Last week's episode ended on a massive reveal for the survivors of the first season, proving to them that another killer is waiting to make their move.
The episode begins with a school undergoing a lockdown to try and locate Jake's killer, with chaos causing everyone a sense of fear. Emma and Audrey find their way to Brooke as she's being photographed by Maggie for evidence of the scene. Brooke is seemingly numb and in a state of shock after being drenched in her boyfriends blood with his mangled corpse being dropped at her feet. The only words she can manage are her regret about her last moments with Jake - so nobody is in a place to make her feel anything other than grief. An officer finds them and insists Audrey and Emma are questioned, but agrees to let Audrey stay with Brooke while Emma speaks with sheriff Acosta. When Emma arrives to the office they are using, she waits in the library where other contained students have resorted to dirty looks towards the girl with a tendency for bringing death.
Emma finds at least one person who is happy to see her - Kieran. The quiet and kindhearted on/off boyfriend offers his support which is something that is needed during a crisis with potential death looming. Brooke is finally allowed to use a shower and wash off the horror of what she experienced, but it is apparent that the trauma will stick. She begins to piece things together with Audrey and realizes that Jake's killer must have been the one texting Brooke from his phone for the last few days. Audrey uses Brooke's phone to text the killer back with a message suggesting they will rot in hell - and the notification alerts Emma, ultimately proving the killer planted his phone on her at one point during the day. Haley (the unkind prankster from the first episode) along with others watch Brooke being walked into isolation with all eyes on the distraught queen of the Lakewood 6. Haley is quickly asked to speak with the sheriff next, despite her frustrations that she could even be pooled into a list of suspects.
Emma shares the phone reveal with Audrey before wanting to take it to the police, so a nervous Audrey stops her from involving them for the time being. Brooke's father is allowed into the school, letting her emotions show to the only family she has around. Noah approaches Zoey after their awkward conversation and even though she isn't sure about romantic involvement, she offers herself as someone to talk to about the return to a murderous rampage. During the discussion, students overhear that lockers are being searched and an anxious Kieran says he has something he needs to deal with before it's found by police. The others don't appear to happy with the ambiguity, but agree to help by creating a diversion so him and Noah can make their way into the halls. They narrowly make it but Kieran is caught with a bag that as it turns out - carries his father's gun. Instead of making Kieran's life too complicated, he tells him that he can overlook things as long as he provides him with insight in what the Lakewood 5 are aware of moving forward.
In the library, Eli offers Emma a few suggestions on how to leave the phone behind and act unaware, but they are stopped when Noah calls to share what just happened with Emma. She then prepares to hand the phone to Eli so he can deal with it, but the sheriff walks in (with Kieran) and its clear that he sold her out to maintain his own safety. Noah, who is now locked outside in the hallways, calls Audrey to inform her that Kieran was taken for questioning and Audrey fills in the rest with him returning but Emma being taken. When Emma meets with sheriff Acosta, she states that she is being targeted once again - but the sheriff mentions her being in treatment for PTSD and a visit to the psych ward. For the time being, he lets her rejoin the others with some doubts about Emma but not enough to make any hasty decisions.
Emma briefly confronts Kieran for turning her in, with Eli stoking the fire and tensions appear to build between everyone. Haley makes a comment about Emma that she overhears so Emma feels it's best to confront her (and anyone else) with these same sentiments. Haley exclaims that everyone around Emma dies yet she is always unharmed - before saying there's always a crazy Duval family member standing. Emma isn't to pleased by the remark and slaps her which leads to an altercation until faculty can break it up. Now that Brooke is joined by her father, the sheriff begins to question her about Jake so she admits that they had been together the last time he was seen by anyone. She becomes emotional and tells them everything that had gone on between them, suggesting that Branson must have done this to get to Brooke - leading her to say she wants to go see Jake one last time.
The oddly untrustworthy psychology teacher takes Emma from the library and locks her in an office, telling her she's having a ptsd flashback moment. At the scene of the crime, Maggie begins to cry over the body of Jake until Brooke walks in to ask how long he's been dead (so she now knows that he wasn't the one texting her.) Emma receives a call from the killer who says they are coming for her, but she can't escape the room she's locked in. She pulls the blinds open to see the masked killer and picks up a chair that she uses to smash through the window. By the time she climbs out (cutting her arm on broken glass) nobody is around and we're left wondering if she's losing it once again. The sheriff also noticed Maggie's moment with Brooke and has her officially removed from the case, having an officer escort her from the building to her dismay. In the library, Audrey begins to slip up with her stories about multiple murders as opposed to one and decides to confront Stavo in front of the entire group of students. Audrey shows his gory artwork to everyone and they become enraged, leading to him being jumped by multiple people with a mob mentality. The only person who tries to stop the attack is Kieran, until Emma shows up and steals the focus with her arm bleeding profusely and others not too excited to see her.
Once the lockdown is lifted, students are reunited with their families but there are still plenty of problems to deal with for those involved. Emma stops to have her arm bandaged and chooses not to disclose what she just witnessed in fear of them labeling her crazy. Kieran apologizes for turning her in, but she is more focused on having some alone time to cope. Audrey sees Stavo and attempts to apologize (also offering to fix or replace his broken tablet) but he wants nothing to do with her which is his smartest decision thus far. Noah takes the distraction as a time to pocket Audrey's phone, not completely trusting she's been 100% open about what she knows. In what is the saddest and best scene of the entire episode, a fragile Brooke walks to the pool her and Jake had their last moments together - offering a slight smile at the memories until she walks in and immerses herself in the water, letting out a scream as well as a heartbreaking cry for what she's going through.
In the final scene, Noah hacks into Audrey's phone and discovers the killer has been in contact with her - also finding the gif of her removing evidence from Jake's body... Let's hope Audrey's days as an accomplice are put on blast.
Overall Grade: 9/10
This was a solid follow up to one of their best episodes, and every Brooke centric scene made the episode even more enjoyable. Carlson Young delivered an exceptional performance with the ending pool scene becoming one of the most memorable moments of the series for her portrayal of a layered character facing serious trauma. The anxiety amongst the group was another nice inclusion of what should occur now that they are aware they will once again be targeted. I cannot wait to see how the remainder of the season unfolds!
Aedan's Final Thoughts:
- Carlson Young is one of my favorite actresses on television, partially due to her nuanced performance in the most necessary moments.
- I'm starting to wonder if Emma is fairly insane after all... Killer material perhaps?
- Audrey continues to dig herself a bigger grave and her actions against Stavo have me hoping she gets what she deserves (hint: it's not good.)
- I have a suspicion that one of the new kids could be assisting one of the Lakewood 5 as the new murderer