'Scream' recap: 'Hello, Emma'
MTV might actually be doing the seemingly impossible: It’s turning successful films into shows that aren’t totally terrible. As a Teen Wolf enthusiast (I would literally shout my love for that crazy show from the rooftops), I’ve been hoping for months that Scream would be a great fit with Teen Wolf and the MTV scripted series canon in general. And while the pilot was a mediocre start to an interesting concept, the second episode is arguably much better. However it also presents darker story lines than the pilot, so those looking for the constant meta humor and winking overtones should be in for a bit of an awakening.
For the second time, we get a twist on the iconic “what’s your favorite scary movie” phone call from the Scream films. But it’s the second of two phone calls, the first of which begins and ends in tragedy. The series didn’t shy away from Audrey’s love interest, Rachel, dealing with real problems that many high schoolers (and adults) have regarding self-love and self-worth. After reading several horrible comments about herself under the video posted of her and Audrey’s makeout (the video has already been taken down as Noah tells Audrey in the pilot), Rachel takes out a razor blade and starts to cut herself when her phone rings. She answers after seeing Audrey’s name but when she believes Audrey is asking her to go to their “special place” on the balcony, Rachel finds a noose that the killer immediately uses on Rachel herself. And bam! Scream the series gets its second murder.
Episode 2 brings a new character to Lakewood and to the potential body pileup that is bound to occur by the end of the season. Piper Shaw is a Sarah Koenig-esque journalist who hosts a true crime podcast that is all the rage among the Lakewood folk, but her presence really brings another facet of the Scream film franchise to the TV series. Here we finally have the entrance of our very own Gale Weathers.
Emma meanwhile finally confronts Brooke for not telling her of her boyfriend’s infidelity sooner, and rightfully so. Brooke blames her secret keeping on being afraid of Nina, and Emma shrugs it off much more quickly than she probably should. But since Brooke’s reveal comes so quickly after Nina’s death, does that mean the presumed new Queen B planned her predecessor’s downfall? It’s not likely since she’s got her own problem to deal with, mainly still being hot for teach and vice versa. I don’t know what it is about these high school-set shows that makes all the characters who hook up with their teacher so ridiculously bad at it, but they are. Come on Scream writers, take a page from Pretty Little Liars and at least pretend to to hide the romantic comments and lustful looks between Brooke and Mr. Branson.
Noah gets taken to Sheriff Hudson’s office for questioning and it turns out, Noah has done more than just research Brandon James—he even exchanged emails with Brandon’s brother and tried to uncover the identity of the girl with whom Brandon was obsessed. Hudson, who knows the truth, asks Noah if he figured it out, to which Noah replies that none of his theories panned out. I still can’t decide if I believe him or not.
And of course despite all the bloodshed happening in their town, the only thing Will and Jake seem to care about is women. Will is desperate to get Emma back and for some reason needs her to be in the stands at his basketball game when the scouts are scheduled to make an appearance. Is she his good luck charm? Does showing that Will has a life outside of basketball appeal to scouts? I can’t fully understand why he’s so adamant about Emma’s presence at the game. Jake tells him not to worry about anything, quoting some kind of stoner manual to get “zen” with everything. When Will brings up their creepy web footage of Nina, Jake says they are officially closed for business (he actually says “bidness” which makes what Noah does to his car all the more satisfying). But clearly Jake is a liar and presumably they (or at the very least Jake) were doing more than just spying on Nina through her webcam. It’s creepy stuff, I don’t like this story line one bit. Will tries to explain his tryst with Nina by blaming the victims (a.k.a. both women), which rightly rubs Emma the wrong way, but that’s not his last attempt at getting back in her good graces.
NEXT: Noah Gets Lucky
Jake comes across his car which has the word “doosh” spelled in red letters across the passengers’ side. The culprit is most certainly Noah and his comeback for Jake’s dumb dock stunt from Brooke’s party is paid in full. Sucks to be the high school “doosh” bag.
Of course no high school series, horror genre or not, is complete without a little romance and Noah is the one who gets the girl this time around. He and Riley are hitting it off extremely well. I can’t decide if it’s just an adorable connection or a creepy one since Riley seems overly interested in Noah’s serial killer and horror movie-related theories. When a gif pops up of the killer with the Brandon James mask on and Nina lying dead and bloodied in the pool behind him, Mr. Branson’s class once again becomes the place for Noah’s serial killer theories, and Riley is hanging on to every word coming out of Noah’s mouth. The two even share a romantic picnic with drinks (a drinknic if you will) under the stars and a make-out session. By the way, all of Noah’s theories about the killer are totally accurate. This killer clearly needs the attention from his crimes, more so from Emily than anyone else.
Finally Rachel’s death is revealed to Lakewood—however it’s first called a suicide as she is found hanging from her ceiling fan. Emma takes the death to heart almost worse than Audrey, who is devastated. Emma believes this is all her fault for not stopping Nina from making the Audrey/Rachel video and later tells Audrey she has every reason to hate Emma. Audrey is clearly distraught (she says so herself) but after making an In Memoriam video to Rachel, she tries to move past the sadness by carrying on with her daily activities. Unfortunately when Maggie officially rules Rachel’s death a murder, Audrey is bound to be distraught all over again.
Back to the woman of the hour and the phone call that will haunt her until she is tortured once again. Emma is clearly being stalked by the killer and first feels his presence and sees a shadow as she’s closing up and finishing her shift at work. She runs from the hooded man and almost hits Will in the face with a wood plank (who else wishes she had not missed?) and Will explains that he came over when he got a text from her, which she didn’t send. He apologizes for his actions, and Emma tries to make him feel bad by saying she kissed Kieran at the lake, but eventually she agrees to go to his basketball game (which has a sign from the other team’s fans calling Lakewood “Murderville”). At the game however, Kieran shows up and listens to Emma’s story of her possible road to reconciliation. But he punctures a whole in Will’s nice guy change in attitude.
When Emma finally gets home, she’s startled by a possible break-in at her house and speaks to the killer over the phone whom she originally believes to be the home security systems operator. After the killer says he’s a fan of female-centric shows and taunting her by saying he’s in her house, Emma finally asks him what we’re all wondering:
Emma: “What do you want?”
Killer: “To show you the truth Emma”
Emma: “About what?”
Killer: “Who you really are. And trust me, it’s gonna hurt.”
Who else thinks the series is trying to hint at the possibility that Brandon James is Emma’s real father? Or am I just grasping for Noah-sized conspiracy theories? Time for the likely suspect countdown!
Sydney Prescott can’t be the murderer. This isn’t Scream 4.
Considering how overwhelmed she is by the murders, there’s no way the killer is Maggie. At least she doesn’t seem like she is at present. I truly feel bad for her having to rehash her dark past all over again. And I’m sure her secret identity will come out soon enough.
Only a total psychopath would murder her love interest and then grieve the way Audrey does in this episode. At present, Audrey doesn’t seem capable of being that crazy but the tides may turn eventually.
NEXT: We’ve got a new suspect number one
She’s got her own crap to worry about with the hot Teach. Teach however is slightly more suspect.
8. Piper Shaw
Our new Gale Weather has yet to really do anything aside from know everything about Emma before actually meeting her. But hey, that’s just background research.
7. Sheriff Hudson
Clark Hudson definitely seems less suspect-y than he did in the pilot. Perhaps it’s because he’s being supportive of Maggie or because he really does seem to be trying to solve a murder while the rest of the town is either falling apart from the string of murders and the scrutiny, or is basking in the infamy.
6. Mr. Branson
Teach is definitely a suspect in my book. How do we know that Brooke is the only student or underage girl with whom he’s had… ahem… relations? I don’t trust him.
Is anyone else a little creeped out by how excited she is by Noah’s serial killer stories? Sure that could just make her a great love interest, but she also got all the lights in the football field to shut off just to pull a creepy prank on Noah. There’s something about her that makes me a little wary.
The resident horror movie and serial killer encyclopedia is always at least a little bit of a suspect and the reveal that he thoroughly researched Brandon James at such a young age continues my suspicion. Plus we didn’t get any answers about the scar on his head.
New guy isn’t as creepy anymore, but we barely saw him in this episode, aside from clearly being jealous about Emma and Will and telling Emma Will’s possible plan to get her back. Does he know this plan from experience? I don’t get him yet.
Sleezy ex-boyfriend take two. This guy is definitely up to no good and is beyond selfish. He only seems to want Emma back for his own gain, and he most likely purposefully scared her so he could save her and ask her to come to his game. Kieran’s theory doesn’t actually sound too far-fetched when Will is the culprit.
The resident high school “doosh” is more than just that. He’s also an uber creep who has some kind of tech savvy, at least enough to seemingly hack into Nina’s webcam feed. Also when he threatens Noah, it actually feels real. But here’s a question: Is he smart, cunning, and ruthless enough to commit all the murders we’re bound to see? The show could pull a Billy/Stew ending with Jake and Will behind the murders together.
All in all, more character development makes for a better episode. Add even more scares into the mix and Scream will really wrangle in the viewers.