Scream Queens has been growing on me since the premiere, which I was admittedly not that impressed with. Sure, it’s still all over the place in typical Ryan Murphy style — and at this point, literally anyone could be the killer (and literally any of the coeds could be the mystery baby) — but it seems to have eased up on some of the “shock for shock value” shtick that felt shoehorned in at the beginning.
Tuesday’s night’s episode, however, delivered what may have been the first truly great scene of the series that gave viewers a chance to actually root for some of the characters. After settling in for a hearty lunch of “cotton balls dipped in sauce,” Hester (Lea Michele), who has since been made over and indoctrinated into the elite Chanel sorority group, takes the bold stance that maybe the girls should find actual sustenance for lunch. Chanel #1 (Emma Roberts), after a timely Karen Carpenter joke, agrees and makes the executive decision that the girls go get pizza.
At that point, the ladies get up and start to leave when they’re catcalled and sexually propositioned by a guy named Tommy. When they assert themselves, another dude steps in and defends him by saying: “What kind of world do we live in where a guy can’t even whistle at a chick to tell her she looks hot?” This does not go well for them. Far be it from Ryan Murphy to just deliver a heavy-handed speech about feminism. No, he’s going to deliver a heavy-handed speech about feminism and then cap it off with a group of sorority sisters beating the living crap out of a couple of dudes, set to Belinda Carlisle’s “Mad About You.” Obviously!
Sure, Chanel #1 is still a toxic character who is the general antithesis of women empowering other women, and it will only be a matter of time before she’s scheming and plotting against the very sisters she just defended. But hey, nobody’s perfect.