The cat and mouse game between the killer and the Lakewood 6 continue on this week’s episode of Scream, picking up where we left off when Emma discovers the former home of Troy James. She notices an array of old furniture arranged along with numerous childhood photos and newspaper clippings, right before she notices a hooded figure that runs a different direction as Emma lets out a scream and makes an escape out the front door. A very smart Brooke makes the decision to stay away from the screams, grabbing Emma and speeding off hastily. When Emma fills her mother in on the discovery, Maggie confirms that they have both been to the James family farm which proves she can’t easily be trusted (still.) Maggie decides to return with Emma to the property and figure things out together - but unfortunately the house was cleared out with no evidence to back up the fragile lead’s claims.
The first person she seeks out to discuss the issue (as well as her sanity) is Kieran who remains the supportive and stand-up gentleman he’s been from the beginning. Meanwhile, Noah tells Audrey that a commenter on his podcast with Emma works at a motel and claims to have seen Piper’s accomplice with his own eyes and Audrey becomes uneasy about her stability as being viewed as a survivor/bystander. By the time school commences, Kieran asks Brooke if she can vouch for Emma’s claims, but she admits that she didn’t actually witness anything and mentions Emma does have issues in the past with hallucinations and lapses in mental stability. To change the subject, Brooke tells Emma and the others that Jake seems to be ignoring her (now on day 2) which worries the girl in love who is still unaware of his heart wrenching demise. Everyone else thinks things must be ok, but Brooke expresses a genuine concern from not having talked to any of the other Lakewood sixers. Audrey becomes distracted on her own when the killer messages her about her truth being at risk as she notices Haley (the prankster from the movie theatre) also texting nearby and making brief eye contact. Audrey follows and intimidates the girl who as it turns out was only messaging her boyfriend, but Audrey is clearly on edge given her major predicament.
With everything going on, Emma sees a slightly frustrated Zoey, then realizing she missed their study session to catch her up on everything she’s missed. Zoey tells her that she’s been through her fair share of rough times and knows that Emma is an extremely intelligent girl who has to be willing to commit to get her life back on track (in other words.) In psychology with a handful of the characters we know, the brain’s instincts for survival is a topic of conversation that Stavo chimes in on and shows his perceptiveness (total red herring.) Noah tracks down Audrey, noticing her paranoia with Haley, but she diverts to what Noah intends on doing with his lead that could reveal Audrey’s partnership with Piper. He informs her that he has an interview planned with the man who supposedly saw the interaction which prompts her to offer herself as a videographer. Emma finds herself alone in the hallway near her locker when she first encounters a very unusually creepy new character who makes an instant attempt to talk to her, even knowing her name (while also admitting he’s not even enrolled at their school.)
Brooke has a short visit with her father and when he leaves, we see recent texts with him and Jake that doesn’t provide us with all the answers, but does suggest some sort of agreement which he hinted at with his “plan” before he was killed. As Kieran arrives to his home, the new sheriff is already present and makes note of him living without a legal guardian present. His aunt is there for the time being and insists he relocate with her to Atlanta as the only other option. When Emma hears the news, she opens up to her mom about how he was the only person she felt like she could completely open up to (a little Maggie dig!) Brooke grows extremely concerned about Jake’s safety and arrives to the police station to file a missing persons report, running into Stavo. When he finds out why she’s there, he refers to Jake as number 6. Stavo then admits he has done a ranking of the Lakewood 6 in terms of importance and involvement and tells Brooke she is ranked as number 4. “I was stabbed and left in a freezer!” she protests, but he says that spot is Noah’s for his investigation successes. When Brooke is called in to meet with the sheriff, she gets a text from Jake’s phone which eases her mind. Stavo, who was also texting at the same time, tries to comment on her relationship until she tells him everyone may think they know the Lakewood 6 but they actually know nothing about them or their lives.
Emma casts her trust issues aside and meets with the psych professor who offered her help at the coffee shop she used to work at and encountered Piper. Emma is triggered by a girl with similarities to her and has a mild anxiety attack that catches everyone's attention. The teacher (now counselor) tries her best to comfort Emma and stresses that being vulnerable with Piper doesn’t mean she made a judgmental error - stating that it’s brave to trust and open yourself up to people. All of this would be much sweeter if it wasn’t for the fact that the woman has a recorder in her bag and catches every word Emma is saying, opening up again to someone who can't be trusted. She follows up by saying Emma needs to do whatever she can to come to terms that Piper is gone and can't take anything else from her, something that is a necessary statement to initiate moving past her turmoil. At the same time, Brooke decides to text Jake and arrange a meeting for the two of them which is yet another hard moment to watch while Brooke is so devoted to her boyfriend who she still doesn’t know is deceased.
Emma goes to see Kieran and the mysterious young man from her school answers, who is revealed to be Eli, the cousin of Kieran. She pulls him away from his family and tells him she needs to do something that only he can accompany her for before he possibly leaves Lakewood. When they drive away, his aunt and cousin admit to possibly wanting to stay in Lakewood to shed their struggles back home with an option at living in a new home rent free. In what is possibly one of the saddest scenes of the episode, Brooke prepares for a special date with Jake and faces her father’s disapproval by admitting that she wants to be with Jake and truly cares for him, regardless of how her father may feel after the complicated past. This was a huge declaration for Brooke and makes it hard to prepare for when she hears what has happened to him.
Emma and Kieran arrive to the dock where everything took place with Piper and relives the moment but immediately seeks solace in her on/off boyfriend. They begin to sleep together but pause when her scar is shown to him that she deems “ugly.” Kieran being Emma’s Mr. Perfect says that it only makes her more beautiful to him which is enough to keep the passion alive. Noah finds his way to the hotel where someone claims to have seen the accomplice but Audrey is nearby as well and calls with the voice modulator to threaten him to stay silent - which works when Noah gets too close to learning more. She then pretends to show up late and Noah implies he got a little information about a storage unit that could have some of Piper’s belongings because the hotel wasn’t one of her known locations to the police. They agree to check it out in the morning which only means Audrey will have plans later in the evening.
When Emma and Kieran get back to his house, his aunt says that Maggie offered to house him but her and Eli decided to stay in Lakewood with him for her brother’s sake (lies.) Emma now is beginning to show signs that she is better, even deciding to walk home and call her mother to thank her for offering to be his guardian. As she hangs up, she sees a car pursuing her that could be problematic, so she screams at the driver to find out what he or she wants - her sense of security is a true roller coaster of emotion. The driver slowly steps out of the car and Emma realizes it's actually her father, who tells her that he’s now back in Lakewood because he wanted to be present for her - respecting her decision regardless of whatever it may be. Audrey goes to this storage unit alone to see if there is any evidence against her, while Noah begins to conduct his podcast as the closing monologue about suspense, truth and mystery that leads to nothing good. He tells his listeners that he knows that when he discovers his big reveal, he won’t be happy with the end results. As he says it, Audrey opens it up and finds the mutilated corpse of Jake with words pinned to his body that stated they finished the job for Audrey. At the same exact moment, we see Brooke hopelessly waiting outside of his house to catch a glimpse of the man she loves.
Overall Grade: 8.5/10
The killer didn’t strike in this episode because it was still taking the time to explore the complex relationships of the Lakewood 6 with the new characters as well. Jake’s current absence is only going to make his death that more impactful when everyone learns about his murder in the coming weeks, setting Brooke up for a devastating season. Audrey seems impossible to redeem at this point and I can actually say that she doesn’t really deserve to make it out alive over the other survivors. Eli, Stavo and Zoey are each interesting and suspicious in their own ways, which makes each an intriguing new character to follow (and add to the potential death toll.) Scream is definitely taking the steps to bring their insecurities and hindered mentality to the table, adding a broader psychological struggle to the Lakewood 6 as a group.
Aedan’s Final Thoughts:
Even with Jake being gone, his loss hasn’t become any easier to stomach with a fragile Brooke on the verge of a downward spiral.
Emma is going back and forth between slightly recovered and still ready to snap on anyone, so I can't help but wonder how she’ll react to more death.
Kieran is definitely a kind hearted man, if he is the killer it’ll be a sad discovery for the group and viewers.
As far as Stavo’s rankings of the Lakewood 6 goes, Brooke is 100% deserving of being in the top 3.