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

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MTV

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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Scream: 02×11, Heavenly Creatures (Review/Recap)

Scream

We’re approaching the end of Scream season 2 and everyone has felt loss courtesy of the killer. This week begins with Noah being hospitalized for his wounds, still traumatized by the loss of the girl he began to love. The others hope to comfort him but the podcaster has concluded he’s done with his involvement and asks them to remove everything from his room, including the murder-board. While going through the items, a newspaper clipping reveals Eli was present at Will’s funeral which is enough to add extra red herring suspicion to him. Audrey finds a photo of Zoe and Noah, taking it to him to share information (which he declines to hear) but he does decide on making one final podcast in Zoe’s memory. Kieran, Emma and Audrey discuss the likelihood of Eli being the killer and Kieran decides to be the one to snoop for another lead.

Eli’s mother tells him they need to leave Lakewood before people find out about them, including the mayor who had been blackmailing her for her troubled past. Eli says he isn’t leaving and will take care of the mayor problem himself. At the Maddox household, he calls his daughter who had left after the Jake reveal but hears music blasting from her room. When he enters, we see it was a distraction as Eli finds things that could put the mayor in trouble too. Ms. Lang finally regains consciousness and Sheriff Acosta begins to question her about how her and Piper have a connection through the orphanage. She says that she was doing an informal case study on them and that Piper has nothing to do with her interests. The untrustworthy teacher tells the sheriff that Stavo’s death fascination is because of trying to understand his father while Emma seems genuinely obsessed with Piper (come on, really?)

Brooke finally decides to return home and face her father, telling Stavo to do the same – but he makes a stop at the hospital to persuade Noah from quitting what he does. To prove how much Noah influences people, Stavo sends him a comic he’s created where Noah seeks out answers and fearlessly faces the killer. At Kieran’s house, he waits for Eli and his mother to leave before showing Emma and Audrey an assortment of letters to Piper that suggests he knows more than he’s let on. The letters also include the pictures of Emma as a child, which means there is a definitive connection the James’ pig farm. Brooke’s father sees she has come home and while things are cold between them, we can tell that they still care because they are the only family they have left.

Noah conducts his memorial podcast for Zoe, changing his mind to keep it running as she would have wanted. He goes to upload the sweet recording, but as he tries his computer is hacked and another video uploads to The Morgue. As he opens the video, he sees someone created their own film with videos of the understanding and Audrey’s letters/Emma dream journal to make them seem like the killers. Everyone is able to see the video including Brooke who watches Jake’s death and Audrey’s role – and the video is looped for the entire town (and more) to see. Maggie interrupts the sheriff to say she heard from Kieran that Emma and Audrey are heading to the pig farm so a police unit heads out to meet them there. Emma and Audrey find the property so Emma decides to head inside while Audrey watches to make sure nobody else arrives. During Emma’s search of the farmhouse, she finds the secret room the sheriff noticed last time and enters (calling Audrey to join her.) They realize someone had definitely been living in the home, even finding Emma’s journal used for the video to implicate them. At the same time, Brooke’s father gets to the property and heads to the barn from text messages about the info against him. He searches the dark barn, hearing someone’s phone as he texts it but can’t find anyone around – until he gets a picture of the killer holding a pitchfork. When he turns around, the killer stabs him with it through the chest and leaves him to die. Emma wants to know why the mayor could be there, so her and Audrey head into the barn where they see him pull the pitchfork from his chest. The two arm themselves knowing the killer is around and try to stop the bleeding, but at that same time the police enter and discover a scene that doesn’t look to great for the two girls.

Audrey and Emma are both arrested by the sheriff, despite the two telling him the killer is nearby. Kieran arrives just as they are being taken away, but it’s too late – and the girls realize people will be pinning all of the murders on them. Only one episode remains folks, prepare yourselves for an unmasking you won’t want to miss…

Overall Grade: 8/10
This episode acted as a premise to the finale in many ways, giving us a lot to look forward to. I enjoy that all of the main characters are still in play and it makes the stakes feel especially high. Scream has found extreme success in creating drama, tension and mystery elements crucial to keeping the franchise alive.

Aedan’s Final Thoughts:

-Kieran has been my front-runner in terms of who is the killer and Maggie would be my next major suspect after Zoe’s death and Noah’s stabbing.

-Brooke needs all the screen time possible, I keep hoping they will tap into her final girl potential even more.

-The mystery of Scream is a true nod to the films which deserves recognition.

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

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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.