The end of Scream’s debut season is upon us! MTV has been teasing the big reveal with its #WhoIsTheKiller hashtag and asking fans to throw out their best guesses for a week. The Killer reveal is one of the most important aspects to each Scream film–let’s see how the show handles it. But first: a fitting dedication to the late Wes Craven, executive producer and the director of all four Scream movies, who passed away from brain cancer this past weekend: “In memory of Wes Craven…thank you for the screams.” I’m not crying, you’re crying.
“A Big, Ill-Advised Halloween Dance”
Thus the season finale begins: the projection of a beaten, bloody Sheriff Hudson on screen has thrown the dance into complete chaos. Maggie takes off for the police station, Emma unsuccessfully attempts to get in touch with Brooke, and Noah tries to trace the Killer’s hack on the AV system. KILLER CALL: “Tonight’s the big finale Emma! Gotta make sure everybody is watching the horror show. People want to see blood, and I’m going to give it to them.” Emma is tasked with putting the pieces together in order to save Sheriff Hudson’s life.
The Late, Great Sheriff Hudson
Lakewood Sheriff Station: Maggie is taking photos of the crime scene and confirms that the cop from last week is really, most sincerely, dead. Emma explains that there was a clue carved into Will’s back, pushing Maggie to check the cop one more time. The wooden heart necklace that Brandon made for Daisy was shoved down the cop’s throat, giving Emma the idea that the Killer might have tied Sheriff Hudson to Brandon and Daisy’s tree.
Brandon and Daisy’s Tree: Emma was correct! Maggie runs over to free Sheriff Hudson, but when she starts removing the bonds HIS INTESTINES FALL OUT. GROSS. That was VILE. I keep forgetting that even though this is an MTV show, they’re not afraid to go for the gore. The Killer trying to make Maggie feel guilty for killing Sheriff Hudson, as they did for Emma with Will, only increases the dedication of the Duvall women in catching the Killer. Piper conveniently shows up (my guess is that it’s because she’s the Killer and happens to still be in the area) and volunteers to go check on Brooke’s party, since Emma still can’t get in touch with her. Oh good. The Killer is going over to an ill-advised teen party with no supervision.
Brooke and Audry, BFFs Sort of 4 Lyfe
Brooke’s Party: Brooke and Audry bond over the fact that everyone sucks. Audry explains Emma’s dismissal of the incriminating Kieran/Nina video, and Brooke is shocked: “Kieran can’t be the Killer, he’s too pretty! Although I guess Ted Bundy kind of proved that hotness doesn’t cancel out crazy.”
Brooke is jealous of Jake’s new lady friend, whose name I have already forgotten. “SHE IS LITERALLY DUMB AS TOAST,” she says, as she leaves to hook up with someone to make Jake jealous. She tasks Audry with keeping the great unwashed out of her house. She and Jake end up apologizing to each other, but Jake’s admitting to spying on her for her safety pisses Brooke off again.
One Last Meta-Horror Speech Before We Go
Noah finally tracks the source of the malware to Brooke’s house. The malware not only spies on people, it can remotely turn off notifications and ringers so that people can’t communicate with one another. Emma receives a Killer text: “No cops or they will become headline news.” Noah thinks this is pretty much the worst idea yet, but goes along, with one final meta-observation (sans the string quartet of yore, thankfully): “If this is the final showdown, the killer is going to try to take out every single one of your friends, one by one, until you’re the only one that’s left, because you’re the survivor girl…which makes me the know-it-all sidekick. Oh crap, I’m going to die.”
Jake’s new lady friend discovers fellow partygoer Grayson’s body in the bathroom surrounded by a pool of blood. Everyone but Audry scatters, meaning that Audry is the one there when the Killer jumps out. “What are you waiting for?” she challenges, prompting the Killer to bring down the knife next to her head as we cut to a commercial break. This was where I started thinking that Audry might be the second Killer, but more on that later.
Brooke discovers everyone gone, quickly running back into her house and locking the door. Branson appears at the window, claiming the Killer murdered the cop and that what he and Brooke have is special. Our girl Brooke doesn’t believe him and proceeds to lock every door to the house. When the Killer arrives, Brooke runs to the garage and climbs in the freezer to hide. She is breathing SO LOUDLY. The Killer locks and flips the refrigerator, stabbing into it and slashing Brooke a few times. Before they leave, they plug it in and leave her to freeze to death.
Emma and Noah run into Kieran and they have a crowbar versus gun standoff. Emma accuses him of being the son of Brandon James. Kieran refutes the claim, explaining how many records they went through when Sheriff Hudson was assuming his guardianship. The mention of Sheriff Hudson reminds Emma to tell Kieran about his father’s murder. He appears to be in shock–at least, I think he’s in shock. He’s more hurt that Emma would still think the Killer could be him, knowing that his father was a recent victim. He offers her the gun to prove his innocence and she hugs him.
Kieran and Emma are scared by Jake, who claims that he took a walk by the lake to find everyone gone upon his return. They didn’t even hesitate to let him in, which I think is a pretty big misstep. By some crazy intuition, they almost immediately locate Brooke in the freezer. Meanwhile, after Noah discovers Grayson’s dead body, Audry scares the crap out of him. She claims that she saw the masked killer and then everything went black.
KILLER CALL: this time, on the landline! The Killer alludes to having Daisy captive, demanding that Emma go to the lake by herself or she dies. The usual. Emma finds her mother beaten and tied up on the dock. “Emma, he’s here!” Maggie says, confirming for me that the Killer is, in fact, a woman. The Killer unmasks, revealing…Piper. Like, no shit it was Piper. She calls them out on their sexist assumptions. I feel like the show was acting as if the source material never considered a killer being a woman, when both Scream 2 and Scream 4 had female killers who were the masterminds behind the entire operation.
Piper illuminates her alibi for the Duvall girls: Maggie let everyone think that Brandon was a monster for twenty years and Emma was the chosen child who ended up with the perfect life, while she was abandoned. She wanted to destroy her life and make her suffer. Seriously, most of this is just the plot of Scream 3 minus the Hollywood storyline and adding a local urban legend. Piper explains how she will tell the rest of the story: “You know how this story ends? Branson slits Emma’s throat in front of mom before spilling mom’s guts, but not before Emma gets a good stab in with the knife behind her back…then I’m going to stumble out of the bloodbath and broadcast to the world that the Lakewood slasher is dead.” Emma attempts to attack her, gets stabbed. Maggie attempts to protect her daughter, gets stabbed.
“I have one more surprise!” Piper says, just before Audry shoots her off the dock, leaving Piper to meet the same end as Brandon James. She leaps out of the water and Emma shoots her in the head, meaning Emma paid attention to the most important lesson of Scream:
Aftermath: A Quick Round Up for Our Characters:
- Piper: confirmed dead, though the police can’t locate her body.
- Maggie: alive on the stretcher.
- Branson: alive and presumably cleared of all charges, based on him walking happily out of the Sheriff’s Station. Wait, are we no longer concerned about the statutory rape issue? Because I’d like him to face some repercussions for that.
- Brooke and Jake: alive and canoodling–Brooke is over the whole Branson thing.
- Kieran and Emma: alive and canoodling, presumably over that whole accusing Kieran of being a serial killer thing.
- Noah: alive and hosting the final installment of Piper’s Anatomy of a Crime podcast, where he points out that there’s a second killer to worry about still.
- Audry: alive and burning a stack of letters from Piper Shaw, along with pages about Brandon James. Dun dun dun…as soon as I saw this, my suspicions about Audry kind of vanished. Such heavy-handed evidence usually means misdirection in this show.
And that’s a wrap on the first season of Scream! What started off as a TV show that was ostentatiously butchering its source material grew to be a decent Pretty Little Liars-esque thriller show, only with more gore. It grew on me! Mostly. As long as I pretend this has nothing to do with the Scream franchise. Besides the earlier tendency to hit us over the head with Noah’s meta speeches, one of the things I found to be a nuisance overall was its tendency to play into tropes rather than make a point out of them. There’s definitely some room to grow next season, but I’m looking forward to seeing how the TV show handles the aftermath and a second season’s worth of murders.
Best Line: “Maybe someone just spilled their wine! Their thick, viscous, red wine.”–Noah after he finds the pool of blood left by Grayson’s dead body. Same, Noah. Same.
Killer Calls: 2
Total Killer Calls for the Season: 10.
Body Count Per Episode: 4.
Cumulative Body Count: 9.
Episode Rating: 8/10
Season Rating: 6.8/10