Note: This post contains spoilers for Fox’s Scream Queens. Read at your own risk.
Throughout the first season of Scream Queens, we’ve spent the majority of our time trying to figure out who the Red Devil killer was. Of course, that quickly turned into wondering who the red devil killers “were,” because there were more than one mass murderer running amok. The show kept us on our toes, tossing us suspect after suspect, and evidence that led both the characters and audience to the discovery that the Kappa who died in the bathtub all those years ago gave birth to not one, but two babies, and those babies were out for revenge.
Boone was quickly circled as a suspect when he “died” in the first episode, and reappeared later as a Joaquin Phoenix look-alike/”dead gay Boone,” (sorry, that line is just too good) who’d been killing people as one of the Red Devil killers. It was also revealed that Gigi (Wes’ girlfriend, former Kappa, and sorority president) was there the night the gory bathtub scene went down. Following the events, she took the twins with her, eventually became known as the “hag of shady lane,” and was locked up in the local mental hospital with the babies soon after.
With motives every which way you turn, the killer could have been anyone, and of course everyone had their own suspects in mind. Denise thought it was Zayday, Grace suspected her father, Chanel believed it was Dean Munsch; I could go on and on. However when the culprit was revealed mid-episode, (brilliantly, by the way) I wasn’t necessarily surprised to find out that it was Hester. She was definitely weird, had the same color hair as Boone (I know, the killer’s hair could have easily been dyed), had a reason to seek revenge, and was just plain creepy. Sure, being weird isn’t enough to make somebody guilty, but it certainly helps–at least in a hindsight-bias sort of way.
But, at the end of the day, the reveal wasn’t the most important thing I took away from the finale; rather, it was the explanation of how she got away with everything the entire time she lived in the house, and successfully managed to frame the Chanels for her revenge-soaked rampage. Also, it was the way in which the writers wrapped up the season and opened it up to a potential second season, which I’m assuming will take place in the psychiatric facility where the Chanels were locked away. If there ends up being another season, I’m half-heartedly hoping it leads to a third set in prison a-la Orange is the New Black. But, I digress.
Looking back at my notes for the first half of the finale, its noticeably similar to the rest of the season. At the beginning of the episode, we saw Grace follow up on the revelation that Pete was one of the Red Devil killers, but after talking to him, she discovered that he wasn’t THE Red Devil killer, but an accomplice. He supposedly was in #cahoots with the twins, in order to protect Grace from harm. His explanation was confirmed when the living twin showed up and murdered him, and knocked out Grace.
The remainder of this half centered around Pete’s pre-death statement that the killer was one of the Kappas, Grace’s determination to investigate each of their backgrounds, and Chanel’s plan to win back her reputation by fake-apologizing to Melanie Dorkus (the past Kappa who was badly injured via spray tan the year prior). As a result of Grace’s investigation, we saw Wes seduce and fall in love with Dean Munsch, while she and Zayday looked at the Kappas’ personal records. After seeing that Hester’s information was completely made up, the girls suspected that she was the killer, and interrupted Chanel’s attempted murder of Melanie Dorkus (whom she thought was the killer), to tell her the news.
While all of this was going on, Chanel No. 5 and Hester were suspiciously off on their own. When Grace, Zayday, Chanel, and No. 3 arrived at the Kappa house, they found No. 5 already there, and heard a scream coming from Chanel’s closet. Upon investigation, they discovered that the source of the scream was Hester, who had a red stiletto heel jammed into her eye socket. As soon as they saw her, she pointed at No. 5, and accused her of being the Red Devil.
The show then fast forwarded to the house in January 2016. With the Chanels gone, Grace and Zayday were running the sorority, and rushing a new batch of Kappas. Everything is happy go lucky until the bedazzled eye-patch wearing Hester showed up and revealed to viewers that she’d gotten away with everything. With an hour left, this was an exciting plot twist that took the show down an unexpected avenue. For the rest of the finale, Hester explained to the audience how she and Boone had grown up in the mental institution with Gigi, and plotted their revenge for their mother’s murder.
When the time came for the trio to leave the hospital, Boone just started hanging out around the University without actually enrolling, while Hester took more time figuring out how to get into school. While Boone’s disguise was to pretend to be gay, Hester started wearing a neck-brace, because nobody asks questions about weirdos. The added bonus was that her disability got her into the University by default. With that, she was in, and working on worming her way into the sorority. In the process, she found her half sister Grace (which explains why she never killed her), and planned on taking down the Kappas, and framing the Chanels for the massacre.
Back in present time, while everyone was grilling No. 5 about being the killer, Hester returned to also point her finger at No 3, and Chanel as accomplices. As far as proof goes, she explained her own fabricated personal records by saying she wanted to cover up the fact that she was homeschooled. When her perfect parents showed up, they confirm that she is not the killer, and that the reason there was no information floating around about them was because they were both in the CIA. When 5 protests about wanting her parents to confirm her innocence a well, we see that Hester was two steps ahead of her, and had called her parents to the house to say that she wasn’t their kid and that Gigi had handed her over to them as a baby, with the request that she be enrolled in the university when the time came. That wasn’t hard for them to agree to, because they didn’t like their own daughter in the first place.
As for No. 3, the revelation that she was Charles Manson’s daughter was used, as well as the fact that he’d been telling her to kill her friends to pretty much solve all of her mundane problems. On top of that, she also told the girls that No. 3 actually had an alter ego named “Dirty Helen” who wore a biker jacket, and visited a psychiatrist (which 3 believed). Finally, Hester indicted Chanel, explaining that she was killing off the losers to get the Kappa house she’d always dreamed of. In addition to motive, Hester also showed the girls security footage of herself disguised as Chanel, picking up a cross-bow, and other weapons from a hardware store.
Despite still thinking the murderer is Zayday, Denise had the blonde trio arrested and tried in court for being involved with the killing spree. The girls were instantly rounded up by Denise’s “back-up” (a.k.a. former strippers she recruited to join the department) while Martika’s “Toy Soliders” played. Seeing the Chanels flop around on the floor to the tune was beyond entertaining, and one of my favorite moments from the episode–aside from the part where Chad and Denise broke up to TLC’s “Waterfalls”. The girls did get taken to court, but because of their behavior, and general terribleness, they were deemed insane and locked away at the nearby mental hospital.
But, that wasn’t enough to knock the Chanels down. They quickly adapted to their new home, relishing in the fact that they don’t have to look skinny for boys anymore. Chanel was also voted president of the patients, of course. During her time there, No 3 went full lesbian, while 5 took enough medication to make her tolerable, and became one of Chanel’s closest friends as a result. The episode ended just as things were starting to look up, with Chanel getting ready to retire for the night as a Red Devil snuck up from behind her with a knife. We don’t see her die, and aren’t sure whether it was even real, but it was a fun way to end the season.
As for Hester, she ended up getting away with everything, despite Munsch knowing the truth. When she was confronted about it, she threatened the Dean with reporting her for covering up her mother’s murder and killing her ex-husband. To ensure that her best-seller life continue, Munsch unsurprisingly acted like she didn’t know anything, shook Hester’s hand, and went on her merry way. If there is a second season, it’s hard to tell whether Hester will return to kill anyone else, but I’m guessing the Dean’s secret will play a part. Another season hasn’t been confirmed yet, but here’s to hoping that it does.