A gruesome act of torture enlivened another sleepy mystery hour
One of the most remarkable things about Scream the TV series is how low its body count has been. There are seasons of Veep that’ve boasted a higher death rate. But since a horror series still has a minimum requirement of suspense and stakes, every episode of Scream needs to include at least hints of violence, or at least something murder-adjacent. That’s why Jake’s murder lasted three commercial breaks, and then the discovery/abuse of his corpse occurred over multiple episodes. Scream is nothing if not willing to capitalize on the shock of one murder for as long as possible.
This week, “Jeepers Creepers” ended with one of the more stomach-churning acts of violence on the show yet, but it was an act clearly meant to prolong a death rather than provide a quick shock. It was almost as though Noah’s earlier reference to the torture porn of the Saw franchise was foreshadowing! Yep, you heard that right. Scream the TV series CAN be meta sometimes. (Let’s forget the fact that torture porn arose as a response to the teen slashers that Scream re-popularized in the late ’90s. In other words, torture porn killed slashers. More foreshadowing?)
Anyway, let’s talk about “Jeepers Creepers”!
We began with a brief montage of each of our characters dealing with the emotional fallout from Jake’s death. And as you can see, everyone handled it differently. For example, Brooke almost cut off her own hair with a pair of scissors but decided to take her rage out on a pillow instead.
Audrey kicked a bag. Very Enough.
Noah recorded another podcast, which, if we’re being honest, podcasts are really just self-therapy in the guise of entertainment, right?
And Emma dealt with her grief the old-fashioned way: By accepting a phone call from “UNKNOWN.” It was the killer, and he or she was in the mood to taunt our Final Girl. But she was not super happy about it and really gave him or her a piece of her mind. Which in this case was a befuddled stammer. Better luck next time, Emma.
At this point Kieran dropped by to apologize for being sorta lame all the time but specifically the day before when he kinda-sorta ratted Emma out for possessing Jake’s phone. She seemed pretty eager to forgive him, but that’s just sort of what it’s like to be in love, probably. Easier to just keep the kinda-lame guy than to have to go through that whole flirtation phase again with someone new. You know?
So now that Emma is 100 percent informed about the existence of a new killer (halfway through the season), she was ALL ABOUT figuring out who it was. So next thing we knew, she was barging into Noah’s bedroom in order to eyeball his murder board. But she was alarmed to discover that Audrey was now his “prime suspect.” Uh, but here’s a question: Is Noah extremely stupid? Like, should he be in a facility somewhere? His main piece of evidence was Audrey’s stolen phone, and yes he found an animated .GIF of her crouching beside Jake’s corpse, but did he also not notice that the .GIF was part of an all-caps text convo with THE ACTUAL KILLER? Worried about Noah’s brain.
Especially when he decided to start stalking Audrey and she immediately spotted him. But don’t worry, he saved the situation by pretending he was bike shopping.
I don’t know either.
Though Noah had declined to explain to Emma exactly HOW he’d come to the conclusion that Audrey was the “prime suspect,” he did decide to text Audrey’s photo to the murdered hotel clerk to see if he’d recognized her. He hadn’t, because he’d been murdered, but obviously the killer (who was currently hanging out with the clerk’s long-dead body) took the opportunity to trick Noah into “meeting up” at an abandoned carnival at nighttime. And, again, because I am pretty sure Noah is not a genius, he didn’t question the idea. Sounded like a good plan.
NEXT: A not-so-shocking rebound
I can’t help it, nobody can help it, but this plotline with Brooke and Stavo falling for each other is actually pretty charming. He is a creepyhunk, and she is a mean angel, but it still feels like a good matchup. Yeah, they had bonded while high on ayahuasca, but relationships have been founded on less.
This episode also saw Audrey and Stavo getting friendlier. For example, he showed her his full portfolio of gruesome drawings and she realized he’d been drawing a graphic novel of the Lakewood murders — which was an interesting story seeing as many of the images depicted murders that hadn’t happened yet. Still, Audrey was ready to let bygones be bygones for some reason. She was no longer suspicious of Stavo.
Like Emma, Brooke was now very ready to stop the killer, so she decided to look into the alibi of her former lover, Mr. Branson. He’d apparently spent the night with the high school psychology teacher on the night Jake was murdered, so Brooke attempted to find out if this held up by claiming SHE had been with Mr. Branson that night.
And you guessed it, it turned out the high school psychology teacher had been LYING. That she was starting to seem kinda shady has left me shocked and reeling j/k.
But this just meant it was Brooke’s time to shine. I loved that, unlike Kieran who had advised Emma to not try anything dangerous, Stavo openly encouraged Brooke to get wild and dangerous. This meant she was suddenly arranging late-night trysts with her former teacher, and these trysts involved handcuffs.
Yep, like any proud viewer of 24, Brooke had decided the best way to get info was through TORTURE. After slashing Mr. Branson’s face with scissors and threatening to stab his nether regions, she still could not get him to admit he’d murdered Jake. Which meant he had been deemed innocent. Case closed.
There’s something kind of unconvincing about saying “JK” after slashing someone’s cheek with a pair of scissors, but Brooke didn’t care. She had places to be! Which was why she left without un-cuffing Mr. Branson.
You know, I’ve never loved this mask, but for some reason placing it on a handsome shirtless dude really improves it. Now it’s my favorite mask? Credit where credit’s due. But yeah, this was just Stavo taking mask selfies, what of it?
Brooke showed up and was not super mad to see him without his shirt on. Brooke is very relatable sometimes.
NEXT: Maybe avoid abandoned carnivals at night?
This will probably not come as a shock to you, but meeting up with someone in the middle of the night at an abandoned carnival is not a great idea. To Noah’s credit, he realized this about 10 minutes after exploring the dark carnival by himself with a flashlight and he suddenly ran back to his car. Alas, the killer was waiting in the car for him!
When he woke up from his chloroform sleep (which honestly sounds so restful) he realized he was tied to a bumper car and Audrey was tied to the one behind him!
But what was going on? Had we accidentally fallen asleep during the part where SHE got kidnapped as well? No we hadn’t, because as it turned out, this whole thing was a scam that Audrey had dreamed up in order to figure out why Noah had been acting so weird. She had followed Noah to an abandoned carnival and had chloroformed him and then tied him to a bumper car to get ANSWERS. A classic, flawless plan. Unfortunately Emma showed up wondering where everybody was, and Audrey had to admit what she’d done. But there was no time for everyone to stand and glare at her for being insane…
Because the REAL killer had arrived!
Kieran also arrived, because why not? So now all four of them were running the H*CK out of there. Everyone was fine.
It was time for Audrey to come clean, so she finally did. Sorta. According to her explanation to Noah, Audrey had once started a letter writing campaign in order to lure Piper to town, so that Piper could, uh, help with Audrey’s documentary? Obviously the shadiest part was the handwritten angle letter. Also, if Audrey had zero involvement in Piper’s crimes, then why didn’t she come forward with that intel ASAP? Noah kinda forgave Audrey on the spot, but do you know who didn’t?
GARAGEBAND. Reader, he taped her confession.
Mr. Branson was still handcuffed to a bed, which meant that the killer now had full access to his tenderest bodily regions. First order of business? SAWING HIS HAND OFF.
Part two? Cauterizing his stump with an iron!
It’s notable to point out that Mr. Branson did not die from this act, and in fact the cauterization actively prevented him from bleeding out. Which means we can and should expect at least four more episodes of his torture and prolonged death. Sure beats having to kill anyone else off.
“Jeepers Creepers” certainly did provide more thrills, chills, and spills than last week’s dreadfully boring episode. A literal un-handing tends to spice up any occasion, and at least the iconography of a carnival at night brought more tension and atmosphere than usual. Insisting that Scream should be an extremely drawn-out whodunnit remains one of the great TV blunders of all time, so at this point it’s gotta come down to the characters. I still like Brooke and Audrey, so that’s something! And I think I’m starting to like Stavo? If this became the Brooke and Stavo hour, I would not be mad. Let’s hope we get more of them (and more horrifying moments) during the final four hours and less of pretty much everything else.