‘Scream Queens’ Season 1 Episode 6 Recap: “Seven Minutes in Hell”


There are two things that happen at every sleepover, ZayDay tells Grace: someone experiments with lesbianism, and secrets are revealed. She forgot one, though: when there’s a crazy killer on the loose, a few sleepers are also bound to get serial murdered.

That’s how all eight of the Kappa sisters—and eventually, a hefty Dickie Dollar contingent—end up trapped in the house for the night. The long-delayed presidential election finally goes down in the cold open, and even though Chanel pretends to throw a fit when “Farty McCandlewax” (you cringe, but she makes up for it later with “Haggie Gyllenhaal,” an objectively good burn) announces a tie, she’s secretly relieved. Sorority presidencies are all fun and games when they come with vagina closets, but when there’s a killer after your sisterhood, it’s good to share the spotlight.

Newly minted co-president ZayDay proposes the sleepover, though “the biggest change I’d like to implement is everyone not getting murdered by a serial killer.” Hence we get a setup that’s not quite a bottle episode, but leaves a good portion of this sprawling (or bloated, depending on who you ask) ensemble cast offscreen for all or most of the episode. There’s no Gigi, Denise, or Pete at all, and barely any Dean Munsch or Grace’s Creepy Dad. The result is an episode more streamlined, and slightly more eventful, than weeks past.

At #3’s insistence, the girls kick off the night with a game of Spin the Bottle, allowing Billie Lourd’s Dispassionate Millennial Female (TM) finally explore her Confusing Sex Feelings for Predatory Lez. They make out, both of them are into it, and #3 is forced to nip their romance in the bud before it even begins because her Manson DNA drives all her partners insane. That’s her earmuffs’ origin story: an ex is so creepily obsessed with her ears she has to keep them hidden at all times. On the bright side, at least she knows she’s pansexual? That’s how I interpreted her “I’m in love with love” comment to #5, anyway. Ryan Murphy’s bizarre combination of blatant disregard for millennial concepts of social justice and open embrace of them never fails to astound, does it?

Once that dangling subplot is resolved, though, Sam “If Bruce Lee Were a DJ” “Predatory Lez” Doesn’thavealastname is rendered disposable. So it comes as little surprise when she outs #3’s paternity during a game of Truth or Dare and her jilted lover subsequently exiles her to the storage room, where Kappa keeps its “tampon backstock “(#GetaFemaleWriteronThisGoddamnSeriesYesterday), to take a nap in the murder tub. Cue classic slasher scene where the Red Devil shows up, reveals his identity, and strangles Sam with a plastic bag.

“Seven Minutes in Hell” was billed as Scream Queens’ bloodiest episode yet, but Sam’s death is by far the most consequential. The Devil catches Caulfield mid-panty raid and finishes what he started; later, he acupuncture-nailguns Roger’s face. But both of those dudes were redundant—just cherries on top of the overblown parody of frat masculinity that is Chad Radwell. Who’s totally not ashamed of boning older ladies, by the way (how feminist!), but recommits to Chanel out of peer pressure regardless. He rejects #6! He agrees to “dial O on her pink telephone” (#GaFWoTGSY) during Seven Minutes in Heaven! He promises never to bang anyone harder than he banged her! What a gentleman.

Finally, the sisters discover a system of secret tunnels that explain how the Red Devil’s managed to infiltrate a completely locked-down house—thanks, Grace’s almost-definitely-murdery dad!—that night. ZayDay and Chanel investigate, Chanel gives ZayDay a little Kappa history lesson (one cocaine addict, one interior decorator crushed mid-coitus with President Taft), and both fight off the Red Devil, who is decidedly not into ZayDay anymore.

The sun comes up, ZayDay and Chanel are officially uneasy allies, and Dean Munsch is actually relieved to know the killer is definitely after Kappa House. That way, the rest of the university can carry on with business as usual! Chanel commissions custom pink nunchaku for the sisterhood, feminism continues to die a slow death at the hands of Ryan Murphy, and the Kappas live to fight another day—proactively this time. Good sleepover, folks!