Of course, after writing a glowing review of MTV’s Scream, season one, and promising weekly reviews of season two, I didn’t put together that the premiere date for season two would be while I was in Sea Isle City, New Jersey without cable.
And of course, when I sat down to finally watch the second season’s premiere six days after it aired when I returned home from the best shore town on the planet, a storm would knock out my electricity for a few hours.
So I’m writing a belated review of Scream episode 201, while watching the second season’s premiere for the first time, about 24 hours before 202 airs.
Season one ended with a big reveal, with Piper, the true crime podcaster turning out to be the killer, and half-sister of main character Emma.
But a lot of questions remain. What were the letters Audrey was burning? What was her affiliation to Piper? How exactly did she factor into the season one killings? And what was going on with all the cyber spying? Did we ever get a definitive answer of the end game there? Will Mr. Branson be back? He was banging a student, but he didn’t kill anybody. Was he a part of the spying scheme? And is there more to the Brandon James story that Piper wasn’t able to reveal before Audrey shot her at the lake in the final showdown?
After enjoying the first season so thoroughly, I’ve been sporting serious anxiety that the second would be a complete let down. However, I was pleased with the direction of the second season premiere, and really liked the freshness of a show that falls under the often formulaic “slasher” genre.
The opening scene, at a movie theater (possibly a nod to the second in the film franchise, which also opened in a theater), we find out Audrey is an usher and a local celebrity, having gained notoriety for shooting Piper Shaw, the Lakewood Killer.
But Audrey is also dealing with, presumably, a new killer, who claims to know about her involvement with Piper in a series of calls and texts.
I really dig this new layer. After revealing Piper as Brandon James’ daughter and season one killer, and showing Audrey burning letters written between her and Piper, my assumption was Audrey would be continuing her killing streak, but instead looks like she’s just moving on with her life, content to be in a circle of friends with the other five remaining survivors- Emma, Noah, Brooke, Jake and Kieran.
But now Audrey is fighting on two fronts, trying to figure out who claims to know her secret, while also keeping best friend Noah, obsessed with finding Piper’s mystery accomplice, from finding out the truth.
Emma, the first season’s Neve Campbell, is returning home after seeking counseling following a freak out at school sometime after the murders. Her character is complicated, and not currently as intriguing as Audrey’s.
Emma is having night terrors, taking her bak to a pig farm she’s been apparently dreaming about since she was little. Her relationship with Kieran, and her willingness to go searching for the pig farm and appear on Noah’s podcast, highlights her attitude shift from victim to begrudgingly dealing with everything head on.
It’s not that I’m down on Emma’s character, but I get the feeling Emma’s family backstory is going to get more convoluted, and she could eventually go the way of Sookie Stackhouse, and become the least entertaining character on the show in which she stars.
Jake and Brooke are hooking up, and “break up” half way through the episode. Jake sets out to prove something to Brooke, but gets captured by, presumably, the new killer. Jake gets toyed with for a day before getting hung upside down and slashed in a scene reminiscent to Drew Barrymore hanging from the tree in the original Scream.
The episode ended with Emma investigating a pig farm believed to be owned by Brandon James’ brother. She finds pictures of herself and newspaper clippings about the murders on the wall. The credits begin to roll as Emma turns a corner to see a shadowy figure approaching her.
A solid cliffhanger ending, although I’m worried the whole incident, or at least the creepy parts, will be chalked up to a hallucination.
Audrey’s character is so far the one to watch after the season two premiere, and her exclamation “there was no accomplice” in a scene where Noah is running her through his theory about Piper’s conspirator summed up perfectly the drama of this season: living on both sides and protecting both herself from a new threat, as well as the brutality of her relationship with Piper.
Throughout each episode I exclaim “s/he’s the killer!” at pretty much every character at some point, so I thought it would be a good idea to keep a running list of the clues I pick up on, as well as a tabulation of the dead, and all the suspects on my “Randy says everyone’s a suspect” list.
• Knows the gang is throwing Emma a welcome home party.
• Implies to know about Audrey’s involvement with Piper; has photo copies of the letters Piper and Audrey exchanged.
• Jake made a “girl interrupted” joke at Emma’s party, then the killer made a “boy interrupted” reference to Jake while he was held captive.
• Implies s/he is watching, but my theory is Audrey’s phone is tapped
• Jake (hung upside down, stomach slashed)
• Sheriff Michael Acosta – new sheriff in town. Says he’s originally from Lakewood but was a city cop before returning. Discourages Audrey from filing a report about harassing text messages. He leaves the room and Audrey immediately receives a text about the conversation in the room. He also got rid of Noah right beforehand.
• Seth Branson – doesn’t appear in the episode and doesn’t appear to be credited with any second season episodes on IMDB, but these kids ruined his life, and I still have questions about his involvement in the cyber spying.
• Mayor Quinn Maddox – Jake blackmailed him last season, and now Jake is the first victim.