This week's episode of Scream promised an intense chapter and there was definitely no disappointment - but before we dive into the gory details, let's pick up where we last left off.
After finding the body of Piper, Maggie looked over the corpse of her daughter, discovering new incisions through her chest. Even though the sheriff offered her an out, Maggie stuck to her job as the coroner and dove in finding the heart of a pig placed inside. While the two become more certain of a connection to their past, Audrey attempts to deal with hers and a furious Emma. Emma questions her about Piper and discovers she knew about her being Emma's half sibling which is enough to infuriate her more given how much could have been prevented. Back at the sheriffs station, sheriff Acosta tells Maggie he believes Brandon James must be back because of the hints about what they did growing up (someone knows their secrets.) a flashback sequence shows us that Maggie turned to him for help when Brandon was in trouble which led to them taking him to the James farmhouse and burying a knife he had on him (presumably post murders.)
Noah leaves class and calls Zoe who hadn't attended, but she declines and sends a text about how special their night together was - asking him to meet her at their "spot" near the lake. Of course being love struck, Noah follows her goose-chase which has her requesting he enter the dim lit ominous woods. Being a horror aficionado, he becomes concerned so the killer takes things into his own hands and calls him from her phone. The killer insists he enter the woods or Zoe will need a "closed casket" so he can't help but hope he can save her. Unfortunately, Noah is ambushed by the killer who stabs him in the gut before knocking him unconscious until the next phase of his/her plan. After her lackluster explanation, Audrey tracks down Emma and tells her she has t heard from Noah which prompts them both to get a link for a live-stream of Noah buried alive. The masked psychopath states they will set his grave on fire if anyone but the two of them participate, so a quest of the feuding friends begins to save Noah.
Noah begins to panic when he realizes the situation he's in, talking to the camera with hopes that someone other than the killer can see him. At one point, he can hear the screams of a girl (uncertain of who it is) with Emma and Audrey contemplating how to approach the situation. They get another message from the killer saying they need to start where Noah went wrong in his investigation, taking them to the infamous murder board of suspects. Sheriff Acosta is still very much concerned about the new reveals, taking him back to the James farmhouse when he hears unusual noises coming from above and even moving a chandelier which is proof enough that he isn't alone. He makes his way upstairs and finds a hidden room behind a hideaway bed that is filled with photos of a young Emma and signs that someone has been residing in the room recently. As he looks out the window, he can tell they just exited and we see a hooded figure watching from the distance.
Emma and Audrey find a note at Noah's home to keep them searching, but Emma finds one of Audrey's letters to Piper that takes a few personal jabs at the heroine. The search seems fruitless initially, but the two find a bagged daffodil that is connected to their childhood. On the way to the horse ranch, Emma tells Audrey she has read the letters but refuses to discuss it with her any further. After finding out about the Brandon James connection, Acosta tells Maggie it must be him or someone who is aware of their secrets from so many years ago. Noah begins to hallucinate and sees Zoe in the grave with him, who is almost a guide to keep him calm. The scenes are beautifully shot and also tragically heartbreaking when he realizes she isn't really there - sending Noah into a rage filled freak out.
The sheriff receives his first call from the killer, warning him to get out to the stables before it's too late (throwing in another connection to his past.) At that point, Audrey and Emma make their way to the barn and find a sickle holding the door shut (used to kill Jake) and they get the video of Jake's death to rattle them more. They begin to search the area for freshly dug up dirt to save him as he gets closer to dying. Zoe appears to Noah once again, levitating over him as she asks him to stay awake and talks about their future - prom, graduation, and going to college in Boston together before she slowly disappears. Emma takes the time to fight with Audrey more until she cracks and admits that her motives were having her heart broken by Emma. Right after that revelation is made, they hear Noah humming a tune that Zoe sang to him and successfully dig him up. After they pull him out they hear screaming from her, locating a phone with a live broadcast of her in a grave filling with water.
They determine she must be at the lake, hoping to have the police handle it and take Noah to a hospital but he refuses and insists they save her - true love folks. They find the rope to her coffin as they check the video where she's still alive and pull it from the water. Noah pry's it open excited to save the girl he loves, but is shocked (like the viewers) when her body lies still and we see Zoe has drowned, but the heartless killer kept them hopeful. Zoe's death came as an emotional loss for the show, and it surprisingly caught me off-guard which is great work for the series, but a bummer for my state of overall grief. RIP Zoe, you will be missed by the Scream Team.
With the sheriff and coroner arriving to the barn they find a pig strung up with trophies of some of the murders (sorry Branson's hand...) and elsewhere an emotional and shocked Noah is taken to the hospital to treat his wounds. Later in the evening, Maggie comforts Emma who feels partially responsible for Zoe's death, which leads Maggie to do one last thing in case Brandon James is back - so she leaves a note in an old tree where they used to communicate that says "leave her alone" but the only person that sees it is creeper Eli who lurks outside of their home.
Overall Grade: 9/10
The episode had so much going on in the best way possible, with reveals, Noah in danger, and the hard loss of Zoe that had a bigger impact than I could have predicted. This killer has done far more to get an emotional reaction than Piper so I'm even more anxious to see who is wielding the knife in season 2 (my guess is it's more than one.)
Aedan's Final Thoughts:
I suspect that the main killer was present in season 1 as Piper's accomplice, so I still strongly feel that Kieran is the most likely for his unusual timing and mysterious past. Maggie seems suspicious in ways as well, but I'm bot certain they would take that approach.
The loss of Zoe was also a rough reminder that perhaps Noah should avoid relationships, he hasn't had the best luck in the dating department.
I demand a third season MTV! As their best scripted series on the network, it deserves more time to flourish with strong selection of characters and mystery.