Scream: 02×08, “Village Of The Damned”

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It’s Lakewood’s 100th birthday on episode eight of Scream! So how does the town with a murderous reputation celebrate you might ask? An poorly timed carnival to make the likelihood of trouble even higher of course.

Before any of the carnival goodness can begin, Audrey wakes up to blood dripping on her face with a message on the ceiling – “12 dead” along with an implication she won’t be forgiven. As it is pointed out, there are 11 known dead unless the last is reference to Brandon James or an incident from the past, the most likely scenario (creepy photo, Troy, etc.) Still included in the “Lady of the Lake” pageant, Brooke asks for the accompaniment of her friends with everything that’s gone on. At the Sheriffs station, Sheriff Acosta goes through some of Ms. Lang’s belongings which includes some unusual recordings of the Lakewood residents including his own family. Shortly after, the sheriff is sent to the scene of the fire from the previous episode and finds the burnt up bodies of Eddie the motel clerk and Seth Branson.

Not wanting to have any secrets, Emma cops to the truth about breaking in, but is sure that the two of them weren’t the start of the fire. The sheriff clues her in to Eli’s creeper past about breaking into a girls room as well as other places, saying Kieran only had her best interests at heart. When Eli sees her he wants to make amends, but Emma doesn’t seem to think it’s a good idea after everything. The final preparations for the Lady of the Lake pageant continues, and Brooke comes to the conclusion that though she doesn’t want the title – she will help her new friend Zoe achieve success in her endeavor. At the Acosta house, the sheriff has lost trust in his son and ransacks his room seeking the mask with an upset Stavo protesting the situation (I do like you Stavo – but you are creepy!)

Emma and Kieran are given a chance to reconcile, so Emma shares that she found out some of his past which sends Kieran off the deep end (someone’s keeping secrets!) around that time, Audrey gets a threatening phone call from the murderer telling her that everything ends for her if she includes the police or tells the truth to Emma. Audrey decides to disregard the warning and asks Emma to the carnival with her to share her “truth.” When they arrive, we discover that this used to be tradition for them as children with an idea that their friendship is the best it’s been in years (until things are bound to take an awkward turn.) Brooke glams out Zoe in pink, while donning her own dark vampy look with a black dress and dark lipstick – Brooke is always such a queen in attitude and appearance of course. Zoe shares some of her alcohol with Brooke to take the edge off when Noah also arrives (because of Brooke’s doing) to be with his date.

Stavo sneaks back to the area Brooke is waiting, asking her to leave with him because of the ill-timed carnival but she refuses by saying she has her reasons. He decides to leave feeling frustrated with her, so Brooke takes another large swig of the flask getting a little more than tipsy. Eli pursues Emma at the carnival grabbing her arm when she tries to leave, queuing Kieran to do some face-punching on his troubled cousin. “I’m not the one you should be afraid of” Eli tells Emma with a bloody mouth, but still isn’t really entirely trustworthy. Zoe and Noah find some time to kill, walking the carnival together before entering a photo booth. It appears as if they are looking to go further, but the pageant is about to begin and the contestants must take their place. Audrey hears the story about Eli breaking in to others’ property which prompts her to suggest he may have been the one who entered her house repeatedly.

As Brooke prepares to give her speech, it’s evident that she’s hit the drunk state – stumbling onto the stage with a giggle and a message she wants to make loud and clear. “I was supposed to be here with my boyfriend Jake Fitzgerald, but I guess you all know what happened with that right?” She says with a forced laugh before the tears start rolling. She says that this carnival is a reminder of how oblivious the town chooses to be, saying that Jake isn’t here with her – he’s left in the abyss of nothing, something that they’ll all know soon if people don’t wise up. “And we’ll all deserve it, but he didn’t.” She says a a closing statement that is enough to cue some major feels. This is yet another spectacular Brooke scene, and her best emotional performance/dialogue of the series – that’s more success from Carlson Young and Scream!

When her friends surround her, they tell Brooke her speech was necessary and incredible, with even her father not finding it plausible to stay upset. “Jake would have liked it” she reminds them to ultimately stab us in the heart once more. Emma then gets a call from Kieran and when she answers, sees him tied up in the funhouse – so Emma bolts to save her boyfriend from a bloody death. By the time she enters its a cat and mouse game, dodging laughing clown mechanisms and other fun (spooky) carnival inclusions. The deputy sent to tail Emma follows her in, but he’s found by the killer and thrown through a thick layer of glass where Emma finds his body. She thinks she spots the killer and uses the officers gun to shoot, but it penetrates glass instead and he makes an escape. Someone barges out of the entrance in the killer’s costume, with Emma behind by a few feet and holding a gun. They are surrounded by police, and by the time they intake a knife from his hand and remove the mask, we see Kieran is under it with his mouth taped shut. (I actually still believe this could be Kieran, without a doubt.)

Kieran is next shown in the back of an ambulance talking to Emma – telling her that he was so afraid Emma wouldn’t know the truth, saying he was in the car and the reason for the accident that killed his parents. His rivalry with Eli has to do with the fact that he says Eli tries to take everything he loves, but he refuses to lose Emma to him. Zoe is shown to have won the pageant, feeling it doesn’t matter too much for the moment, but Noah admires her fighting for what she wants and the mood seems to strike. Back at his house right as things pick up, Audrey calls and Zoe decides to wait (yet again) but not out of anger or irritation. At Brooke’s house, someone enters her room (revealed to be Stavo) and she thanks him for coming, and the two just lie in bed together with Brooke not wanting to be alone. In the final moments of the episode, Audrey heads to Emma’s to share the truth about Piper – but someone (Zoe) beat her to it and sent the audio confession to Emma, who finished listening right as her “best friend” enters the room.

Overall Grade: 8/10
Scream is absolutely thriving in its second season, brining us the emotional toil and high stakes horror viewers deserve. They’ve really fleshed out the characters’ friendships which only makes it more crucial to the importance of survival. Brooke’s speech was the most iconic moment from this installment, making it difficult not to feel a deep sympathetic feeling for the broken-hearted teen. I also have come to appreciate the different ways Scream has embraced different ideas (carnival, murder hotel, farms) into the horror dynamic to change the setting from time to time.

Aedan’s Final Thoughts:

-Kieran still resides at the top of my suspect list with Noah, and maybe even Zoe taking the top spots.

-Drunk emotional speeches are apparently my new favorite thing – courtesy of Ms. Maddox

-There has to be a large twist at play that includes Troy James and some of the Lakewood 5 that could throw another sibling into the fold.

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

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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.

Scream: 02×03, “Vacancy” (Review/Recap)

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This week’s episode titled “Vacancy” brings Audrey face to face with the consequences of her actions… The loss of the beloved Jake. Moments after, the killer calls an anxiety riddled Audrey and she is forced to remove the pins from his body with notes attached saying the killer finished her job. Emma informs her mother that she has encountered her father after years of being missing from their lives. While Maggie doesn’t want her to have that chance to talk, Emma can’t promise she’ll keep her distance. Emma calls Audrey (being the only friend who knew her father) and Audrey’s suspicions of him given the timing. Emma on the other hand has decided that they should be able to relate to his traumatic experiences after going through a similar tragedy, meeting up with him to get some of the answers she needs. When they meet, he tells her that Maggie didn’t want him to return or contact her (shocker) but he can’t give her answers as to why he left in the first place.

Audrey goes to the storage unit with Noah and expects to find Jake again, but the scene is cleaned up so Audrey is more on edge than ever. Noah locates a camera set up in the unit and decides to take it to see what he can figure out – so Audrey’s cover-up continues. Brooke (feeling abandoned) calls Jake again and leaves a message to inform him she’s made so many steps to bring them closer so she can’t understand why he’s avoiding her. (With Zoe and Stavo lurking in the distance.) At school, Emma catches Kieran up on her father’s return with his cousin Eli awkwardly staring and standing nearby. Emma takes it upon herself to show him around the campus, also giving her a chance to figure out more about the mysterious new student.

Noah is starting to feel like he’s getting closer to the truth but doesn’t quite have anything from the camera to shed light on the killer. As Audrey leaves, she gets a GIF (so meta) from the killer that had her pulling pins from Jake’s body and saying “don’t worry partner, I covered for you.” Emma’s father decides to show up at Maggie’s home, telling her Riley has been emailing him to come see Emma (but Maggie reveals the news about her murder) which means the killer has a larger role in his return to Lakewood. Brooke and Zoe semi-bond over guy trouble before she receives a call from her former flame Seth Branson. He tells her he has missed her but Brooke hangs up and wants nothing to do with the pervy/sexually frustrated teacher. A “girls only” moment occurs with Audrey, Brooke and Emma when Brooke divulges Brandon’s mysterious call and Audrey reveals the news about Emma’s dad. After referring to him as a deadbeat, Emma grows agitated and claims she wasn’t ready to share that – thus upsetting Brooke who already deals with feeling solitude. It begins to turn into an argument with Audrey saying some insincere comments that she doesn’t have the authority to say given her role in the murders.

Emma’s parents take the evidence to sheriff Acosta (who has a history with her father) and they decide to not tell Emma which makes Maggie feel uneasy. When Emma goes to check her schedule for work she’s given a note from her father (with Eli present too) telling her to meet him at the Crescent Palms Motel for info. At the motel, the young man who was Noah’s lead goes to check on a room lined with plastic and the killer appears to smash a bottle over his head with music used to hide the screams. The murder becomes more brutal when he stabs the clerk with a corkscrew and drags him away for more slasher villain madness. The masked murderer calls Audrey and forces her to go to the motel, making her possibly do his/her bidding. Unaware of what’s going on, Brooke sets up Noah and Zoe (with Stavo randomly appearing to say some oddly timed comments about the murders) and the four go to a movie where Branson happens to be seen. Brooke confronts him for calling and arriving back in town which he says is purely coincidental. More than anything she wants him to know she doesn’t trust him. Noah makes a remark about Branson’s shady past, and Stavo pretends to be Brooke’s placeholder boyfriend to keep him away (which he uses as an opportunity to make a move.) As she leaves, Brooke finds out the flowers were from Branson and not Jake – so she texts him, getting a cold response from the killer to make her less suspicious.

Emma finds her father’s room at the Crescent Palms where she locates a series of newspapers clippings that she discovered in the season opener. Audrey is on her way to the location as well, when the killer FaceTime’s her to prove he’s in the bathroom of the room Emma is waiting in. Audrey calls Emma’s phone (which is ignored) and decides to call the police to save her if possible. Right before Emma opens the door where the killer awaits her, she hears a struggle outside with her dad fighting someone in a drunken stupor. An enraged Emma realizes he wasn’t the one who left her the note or clippings, but he planned on fleeing without telling her. He does admit that part of why he left was he ended up arguing with Maggie and fracturing her jaw – so Audrey appears to comfort her (using the fight as her reason for calling the police.) Emma now feels like she understands everyone’s disdain towards her father so as she leaves, Audrey feels a sense of relief… Until the killer texts the accomplice to show her that the murder weapon is in her car and now has Audrey’s fingerprints all over what was used to kill the motel clerk. Good luck Audrey, you’re going to need it.

Overall Grade: 8/10
The new characters are become more integrated into the group with equal suspicious scenes dispersed to keep viewers guessing. Bringing Emma’s father back (even if briefly) was a piece of the Brandon James puzzle that continues to create interest. Each character, other than a somewhat missing Kieran, has their own things going on to complicate the dynamics of the Lakewood 5. For being 3 episodes in, Scream is giving us a lot to look forward to in a sophomore season of horror – and the psychological impact of these events.

Aedan’s Final Thoughts:

-The season feels like it should be building to an Audrey showdown where she will pay the ultimate price for her association with Piper.

-I’m glad to know they weren’t willing to disregard Jake’s untimely demise and use it as a major plot to the season. (Gone too soon.)

-Brooke is queen. No need to explain, it’s simply a well known fact.

-Emma’s father is still struggling to cope with the murders 20 years ago, so I hope to see more of what made him the anxiety stricken man he has become.