Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the season premiere of Scream. Read at your own risk!
The survival odds in the eerie town of Lakewood just got a bit more grim.
Just three months after Piper (Amelia Rose Blaire) rampaged through town as part of a vendetta for not getting the perfect life her half-sister Emma (Willa Fitzgerald) enjoyed, a new murderer emerged in the Scream premiere to torment the survivors. As such, The Lakewood Six now number five: Jake (Tom Maden) met an untimely demise at the hands of the new villain, who also knows about Audrey’s (Bex Taylor-Klaus) dirty little secret of working with Piper. What does this all mean? EW turned to showrunners Michael Gans and Richard Register to find out:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why was Jake the first to die?
MICHAEL GANS: You needed to care a lot about that person, and that person needed to feel meaningful to us.
RICHARD REGISTER: Always for a serialized cast like this, with stories of several characters you keep coming back to, every season you want to have a major reset. We thought this would really reset our characters in a very impactful way.
GANS: There’s a reason why the killer chooses him. There’s a reason why it was necessary to start with Jake. What it did to the group and how it plays out on the group is really the reason why. That happens quite beautifully.
REGISTER: We’re playing with how everyone finds out about that murder in a different way.
GANS: We’re following a little bit in the footsteps of a horror movie in a sense that you don’t find out immediately. You don’t necessarily find out in the first act.
How does this death affect the group, particularly Brooke (Carlson Young)?
GANS: Especially when it’s finally revealed that it’s happened, Brooke goes through — I have to tell you, Carlson this year has a spectacular season arc.
REGISTER: She’s killing it.
GANS: Jake, too. Doing that death, unbelievable. That’s not easy.
REGISTER: Tom Maden was a mess after that, physically a mess.
GANS: Brooke’s world is completely flipped upside down from that, because she’s not used to being attacked on that level necessarily. She’s used to being physically attacked herself and nearly dying, but that’s almost easier for her to deal with, because she’s so strong inside, than it is to deal with the loss of Jake. She winds up being the last person to be with Jake before he died and they had an argument, so what is the real psychotic truth behind Brooke is the question you have to ask yourself.
What came with the new choice of weapon this year?
GANS: The killer is inspired to increase their impact.
REGISTER: It’s more operatic.
GANS: There’s a super anger behind it, more of an intense psychoses that he and or she and or they want you to see what they’re doing. They don’t want you to make any mistake about it. “It won’t be swept under the carpet. I will not be ignored.” That weapon has to be even bigger, stranger, more violent, and also slightly more opportunistic than last year.
REGISTER: The weapon is not going to stay the same. He doesn’t use that scythe every time.
GANS: We wanted to surprise you. I think it’s very important to consistently surprise people in this form, especially when you’re talking about a series that goes on for years and years. We’re looking to surprise people. That’s part of that.
REGISTER: There’s different weapons sometimes used.
GANS: This year they’re all different.
The killer knows about Audrey’s connection to Piper. How will that unhinge her this season?
GANS: My God, she goes through a meat grinder. Possibly literally. [Laughs]
REGISTER: Her guilt and that this killer has a knowledge of her participation —
GANS: He knows exactly how to work her into a place because of what she did. He knows that’s her greatest weakness, so it’s a real mindf— for her.
Emma says she’s had nightmares about that barn since she was little. Does that mean she’s been there before?
Will we get some flashbacks to see that?
GANS: Yes. That barn has great importance. In fact, we’re writing about that barn right now. We’re writing something at the very end of the season that’s about that barn. There’s a huge thing that has great significance to the entire series.
Does that mean Emma’s mom is keeping more secrets?
REGISTER: Oh yes.
Scream airs Mondays at 11 p.m. ET on MTV.