What makes a character the main character? Having the most screentime? The cutest face and hair? The seat of power in a love triangle or square or pentagram? Just going out on a limb here, a lonely and shaky limb far too high off the ground: The main character should have the most info. They should know the most about what’s going on and spur those around them into action. Main characters shouldn’t just be audience surrogates; they should be aspirational, the driving force, the one who will change everything. Unfortunately Scream‘s main character is Emma for some reason. For a main character, Emma sure does seem like a blind, confused ghost who sounds like she’s trying to speak underwater. Oh well, at least there’s still Audrey. She might’ve gotten herself into an ill-advised pickle or two, but at least she’s interesting.
“Vacancy” continued season 2’s trend of naming episodes after other horror films, but it’s telling that this one was named after a decidedly non-classic. Can’t shade a show that shades itself! But this episode still had some fun parts. Let’s talk about it.
We began right where last week’s episode left off: Audrey rubbing her face with tons of dangling car deodorizers while Jake’s corpse stared into the middle distance. Suddenly she was interrupted by a call from “UNKNOWN,” which by law she was forced to answer. It was the killer; he or she was just checking in to see how Audrey’s night was going so far, which was thoughtful. But to be honest, Audrey’s night was not going great. The killer had left an incriminating note with her name on it pinned to Jake’s corpse, so she quickly plucked it off and ran away. But it was better than doing homework, am I right?
Because Emma still wasn’t informed and up-to-date about the whole there’s-a-new-killer thing, her main concern was the return of her father to town. Her first order of business was to confront Chill Mom™ about what was going on, and she learned something very important about her dad:
As it turned out, not very many people liked Emma’s dad very much.
Audrey remembered that he had had mental problems, and Chill Mom™ just straight-up didn’t want to talk about him at all. So Emma had no choice but to take her dad to coffee and get the 411.
Case closed. No more questions your honor. Just kidding, this dad-is-back plotline feels like some kind of riff on the Men in Black mind-wipe scene because I can’t possibly remember or care about any of it. But it’s nice to have Tom Everett Scott back in our lives? But let’s get back to the murderin’ already, Scream!
At this point it became time for Noah and Audrey to investigate that storage locker that Audrey had already broken into the night before. She got her old-fashioned video camera out, and she was ready and prepared to act shocked when they stumbled upon a well-deodorized corpse, but…
It wasn’t there anymore. It was just a handful of junk. Which, why did the motel rent this storage locker again? Just to keep that old sign safe somewhere? I don’t get it. Anyway, the killer had had a busy night moving corpses around for some reason. Nobody ever said that being a needlessly complicated serial killer was easy.
NEXT: A dead girl gets hacked [pagebreak]
At school, pageant season was in full swing but Brooke was not feeling super excited about having to win yet another pageant. Especially because handsome creeps were hanging out in the audience distracting her.
Out of the new characters this guy is doing the best job. He’s always sort of hanging around for no reason whatsoever except to make the other characters uncomfortable and also, you know, to be handsome and stuff. Pretty sure they’re setting him up to be a romantic hero at some point, but that’s just my opinion.
Though the storage locker had been empty, Noah found a GoPro camera inside, so he snagged it and attempted to see if it had captured footage of whoever had been in the locker before them. In a sort of insane moment, Audrey was so freaked out about possibly appearing in the footage that she nearly bludgeoned Noah to death with a book-end?
Yeah, it was totally out of character for her, but also such a next-level moment that I think it must be clear that Audrey was much more involved in the murders than we thought. Like, what else would motivate her to want to harm Noah like that? Temporary insanity?
It didn’t help that the new killer was so good at making memes. There’s nothing worse than getting framed for murder via animated GIF.
At this point Brooke received a phone call from the killer. (I will never not laugh when these people accept calls from “UNKNOWN” callers. Scream is a straight-up FANTASY SHOW sometimes) Even though it was definitely the famous vocoder that had been speaking to every character for months, she assumed it was the sexy teacher that she had been boning. Which, okay, cool assumption.
Emma’s creepy father admitted to Chill Mom™ that one of the main reasons he returned to town was because Emma’s friend Riley had been sending him emails. Obviously Riley got extremely killed last season, so her email had been hacked! But come on, what a weird thing for the killer to do. Hacking into a dead girl’s account in order to send emails to the girl’s friend’s estranged father? Nothing makes sense, but maybe that’s the point. Life is a mess. Anyway, Chill Mom™ and Trash Dad went to the Sheriff, and he basically was like, “Okay, yeah, I’ll investigate this on opposite day.” Putting aside the fact that an actual serial killer had been active only months earlier, these people sure were skeptical about bad things going on! I know it’s a trope, but come on. Maybe look into suspicious behavior a tiny bit?
Kieran’s cousin was now a full-blown student, which meant he now had much more time to banter and flirt with Emma when Kieran wasn’t around. Much like the Sheriff’s son, Kieran’s cousin was the right combination of creepy and cute, so he’s a good character in my opinion. But yeah, I smell a love triangle brewing, do you? (They smell like wet potpourri.)
NEXT: Totally corkscrewed [pagebreak]
Perhaps I am used to the weekly deaths on The Vampire Diaries or even Teen Wolf, but Scream is a show about slasher killers yet it has a lower body count than The Goldbergs. So I am grateful for this motel clerk taking one for the team.
And by taking one for the team, I mean taking a corkscrew to the neck. Everyone has different instincts, but he probably should not have walked into a motel room that had been carefully covered in plastic tarp. Doesn’t he watch Dexter? Not trying to victim blame here, but come on, victim! Get it together. Anyway, bye.
I liked that the teens were going on a weird double-date to see Killer Klowns from Outer Space. That is such a fun bad movie. I still think about the bloody cotton candy sometimes.
I also liked that Brooke was so unhappy to see the hunky teacher she’d been boning that she pretended to be dating the Sheriff’s son, and he immediately helped her case by kissing her.
You know? It was silly but it worked. But also, yeah: They’re gonna be a couple by the end of the season, I just know it.
Elsewhere, Emma attempted to go visit her creep dad at his motel room, but guess what she found on the dresser? Tons of newspaper clippings about her, the same ones she’d found taped to the wall in that one abandoned house? Had HE been the squatter? But also, LOOK BEHIND YOU! Someone was in the bathroom!
The killer then FaceTimed Audrey to let her know that he or she was currently chilling in the motel bathroom spying on Emma. That actually was pretty frightening to me. For Audrey too, because then Audrey found herself racing to the motel in order to save her friend. But ultimately Emma was saved by the distant noises of a bar fight. And when she ran outside to, I don’t know, go place a bet or whatever, she discovered that her father was drunkenly brawling with a local!
Classic bad dad move.
But after arriving to calm Emma down, Audrey returned to her car where she discovered a certain gore-soaked corkscrew. She now had literal blood on her hands!
Audrey could not be more framed. In this episode the killer posted at least two corpses and tagged her in both of them. That’s just rude, but more importantly, it was going to make Audrey more desperate. Maybe next time she actually WILL bludgeon a friend to death? It’s anybody’s guess at this point.
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Look, I am going to level with you. At this point Scream‘s biggest pleasures are the familiarity its characters share with each other as well as the occasional atmospheric thrill. Will we ever possibly care about the whodunnit aspect? No, and that’s the truth. But increasingly, signs of personality have been shining through, and I still like the vibe of this town and how it’s filmed. This show could stand to be about 200 times weirder, but so could everything and everyone. Right now I’m just hoping our main character starts getting a little more informed about what’s happening around her. Is that so much to ask? Cute face and hair though.