Riley’s murder is not taken lightly at Lakewood in this week’s episode of Scream, and thank goodness for that, because it’s time for some answers and some incompetency to be pointed out within the Lakewood Police Department. The episode picks up right at its title: The “Aftermath” of Riley’s death as her body is taken to the coroner and as Tyler’s car is being examined after the explosion. Emma’s mother comforts her as she cries silently, and Noah yells at police officers passing by for doing basically the opposite of “protect and serve.” Seriously, I still can’t understand how anyone let Riley out of their sights. Emma’s mother makes her way to Tyler’s burned car and tries to reassure Sheriff Hudson that none of this was his fault, which is an inaccurate statement. As Hudson says himself, he let Riley die on his watch at his station. But in his eyes, there’s a silver lining, the case is basically closed now that they’ve found Tyler dead with a Brandon James mask in his car. Things don’t come that easy, Sheriff.
At a town hall meeting put together by Brooke’s dad, the mayor, Sheriff Hudson explains that the case is now, for all intents and purposes, closed. But Emma’s not buying it, and neither is Audrey. Obviously both girls state that they’d like to believe Tyler is the monster that killed off two of his friends and Rachel, but the motive doesn’t track (at least not for Rachel’s death) and why would Tyler send Emma torturous texts and phone calls about her family’s past with Brandon James? How does any of this make sense? But Audrey’s not the only person who is giving Sheriff Hudson a hard time about his epic screw-ups during the investigation. He’s definitely feeling the town breathing down his neck, and now he’s about to realize the case is most definitely not closed.
Thankfully, Scream chose to show how much Riley’s death affected each of the people close to her, but the person to arguably take it the hardest is not Emma, who essentially chose one friend to die over another, or Noah, who had real feelings for the sweet girl. No, it’s Brooke, who believes that her selfish behavior is what caused Riley’s death in the first place. She left the station to answer a booty call that never showed up, and in her mind Riley was killed because she wasn’t there to protect her. Again to be fair, that’s the police’s job, protecting and serving. I’m just going to keep going back to that.
While Brooke is online shopping for the perfect “funeral nail polish” (Is this a thing nowadays?), she receives a notification on her phone. Looks like someone, most likely the killer, has started an online poll of which girl from the most popular clique should die next, and Brooke is by far the leader over Emma. In fact, Emma only has two votes against her to Brooke’s ever-growing tally. Could the new Queen B at Lakewood High be next? It seems likely, though I would appreciate at least Will or Jake getting a nice scare from the killer, if they are not the ones doing the murdering that is.
Piper, is still hanging around and makes her way to the police station as Riley’s body is taken out, but instead of being a creepy paparazzi/tabloid-style leech, her podcast episode pays tribute to the girl and attempts to comfort her friends during their difficult time. Piper tells Emma the sheriff and many others are likely to become scapegoats in the way the killings have been investigated, but she’s about ready to pack up and get out of Lakewood now that things are wrapping up. Nevertheless, Emma talks her into staying longer without giving away any specifics, and it doesn’t take much to convince Piper. A good investigative journalist probably wouldn’t want to leave given the Swiss cheese amount of holes in this case.
At home, Emma receives a creepy package, the 1994 Lakewood High yearbook, a.k.a. her parents’ yearbook, with the photos of Brandon James’ murder victim cut out and Emma’s father’s face scratched out with a pen. There’s also writing in the book: “The truth lies where the mask was made.” Emma takes the book straight to Audrey and Noah, whose mourning has taken the form of drinking on the job and who reacts the most appropriately to the book than anyone else ever could: “Holy Manson family album.” I approve Noah, I approve. Noah explains that it’s unlikely Tyler sent Emma this message as it’s much too “analog” a tactic, but he does reveal that the mask Brandon James wore was a surgical mask to protect sutures on his face done at a hospital that has been closed down for six or seven years. Emma tells the gang that they can’t go investigating the hospital by themselves as it’s probably a trap. But Audrey knows the truth: Emma is going to investigate herself so Audrey goes with her to get the answers they so desperately need. Noah’s out because in Audrey’s perfect words Noah would be like “a 4-year-old at Disneyland, [they’d] have to put a leash on him.”
NEXT: Noah throws shade on PLL & the gang finds killer new information