Emma discovers her mother’s secret and makes a fatal choice between friends.
Alright Scream fans, I’m angry. While watching the premiere just two short weeks ago, I never thought that the show would actually succeed in making me care about its characters. And now that it has, it of course goes ahead and kills one of my favorites. Some of you may be thinking, who cares if Riley dies? She didn’t have any secrets, and her story arc was basically limited to romancing Noah. But she was a loyal friend, a lover of the weird, and a sweet girl who deserved a fighting chance before meeting her maker. Her lack of a developed story line is what makes me miss her even more. She had the potential to be someone great, but her time was cut much too short. And while it’s also extremely important to mention that Riley was the only ethnic character on the show, we probably shouldn’t start that line of conversation. That’s a necessary debate for another day.
This week’s episode begins with two murders back to back, but no one from our generation of characters are the victims. Instead the story is just a flashback of Brandon James’ previous victims told by Noah to Gale true crime podcaster Piper Shaw as they discuss the psychology and plan of Brandon James and whoever is serial killing now.
Emma walks in on her mother and Sheriff Hudson unofficially ruling Rachel’s death a homicide in order to give the family one more day to have her wake and grieve her death before launching a murder investigation. And while that is important information Emma immediately shares with Audrey — who was about to test the limits of Rachel’s supposed suicide before Emma walked in — what’s more important is that Emma finally discovers her mother’s big secret: She is the Daisy that made Brandon James go crazy. Well that news sure broke quickly.
Emma’s love triangle between Will and Kieran continues its slow burn after the one-two punch provided in the pilot (when Emma discovered Will’s affair with Nina and then she kissed Kieran), but thankfully Emma’s main focus of the episode is all about her connection with the killer in the Brandon James mask and their frightening, bloody game. After Emma discovers that her mother might be a part of Brandon James’ backstory, she receives a Direct Message taunting her about big reveal. And the messages just get creepier and more dangerous as the episode goes on. This serial killer is clearly taking his notes on how to be a modern-day villain from Pretty Little Liars’ big bad “A,” considering his dependency on technological communication. (At this point on that ABC Family series, the only way the “A” reveal could live up to the hype is if “A” were Scream’s Brandon James killer. Teen show cross-pollination would definitely bring in the viewers.)
Will and Jake’s story line gets even weirder as they fight over buried money that only two of them and the currently missing Tyler knew about. Apparently the money has to do with some kind of blackmailing scheme run by Nina and potentially Tyler as well. Fellow Scream watchers, do you guys know what the heck is going on with these two creeps? Can we assume that Nina caught them in some kind of Peeping Tom business and wanted a cut? How do they even have enough cash that would require them to bury it underground and be overly paranoid of each other? As I’ve stated before, it doesn’t pay to be the school “doosh,” but apparently it pays to be the school creep.
Emma tells Audrey about her stalker messages from Rachel and Nina’s killer and explains that she’s not sure who she can trust. Her mom has lied to her and this killer seems to know her and is clearly showing her things that no one else is willing to reveal. Audrey suggests she continue the line of communication the killer opened with Emma and see if they can get any answers. I’m genuinely excited about this team up, because it provides a reason for these previous best friends to start to reconcile and allows two women to potentially kick a whole lot of ass, but at the moment Audrey and Emma are way over their heads. And that fact is clearly shown by Riley’s death.
NEXT: Emma has a Sophie’s Choice
Mr. Branson makes an appearance continuing his creepy lust for Brooke, but he also pairs the students up into partners for a class assignment that progress the story along further. It’s thanks to Emma’s pairing with Kieran that she discovers the details of her mother’s secret when he brings over his dad’s police reports. And it’s also thanks to the pairing of Noah and Riley that we get more moments of teen romance in full bloom, right before a dark ending.
So let’s cut to the chase, shall we? Emma is fed up with the killer’s games and tells him to leave her alone. Unfortunately when she does this, the killer set his sights on Riley, clearly as a way to scare Emma. When Riley gets a text from the missing Tyler, she immediately believes her friend needs her help. The gang goes to the police who tell Riley to set Tyler up to be brought into the police station so that can figure out whether or not he really is innocent. Unfortunately only we know that Tyler is dead and the killer is playing a sick game with everyone at Lakewood… Until Emma figures it out. She tells the killer to leave her friends alone and he gives her a horrible Sophie’s choice: Will she choose to keep Brooke safe? Or does Riley deserve to live?
Thinking Riley is safe at the police station, she chooses Brooke as the one who gets saved as Brooke has run off to be with who she thinks is Mr. Branson. This being a horror series, Riley of course doesn’t stay put in the police station, but instead believes she is meeting Tyler out in the alley behind the station. She very easily sets herself up to die, but what makes the murder all the more tragic is that she calls Noah to save her, but it’s too late. She loses too much blood and dies on top of the police station as Noah has to listen to her last words. If Emma wasn’t traumatized already, this will do it. Now there’s no reason for her and Audrey (and Noah) not to go after this psycho and get the answers and justice they deserve. But who is the killer? It’s time for our weekly suspect roundup!
She just had to choose to kill one of her best friends and she’s getting clues about her family’s past with Brandon James from the killer. So she’s obviously in the clear, right?
Maggie has very little to do in this episode aside from bearing the consequences of her daughter’s confrontation over Maggie’s connection to Brandon James. Hopefully she’ll be able to find some clues and shed some light on murder cases piling up.
9. Sheriff Hudson
The new sheriff seems harmless enough for the time being.
Audrey is clearly still hurting from Rachel’s death, but the fact that it was her idea for Emma to be in contact with the killer gives me pause to take all suspicion off of her. I’m keeping a watch on Audrey, but I just don’t see her being the killer at the moment.
Despite his serial killer and Brandon James knowledge, Noah is looking less and less guilty. I mean, his love interest was just killed. Sure it’s possible that he killed Riley to take suspicion off of him, as he is probably a top person of interest for the Lakewood Sheriff’s Department. But his worry, fear, and eventual sadness for Riley seemed too real to fake.
NEXT: A surprising new number one suspect pick
Brooke could have easily died in tonight’s episode. For now she gets a pass.
5. Piper Shaw
What is she even doing on this show? Let’s give our TV Gale some meaty story lines, Scream writers! It’s time for Piper to insert herself into the murderous world of Lakewood even more.
Kieran still has the new kid aura of creepiness around him and he’s too easily willing to let Emma see his dad’s police records about the Brandon James case. Regardless of how Kieran feels about Emma and wants to help her get answers, he was just a little too gung-ho about working out this mystery with her. However, he’s helping and he’s not really involved in the inner workings of the school just yet. So his warning signs don’t shine as bright.
Creepy boyfriends will always rank high on the suspicion list. Sorry Will, you still have no redeemable qualities.
The class “doosh” is still high on the suspect list but he’s got his own worries to handle for the time being with his best friend threatening his business and stealing their money. Plus what kind of connection could there possibly be between Emma and Jake? However, Jake is still the most suspicious character on the series, and he’s definitely the least trustworthy.
1. Mr. Branson
Seems crazy, right? But hear me out. Mr. Branson utter the words “you’re killing me,” which the killer used while texting Nina under the guise of being Tyler. Plus, Brooke had to believe that the text she received at the police station was Branson so that she would be compelled to go to the hotel room and wait for him, thereby almost putting her in harm’s way. Obviously the killer could have just found a way to text from Branson’s phone or make it seem like it was Branson. But what if the teacher himself is the killer? I don’t know what his reasoning would be at the moment, but that’s why we have seven more episodes to figure it all out.
Or maybe someone thought to be dead is the killer and he/she faked the murder. Crazier things happen every day, like me actually falling for a TV series based on Scream.