TV Review: Scream (2×10) “The Vanishing”

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Seriously, This is a GIANT Conflict of Interest

Maggie does another autopsy on Piper, which tells her that the decay is inconsistent with her time of death. Translation? Someone removed her body from her grave and preserved it, giving it a fresh incision in the process. “You don’t have to do this, she’s your daughter,” Acosta says, just as Maggie is about to rip open the new stitches to find out what’s inside. Maggie gets right in there and pulls out a pig’s heart. That is an unfortunate surprise.

Over at the Police Department, Acosta gives the order to bring Stavo in if they find him. He tells Maggie that all the signs in these murders point to their own past, and there’s only one person who could be responsible. Maggie insists that Brandon couldn’t have survived all these years and that he would never target Emma.

Acosta once again goes to the farmhouse, giving us a flashback. Young Acosta and Maggie help Brandon out of the car. They bury his knife and agree to forget all about it. Grown up Acosta searches the farmhouse again–by himself, ridiculously–and finds photos of a young strawberry blonde child. We see a hooded figure in the distance, but can’t tell if it’s a cloak or sweatshirt.

Acosta explains his findings to Maggie–the photos, the furniture–and his theory that Brandon is back. Maggie asserts once more that he’s dead, but Acosta isn’t backing down. Either Brandon is back, or someone else who knows everything about their shared past is responsible. Either way, it’s about them. Maggie has one way to tell if it’s Brandon, but it’s a long shot.

Killer Call! Acosta’s is technically the third one of the episode, just not in this recap. The Killer chooses to remain anonymous, reporting that something is happening over at the abandoned horse stables that involves screaming and squealing–what’s actually happening is in the paragraphs below.

Noah, Don’t Run Into the Forest Alone

Noah calls Zoe after she doesn’t show up to their psych class, but she ignores the call. “After last night, couldn’t come in–went to our spot to think,” “Zoe” texts back. I’m going to call it right here and say that’s not Zoe, because why not just pick up the call? She’s either been kidnapped, killed, or is kidnapping or killing someone else. “She” wants him to ditch school to meet her at an abandoned lake. NOAH, NO.


Noah can’t hear me yelling at the TV, so he goes down to the lake. There’s a hilarious bit of foreshadowing when the camera lands on a “ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK” sign. “Zoe” sends him directions that land him deeper in the woods. “Uh, Zoe, maybe this isn’t the best time for a scavenger hunt,” he says, getting creeped out. Killer Call! “Do you know the rules? Now that you and Zoe had sex, you’re both on the chopping block,” the Killer says, throwing back to the original Scream movie.

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Noah calls the Killer’s rules outdated, which only makes my love for him grow. The Killer’s, not so much. “Come into the woods, Noah–or I’ll make sure your girlfriend needs a closed casket.” Yikes. Noah tries to get a motive and instead gets a surprise appearance from the Killer and a knife in the gut. NOT NOAH, come on!

Noah wakes up and realizes that not only has he been buried alive, but he’s being filmed. He tells whoever is listening that he’s been buried at the lake and that Zoe is probably nearby. “So this is how I die? Slow suffocation. Number three on my worst ways to go list. I’m not going to freak out, I’m not going to give you the satisfaction,” he says. Hallucinations of Zoe keep him calm, but when she disappears he freaks out and starts bashing against the coffin.

The Dream Team Divided


Emma demands answers from Audrey about last week and she provides them: Audrey did know that Piper was Emma’s half-sister. Piper swore she wasn’t the Killer, which she thought was true because she was with her at the Crescent Palms Motel going over Brandon James information the night of Rachel’s murder. Regardless, Emma believes that Audrey brought Piper to town in order to hurt Emma. Audrey insists that it was about Brandon, but Emma doesn’t believe her.

At school, Audrey is worried about Noah because he hasn’t responded to her calls. Cue a Killer group text that has a streaming video of Noah passed out somewhere in the dark. Killer Call! “How are my favorite final girls?” the Killer asks before sending them on a treasure hunt. I love that Emma and Audrey are casually having this conversation on speakerphone in the middle of the school hallway. Discrete, they are not. Anyway, the Killer says Noah has five hours of air left, tell anyone and he dies, yada yada yada.

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Emma wants to go to Acosta, but Audrey argues that it’s out of the question for Noah’s sake. Their first Killer Clue reads, “Noah thought he had all the answers. Better find where he went wrong.” The girls go to his murder board, where they find a note that says, “What’s really behind Noah’s obsession?” “I don’t know, Noah is an obsessive nerd by nature!” Audrey says, frustrated. The flip side of the note is a letter from Audrey to Piper that trashes Emma, but Emma doesn’t say anything just yet. She realizes that the clue is literal and finds the next clue behind the board: a daffodil in a plastic bag. On their way over to the abandoned stables they met at as children, Audrey instructs Emma to ignore Kieran’s texts on the way to their next stop and Emma reveals the letter and demands to know what she did that made Audrey hate her so much.

With the connection to their childhood, Audrey thinks that the Killer must have been working with Piper since the beginning. Piper and Audrey visited this very spot and Audrey told her everything about her and Emma’s relationship. When Emma gets upset, Audrey points out that the Killer is doing this with the intent of ruining their relationship. They carry on regardless of the strife; they remove the scythe from the locked barn (NOPE) and go inside to find flies everywhere and a gutted pig. No. Thank. You. Killer text! This time it’s a video of Jake’s murder, which happened at the very spot in which they’re standing! “Your friend was gutted like a pig and you couldn’t save him. Maybe Noah’s next to die?” How glib. The video of Noah cuts out, making their situation seem even more dire than it already is. The stress gets to our heroes, who start fighting again. Audrey finally admits that she hated Emma because she actually loved her and Emma unknowingly broke her heart.


Just On Time and Too Late

Audrey and Emma realize that Noah is buried under the dead pig. They dig him out and open the coffin, finding him bleeding but alive. He immediately calls out for Zoe. They remove the coffin to find her, only to discover a tiny coffin holding an iPhone (what happened to good old-fashioned burner phones, am I right?) with a video of Zoe freaking out in her own coffin, wearing her Lady of the Lake sash. The girls want to bring Noah to the hospital because he’s still bleeding from the stab wound, but he refuses; he won’t put Zoe’s life in danger for his own.

They get to the dock by the lake and find her coffin. Unfortunately, Zoe is fairly dead by this point, having drowned in her coffin. The video on the phone was merely on a delay, because it’s still showing her screaming with water slowly filling the box, which is horrifying. Noah is devastated; that’s two girlfriends he’s lost due to psychopaths…and two women of color who have died to further Noah’s story. As the police pack up Zoe’s body and put Noah in an ambulance, Audrey and Emma receive the fourth Killer Call of this episode. “I always win in the end…look at the evidence, you’re dead in the water,” the Killer says. Wow, this Killer sure is braggy.

Emma is pretty devastated as well, blaming herself for Zoe’s murder. Maggie puts her in bed and gives her an aspirin. As the episode closes out, Maggie brings a note to her and Brandon’s tree that says, “Stay away from her.” We don’t see Brandon come out of the forest, but we do see Eli doing a little spying.

This week’s episode of Scream was a big one; the Killer is starting to bring more and more people into the plot and is starting to target major players on the show. The Noah/Zoe kidnapping storyline brought a sense of urgency and panic that we haven’t seen throughout most of this season, while Audrey and Emma’s arguments brought more clarity to the Audrey/Piper connection. I’m curious to see more of what happened with Acosta and Maggie in the past–as well as who is crashing at the farmhouse.

Best Line: “Come into the woods, Noah–or I’ll make sure your girlfriend needs a closed casket.” I have to give this week’s best line to the Killer for that subtle yet inventive threat.

Killer Calls: 4
Body Count Per Episode: 1

Body Count Per Season: 5

Episode Rating: 8/10


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