Scream Season 1 Episode 4 – TV Review
Luckily, we’ve got an abandoned hospital to explore, baby.
And a jab at PLL.
Thank you, Scream.
TL;DR The authorities realise that Bella’s boyfriend couldn’t have been the killer; our heroes find surprising evidence on their hospital spelunking trip; Token Blonde, shockingly, is the most emotionally affected by Token Asian’s death; Piper continues to be a very pale comparison to Gale Weathers.
Still waiting for those lime green shoulder pads.
I will also mention that I’m name upgrading Token Blonde to Brooke, and Bella’s boyfriend to Tyler. The only ones to still have their label name are Insensitive Jock, because I legitimately don’t know what his actual name is. And Friend Zone, because I just don’t like him.
Following directly on from last episode, news of Token Asian’s death rocks Lakewood. But with Tyler’s apparent perpetration and then fiery, car-crashing death, the Sheriff and the mayor (Brooke’s dad, as it happens) declare the crisis over. Emma, ever the intrepid life-risker, isn’t satisfied with that, and after receiving an ominous 1994 yearbook, she recruits Audrey to follow the yearbook’s suggestion to investigate the abandoned hospital where Brandon James was treated. Friend Zone joins them, and they find Bella’s laptop and copy some intriguing video and picture files. They also find Tyler’s head, and then run into the Sheriff, who now has evidence that Tyler couldn’t have been the killer. How inconvenient. Emma ends the episode by talking to Piper for some reason and encouraging her to stay on in Lakewood. Meanwhile, Brooke spends the episode wallowing in self pity over her abandonment of Token Asian last episode which lead to her death, and because a Chirpster poll has her severely in the lead as the town’s next preferred slasher victim. Meanwhile, Will and Insensitive Jock enact the big bad scheme that they, along with Tyler and Bella had going: blackmailing the mayor for cash. Cool. And Audrey and Friend Zone end up accidentally uploading a video from Bella’s laptop. Which happens to be of Will taking Emma’s virginity.
Their relationship is no longer rated PG-13.
Objectively, I should hate this episode. There’s no slashing, and a lot of time is given to the abandoned hospital/Brandon James bullshit. Which is very un-Scream.
But, with the exception of Piper, our characters are generally compelling, and didn’t even squeeze an eye roll out of me.
Has it happened? Has MTV finally beaten me down?
Will Teen Wolf suddenly become coherent?
Nah, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Why I hate this episode:
Like I said, there is no slashing this episode. Token Asian’s killing last episode spiced things up a bit, so I’d like a bit more blood flying, please.
Emma continues to be overconfident in her attitude to the killer. She just happily goes traipsing through an abandoned hospital like it ain’t no thang. If she didn’t have her shiny plot armour on, that bitch would have been dead episodes ago.
I’m starting to get the sinking feeling that Audrey is going to last to the season finale, if not further (pending renewal, obviously). Good God, no.
I want to enjoy Brooke and Insensitive Jock together (they have another, chemistry-laden moment this episode), but the behind-her-back blackmailing of her father sours it. Come on. I believe in you two (although, I am tipping Insensitive Jock as a surprise gay reveal).
Friend Zone briefly mentions that virginity rule of slasher movies, but Audrey quickly dismisses any discussion of it. Wasteful.
Piper is emerging, even among all the vapid teens, as the worst character on this show. She is a shameful and far cry from Gale Weathers. She does a podcast this episode where she shows actual sympathy for the dead teens, and even withholds the details of Token Asian’s murder out of respect. What the fuck, bitch? This is why we need a tabloid journalist vulture. Not some squishy, feel-fest podcaster. Get the fuck out.
For some reason, Emma is super friendly towards her. I suppose she is impressed with the tastefulness of her podcast about Token Asian. But Jesus Christ, Emma is actually telling her to stay in town and giving her exclusive (if vague) intel to keep her interested. Why?
Oh, and Daisy is continuing to make very little impact on me. Maybe she’s just going to be an expository coroner character, and nothing more?
But it’s not all bad:
I still find the Sheriff compelling. His struggle over whether the case is actually closed, and his fear when he discovers that no, it isn’t, are keeping him afloat. Daisy kind of shares in that, but she isn’t as directly involved. Interestingly, Piper mentions to Emma that the Sheriff is being eyed as a scapegoat for Token Asian’s death (well, he did leave her without protection at the police station, so). Cool.
We have another in-focus adult character in the form of Brooke’s dad, the mayor. He’s nothing special, and I suspect he’ll be dead soon enough, but I like that he’s the target of the blackmail scheme.
The blackmail scheme was apparently designed by Will, Insensitive Jock, Tyler, and Bella. Insensitive Jock manages to convince Will to enact it this episode because Will desperately needs money for college. The juiciest part is that the blackmail text Mr Mayor receives denotes that this isn’t the first time they’ve extorted him for one hundred thousand dollars. Daddy’s got deep pockets, Brooke.
Brooke, despite being sequestered away from the actual plot this episode, gets a chance to shine. We see that she isn’t just a one-dimensional skank bitch. She may not boo and hoo as hard as Emma over Token Asian’s death, but she’s the most affected by it. Chuck in a father who seems more interested in money and status, and an absentee mother, and she’s got the makings of a great sympathetic victim.
She also encounters a poll on Chirpster for which of the remaining popular girls should be offed next. Shockingly, Emma must have fans out there, because it’s a landslide victory for Brooke.
I appreciate Emma’s proactivity in the investigation, even if it’s hilariously dangerous. Audrey makes for a capable sidekick, and the discovery of Bella’s laptop could be very useful. Insensitive Jock and Will state that it has the Mr Mayor blackmail video on it, and Emma, Audrey, and Friend Zone see a bunch of folders with picture and video files.
Audrey and Friend Zone manage to load one up, which turns out to be a video of Emma and Will having sex. They accidentally activate a script that automatically uploads it and sends it to everyone from school. Well, it worked out alright for Kim Kardashian, didn’t it?
Friend Zone gets best line of the episode when he and the girls find the killer’s supposed lair in the hospital, but then debunks it as staged. Just like how it’s difficult to believe other TV villains’ machinations: “I mean, seriously, how would A get her hands on four Victorian dolls that look just like the main characters? Where do you shop for that?” This must have been written before the bunker stuff over on PLL, because that would have made an even better swipe.
Oh, and I’ve had an epiphany about Brooke: she reminds me very much of Chloe from Harper’s Island. Her look, hair, and personality are all pretty reminiscent of Chloe. And Chloe ended up having the best death scene of Harper’s Island, so Brooke’s got that to look forward to.