Scream Season 2 Episode 7 – TV Review
EDIT: A dutiful commenter has pointed out a couple of mistakes I made in this review. I thank them for their service, and thank you, dear reader, for internally deriding me. I will mark the errors below.
With only three episodes to go (EDIT: It’s five, actually) after this one, Scream remembers that hey, it wasted time building up a pig farm nightmare backstory, so why not put all the eggs in that basket?
Because that basket is shit, baby. That’s why.
TL;DR A refreshingly genre-appropriate chase scene finds itself adrift in a sea of eleventh hour character development; the pig farm backstory is back, whether we want it or not; Eli may or may not be a psycho killer; Brooke and Audrey unite in an effort to keep Scream alive.
But at seven episodes into a second season like this, what’s the point, girls?
Well, we’re almost at the end of the season, so it’s time to rope back in a bunch of things Scream seems to have forgotten about. First is Emma’s flirtation with Eli. Eli may have vanished recently, but he’s back to woo Emma with his creepy wiles. He takes her on a picnic date to the abandoned Wren Lake Estates, and that doesn’t bother her. And then he shares with her his fetish for invading people’s homes, which also doesn’t bother her (because he gives it a cute nickname: “Goldilocks-ing”). But then she rebuffs his kiss for some reason, and the model home they’re in catches fire, and a couple of stabbed-up people upstairs whose house Eli had earlier broken into (but not this house?) are burned alive or something (EDIT: Nope. Hot Teacher and the motel manager were in the bathtub. And I can’t even blame this mistake on being drunk. For once). Huh? Meanwhile, New Sheriff finally looks into that pig farm shrine from way back when, and finds a photo of Emma as a little girl. He and Maggie have a vague, ominous conversation that it’s too late in the fucking season to be having, but again, what does Scream care? It’s getting cancelled, right? Meanwhile, Brooke enlists Audrey to help her untie Hot Teacher from that hotel room she left him in, but he’s gone, and a bait from Ghostface to have them meet “Hot Teacher” at the school collides with an attack on New Hot Teacher by Ghostface (thus, the very decent chase scene. It’s a hoot), but Ghostface’s plans are interrupted by a janitor. Meanwhile, Noah and Zoe get frisky. And Hot Teacher ends up getting stabbed during New Hot Teacher’s chase scene, but we don’t see the body (EDIT: Getting burnt in a house fire should be pretty final. But this is a slasher show, so anything’s possible).
So I’m not counting that as a confirmed death. The kill drought continues. That’s not a single one since the motel manager in Episode 3. Ouch.
For all its woeful deficiencies, Scream still manages to squeeze the tiniest drops of hope out of its muddled mess.
I think I might be starting to exhibit signs of Battered Spouse Syndrome, but I’m kind of at the point now that I’ll accept all the pig farm bullshit if it means Scream will throw me a chase scene bone.
It’s been so long.
Why I hate this episode:
It is way too late in the game for New Sheriff and Maggie to be having cryptic conversations about Emma’s pig farm past. Season 1’s Brandon James plot was nothing at all like the Scream movies, but at least it was focused and consistent. With only three episodes to go (EDIT: I harp on this a lot, so boo on me. It’s five), Scream should be starting to nudge us towards the solution to the mystery. But I still don’t really know what the mystery is. Is it the pig farm? Is it something to do with Audrey and Piper? Is it about New Sheriff and his son? Is New Hot Teacher just some inconsequential crime writer? Or, most worryingly, will it stupidly somehow involve all of those things?
It’s also pretty late for Scream to remember that Eli is supposed to be creepy, and then to dial it up to eleven with his bizarre home invasion penchant. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it didn’t wrap around to include the couple from the opening being slashed up and stashed inside the model home (EDIT: Ooooopsssss). Which then unexpectedly burns down. I suspect Ghostface is setting Eli up for their murder. But, like, Ghostface could instead be spending time murdering some actual characters? Because we only have three episodes left and the only one of the main cast to die so far is Jake, and that was in the first episode.
We could pretend that Hot Teacher counts as a main cast death. But we won’t, because he doesn’t.
New Hot Teacher doesn’t even get to die. She survives her attack. But not without positively gushing a torrent of fake blood after simply falling on her head. I appreciate Scream’s gooey giddiness, but try to keep it believable. Sheesh.
Eli’s seduction technique is weird. When Emma starts slagging Kieran off to him, giving him the perfect opportunity to slip in, he instead sticks up for Kieran by telling Emma about his tragic backstory with his abusive stepfather. But he then later macks on Emma, anyway. Huh?
Similarly, Emma allows herself to go on a secluded picnic with her boyfriend’s flirtatious cousin, but then baulks when he puts the moves on. Make up your mind.
Oh, and did Ghostface really not bet on a janitor being at the school when their attack on New Hot Teacher and rendezvous with Audrey was scheduled? Either you’re omniscient or not, baby. And I’d at least expect you to have access to the school custodial shift roster. Weak.
But it’s not all bad:
The chase scene with New Hot Teacher is exactly what Scream has been missing. New Hot Teacher actually gets to fight back, has a hope spot when it seems like she’s escaped, and then gets brutalised when Ghostface catches up. The stuntwork when he slams her against the wall before chucking her over the stair railing is vicious. Well done, team.
Brooke and Audrey manage to strike a proper Scream tone during their caper to free Hot Teacher. It’s the correct blend of humour and tension. And even more evidence that Scream really needs to dump Emma and use their other, better Final Girl candidates.
Noah and Zoe almost have sex this episode, before being rudely interrupted by Audrey. Again, finding the right balance between taken-seriously teen drama and silliness. Noah’s “somebody better be dead” esque line is spot on for our resident Randy wannabe.
Zoe snoops through Noah’s podcast stuff and finds the Audrey confession recording. And then emails it to herself. Smooth.
New Hot Teacher is basically confirmed as a budding writer. We see her with cassette tape recordings marked with her interviewees, and then some with chapter numbers. Still a better Gale Weathers than Piper.
Despite its lateness, and that it revolves around Emma, I like the seedy little history mystery between New Sheriff and Maggie. I expect Kevin will factor into it somehow, too. Which means we can have him come back and be murdered. It’s his destiny.
When New Sheriff’s deputy got a couple of forced lines and a name, I pegged him as an obvious victim. But Scream gave me a rare surprise by not being so predictable. Cool.
Oh, and let’s have another chuckle at New Hot Teacher’s absurd blood puddle.
EDIT: So what have we learned?
1) Don’t expect MTV shows to have consistent episode orders.
2) Actually fucking watch and pay attention to the show you’re whingeing about on the Internet, or you’ll mistake Bobby Campo for a middle aged woman with short hair.