still amazing.


By Mike Papirmeister


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