Scream Season 2 Episode 12 – TV Review
You know, I had to really suck up my pride to pretend that Scream’s first season wasn’t that bad. Pathetic finale and all.
But Season 2 has been a lot choppier than Season 1. So you’d think they’d at least throw me a bone for the finale (and, with its piss-poor ratings, likely the series finale), right?
TL;DR An absolutely garbage, toothless end to a real trudge of a season, and a genuine embarrassment to the Scream name; the only character to die is fucking Eli; the sequel hook (again, likely in vain) is even more forced than last time; at least I was right about Kieran being the killer.
And there are no chase scenes.
So we start off where we left last episode: with Scream teasing a recreation of the Scream 2 car escape scene. But no, Ghostface crashes the car and then just lets the girls out to keep up their frame job. Audrey and Emma scurry around a bit before convening with the rest of the Lakewood Six (Five?) at the movie theatre in a last stand against Ghostface. But duh, Ghostface evades them and stabs Brooke arbitrarily, and abducts Audrey to lure Emma back to the orphanage for the true final showdown. Which takes place in a cramped, un-lit (not poorly lit; un-lit) room upstairs, instead of the operatic downstairs hall. Kieran and Eli then both show up oddly, and Emma must choose which one she thinks is Ghostface while they hurl accusations at each other. It turns out to be Kieran, who was Piper’s lover and accomplice all along, and is now out for revenge against the girls. Kieran finishes off Eli and very, very pathetically attempts to take out Emma and Audrey. Despite Emma being Bella Swan-level incompetent, and Audrey literally being chained up, the girls somehow take him out, and rather than kill him, as is Scream tradition, they allow him to be arrested, thus clearing their names. I appreciate the pragmatism, but where’s the theatricality? Elsewhere, New New Guy cries over Brooke being stabbed, so New Sheriff seems to be assured that his son isn’t a psychopath. And Brooke survives her stabbing. The season caps off with a rosy, three month later epilogue for the surviving teens, before ridiculously chucking in the sequel hook: Maggie finds her tree note pinned to the note-leaving tree with a knife, and Kieran receives a call in prison from Ghostface who isn’t impressed that Kieran donned their mask.
Brandon James: suddenly articulate? Or was he only physically deformed, and not mentally challenged? I forget.
As of now, I’ve given up trying to force any good will out of myself for Scream The TV Series. I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve tried, baby. But it’s over now. I’m all out of generosity, and you know I didn’t have much to give in the first place.
Bye bye, Scream. At least you weren’t Eye Candy, I guess.
Why I hate this episode:
I kinda lied about Eli being the only character to die this episode. Ghostface also kills the deputy who was driving the girls in the police car. Which is somehow even more insulting. At bare minimum, at least one of the Lakewood Six should have bitten it for the finale. And with fucking five to choose from, that’s not too much to ask. But no, we lose Faceless Deputy Number Twenty-Eight, and Eli, a floaty, nebulous character who was new to the season and never developed beyond “I like Emma and break into houses sometimes.” Even his restraining order backstory is retconned to have been caused by Kieran. So fucking weak, Scream. Kill these kids! This is a slasher. It’s a Dead Teenager Movie. Deaden up some bloody teenagers. Jesus.
I might have accepted an adult character death, even. Maggie wouldn’t be missed, New Hot Teacher is the definition of fodder, and New Sheriff has had enough screentime to be considered important enough for a finale death (and it would have also echoed the sheriff’s death from last season’s finale). But nope. Just Eli and the deputy. Get real, MTV. What the fuck?
I might have also accepted a skyscraping motive rant, but the moment Kieran was confirmed to be the killer, I knew that wouldn’t happen. The poor actor does their best to menace out the lines, but he hasn’t got it. If you thought Emma Roberts was struggling in Scream 4, then she ain’t got nothin’ on this.
It doesn’t help that his motive is so fucking wafer thin, too. He was Piper’s boyfriend and accomplice because they both hated their parents (Kieran’s dad was neglectful or something, and Piper’s parents were Maggie and Brandon James. So Piper had a point, at least). Their original plan, which is what the Season 1 slashings were, was to publicly embarrass the town sheriff and coroner with a series of murders they fail to solve, and then ultimately murder Kieran’s dad, Maggie, and Emma. Audrey and Emma’s takedown of Piper put a stop to that, so Kieran’s Season 2 plan was to frame them for everything, and then kill them in the final showdown while claiming that he was meant to be a victim and heroically stopped the girls. I mean, the execution was cute, but his impetus is daddy issues, and then, like, obligation, I think? Boo.
There are no fucking chase scenes. Brooke gets stabbed by Ghostface when he sneaks up on her in the dark. And the finale, which is so devoid of light as to be nearly unintelligible, is just Kieran and the girls scuffling around some cramped storage room in the orphanage. Bitches, there was a huge pseudo-ballroom downstairs with columns and a statue and police tape and everything. What were you thinking?
There’s a whiff of a chase scene in what could have been a nice subversion. Ghostface attacks Emma as she arrives to the orphanage, but she whips her gun out and shoots at him, giving chase upstairs. My heart fluttered at the thought of an inverse slasher chase scene, but it doesn’t happen. She just finds Audrey in the world’s dimmest room, and that’s it.
In another echo of something that happened in last season’s finale, Brooke is again faced with a choice to let a lover in through a door. Just like Hot Teacher last year, New New Guy petitions Brooke to let her into the movie theatre when the Lakewood Six are bunkering down there. But the moment is given no weight. So either Scream recycled a beat while hoping we wouldn’t notice; knew it was there, but chose not to use it; or didn’t even realise what it was doing. Again, what the fuck?
The Lakewood Six play Let’s Split Up, Gang in the movie theatre again, just like last season finale. When the projector suddenly goes on, Emma leaves Audrey alone to go check it out. Kieran (although, given that he’s the killer, we know why, now) then goes off alone to check up on Audrey. And then Emma goes off alone (Brooke and Noah, the only sensible ones, came into the auditorium together) to turn off the projector. What the fuck?
Oh, and in possibly the most jarring, bad writing moment of all, Emma’s realisation that Kieran is the killer is a new contender for Conclusion Jump of the Year. Ghostface had earlier taunted Emma that she would never feel safe again. After Emma reactively shoots Eli at the orphanage, Kieran consoles Emma by assuring her that she “will feel safe again.” This is evidently the smokiest smoking gun in history, as Emma immediately pounces on him as the killer. And what’s worse is that she was right. Really, Scream: what the fuck?
But it’s not all bad:
Brooke didn’t die.
In a rare case of making a sensible decision, I truly appreciated Emma’s choice to not execute Kieran when given the chance. It’s very un-Scream, but it would have looked pretty bad if New Sheriff, who burst in seconds later, were to find the two girls holding Kieran chained up, with a bullet hole in his head. Sadly, I think Emma only wanted to keep him alive so he could face justice, but I’ll give her this one.
Also getting sensibility points are Brooke and Noah, who don’t split up while at the movie theatre. Hell, Brooke and Noah as a platonic buddy act are actually pretty cool, you know. So if there’s a Season 3, Scream will certainly spoil it with a forced romance.
New New Guy gets his long-overdue redeeming moment when he weeps for Brooke at the hospital. The beat with his dad finding him like that, and being quietly assured of his son’s ability to emote, was a rare island of good writing in a sea of dog shit.
Should I be glad that Scream sidestepped the Scream 2 car escape scene reenactment? I think so?
Audrey calls Kieran out on his stupid, daddy issues motive.
Oh, and here’s a bizarre glamour shot (part of a slow pan in, too) of Anthony Ruivivar. Scream paid for him, so they’re gonna put him to work, bitch.