However, if there was any suspicion that the show contained a deeper message than just horror movie parody, it was confirmed in the episode after characters went on rants about the evil of sororities and fraternities. “Scream Queens” was created by Ryan Murphy (“Glee,” “American Horror Story”) and tapped into one of his favorite themes: outsiders trying to fit in. And there’s no better setting for that than the Greek system.
The first character to deliver this message was Pete (Diego Boneta), a seemingly good guy revealed to be one of the killers — although he had a bunch of excuses that he delivered to his girlfriend, Grace (Skyler Samuels). One was that the Kappa Kappa Tau sorority sisters and various fraternity brothers deserved to die for being horrible. In fact, he insisted, the Red Devil wasn’t the monster — sororities and fraternities were the real villain. His explanation:
More than half of students who join sororities and fraternities get hazed. And it’s not just wearing raw chickens on their heads and calling each other gay slurs while jumping around naked. Let’s just put aside the psychological damage to each and every one of them that were just looking for a place to belong — and instead spend months being verbally abused about being a pound overweight or not having the right pair of Air Jordans. One-hundred-four deaths and counting since 1970. I mean, how many has the Red Devil killed? Eight, 10 maybe? I mean, come on! It’s not even a competition. That beast is going to keep on feeding on young lives until somebody cuts its highlighted-covered head off.
Grace pointed out that you can’t just murder people with the defense that you had a really good reason, but Pete didn’t care. He insisted the killings could right the wrongs of being humiliated by the Greek system.
This point was highlighted again when the episode finally revealed the main killer: Turns out Hester (Lea Michele), the Kappa pledge with the neck brace and an obsession with death, was just pretending to be really strange so no one would suspect she was a serial killer. Long story short, Hester’s mother was the Kappa member who died after giving birth to Hester and her twin brother in a bathtub during a party; none of her awful sorority sisters would call for help. So Hester’s adoptive mother, Gigi, raised Hester and her brother Boone (Nick Jonas) with the mission to take revenge on the sorority that killed their mom.
Anyway, Boone dies, but Hester gets away with the crime and pins it all on the trio of terrible Kappas: Chanel (Emma Roberts), Chanel No. 3 (Billie Lourd) and Chanel No. 5 (Abigail Breslin). When Hester is finally caught by the dean (Jamie Lee Curtis), she explains that the dead students are martyrs for a system that had to change, and the sorority has become a much nicer place since their departure. “Even if the Chanels didn’t kill any of these people, they perpetuated a system that created me and my brother and Pete and Gigi,” Hester explains.
And it works! The final Greek life dig comes courtesy of Chanel, the pure evil Kappa president, as the three Chanels go to trial and are pronounced guilty of murder, sentenced to a life in an all-female insane asylum.
The moral? You guessed it — “Scream Queens” wants you to know that an insane asylum is just like a sorority house. In the end, Chanel is even voted president yet again.
“And now here we were, about to spend the rest of our lives trapped with a bunch of mentally unstable women totally divorced from any sense of reality and therefore capable of anything,” Chanel said via voiceover. “From the second we stepped foot in that asylum, I knew we were going to feel right at home.”