‘Scream Queens’ Recap: Curse of the Fidgety Digits

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Warning: This recap of “The Hand” episode of Scream Queens contains spoilers.

When was the last time you realized you were very bad at something that you previously thought you were very good at? When you accidentally dropped your freshly cooked Thanksgiving turkey into a well? The time you fell down three escalators over the course of a single first date? Or maybe the time you attempted to understand what was going on during Scream Queens’ second season? See, the Universe has a funny habit of occasionally making us THINK we’re nailing it before eventually sending us a rude telegram that says “NO. STOP.” For example, on this week’s episode of Scream Queens, Dr. John Stamos learned that for being the “world’s best surgeon” he sure was terrible at surgery! On the other hand (which is a pun that I will explain later), much of this was due to an out-of-control appendage! Or was it? (No, seriously, I’m asking. Was it? DM me.)

“The Hand” continued Scream Queens’ cavalier attitude toward its own central mystery by allowing its characters to openly discuss the fact that they are masked murderers. It also featured a woman with EIGHT limbs, which in my opinion means she qualifies as a spider. This was definitely a strange hour of TV, so let’s talk about it!

We began with a voice-over about the trials and tribulations of having a possessed hand that is also a total d*ck.

As it turned out, Dr. John Stamos had been increasingly unable to keep the hand under control and this was really stressing him out. And when he gets stressed, the hand gets more powerful, like some terrible cycle of violence but involving a possessed hand. The worst kind of cycle of violence, in other words.

Not only was the possessed hand slapping him awake all the time and forcing him to watch televangelists on TV, it was ruining surgeries and also dumping too much salt in his marinara when he was trying to woo Chanel. This hand was becoming a problem, and no amount of duct tape at the dinner table could keep it from trying to stab his #1 crush.

Meanwhile we were treated to not one but TWO “abnormalities of the week,” the first one being this lady who at birth had absorbed a vestigial twin but retained control over the extra arms and legs. Personally she didn’t seem to have it too bad, and having two extra arms could be seen as an advantage in certain situations. (Ping pong mostly.) But it was affecting her heart rate and also she was having a hard time finding four-armed turtlenecks. probably. Something had to be done!

Fortunately Dr. John Stamos was VERY motivated to pare her body down to a reasonable number of limbs, especially because a visiting journalist was prowling around the place looking to report his findings about this hospital’s ability to cure people. But one issue? That damn hand. When it wasn’t slapping journalists across the face it was doing its best impression of Thing from The Addams Family. And it wasn’t even a GOOD impression.

Speaking of good impressions, we then checked in with Dr. Taylor Lautner, who was hanging out at the swamp doing backflips and swinging around his shaft. He might be a possibly undead serial killer, but the guy’s got moves! What a talented and hunky piece of murderous garbage!

This was actually a great episode for Chanel No. 3, who decided to take it upon herself to figure out what was up with Dr. Taylor Lautner’s deadness. So she subjected him to tons of weird tests and quizzes and urine collection in order to figure out if he had a genetic condition known to make people think they are dead even when they aren’t. And it turned out he had that condition! As for his low body temperature, that could be explained by the fact that he sleeps in a waterbed beside an air conditioner. So this was heartening news, at least. On the other hand, through these tests Chanel No. 3 realized he was FOR SURE the Green Meanie, which as you can imagine was a bittersweet moment for her.

Speaking of the Green Meanie, I loved when one of them attempted to sneak up on Dr. John Stamos and none other than HIS EVIL HAND fought the killer off using a variety of martial arts and exquisite slaps. The problem was that leading up to that point the hand began TALKING out loud? I think that was the biggest piece of evidence to date that this hand needed to be jammed into a garbage disposal ASAP. Because no way. I can tolerate a lot of things, but not a talking hand.

There was also another acknowledgment that Hester absolutely knows who the Green Meanie is (er, are) but has still refused to tell anyone, yet nobody cares. But in this scene she at least threw Chanel No. 3 under the bus a lil for DATING one of them. Again, it’s so weird that we’re now at a point where many characters openly know who the killer(s) are, but it’s not really affecting anybody’s decisions or even fears. It’s just a fact of life I guess.

Nurse Kirstie Alley had only been a Green Meanie for about a day now, but she was already growing slightly bored of it, so he had decided she wanted to start PRANKING Dr. John Stamos instead. This was mostly to get him to be stressed to the point his hand murdered Chanel (her target). Which honestly seemed like a roundabout way of accomplishing this considering that most if not all of the murders in this hospital go uninvestigated. Lady, just run up to Chanel in broad daylight with a scalpel! Nobody will do anything to stop you. Anyway, pranking it was. And I had to laugh out loud when we found out what Dr. John Stamos’ email and email password were:

First of all, GREAT email address. Second of all, GREAT password. Within minutes Nurse Kirstie Alley had logged into his account and signed him up for millions of pop-up ads about boner pills. Classic prank!

But this obviously created an awkward situation when the journalist came in to meet him and the computer was barking at him about his penis size while his hand was chained to a table. But their meeting grew even worse when he accidentally slapped the journalist across the face instead of shaking his hand. Props to the journalist for being so chill about it, though. It must happen to him all the time.

OK, so the other abnormality of the week was this guy, whose once smooth and handsome face had now gotten real rough and bumpy!

Even though Chanel No. 3 was onto Dr. Taylor Lautner, she still enjoyed working with him on solving this particular case (the dude had been drinking radioactive poison so that his girlfriend would dump him already) that she decided to just open up and admit to Dr. Taylor Lautner that she knew who he was. But he had the same idea, and confessed the truth to her simultaneously.

In a weirdly touching moment they both sort of bonded over this shared knowledge and only came to one disagreement… He wanted to kill Chanel, and she did not want him to kill Chanel. What a conundrum! Couples have overcome worse I guess.

That’s when the Green Meanie struck again, this time taking out another of the new Chanel recruits (the one with too many intestines). But weirdly he simply choked her into brain death, which was VERY convenient considering the hospital needed a heart donor for the eight-legged woman. The Green Meanie is pretty helpful sometimes!

But the surgery to remove the lady’s four extra limbs (AND transplant a heart) seemed like something Dr. John Stamos was not going to be able to handle seeing as his surgery hand was still on the fritz. Fortunately Dean Munsch reverse psychology’d him into getting back in that O.R., and he decided he could do the surgery with one hand chained to his back. And he did!

Well, he only accomplished it with a little help from Chanel, who attempted to de-stress and comfort him by singing an a cappella version of “99 Luftballoons.” When the rest of the Chanels and the staff joined in, it was a weirdly touching, upbeat moment, which for this show represents a sick twist. And get this? The heart transplant worked!

Which meant that for an episode with TWO abnormal patients, zero of them were murdered! Honestly this show has murdered more differently abled people than that one season of American Horror Story with the tents, so it’s borderline admirable that none came to harm this week.

The same could not be said for the poor journalist, who had definitely noticed this was the world’s worst hospital and intended to write a story about it! But just when he discovered a (frozen) Denise Hemphill in the basement, the Green Meanie stabbed him in the skull! Which, rude! And by rude I mean how dare this show promise us a Denise Hemphill appearance and then not give her any lines? Truly despicable.

Our episode concluded with a sorta-happy ending: Dr. Taylor Lautner had preserved one of the eight-legged woman’s hands and offered to transplant it onto Dr. John Stamos. What a cute favor! Unfortunately, it turned out the antics of his evil hand weren’t specific to the donor, but rather, the brain it was attached to….

Because that night as he slept, the new hand woke up and scribbled onto a pad: “Kill Chanel”! Here we go again.

For a primetime television show, Scream Queens sure does not give a f***. Not about storytelling nor characters nor even surprises. But it is admirably committed to lunacy and absurd humor, and “The Hand” proved it. Like, there were several scenes of John Stamos wrestling his hand and slapping himself in the face. Scream Queens is in full Looney Tunes mode at this point, and it’ll be interesting to see if it can keep up this mayhem for the rest of the season. (Which, we’re only halfway through?!) Metaphorically speaking, this season has a possessed hand of its own, and its middle finger remains firmly extended in every direction. Rude, but let’s see where this goes!

What did YOU think of “The Hand”?

Scream Queens airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Fox. Watch clips and full episodes of Scream Queens on Yahoo View