Scream Season 2 Episode 3 – TV Review

Scream Vacancy Kevin bar fight

“…the killer of family reunions.”

And you thought Maggie was a bad parent. Wait until you meet drunken, domestically violent Kevin.

But at least he doesn’t lie to Emma.

He’s got you there, Maggie.

TL;DR A nobody minor character is killed; Emma finds out her dad is a dick, but her mum is also a dick; Hot Teacher returns without much fanfare; Audrey scurries around trying to keep ahead of Ghostface, but fails; Jake’s body is yet to properly surface.

Because God knows these characters couldn’t possibly handle knowing that a serial killer is after them. They’ve never encountered anything like that before.

With Emma doing the soap opera thing this episode, I’ll give Audrey the lead in the plot rundown. She quickly snatches the note from Ghostface off Jake’s body and leaves the storage locker, and she anxiously accompanies Noah to it when she fails to discourage him from his mission. Jake’s body is predictably gone, but they do discover a security camera Audrey neglected to notice. This leads into the most genuine moment of tension the season has had to offer yet, as Audrey almost bashes Noah over the head to prevent him from accessing the recordings. But, luckily, Ghostface already stole the footage. Which he uses to continue taunting Audrey, obv. Meanwhile, Emma has a sit-down with Kevin, her father, who explains that he waited so long to contact her because Maggie lied to him that Emma “wasn’t ready” to talk to him. He is noticeably evasive about why he left in the first place, and Audrey repeatedly shit-talks him to Emma based on what she remembers of him. But Emma is determined (and optimistic) to know the truth, and falls for a bait from Ghostface to visit hit motel room, who taunts Audrey with a threat to kill Emma. Audrey races to Emma’s aid, calling 911 on the way, but Emma finds her dad at a neighbouring bar in a drunken stupor. He shamefully reveals that after Brandon James slashed up his friends he developed an alcohol dependency, which led to him endangering Emma when she was young, and when Maggie intervened before a drunken drive one day, he beat the fuck out of her. Emma leaves him in disgust, but worries that she could be headed down the same dark path. And Ghostface, who had earlier murdered the motel manager, leaves the murder corkscrew in Audrey’s car for her to fondle. As punishment for her calling the police. Oh, and Brooke flirts with New New Guy; makes friends with Zoe, who she helps set up with Noah (Zoe has a crush on him); rejects lecherous advances from a returned Hot Teacher (he survived the finale, you know); and text message breaks up with Jake when she discovers the flowers last episode were from Hot Teacher, not him.

She’s a busy bee.

I’ll get my whinge on in a moment, please be assured.

But I’d just like to take this opportunity to commend Scream for it’s surprisingly sensitive portrayal of Kevin’s situation. Yes, Maggie still goes apeshit at his touch, and Emma does walk quickly away from him once he tells the truth. But Kevin (although, likely aided by his drunkenness) actually does, pretty frankly, tell Emma the truth about what he did.

And the show doesn’t go to the usual lengths of painting his as some devil horn-sprouting demon king. He’s just a ruined human who did something stupid, irresponsible, and devastating. And he blames the slashings for setting him on the path to what he did, but he still accepts that he did them.

It’s a refreshing reversal to last episode’s vilification of Tina and Eli.

Families are fucked up, baby. But they’re still comprised of human beings.

 

Why I hate this episode:

That said, Kevin’s confession is a mundane answer to the question of why he abandoned his family, which has been a simmering question since way back in Season 1. I expect a little more theatricality from Scream.

And I know Emma is worried about what her own path could be like, and a character in a network television show isn’t really allowed to try to forgive or understand an instance of domestic abuse, but her choice to immediately walk away closes the door on any drama that could be mined from her trying to repair their relationship. Or, on an even more challenging level, try to get Maggie on board for Emma having a relationship with him.

And I’m predicting a swift and vicious death now that he’s now worthless. Which is what I said I wanted, but what I really want is to be surprised. And I don’t think I will be.

I’m getting tired of Jake’s death being kept under wraps for everyone except Audrey. If we, the audience, didn’t know he was dead, then we’d have some excitement on our hands. But instead I’m just getting impatient. Let the news break, already. I want a town in fear.

The kill this episode is the nobody motel manager we met last episode, and there is no chase scene.

Emma has some shoehorned-in minor flirtation with Eli. Yawn.

Oh, and Hot Teacher openly makes moves on Brooke both in public, and in front of other former students of his. Gross, dude. Have some self-respect.

 

But it’s not all bad:

With Brooke’s rejection, maybe Hot Teacher could turn his attentions to New Hot Teacher? It’s destiny.

With Hot Teacher’s flower reveal, Brooke text message breaks up with Jake, and Ghostface’s as-Jake reply implies he’s away with family or something. Scream seems intent on withholding the news of his death, so we can at least take comfort that they’ve bothered to give the characters a reason to not be worried.

Brooke, like last episode, manages to steal the spotlight again. Emma’s too mopey and Audrey’s too Pretty Little Liars, so it’s again up to Brooke to be the teenager in a slasher story that everyone else should be, too. And the show appears to have faith in her, as she gets three subplots this episode. Three! More Brooke is always better.

The first is her hate-flirtation with New New Guy, which unsurprisingly evolves to her pretending he’s her new boyfriend to swat away Hot Teacher at the movie theatre. It’s typical teen cheese, but it works.

The second is the Hot Teacher thing. And, like Kevin, he’s a bad guy with no reason to keep living, so I suspect he’ll get slashed soon. But, unlike Kevin, this is interesting because he’s a legacy character from the first season.

And the third of her subplots is her bonding with Zoe during rehearsals for the town beauty pageant (how very Helen Shivers of you, Brooke). Brooke knows Zoe has a crush on Noah, and she proves she’s truly shed her mean girl ways when she gives them a little nudge together. Thank God for Brooke.

Audrey has her moments this episode. The standout is her near-bludgeoning of Noah when he’s trying to access the footage from the camera they discover in the storage locker. She aborts when it turns out to be blank, but bitch was ready to do it, baby. Cool.

Her revulsion at Jake’s body has satisfied me that she’s not a killer. I wonder if she actually expected Piper to straight-up murder people when she summoned her to town?

It turns out Kevin was lured to town by emails supposedly from Token Asian, who said she was a friend of Emma’s and she could use his support. When Maggie hears about it she takes it to New Sheriff, who is blithely unconcerned with a little identity theft. She nags him into investigating it, though.

New New Guy accurately points out to Noah that if his investigation (he’s a fan of the podcast, so he’s up to speed) into the accomplice does indeed lead him to the accomplice, then he will probably be attacked by the accomplice who will obviously want to keep their identity secret. Good catch, dude.

Oh, and the motel manager’s death may not have been tense, but Scream is still keeping the fake blood budget topped up.

Scream Vacancy motel manager death

As long as it isn’t ketchup.

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About ijusthateeverything

Sincerity is death.

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