Scream: 02×04, “Happy Birthday To Me” (Review)


The fourth episode of Scream’s second season was one to remember – with reveals, horror and even some hallucinogens to keep viewers on edge. Let’s dive in to what will be noted as a major episode of the series going forward, shall we?

With Audrey being set up by the new killer, she continues to attempt a cover-up by burying the corkscrew used to kill the motel clerk that saw her with Piper. The following morning Emma is awoken by a recurring dream of Kieran being killed by a masked murderer, however Audrey wakes up to a phone call from the new killer that says they know her better than she thinks – finding the dug-up corkscrew in the same bed she sleeps in. This killer is a ballsy one, there’s no denying that. It’s officially Kieran’s birthday so Emma has special one on on plans with her on/off boyfriend once she’s able to exit her home where her parents are both seen arguing, despite her not trusting either of them.

Kieran prepares to leave for school and Eli insinuates he knows more about who Kieran really is – something that Kieran doesn’t seem too excited about. Eli suggests doing something grand for his cousins birthday but Kieran says he’s looking forward to what him and Emma are preparing. Brooke continues to text Jake in hopes that they can reconcile but the ghostface-texter stays stoic and insists she’ll be seeing him tomorrow. This can’t be good by any means… Eli follows Emma to her job at the coffee shop and fabricates a story about Kieran wanting a big birthday celebration so they decide on changing their romantic evening to a surprise party. During study-hall, Audrey notices a staring Stavo and asks Brooke and Emma their opinions of him, so Brooke admits to his semi-obsession with the Lakewood 6. Audrey exits to the restroom and moments later, pulls a fire alarm to give her time to go through his belongings. The first thing she finds are ominous pictures of the Lakewood 6 with a bloodied (and possibly dead) Emma.

Mayor Madox arrives to the sheriff’s station and insists that Sheriff Acosta does his best to track down Jake because of their unfinished business. The plans for Kieran’s surprise party continues with Brooke assisting Noah and Zoe in officiating tonight as a date for the two, meanwhile Emma reaffirms her date with Kieran to keep him in the dark. The sheriff finds himself speaking with the receptionist at his school and she states that Jake called in sick with strep-throat, reassuring the sheriff that he was certainly going to ditch school while his parents are in Mexico. The next stop he makes takes him to Jake’s home but there is no indication that anyone is there which takes us a step closer to people finding out about his murder. Eli and Emma try to party-prep her house for Kieran and the two have a moment where they both look like they want to kiss, but Brooke’s arrival ceases any opportunity for the time being. Brooke hands them a bottle she found on the porch that is an expensive and large bottle of tequila with a note from Jake. Eli leaves to find cups for Emma and she tells Brooke about what just occurred, so Brooke calls out Emma’s eagerness to participate.

The party begins to commence with a tipsy Emma making her rounds and noticing the date between Noah and Zoe – at the same time, Stavo hands out shots of Jake’s tequila to the party with enough for everyone to take a shot when Kieran walks in the door. A shocked Kieran partakes in the shots, but quickly finds out this change of pace is courtesy of his suspicious cousin Eli. People begin to talk about the odd tasting tequila with Audrey being the only one to know that Jake couldn’t have left it (but finds out too late.) Stavo is the only one familiar with the drug, having experienced Ayahuasca – a hallucinogenic drug that people believe connects them to a higher being for spiritual guidance. Audrey suggests that they keep everyone locked inside while they all undergo a drug induced experience that isn’t your average party.

With the Ayahuasca kicking in, Brooke watches her water being poured in slow motion before catching fire with multi-colored flames. She panics and falls back to the arm of Stavo, noticing his knife tattoo in a strange way with flames in his eyes. Kieran tries to confront his cousin despite hardcore tripping so Emma and Eli assist him to a bed where he can pass out and wait for the drugs to exit his system. Stavo takes Brooke to a quiet room to help her relax and “guide her” through the experience, trying to ground Brooke with his voice. She begins to see Jake who tells her Stavo only wants her physically, also expressing the fact that she is still very much in love with Jake. The Brooke scenes in this episode steal the show, going through various aspects of her personality and emotions.

Audrey searches for Emma (who was listening to a creepy story about Eli) asking Zoe where she could be. Zoe simply says “what have you done” and fades into another hallucination of Audrey seeing Rachel with the rope still around her neck. Audrey says she takes full responsibility, with Rachel telling her to not be scared and kisses her. When she returns to see things as they are, It’s Audrey and Noah kissing – so Zoe decides to get in on the action herself. Emma steps outside and sees a child version of herself saying she has something to show her still. The moon turns blue before her eyes and is surrounded by photos of herself in the middle of the woods. Emma spots the masked killer far away from her which she tells herself isn’t real. The killer takes a few steps and begins to sprint towards her (in a scene that could have been in the Scream movies for its effectiveness) and tries to stab her in the head – narrowly avoiding meeting her untimely demise. Her father finds her panicking, telling Emma that nothing is there.

Once everyone is completely recovered from the drug, they explain what happened to the sheriff but nobody believes that Emma was attacked. Audrey steps in and adds to Emma’s suspicions (knowing that she’s being targeted too) but no evidence makes things complicated. Emma and her father have a moment alone that inclines him to say he is leaving to “get better” which Emma agrees is the best idea – thanking him for saving her life. Audrey reveals what she believes is suspicious behavior from the sheriff’s son so later he goes through Stavo’s belongings to find a Brandon James mask hidden in a box. The next day, Kieran admits to Emma that maybe she wasn’t ready to come back and has been imagining things after all. He tries to comfort her but the reluctance between both is evident.

At school, Noah asks Audrey about what her apology was for during their kiss and she avoids by reminding him that Zoe and Noah could still have a connection. Zoe however doesn’t think it would end well, noting that his interest in Audrey won’t bode well for anyone involved. The Lady of the Lake assembly is set to start so Brooke takes a second to speak with Stavo about maybe hanging out again – trying to move past what her life has consisted of lately. She prepares to go despite not being interested in partaking, but he says if anyone can handle it – it’s definitely Brooke. The girls are called up individually when Zoe shows anxiety, but Brooke exudes her trademark confidence. She steps to the center of the stage where the finalists are shown – but just as the banner rolls out, blood is poured from the pageant banner which drenches Brooke Carrie-style. Just when you think it can’t get more horrific for the multi-layered character, her boyfriends mangled corpse hits the ground in front of her and the entire audience, with Brooke letting out a scream of heartbreak and terror.

Overall Grade: 9/10

This was undoubtedly a major episode for Scream. The series took the efforts of bringing in a drug-induced story that provided us with a look at the main character’s’ psyche. It had unique creative attributes to the episodes filming techniques with a psychedelic twist. On top of a dream/drug centric story, the characters officially became aware of a new murderer in what is absolutely the most heartbreaking moment of Scream so far. I enjoy the notion of utilizing Brooke/Jake to the developing plot and believe this adds to the suggestion that Brooke is/should be the true “final girl” of the Scream series.

Aedan’s Final Thoughts:

  • Major credit for the dreamscape path the episode went down.
  • This killer is smart enough to really mess with the main characters to the fullest extent, going for pain from the Lakewood 6.
  • Kieran and Noah continue to be my primary suspects with Emma as a psychotic wildcard, also leaving a potential third killer among the new kids.
  • Jake may be gone, but clearly he has played massive role in the Scream plot for season 2.

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