Despite two new corpses showing up, the scramble for answers continued

By Price Peterson
July 20, 2016 at 05:29 PM EDT
Credit: Eliza Morse
S2 E8

Never run into a deserted carnival funhouse during a town’s 100th birthday party beauty pageant. Doesn’t matter if it’s the real world or a fictional one, this kind of scenario will not go well for anyone at any time. I think we can agree that usually whenever someone runs into a deserted carnival funhouse during a town’s 100th birthday party beauty pageant, that person will die. But because this is Scream and its average death toll is lower than Downton Abbey‘s, of course nobody died. Which, if you’re keeping track, marks the second time that carnival funhouse has factored into the proceedings without so much as a stab wound. So in this case, the deserted carnival funhouse during a town’s 100th birthday party beauty pageant didn’t go well for US.

You’d think that “Village of the Damned” would have an urgency about it, as there are only two episodes to follow and one assumes carnage and madness might start ramping up. But no, it was another fantastically misguided episode that assumed anyone at all cares about the central mystery of the killer’s identity. But just taking Scream‘s mission statement at face value: WHO is the killer? We’ve had a season full of red herrings and misdirects and one presumes “Village of the Damned” featured a classic Eighth Episode Fakeout. Meaning that yeah, You-Know-Who is still my pick. To paraphrase Stavo, Prove me wrong, show!

Anyway, let’s talk about this episode!

We began in Audrey’s bedroom, where it became immediately clear that she was NOT going to have a great day.

For one thing, someone had scrawled “12 DEAD” on her ceiling in what appeared to be human blood or perhaps barbecue sauce and it was DRIPPING all over her head, neck, pillow, face, and duvet.

But the killer didn’t stop at defacing the ceiling… He or she (he) ALSO scrawled a generic threat onto Audrey’s mirror as well! But at this point I became less worried about Audrey’s safety and more concerned about how heavy she sleeps. How exactly did the killer accomplish so much blood graffiti mere inches away from her without causing so much as a stir? Audrey should probably stop snorting lines of crushed Ambien before bed in my opinion.

At school the kids were all slightly suspicious of each other while also hanging out and being each other’s support systems. Friend groups can be complicated, especially when one or more of them seems like they could be an active murderer.

Hey, remember when that house burned down last week? The authorities found out about it and furthermore they found out about the two charred corpses in the bathtub. Personally I really related to the one corpse on the left, that is pretty much how I feel when I venture into sunlight without sunblock on, I’m so pale, I’m an abomination. Anyway, two new corpses!

To her credit, Emma decided she probably should not hide her involvement in that burned down house, so she showed up at the Sheriff’s office to give her side of the story. (Which was boring.) But for her efforts she was rewarded with the hot tip that Eli had a restraining order filed against him by a girl back home. Yes, even though he’d already admitted to being a stalkercreep, there were official documents somewhere that proved it. This did not make Emma smile.

And Emma did not seem particularly interested in letting Eli explain himself, which bummed him out a ton. So whatever burgeoning flirtation had been developing between them was probably over now. Eli was just going to have to creepycrawl some other girl’s heart.

Oh, remember that Lady of the Lake beauty pageant thing? It was not canceled, apparently. No, this week the residents of Lakewood were going to endure not only this annual beauty pageant, but ALSO the town’s 100-year-anniversary AND a carnival for good measure. In other words someone was going to die tonight. Or, since this is Scream the TV series, nobody was going to die tonight. Anyway, Brooke and Zoe were in the beauty pageant, even though both of them actively did not want to be in the beauty pageant. Who even knows.

Here was the dress that Zoe designed for herself, do you like it? Looks great to me, I didn’t see what the problem was.

Just kidding, Zoe had basically designed herself a brokedown Princess Jasmine look and Brooke was NOT having it. She didn’t have time for this foolishness because it was makeover o’clock and Zoe was already 10 minutes late. (I don’t know.)

NEXT: Carnival of horrors

Meanwhile, the Sheriff was beginning to suspect his own son Stavo might be a psycho killer. In this scene he ripped Stavo’s room apart looking for the Scream-ish mask he knows his son owns, and he also alluded to some crazy act of violence Stavo had participated in back in Arizona. To be fair, Stavo did not do a good job of defending himself and was basically just like, “Prove it, daddy.” As you could probably imagine, this made the Sheriff very steamed.

Then Kieran showed up at Emma’s house and they talked about their relationship and how Kieran was just trying to get Emma in trouble in order to keep her safe or whatever. Didn’t matter. This was mostly just an opportunity for Kieran to get super ticked at the fact that Eli had told Emma about Kieran’s dead parents and how he felt guilty for having killed them kinda. But ever since I decided that Kieran is the killer I can’t even listen to his lies. I will say this, though: When I am dating someone, we pretty much always know what the other one is doing at all times, especially in this, the age of texting. Kieran has had A LOT of unexplained absences lately, and even if Emma doesn’t notice or care, I DO.

Backstage at the beauty pageant, Brooke had made Zoe look less like a Disney hooker and more like a respectable pageant queen.

Even Noah showed up to be Zoe’s escort, despite the fact that escorts didn’t seem to be part of the plan. But look at that bow tie! Look at that cotton candy flower bouquet. If this didn’t get Zoe horny, nothing would.

Outside at the carnival (because most beauty pageants take place at carnivals, right?), Eli confronted Emma about what she’d been told by the Sheriff, but then Kieran ran up and punched him in the face A TON. He’d been real mad about Eli blabbing about Kieran’s parents so much, so he felt he had no choice but to beat the ever living sh*t out of his younger cousin. (Wait, IS this set in Louisiana?)

Anyway, Emma was not pleased to see Eli get his a– handed to him for any reason. And truly, out of the two of them, Kieran definitely seemed a little more psycho. Only time will tell which one of them is the real killer j/k time has already told.

After Zoe gave her speech to the crowd about how small towns are great or whatever, it was now Brooke’s turn. Unfortunately, she’d been drinking an entire flask of booze backstage. Fortunately, this worked in EVERYBODY’S favor.

She ran to that microphone with the determination of Jerri Blank… “I got somethin’ to say!” And yes, her speech was pretty great. It was basically about how the whole town was a town full of dummies because everyone was getting murdered and nobody was doing anything about it and also death is a dreamless sleep. You tell ’em, girl!

Admittedly people seemed pretty baffled by the speech, but points for audacity!

Back at the Sheriff’s station, he rehired Chill Mom™ to be the medical examiner again (probably because he hadn’t been able to hire a new one yet) and she alerted him to the fact that Mr. Branson’s hand had been sawed off before he’d been burned alive. This concerned the Sheriff because Stavo had drawn a picture of Mr. Branson handcuffed to a bed. How had Stavo even seen Mr. Branson in that particular scenario? Don’t worry about it, Stavo is most definitely not the killer.

NEXT: Unfunhouse

At this point Emma’s phone began to blow up, but the caller ID said “Kieran” this time. Except now Kieran sounded suspiciously like a vocoder, and also she received a video of Kieran with duct tape over his mouth. WHAT was Kieran up to??

Also, in a rare political statement, Scream featured this very rude caricature of Donald Trump. Sad!

Anyway, so Emma ran into a nightmarish funhouse to save Kieran from having duct tape over his mouth, and despite all the cool blacklight she did not have a great time in there. The killer chased her around and also attacked a cop and next thing we knew Emma grabbed the cop’s gun and was waving it around all over the place!

Outside, cops had responded to gunshots and then guess who busted out of the funhouse? The killer! Or at least someone with the killer’s mask on who was waving his hands around frantically. Also Emma, who ran out and attempted to shoot the killer in the head.

But it was Kieran! He had apparently been “framed” as the killer and I put that in scare quotes because nice try, Kieran. We all know the best way to get your girlfriend to not be mad at you anymore is to stage your own kidnapping.

But to his credit, it worked! Now Emma was back on Team Kieran and he tearfully admitted that he’d been IN the car with his parents when they crashed and it made him feel real guilty. He also warned her that Eli was bad news because he was always trying to take away Kieran’s nice things. Except, you know, I feel like Kieran would have KNOWN it was Eli “kidnapping” him because we as humans tend to be able to tell our family apart from strangers, even if they are shrouded and masked. But Eli being the killer is just a hypothetical because come on.

Noah and Zoe attempted to do sex again, but when Audrey called him on the phone it was a major turn-off for Zoe and she got out of there with the lightning fast reflexes of a mongoose. Noah just couldn’t catch a break!

Meanwhile Brooke and Stavo had a sleepover, but it wasn’t too sexual don’t worry. She just wanted someone to cuddle up with and he seemed like he’d be good at that.

Then Audrey made a big deal of the fact that she was going to come clean to Emma about her connection to Piper, but just when she finally worked up the courage, she discovered that somebody had already sent Emma the recording of Audrey confessing to Noah!

And this was what constituted this week’s cliffhanger: Emma’s blank stare. Seemed about right.

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“Village of the Damned” was fine. It contained several ingredients of a successful slasher if not the actual end result. We now have two episodes left to get these story lines tied up and the killer revealed. Will we ever see Emma’s father again? What was up with the pig farm stuff? Will at least one more person die? All exciting questions just begging to be answered. Stay tuned!

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