Scream: 2-Part Halloween Special (Recap/Review)


If you were pleading for more of MTV’s Scream series, you’re in luck! MTV confirmed that the show will return for a third season but also provided us with a Halloween-themed two-parter that gave new direction for Scream. We begin nearly eight months after the conclusion of Season 2, where Kieran is sentenced the maximum sentencing for murdering roughly a dozen people with the help of Piper. Kieran is taken into the court holding cell while waiting for the press to leave; however, a killer in the Brandon James mask strikes and nearly twists the head off an officer and slices Kieran’s throat — before stabbing him once more. As an opening scene, we are already being granted more bloodshed for this Halloween-themed installment. We find out that Brooke is prepping to apply for NYU, Stavo and Noah have co-written a graphic novel on the Lakewood 6, Audrey has a girlfriend from the theatre and Emma has avoided deciding on her future or even college in general.

Beginning with enough time for the characters to have gone through change, it’s a great starting point for the series in reminding us that they are trying to move forward when their lives have been repeatedly in danger. When Brooke shares the news of Kieran’s murder, reporters begin to follow the selected survivors for comments. Noah and Stavo are given an opportunity to write another story after finding success, so they get an invitation to visit an island where a girl was said to have murdered her own family in a burlap mask with garden shears. They ask for the others to join them in an escape from the media, not disclosing the truth behind the trip. The group consists of Stavo and Noah, their editor Jeremy, Brooke, Emma, and Audrey (her girlfriend was unable to join them). By the time they realize why they are on the island, it’s too late, and they can only hope to enjoy the brief vacation from Lakewood to “Murder Island” and the Whitten legend.

As Noah and Stavo are informed on the history of the Whitten family (there was a hole in the tale that doesn’t explain how the young girl could have committed the murders), Emma and Audrey stop for Emma to look at potential tattoos. Emma admits to feeling like she’s labeled as the girlfriend of the killer, so this is her version at finding something expressive to feel like she has control. A young man notices, and Audrey plays into it by asking him to provide her with his own thoughts — leading him to suggest ‘Carpe Diem’. She declines for the moment, and the two briefly exchange names while lightly flirting, as they both leave seemingly happy. They come across him later, coincidentally, and she finds out he is the heir of the Whitten family after he invites her to go out on his boat together during their vacation. The two bond over being cast in the shadows of their family name, making Emma feel like someone could actually understand the rationale behind her persona.

Stavo, Noah and Jeremy track down the caretaker of Whitten property, a girl named Billie who enjoys flirting with Stavo and offers to talk all things Whitten with them later. That evening, they all meet for a bonfire, and Billie seems territorial over Alex when she hears about Emma’s possible date and proceeds to flirt with Stavo in front of Brooke before better detailing how Anna Whitten killed several family members. The story still doesn’t sit well with Noah, and the kickback is broken up after Jeremy tries to prank them, but Emma uses her new jujitsu skills to take him down with ease. Stavo offers to walk Billie home and passes up her flirtatious gestures but is killed by the time she enters her home by herself. (A nice cat-and-mouse scene from Scream.)

The next day, Stavo and Brooke feud about him going to New York (she resists him joining her), and he tries to apologize for his mannerisms towards the female caretaker. It isn’t a successful reconciliation, so he leaves with Audrey and Noah to get that tour of the property — finding a bloody scene and no sign of Billie anywhere. A storm seems to appear, and, after Jeremy’s stunt (and now disappearance, too), they aren’t allowed to leave. Emma is still on a date with Alex when the storm hits, and they share a kiss before he drops her off at the rental property. When Emma enters the dark home, the phone rings, and the voice of the Brandon James-masked killer tells her to look out the back porch. When she turns on a light, she sees the body of Billie, and he tells Emma she’ll never get away from him.

As the officer is headed to check on the Lakewood group, he finds a body in the middle of the road with major loss of flesh, and he’s attacked by the Whitten masked killer, who cuts his fingers off and slices him open with the shears. Like I mentioned before, the gore factor of Scream has hit a high, and it feels like they wanted to amp up the horror as best as they could. Brooke, Emma, Audrey, Noah and Stavo group up to talk about the best course of action while in disbelief they could be going through this — again. I enjoy their awareness of the situational horror they find themselves in, making you root for at least one of the survivors of the Lakewood murders. They are soon joined by Gina (a new character and Audrey’s girlfriend), who finds the head of the sheriff and claims to have arrived to surprise Audrey. She’s definitely in shock but hilariously addresses the more alarming deaths going on around them — yeah, I could say I’m enjoying Gina already. The only thing left to do for the group? Track down Alex and ask for help getting off the island.

With Alex now joining them, they get to the dock and discover his boat is missing — so they must go back to his mansion for safety. Brooke points out that it’s a major hindrance that they are cut off from the world (cell towers), and Audrey is more concerned that Jeremy is the killer because of his absence. (Jeremy is Noah and Stavo’s editor, in case you aren’t following.) Emma is generally worried that this is the same killer who murdered Kieran, who has proven to be resourceful thus far. Confused by the Kieran reference, Emma fills Alex in on her past, and he says he admires her for being a true survivor; at the same time, Audrey begins to question Gina’s arrival’s timing, and she becomes defensive for being suspected when she only tried to do something nice. Emma and Brooke try to talk about what teenage girls usually would (boys), but a panicked Jeremy hits the window in the midst of the storm, begging for them to let him in. They agree (but end up locking him in a room), while Noah and Stavo work on repairing a vehicle radio and Audrey searches for Gina. Emma and Alex take the time to flirt and tell stories, as Brooke enjoys wine and food, doing her own thing (Brooke is still as queen-like as always!).

When looking for her girlfriend, Audrey finds her phone with pictures of Audrey and Emma from the day before — so she confronts her, which is explained as her looking for them and being suspicious of being cheated on. Gina feels like Emma is her biggest priority, which is given weight when she leaves the conversation after Emma summons her to look at the blood smeared on her wall as a taunt from the killer. Noah and Stavo bicker about Noah having writer’s block because of guilt regarding telling the stories of the deceased (survivor’s guilt), but they stop when he finds a signal and calls for help. The others learn that Jeremy has escaped, and we see him coming across Gina (who runs away from him), and he’s stabbed by the killer when he finds some incriminating evidence — this time, we see who the killer is without the mask, and it’s revealed to be the supposed Alex Whitten. Sorry, Jeremy, but at least you gave us insight on the killer’s identity with your death.

With everything going on, Brooke realizes how much Stavo means to her and insists he comes to New York with her, finally moving past their life-path struggles. They are interrupted by Noah and Audrey, who all find photos that suggest the man murdered in the past had secrets. It leads them to find out that the same bookshelf the album was on is a secret pathway that eventually leads them to the quarters that Anna lived in, adding to the theory that she was innocent and the girl killed him after he murdered her entire family. When the others get to the end of the tunnel and into the room, they see Jeremy has been murdered and that the real Alex Whitten is someone entirely different — making them wonder who the man is who claims to be Alex and romancing Emma.

Emma is attacked by Alex (in the mask), and she uses her new skills to fend him off again, throwing some kickass survival tactics. He escapes and comes back without costume through another entry point when she accidentally finds the real body of Alex Whitten, cueing Emma in on who the real killer is. He admits he isn’t him, but he was overtaken by a media-influenced persona as a child who was locked in a room with his murdered parents for days. He wanted to be Emma’s savior and felt like, when he saw her on television, he could understand her pain — wanting to be with the girl who survived brutality. Emma (who will lure psychos for a long time, clearly) pretends to buy into the idea of running away together, getting info from him — like the fact that he didn’t kill Kieran — and attacks him to escape. The fight is taken to a balcony where she has a realization she doesn’t need to run from her identity. She’s her own hero. She’s Emma Duvall. She pushes him off, making one more killer who has fallen at her hands.

In the Halloween special’s closing moments, Audrey and Gina move past their doubts and agree to give it a shot romantically. While I still don’t care much for Audrey, Gina could be a great character inclusion for the third season. Brooke and Stavo agree to stay together, regardless of location, and Noah’s voiceover insists he has cured his survivor’s guilt by deciding to tell the stories of fallen friends. We also see Emma has begun to find herself and decided on her tattoo — her last name on her wrist to remind her of the fact that she’s a strong final girl who is capable of overcoming anything. In addition to that, Emma applies for Lakewood University, making another decision to give her direction in her future. The last two scenes show Emma’s father standing over Kieran’s grave (he killed him, perhaps?), as well as a man arriving to Lakewood and checking- in to a motel, referred to as a Mr. James. Is Brandon back for more horror? Or is his brother Troy ready to join in on the action? We’ll have to find out when Scream returns for Season 3 in 2017!

Overall Grade: 8.8/10

The horror in the two-part Halloween special showed a major increase in blood and gore, as well as actual deaths, making it a great addition the the series. This Halloween installment also teased the third season’s plot, creating more mystery around the Lakewood horror stories. Still not as much focus on Brooke as I would have liked, so hopefully they can utilize her in the third season as the final girl she truly is. Lastly, the character development and survivors’ struggles took center stage on multiple occasions, making it more understandable to root for our core cast through the traumas they face.

Aedan’s Final Thoughts:

– I seriously can’t wait for the third season.

– The idea of a Halloween special worked rather well for the Scream series.

– If Brandon James is back, you can bet there will be much more to the story we haven’t been privy to.

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.”

Scream: 02×10, The Vanishing (Review/Recap)


This week’s episode of Scream promised an intense chapter and there was definitely no disappointment – but before we dive into the gory details, let’s pick up where we last left off.

After finding the body of Piper, Maggie looked over the corpse of her daughter, discovering new incisions through her chest. Even though the sheriff offered her an out, Maggie stuck to her job as the coroner and dove in finding the heart of a pig placed inside. While the two become more certain of a connection to their past, Audrey attempts to deal with hers and a furious Emma. Emma questions her about Piper and discovers she knew about her being Emma’s half sibling which is enough to infuriate her more given how much could have been prevented. Back at the sheriffs station, sheriff Acosta tells Maggie he believes Brandon James must be back because of the hints about what they did growing up (someone knows their secrets.) a flashback sequence shows us that Maggie turned to him for help when Brandon was in trouble which led to them taking him to the James farmhouse and burying a knife he had on him (presumably post murders.)

Noah leaves class and calls Zoe who hadn’t attended, but she declines and sends a text about how special their night together was – asking him to meet her at their “spot” near the lake. Of course being love struck, Noah follows her goose-chase which has her requesting he enter the dim lit ominous woods. Being a horror aficionado, he becomes concerned so the killer takes things into his own hands and calls him from her phone. The killer insists he enter the woods or Zoe will need a “closed casket” so he can’t help but hope he can save her. Unfortunately, Noah is ambushed by the killer who stabs him in the gut before knocking him unconscious until the next phase of his/her plan. After her lackluster explanation, Audrey tracks down Emma and tells her she has t heard from Noah which prompts them both to get a link for a live-stream of Noah buried alive. The masked psychopath states they will set his grave on fire if anyone but the two of them participate, so a quest of the feuding friends begins to save Noah.

Noah begins to panic when he realizes the situation he’s in, talking to the camera with hopes that someone other than the killer can see him. At one point, he can hear the screams of a girl (uncertain of who it is) with Emma and Audrey contemplating how to approach the situation. They get another message from the killer saying they need to start where Noah went wrong in his investigation, taking them to the infamous murder board of suspects. Sheriff Acosta is still very much concerned about the new reveals, taking him back to the James farmhouse when he hears unusual noises coming from above and even moving a chandelier which is proof enough that he isn’t alone. He makes his way upstairs and finds a hidden room behind a hideaway bed that is filled with photos of a young Emma and signs that someone has been residing in the room recently. As he looks out the window, he can tell they just exited and we see a hooded figure watching from the distance.

Emma and Audrey find a note at Noah’s home to keep them searching, but Emma finds one of Audrey’s letters to Piper that takes a few personal jabs at the heroine. The search seems fruitless initially, but the two find a bagged daffodil that is connected to their childhood. On the way to the horse ranch, Emma tells Audrey she has read the letters but refuses to discuss it with her any further. After finding out about the Brandon James connection, Acosta tells Maggie it must be him or someone who is aware of their secrets from so many years ago. Noah begins to hallucinate and sees Zoe in the grave with him, who is almost a guide to keep him calm. The scenes are beautifully shot and also tragically heartbreaking when he realizes she isn’t really there – sending Noah into a rage filled freak out.

The sheriff receives his first call from the killer, warning him to get out to the stables before it’s too late (throwing in another connection to his past.) At that point, Audrey and Emma make their way to the barn and find a sickle holding the door shut (used to kill Jake) and they get the video of Jake’s death to rattle them more. They begin to search the area for freshly dug up dirt to save him as he gets closer to dying. Zoe appears to Noah once again, levitating over him as she asks him to stay awake and talks about their future – prom, graduation, and going to college in Boston together before she slowly disappears. Emma takes the time to fight with Audrey more until she cracks and admits that her motives were having her heart broken by Emma. Right after that revelation is made, they hear Noah humming a tune that Zoe sang to him and successfully dig him up. After they pull him out they hear screaming from her, locating a phone with a live broadcast of her in a grave filling with water.

They determine she must be at the lake, hoping to have the police handle it and take Noah to a hospital but he refuses and insists they save her – true love folks. They find the rope to her coffin as they check the video where she’s still alive and pull it from the water. Noah pry’s it open excited to save the girl he loves, but is shocked (like the viewers) when her body lies still and we see Zoe has drowned, but the heartless killer kept them hopeful. Zoe’s death came as an emotional loss for the show, and it surprisingly caught me off-guard which is great work for the series, but a bummer for my state of overall grief. RIP Zoe, you will be missed by the Scream Team.

With the sheriff and coroner arriving to the barn they find a pig strung up with trophies of some of the murders (sorry Branson’s hand…) and elsewhere an emotional and shocked Noah is taken to the hospital to treat his wounds. Later in the evening, Maggie comforts Emma who feels partially responsible for Zoe’s death, which leads Maggie to do one last thing in case Brandon James is back – so she leaves a note in an old tree where they used to communicate that says “leave her alone” but the only person that sees it is creeper Eli who lurks outside of their home.

Overall Grade: 9/10
The episode had so much going on in the best way possible, with reveals, Noah in danger, and the hard loss of Zoe that had a bigger impact than I could have predicted. This killer has done far more to get an emotional reaction than Piper so I’m even more anxious to see who is wielding the knife in season 2 (my guess is it’s more than one.)

Aedan’s Final Thoughts:

  • I suspect that the main killer was present in season 1 as Piper’s accomplice, so I still strongly feel that Kieran is the most likely for his unusual timing and mysterious past. Maggie seems suspicious in ways as well, but I’m bot certain they would take that approach.
  • The loss of Zoe was also a rough reminder that perhaps Noah should avoid relationships, he hasn’t had the best luck in the dating department.
  • I demand a third season MTV! As their best scripted series on the network, it deserves more time to flourish with  strong selection of characters and mystery.