Scream Season 2 Episode 8 – TV Review
I didn’t have a very perceptive week last week.
I thought Scream had only three, including this one, episodes left to go. And I was okay with that.
But now we’ve got four left, not including this one.
So kill a main cast member al-fucking-ready. Jesus.
TL;DR Scream continues to coast along by killing random nobodies; Brooke is still a better Final Girl than Emma; Emma loses faith in Kieran, Eli, and Audrey (but then gets it back in Kieran); Zoe wins the pageant.
But only because Brooke throws the match, obviously.
So that burnt down model home becomes serious business for New Sheriff when the two burnt bodies (actually Hot Teacher and motel manager. Please excuse my flub last week) show up. Emma’s guilty conscience about the fire leads her to tell him she and Eli were there, and he in turn tells her about Eli’s past: he has a restraining order against him because he snuck into a girl’s bedroom. See, Edward Cullen? Not hot, dude. Emma’s subsequent dismissal of Eli leads to chest-puffing between him and Kieran, and it comes out that Kieran was arguing with his stepfather when he crashed his car, so Kieran blames himself for killing him and his mum. Aww. Scream then suddenly remembers that it’s, like, a slasher show, so Emma goes on an arbitrary journey through the amusement park funhouse (yes, it’s back. Bitches), resulting in the death of the deputy who I pegged for death last episode. I was so close. Meanwhile, Brooke decides to throw the pageant so Zoe can win. And not only that, but she gets drunk and makes an emotional, Final Girl-worthy speech to the citizens of Lakewood. She’s also running hot and cold with New New Guy, but that’s not important right now. Meanwhile, New Sheriff listens to his son’s tape from New Hot Teacher’s stash, and is suspicious of his morbid offspring. And Audrey, having spent the episode becoming more and more frustrated with Ghostface’s taunts (and also, logically, turning her suspicions to routine home invader Eli), fucking finally makes her move to tell Emma the truth about her relationship with Piper. But Emma receives the recording Noah made (and Zoe stole) first.
Does it really matter, though? The recording literally took the words out of Audrey’s mouth. Does it matter how Emma heard them in that matter of seconds?
This is a pretty big Brooke episode, so get jazzed for that. I certainly am.
But Scream yet again chooses a worthless, nothing character as its victim dujour. If the deputy had any characterisation, then it might work. Look at Alison Brie’s character in Scream 4. She could easily be just “The Publicist.” But the movie takes the time to give her a personality. And even though it’s an abrasive, callous personality, it still makes her death more than just a tick on a list.
Scream The TV Series has, as I’ve learned, twelve fucking episodes to get through its victims. That’s a whole lot longer than a feature film. And yet they still don’t bother.
It’s bafflingly lazy.
Why I hate this episode:
To add insult to continual, humiliating injury: there is no chase scene. Scream sets him up in the bloody mirror maze, for God’s sake, and all that happens is Ghostface suddenly slinks out and kills him. That’s it. They save the mirror maze “is it a reflection or isn’t it” routine for Emma later, but come on. We see how big and varied the funhouse is. Use it. The crappiness of this scene makes me yearn for The Guest. Damn, that was a good funhouse sequence.
I can’t believe how long Scream decided to tease out Audrey’s confession to Emma. Just fucking tell her. Hell, Noah was the dog with the accomplice bone, and it didn’t bother him much. Just do it.
Poor Emma. With Kieran and Eli, brothers… oh, sorry, cousins, fighting over her; one bad, one supposedly good but maybe not. She’s become Elena from The Vampire Diaries. Not a good position to be in, baby. Condolences.
This is not helped by Brooke really running away with her big speech at the pageant. It could have very easily been a sloppy, cloying emotion dump with bad fake drunkenness. But the actress, and the writers (for once) gave a shit, and that cheese was spun into gold. As we’ve discussed, Audrey hasn’t got pretty enough hair to be the Final Girl. But Brooke’s got the whole package. Impeach Emma and vote Brooke.
Her one downfall is her taste in men, and New New Guy is really bringing her down. I almost wish his appearance at her bedroom at the end of the episode had actually been a Ghostface attack (one she survives, of course), instead of the fake scare it turned out to be. At least she didn’t bang him.
Oh, and it’s small, but Noah makes a big deal about how the Lakewood centennial carnival is, in the vein of event-themed slashers, a buffet for the killer to strike. Cunt, he’s been doing whatever he wants all around town the whole time. Yet you aren’t scared to leave the house to go to school. Or the movies. Or just out. Shut up.
But it’s not all bad:
Less Noah is good Noah, and his only real contribution to the episode is to mack on Zoe, and to be Audrey’s sounding board. Keep up the minimal work, buddy.
Speaking of Zoe, the only two people we know for certain to have the Audrey confession recording are Noah and Zoe. Audrey tells Noah she’s going to see Emma, so he probably didn’t send it. Which leaves Zoe, who noticeably backs out of sex with Noah close to when the recording is sent. Hmm. Although, I don’t think she could be Ghostface. There’s no way she’d fit all that hair under that little, tiny hood.
Like I said, Brooke’s rise is no help for Emma. But it is a boon to us Brooke fans. She really does nail that pageant speech. Like last week during the Hot Teacher caper, Scream manages again to strike the right tone, playing Brooke’s speech as all at once drunkenly hyperbolic, irreverent, deathly serious, melodramatic, and earnest. Sidney Prescott always took what was happening to her seriously. Brooke is the blonde Sidney we need.
Also, she’s a drunk blonde girl in a pageant dress. That’s my entire fantasy right there.
New Sheriff shows unusual competence for slasher movie law enforcement, running down clues he finds from the model home fire, and New Hot Teacher’s tapes. He puts Maggie back on the case, and she’s able to identify Hot Teacher as one of the bathtub bodies, noting that he was missing a hand. New Sheriff then reviews his son’s drawings, and finds one of Hot Teacher handcuffed to a bed (how did New New Guy know that!? Intrigue). Not to mention that his New Hot Teacher interview tape shows that he admires Ed Gein’s artistry. Yeesh. And instead of ignoring the disturbing shit in front of him, he immediately ransacks his son’s room.
New New Guy and New Sheriff allude to a time in the past when one of New New Guy’s friends died, and New New Guy either took a memento of the death or drew it or something. New Sheriff found it fucked up, naturally, but New New Guy is one of those “I need to remember how it feels” weirdos.
When Emma tells Audrey about Eli’s past of breaking and entering, Audrey makes a link to a recent Ghostface break in of her room. And a video taunt Ghostface sends her showing them looming over a sleeping Emma. Not earth-shattering, but it’s smart enough.
I’m sure The Following ripped it off from somewhere else, but I look at Kieran’s predicament in the funhouse as ripping off The Following. Emma thinks she’s being attacked by Ghostface after she finds the dead deputy, but Ghostface tries to flee the funhouse. He’s caught by the police, but it turns out it’s Kieran with a knife taped to his hand, and the costume put on him. The Following played a similar game in its second season, with a bunch of victims having masks stuck to them to fool the authorities (they were a bit wilder and used superglue, though). But the reason I include it here and not above is because it works. It’s an effective reveal, despite its unoriginality.
What makes it better is that Emma grabbed the deputy’s gun and tried to shoot “Ghostface.” If she hadn’t been fooled by the reflections in the mirror maze, she would have shot Kieran to death. Intense.
Brooke gets the episode’s best line when the gang are mostly supportive and bemused by her big speech:
Audrey: “How did you get so drunk?”
Zoe: “I gave her a shot and-”
Brooke: “Hey. I got myself drunk, thank you.”
That’s what I say when I tuck myself in every night.
Oh, and I totally know where Brooke gets her fierce queen-ness from.