Scream: 02×12, When A Stranger Calls (Review/Recap)


It’s Scream finale time horror fans!

After a season filled with death, mayhem and a plethora of suspicious characters, the second season is at its end and the killer is finally revealed – so let’s dive into the episode that provides a lot to discuss. When we begin, Audrey and Emma are taken by police but a car crash ensues (tribute to Scream 2) where the killer frees the girls and kills an officer to begin his unusual game. They finally find a gas station that appears to be in the middle of nowhere before the phone rings asking for Emma. She takes the phone while audrey checks windows to see his whereabouts, and the killer says if the two of them get caught he will kill someone they care about. Stavo stops by Brooke’s house (while there are officers watching over her thankfully) insisting that the suspicion around Emma and Audrey is valid. Not believing her friends are capable of murdering her father, she tells him to get out which leaves Brooke alone – similarly to how she usually feels.

Emma and Audrey sneak their way to Kieran’s house and he greets her with a hug and his concerns for her safety. They agree that they can meet more discreetly at a later time, but a snooping Eli enters just moments after the two “wanted” girls make their way out his window. A slight clash between the two occurs again with both of them trying to intimidate each other showing little trust for either cousin. Audrey comes up with the idea to hideout in the theatre she works at while it’s vacant, as Brooke goes to be with Noah at the hospital. When she arrives, she shows that she is struggling with the loss of her dad – saying he may not have been the best father but he was at least always there. Obviously it would be difficult to comfort someone going through what Brooke has dealt with, but he offers a slight reminder that they are all going through this horror together as a group (an undeniable bond between the Lakewood 5.) Emma manages to call Noah’s phone from a blocked number and checks in with him and Brooke, but tells them to wait it out. Noah and Brooke decide they have no interest in letting them face the killer alone so they make the choice to join their friends.

Kieran arrives first and lets them in, with all of them being reunited under not so positive circumstances. The three girls go to get Emma and Audrey  cleaned up but Brooke receives the next phone call – taunting her about her father’s demise. Emma takes the phone and tells the killer if he wants her or anyone else, to meet at the theatre and man (or woman) up. She offers everyone a chance to leave but they all are on the same page and are prepared to put an end to this new masked murderer. On one end, Brooke and Noah are guarding an entryway together while discussing the potential of this being the final showdown as if it were a horror film, and Emma and Audrey guard another with Kieran on his own. Noah tells Brooke that there could be another accomplice or to expect the unexpected as Stavo knocks on the glass doors. He shows texts from Brooke’s phone asking him to meet her but she claims to not have sent them in the first place. With Noah’s advice taken into consideration, she declines to let him in (like Kirby during Scream 4) but the focus shifts to sounds of screams coming from the theatre itself.

As they get to the same theatre, we see a video has been looped of all of the killer’s murders that strikes a nerve for Brooke and Noah having lost those closest to them. Kieran heads out to find a missing Audrey and Emma heads to the projection room to stop the real life horror film.Emma discovers a way to cut the power which makes the theatre dark – but as Brooke turns a light on, she finds the killer behind her as he stabs her and leaves her for dead. (Not Brooke!) Emma takes a few shots at the killer (missing) telling Noah to call the police with Emma pursuing the masked figure. She loses his trail and returns to see Kieran and Noah trying to keep Brooke conscious as she bleeds out. Kieran reminds her she must keep moving and even Brooke chimes in with little to no energy to say she should run while she can.

Brooke is rushed to the hospital in critical condition (Noah and Kieran tagged along) which causes Emma extreme guilt when calling Kieran for an update. Stavo is next to arrive to the hospital with eyes tearing up when he discovers she was seriously injured. His father sits with him (first interaction in a while) but Noah cuts it short by trying to clear Emma and Audrey’s name with the photo evidence against Eli from Will’s funeral. Emma gathers her thoughts and tries to determine her next move alone but the killer sends her proof that he/she has Audrey captive until Emma makes her way to the orphanage Piper was raised in to let the showdown commence. Emma decides to go, not wanting to risk putting Audrey in danger – the killer then calls her and seems unforgiving about Piper’s death, but the masked murderer appears and stabs Emma before she fires a few rounds to keep him at a distance (since her aim isn’t the greatest.)

Emma manages to find a room where Audrey is chained to a chair in the Brandon James costume and Kieran enters close behind. She asks why he’s even aware of it, so he tells her that Noah tracked their location via cellphone. Soon after, a bloody Eli walks in and warns Emma that he was stabbed by Kieran but he managed to survive and call the police to turn him in. Eli tries to convince her by saying the restraining order mentioned earlier in the season was because Kieran pinned his strange obsessions on his cousin to begin with. The scene is very close to the Scream 2 ending with Mickey and Mrs. Derek, adding extra tension and suspense like the films accomplished perfectly. He finally makes a move to stab Kieran until Emma fires the gun and shoots Eli assuming she killed him in defense of her boyfriend. Audrey regains consciousness right as they think the killer has been stopped but Kieran says they will feel safe again – something the killer similarly said earlier on the phone which cues Emma. She points out her observation and asks him to tell her it couldn’t be him, but Kieran goes from quiet and kind Kieran to twisted psycho showing he’s been putting on a facade the entire time. Yes folks, my long running season 1 theory proved to be accurate and Kieran wants some revenge.

With Audrey at gunpoint and Emma at knife point, he cops to aiding Piper with both wanting to seek vengeance on their absentee parents. The murder spree would have concluded with Emma dying, followed by Sheriff Hudson (for ditching his son for a drug addiction.) then Maggie for… well, multiple reasons when you think about it. They couldn’t stand seeing those two together which sparked their reason to work as partners, making many moments from season 1 feel even more elaborate than before. As Kieran goes to make a move, Audrey slides her chair into him and Emma escapes the room. He brings a shackled Audrey to keep Emma near, threatening to kill her if she left so she’s forced to wait for the right timing. After knocking a dresser into him, Audrey wraps her chain around his neck to keep him up against a post and vulnerable. Emma is given the chance to shoot him right then and there, but she chooses to let him face prison for his crimes instead – so Kieran is taken into custody for the mass murders (a nice surprise!) In the more final moments of the season, we are filled in by Noah through his podcast that three months has passed (and reminds us that he predicted an accomplice early on of course.) He talks about how shocked he and his friends were by a betrayal that will make it difficult to trust gain. As he speaks we see Brooke joining Stavo and his father for dinner (hooray for queen Brooke!) Ms. Lang is typing up her book on the murders after all and Emma and Audrey appear to be on a movie date – potential third season couple? We catch a brief glimpse of the note Maggie left for Brandon with a knife through it into the specific tree – with Eli being dead and the only person to see it, they must be referring to a Brandon James related comeback. The last scene is of Kieran in prison receiving a phone call said to be his lawyer. As he answers the phone, the disguised voice asks what he was doing wearing “his” mask. Is Brandon James back? Is it possibly Troy? So many questions still to be answered and after another strong season – we need a season 3 of Scream from MTV!

I’ll be back for more Scream coverage in October, farewell for now Scream Team!

Overall Grade: 9/10

The payout of a killer reveal is often one of the best parts of the Scream franchise so this major unmasking felt like a perfect way to shake things up. Despite having predicted the killer in the first season, it actually made sense to have Kieran working with Piper which is a very important indication of a successful reveal. Amadeus Serafini executed the role of the killer with ease, making it believable and eerily interesting how he portrayed both extremes from good to evil. The finale brought all of the major characters out into play and the only thing I would have enjoyed more would be if Brooke was able to help take down the killer – her whole life was turned upside down because of him and she has untapped potential. The Scream finale was certainly entertaining and fitting for the series, but we need more Scream in our lives so everyone cross your fingers for a renewal soon!

Aedan’s Final Thoughts:

  • I’m proud of my killer snooping skills, but a few questions still remain… could there have been someone else aiding the two?
  • There will be a 2-part Halloween special (like a bonus two part season epilogue perhaps?) that will supposedly tie up loose ends. Based on set photos it looks like we’ll additionally be getting a few new characters so even more exciting things to come!
  • Brooke survived the season and I couldn’t be any happier! I’ve been worried about the sassy survivor for an entire season so I could finally breath a sigh of relief now that she’s still around. If we are blessed with that third season I hope to see her given a larger role in the overall narrative of Scream, because she continues to be the most interesting character.
  • I’ve thoroughly enjoyed recapping, reviewing and covering Scream for 2 seasons. For those of you who have been here for part of the ride, I hope we get to continue with a third season – but I’ll be back in October for the “Halloween Special.”

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