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Scream recap: The Dance

Emma confronts Branson, and Sheriff Hudson’s life hangs in the balance

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TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
Willa Fitzgerald, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Carlson Young
Crime, Horror, Mystery

The final countdown to the killer’s identity on Scream begins with a look back at the killer’s inception. Tuesday night’s episode “The Dance” begins with a flashback one year prior as the killer breaks into the Lakewood County Municipal Records building to grab the infamous Brandon James mask and then immediately cuts to Piper’s Halloween edition of her podcast and a montage of Lakewood getting ready for Halloween. Piper explains that she’s been looking for a connection between the past and present murders but can’t figure out Branson’s connection to Brandon James. Of course if Maggie and Emma’s baby theory is correct, there couldn’t be a more obvious connection or motive.

Sheriff Hudson interrogates Branson, who is really not giving up any information, about the present murders or his suspicious past involving yet another murder of a student. He calls for his lawyer, but Hudson isn’t giving up so easily. He’s also more confident than he should be about Branson’s guilt and tells the press that the town will still be hosting their Halloween dance at the high school as per usual, just with added security and a curfew for trick-or-treaters not attending the dance. Piper is frustrated that the Sheriff doesn’t seem concerned that the killer could plan something for the dance if it’s not Branson, but he tells her he’s just trying to do his best to keep the peace. He then adds to Piper, “What are you doing?”

Speaking of Branson, his lady love Brooke continues to have terrible luck in her life. Her boyfriend is arrested for murder, her father is in prison, her mom is in rehab, and most of her friends are dead. Sure it’s not as bad as accidentally murdering your ex-boyfriend and being terrorized by a serial killer, but hey, it’s still not great. Emma takes Brooke to Jake’s house to stay for a while and on the way, the friends talk about Brooke’s secret relationship and how she’s just not convinced enough to assume, like everyone else, that Branson is the killer. Brooke gets defensive with Emma and later Jake about being with Branson (she tells them both that she feels alone and they both assure her they care for her) and argues that Emma is doubling down on the Branson theory because she needs someone to be held accountable for Will’s murder. To Emma’s credit, she agrees, but there’s so much more than that. This killer has literally been physically and mentally torturing Emma and everyone important to her, of course she needs someone to be held accountable. And it makes sense for her to assume it’s Branson when so many pieces of evidence are pointing in his direction.

But Emma is not ready to just shut the book on the murders entirely, and she tells her mother that she needs to see Branson as she’s bound to get a rise out of him with her presence. In Emma’s mind, seeing Branson will give her confirmation that he’s the killer. But considering how smart the killer has been throughout the series, it would stand to reason that Branson wouldn’t give up his poker face just because he’s meeting Emma while in custody. He might be a killer, but he’s not an idiot. Branson says a few suspiciously creepy things during their confrontation but nothing that will confirm his guilt without a shadow of reasonable doubt. So is Branson connected to all the murders? The motives behind most of the victims makes sense if he really is Brandon James’ son, but not Rachel’s staged suicide.

And that’s Audrey’s big problem. After Emma tells Noah and Audrey the truth about Maggie and Brandon and her confrontation with Branson (both of which make Noah just about burst with shock and excitement), Audrey continues to be bitter about the fact that the press and police have basically ignored Rachel’s death. She wants definite proof that Branson killed Rachel and Emma tells her they’ll get it. Audrey later comes up with a plan of attack for her and Noah. She explains that Rachel used to document her entire life on tape but that her files mysteriously vanished, just like the spyware on Nina’s laptop. But there is some good news for once: Rachel backed everything up on the Cloud and Audrey has the password. Now “Bi-Curious” and “the Virgin” get to look through hours of footage for something incriminating that Rachel might have caught Branson doing, thus giving him motive to kill her, too. Guys, if Audrey had the password to Rachel’s Cloud account, couldn’t they have done this video research so much sooner? Or did Audrey just happen to hack Rachel’s Cloud account at that moment? I’m hoping it’s the second because this would be such a strange oversight.

During the search, Noah and Audrey stumble across something potentially big. While looking through Rachel’s camera footage from a local bar, they see Kieran and Nina leaving the bar together on the night before she was murdered with Kieran noticing Rachel’s filming. Coincidence? Audrey sure doesn’t think so, she’s convinced Kieran is the killer and this is the reason Kieran killed Rachel, but Noah’s not quite sure and is hesitant to tell Emma.

NEXT: Who is Brandon’s son?