Scream Season 1 Episode 9 – TV Review
So yeah, we’ve got a new suspect.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t get to waste a lot of time supposing that Hot Teacher is the killer, when it’s so bloody obvious that he isn’t.
When Piper is the one running down your leads, then you’re gonna have a bad time.
TL;DR Everyone except Brooke is convinced Hot Teacher is the killer (and Daisy’s baby), but evidence later points to New Guy; Emma and Audrey argue; Brooke and Jake argue; there’s a Halloween dance that nobody really cares about; I’m just waiting for the big party finale next episode.
That is if Scream takes Jill’s advice and ends it at the house party. Like it should.
So Hot Teacher is in police custody following his arrest last episode. He proclaims his innocence first to Sheriff, and again to Emma, despite her and everyone (except Brooke) being happy to conclude that he’s the killer. Emma’s resolve is bolstered when Piper takes her to see Brandon James’ mother, who tells them that Brandon’s son visited her recently, and vaguely confirms that it was Hot Teacher. Audrey and Friend Zone throw a spanner in the works when they find a video Rachel recorded (evidently she was an American Beauty wannabe just like Audrey) that shows New Guy leaving a bar with Bella the night before Bella’s murder. Emma isn’t receptive to Audrey’s aspersions, but has a big fight with New Guy, regardless. But egg on ya face, Emma, because Piper later returns with a shocking development: she showed the school yearbook to Brandon’s mum, and she actually identified the picture of New Guy as Brandon’s son. Oops. Meanwhile, Brooke and Jake fight about how she likes Hot Teacher and not him, which leads Brooke to decide to throw a raging afterparty to succeed the Halloween dance (but we don’t get to see any of it this episode). And the episode ends as Sheriff, having been earlier attacked by the killer while following a lead, is broadcast on screens at the dance tied up and bloody. And Hot Teacher vanishes from his cell, leaving a dead guard and gallons of fake blood behind.
We already had Parrish pull a jailbreak on Teen Wolf this week. Give it a rest, MTV.
This episode makes me very nervous for just how bloodthirsty next week’s season finale will be. With that early news of season 2 renewal, I expect MTV will pull a lot of punches when it comes to our core cast.
I mean, as much as I love Brooke and Jake, those characters are fated to die. Like, seriously.
You can’t have the hot blonde and the jock douche survive a slasher movie, dammit.
Why I hate this episode:
I also worry that, given Scream now has at least another season to extend its mystery through, that we won’t even get the killer revealed. Or if they are revealed, that Emma will not get to defeat them. Prove me wrong, Scream. Please.
Not a lot really happens this episode. Emma is utterly convinced that Hot Teacher is the culprit, and spends all of the episode prior to her talk with Audrey at the dance simply indulging her confirmation bias. This wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t so excruciatingly obvious that this isn’t true (or, if there are multiple killers, that Hot Teacher isn’t the only one). It’s way too easy. And Scream is supposed to be the queen of meta, so Emma should have known that.
Emma’s reaction to Audrey’s evidence (she fucking shows her the video, dammit) is ambivalent. She has a bitch fit at New Guy, but is far more concerned that he almost fucked Bella one time and didn’t tell her about it. Who cares that he could be a serial killer and your half brother, right? And then she and Audrey have a bizarre fight afterwards where Emma vouches for New Guy’s innocence. You dumb, bitch.
Audrey’s response to this fight is to resolve to go get wasted at Brooke’s party. Because not even our Not Like Other Girls girl has any meta awareness. I’d say that I hope Friend Zone points out the danger of it, but you know I would like nothing more than to see Audrey die, so.
Friend Zone racks himself up another glorious clunker of a worst line of the episode with this horrible, horrible delivery of an already bad line. Emma is fresh from her meeting with Hot Teacher when she (unsuccessfully) tried to bait a confession out of him, and Friend Zone wants the hot dish: “What happened when you sat across from him? I want the fava bean-by-fava bean recap.” Fuck. You.
Also, Hannibal is not the show you want to reference right now. Because it shit the bed in its third season, and is now rightly cancelled. So count your blessings, Friend Zone.
Speaking of bad references, Scream again proves that its writers are out of touch with its vapid teen audience by having Emma and New Guy dress as Uma Thurman and John Travolta’s Pulp Fiction characters for the Halloween dance, complete with the famous dance moves. They’re not going to get it, Scream.
Conversely, Scream ignores a huge missed reference opportunity this episode, too. Not long after the fava bean remark, Friend Zone realises that Hot Teacher’s name, Seth Branson, is, like, super close to “Brandon’s son.” But Friend Zone and the show oddly don’t make reference to when that was already done in a slasher movie: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. The villain’s name is Will Benson, who is the son of the original I Know What You Did Last Summer’s villain, Ben Willis. “Ben’s son.” Get it? Because Scream certainly fucking didn’t. Jesus.
Brooke’s faith in Hot Teacher not being guilty is basically a “just because.” Which wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t lead to the huge rift it causes between her and Jake.
Jake’s chances of popping that gay reveal are wilting, as he not only remarks about how he’s jealous that Brooke went after Hot Teacher’s dick instead of his, but Jake also hits on and kisses some skank at the Halloween dance. If he makes it to season 2, I still think we’re in with a chance, though.
Oh, and Audrey’s Halloween dance costume is to dress in steampunk attire. Like I really needed a reason to hate her more.
But it’s not all bad:
The other characters fare better, costume-wise. Emma and New Guy’s Pulp Fiction outfits are a bad fit for a watered down MTV teen thriller in 2015, but they’re still good costumes. Jake dresses as a mintzing Peter Pan in the hope of impressing Brooke (but she doesn’t come to the dance). And Friend Zone gets a few points for dressing as a classic vampire. Because his mum made him. At least nobody was dressed as a Kardashian.
The clue trail leading to New Guy is a nice development. Inevitable, but nice. I still think Piper is in with a good chance of being the killer, though, as she’s the major factor in the revelation that New Guy is Brandon’s son: Piper claims she went to visit Brandon’s mum again, without Emma, and she identified a photo of New Guy as Brandon’s son (her original identifying of Hot Teacher was because Emma prompted her). Rachel’s video could be whatever, so it’s Piper who seals the deal. I’ve always thought she was too bland and shitty. But then that could be because she’s in a watered down MTV teen thriller.
Hot Teacher maintains his innocence, but also plays the “I’m going to be elusive and ambiguously threatening because we need red herrings, dammit” game with his demeanour.
Sheriff, despite hoping that Hot Teacher is the culprit so everyone can be safe, gets evidence that the calls Emma received from the killer pinged cell towers pretty far away from the main part of town. He has doubts that Hot Teacher would have been out there, so he goes investigating in search of maybe a witness, but instead gets abducted by the killer. At the Halloween dance, the power gets briefly cut before the projector screens show a video (or live feed?) of Sheriff bloodied and bound. Looks like he won’t be our Dewey after all.
New Guy claims that his bar meeting with Bella was the first time he ever saw her. She was drunk, so he drove her home and declined her invitation to come inside. When he later found out that Emma knew her, he didn’t know how to bring it up, so didn’t. It’s believable enough.
Brooke notices someone is using her laptop webcam to spy on her. This occurs while Hot Teacher is locked up, which stokes her conclusion that he isn’t the killer. She accuses Jake of doing it to mess with her, but he denies it.
Brooke and Jake get a cute little scene early on. She’s staying at his place because her parents are otherwise occupied (jail, rehab), and he’s super accommodating and good grief, I love them together. Jake better come to her afterparty.
Daisy has organised a DNA test to see if she’s Hot Teacher’s mum. That’s sensible of her.
Brandon’s mum blames Daisy for Brandon’s death. So maybe we’ve got a dark horse, Mrs Voorhees-esque suspect candidate on our hands?
Oh, and we get a necessary bump to our blood quota in the closing shot of Hot Teacher’s cell having been jailbroken.