Welcome back to MTV’s Scream. If you were looking for a fun summer show to fill you with irrational anger and make you question the existence of man, you’ve come to the right place. In the time that has passed since last summer it would appear the residents of Lakewood have developed an even stronger and completely unfounded sense of invincibility. Were the majority of our friends brutally murdered by a serial killer three months ago? You bet! Will we perhaps lead more cautious lives as a result of it? Hell nah!
If you missed out on the premiere last week fear not, catching up his pretty easy. Here’s how the Lakewood Six (that’s right, Noah named them) were up to during the off season:
- Emma spent three months in rehab after a full on public meltdown that people seem to be way less understanding about than they should be given the circumstances.
- Noah co-opted Piper’s podcast and turned it into The Morgue, a weekly show in which he continues to dwell on the period of his life where he and his friends were stalked by a psychotic murderer. Jury is out on whether this is legal or ethical, but it’s probably cheaper than therapy so whatever.
- Jake and Brooke became a secret couple. They had to keep it on the DL because of that one time Jake blackmailed Emma’s dad and also because he’s aggressively gay and a girlfriend would probably sabotage his Grindr game.
- Audrey became a local hero for shooting Piper, but has had to deal with the internal guilt stemming from the fact that she was 100% an accomplice in that tiny murder spree that plagued the town for weeks.
- Kieran has been living without a semblance of parental guidance since his father was killed and his shitty aunt can’t be bothered to check in. He passes the time by throwing sad five-person parties and lets Jake and Brooke bang in his house. We all need a friend like Kieran.
Honestly the most offensive thing that’s happened since last season ended is the introduction of that scraggly excuse for a mustache that’s taken residence on Kieran’s upper lip.
This week’s episode opens directly where last week’s left off, with Emma rummaging around in the farmhouse of an abandoned pig barn that was at one point owned by her estranged uncle. You know, the kinds of activities that kids with raging PTSD typically engage in the second they’re out of rehab. Not pictured: Jake strung up in the barn outside with his organs spilling out of his stomach.
That’s right, the first death of the season befell the most entertaining and ridiculous character, so idk what I’m supposed to focus on for three more months. RIP Jake, we will miss your unnecessary use of third person and twinkish good looks.
Inside, Emma discovers that whoever has been squatting in the barn house is completely obsessed with her. What’s fucking new in Lakewood. The walls were papered with photos of her ranging from childhood to present day, accompanied by newspaper clippings about her many brushes with dead. Honestly, you think she’d be used to this shit by now, but maybe being stalked by a sociopath is something you don’t ever really acclimate to.
She runs outside to tell Brooke, who at least has the self-preservation instincts to wait by the car, and her reaction is one that any sane person would have which is UM LETS GTFO. Bless this tiny blonde doll for being the only rational person on this show.
Back at home, Emma tells her mom about what she just saw and her mom instantly reverts back into her “ah shit, you’ve uncovered another secret I was never going to reveal to you” face. You know, the only one she wore all last season.
Maggie fills Emma in on the details of the barn. It was, in fact, once occupied by the James family post-Brandon murders. They were virtually exiled from town due to the psycho relative thing and this desolate pig farm was the only place they could find peace. Definitely not murderers.
The reason Emma has been seeing the barn in her dreams is that she went a few times as a child when her mom would visit the family of the boy whose death she low-key caused. I’m sure those were enjoyable interactions for everyone involved.
Emma: I can’t believe you would keep something like this from me.
Emma’s mom: Well it’s been a pretty common theme thus far, so I figured why not?
Like mother like daughter, Maggie suggests going right back to abandoned farm house in the middle of the night to get this all sorted out. How the FUCK are these people still alive.
Lo and behold, Emma and her mother find the walls completely clean and no masked murderer in sight. Emma begins to doubt herself. Is she crazy? Did she imagine it? Or did the cloaked figure she encountered come back and remove all the evidence before the police could get involved? One of these scenarios is clearly the answer, and it’s also the one that everyone ignores.
Kieran, the second sanest person on this show, suggests that Emma report this to the cops. Maybe now that his dad is dead, the police force will actually be capable of solving crimes. Probably not, but one can dream. Predictably, Emma is not down. She’s a masochist who prefers to suffer emotional and psychological trauma in silence.
Emma: The cops would think I’m crazy!!
Kieran: I mean, yeah, but this would hardly rank amongst the many other reasons.
After shooting down that logical course of action, the lovebirds launch into a far too brief conversation about how maybe they’re all just going to be fucked up forever after the events of last season. No one seems to explore this train of thought enough. You should all be in rehab.
Kieran: You know when my dad first died I went through some weird shit too.
Emma: UM CAN WE TALK ABOUT ME FOR ONE SECOND PLEASE.
As Emma leaves we spot an old blue car slowly following her. Maybe this girl shouldn’t be walking around town by herself at night, or ever??
At school the next day, Noah is updating Audrey with the latest news on her potential harasser. She’s been getting texts since last episode from an anonymous number who claims to know what she did last season. Noah thinks it’s Piper’s accomplice come back to haunt them, and it’s getting comical how close this kid gets to being right without ever actually solving anything.
One of the commenters on The Morgue claims to have seen the accomplice back when the first set of murders was going down. I would mock him for not reporting it to the police, but we all know that would have been about as effective as sealing his suspicions in a bottle and throwing it into the lake.
Actual footage of people trying to assist the Lakewood Police force last season:
In reality, this commenter is bad news for Audrey. In case you forgot, she was the actual accomplice and that kind of information would be grounds for kicking her out of the Lakewood Six. And probably also enough to send her to jail, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
Speaking of, the Lakewood Six (now five, not that they know that yet) have finally fucking realized that Jake is missing. Considering that just three months ago, being missing for five minutes was a resolute death sentence, you’d think they’d all be a little more concerned. But everyone is just like “Oh you know, just Jake being Jake!” Who needs murderous enemies when you have friends like this?
Brooke: I haven’t heard from Jake in 24 hours. Do you think it’s because of our breakup, or could he actually be in danger?
Everyone else: ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Between the escalating text threats and looming fear of discovery, Audrey is starting to really lose it. She attacks Hayley, the girl who staged that movie theatre prank last episode, in the hallway at school and this bitch still has the audacity to act self-righteous.
Audrey: Are you still messing with me?
Hayley: Oh my god I recreate your traumatic near death experience ONE TIME and suddenly I’m the asshole.
Noah, the one character on this show who is supposed to be eerily attuned to the behaviors and personalities of serial killers, can’t seem to catch on to the supreme murder vibes his best friend is giving off. Like, you literally have ONE job.
Emma accidentally blew off a meeting her new tutor due to the events of the night before. Everyone knows she’s not crying wolf, but this whole “constant prey” thing is still getting old.
I think I’m going to peg this girl Zoe as my first official suspect based solely on the glare she laid on Emma that was far too intense for a missed study session. Her second strike: she’s clearly got a crush on Noah. A red flag if I’ve ever seen one.
Ignoring the blatant PTSD that the majority of the student body is probably suffering from, this new psych teacher has decided to delve into nightmare study the second her most traumatized student returns to school. Clearly Lakewood’s only qualification for teachers is a well-thought-out answer to the question “How badly can you fuck up our students?”
Glaring negligence to her students’ psyche aside, Emma still takes the teacher up on her offer to “talk.” Yes, Emma. Continue to confide in and build relationships with strange women who show an interest in your personal life. It’s always worked out for you in the past.
Emma meets a stranger in the completely empty school hallway who has zero qualms about coming off as a total creep to the girl who was very notoriously stalked just months before. At some point Emma might figure out that she should stop speaking to strangers, but I doubt that day will come any time soon.
The stranger admits to knowing Emma’s name because “everybody does.” Uh, sure, but I wouldn’t even address a major celebrity by their first name without introducing myself first. It’s called fucking manners, new kid who looks like a backwater relative of Elijah Wood.
He cryptically tells Emma that he might be starting school there soon. Why are non-students allowed to roam the hallways in a school that just suffered a major murder epidemic? Where is the security? Why do I continue to have such high expectations for this incompetent town? We may never know the answer to these questions.
Speaking of a town doomed for failure, it would appear that everyone has just kind of let all of the mayor’s shady activities from last season slide. He’s at a coffee shop with his daughter (Brooke) planning out their next photo-op. Nothing solves a murder scandal like a well-timed PR stunt.
Brooke’s Dad: You’ll be at Lakewood Days, yes?
Brooke: I suppose it wouldn’t kill me. Haha. Get it? Because it might actually kill me.
After Brooke leaves we see that her dad is reading through his texts with Jake. Whatever chore Jake was off performing to win Brooke back was clearly at the request of the mayor, which will only give Brooke one more reason to resent her father once Jake’s body shows up.
Kieran arrives home after school to find the new sheriff, who apparently knows how to do his job. He finds out that a minor, and member of the Lakewood Six no less, is living alone on the outskirts of town and actually goes out to do something about it. Can you imagine!
Sheriff Acosta has called in Kieran’s absent Aunt Tina, who promises to “take care of things.” In this case, “taking care of things” means moving Kieran home with her to Atlanta. I have no idea how far away Atlanta is from this fictional town, but the answer is probably “not far enough.” Why any of the almost victims still live here is beyond me. Literally the entire population of Lakewood should have relocated by now. Burn it down.
Brooke heads to the police station to file a missing persons report for Jake, something that his parents probably should have done by now, but sure. I get that they’re out of town, but this is 2016. If you can’t get ahold of your teenager once over the course of four hours, he’s probably dead.
She runs into the sheriff’s creepy-ass son Gustavo, her clear next love interest. The pros: this one might actually be straight. The cons: he seems pretty murdery. Take what you can get, Brooke. Gustavo reveals that he’s ranked the Lakewood Six by level of importance, Jake coming in at six and Brooke at five.
Brooke: Um, I was stabbed and locked in a freezer.
Gustavo: Yeah, that Noah kid has a raging boner for murder.
Brooke: Fair enough.
Just as Brooke is about to walk into the Sheriff’s office, Gustavo pulls out his phone and sends a message. Moments later, Brooke receives a text from Jake. Not suspicious at all. Fake Jake wants to meet up tonight for sexy times. There was no use of third person in the text, so idk how Brooke didn’t catch on immediately. Before leaving, she has some parting words for Gustavo.
Brooke: You don’t know anything about the Lakewood six.
New Kid: I know that you gave yourselves a pretty fucking douchey nickname.
Outside, she finds a large bouquet of roses and an apology note on her car. Dead Jake seems like a way better boyfriend than alive Jake, tbh.
Emma and her teacher rendezvous in the coffee shop Emma used to work at for their impromptu therapy sesh. It might be a nice gesture if the shady bitch wasn’t recording their entire conversation. Luckily, she doesn’t get much because Emma sees a girl who looks vaguely like Piper and has a full on meltdown.
Emma: I can’t believe that I ever thought I could come back to this place again.
Teacher: Well to be fair, I think it’s the only coffee shop in town.
Emma goes on and on about how she confided in Piper, a near stranger, and almost died because of it. Glad to see you’ve learned you fucking lesson on that one.
Afterwards she heads to Kieran’s house and runs right into the stranger from the hallway. It turns out his name is Eli and he’s Kieran’s cousin. Pretty unfairly stacked gene pool going on in this family if you ask me. Emma has come to say goodbye to Kieran but also to wrangle him into another dangerous situation because this girl clearly wants to die.
Emma: Before you leave there’s something I want to do and I don’t want to do it alone or with anyone else.
Kieran: Is this a sex thing?
Emma: The exact opposite of a sex thing.
She takes him to the dock where her final battle with Piper went down. Why Emma insists on confronting all of her fears at isolated locations in the dead of night is so fucking beyond my realm of comprehension. She sees the killer across the lake, but then closes her eyes because she assumes she’s imagining it. Spoiler alert: she’s not. When her eyes open, the killer is gone. Well, that solves it! All is well in Lakewood! End of Season 2!!
This brief triumph is a real mood booster apparently, because the two of them start passionately making out on the dock where Emma killed her sister. Ah, young love. They take the show to the car, where some tender teenage love-making occurs. Emma is super self-conscious about the tiny scar on her washboard abs. I’m not a doctor, but I think that when you get slashed across the stomach with a butcher knife, there’s a little more to show for it than that.
Inside, Eli is trying to convince his mom to move into Kieran’s, because apparently their life in Atlanta is pretty shitty. I’m sure there are no creepy ulterior Emma-related motives there.
Meanwhile, Brooke is either getting ready for her faux-reunion with Jake or prepping for her RENT audition. Either way, bring back this look. Her Dad walks in, thinking they’re heading to Lakewood Days, and honestly mad props to him for not keeling over on the spot.
In one fell swoop she tells her Dad that she’s bailing on their plans and dating the kid who extorted money out of him. He takes it better than expected, but that’s probably because the multiple strokes he’s suffering from having to stare at his daughter’s laced up cleavage make it difficult to express any kind of emotion.
Sticking with the theme of “let’s rendezvous in questionable locales,” Noah is waiting for Audrey in the parking lot of the seedy motel where his mystery commenter works. She never shows, presumably because it would make it pretty easy for the desk clerk to ID her as the accomplice, so Noah goes in by himself. Before he can get any real information, though, the witness receives a call from the murderer. Just kidding, it’s Audrey, calling from across the street using the voice modulator app that I’m really hoping she deleted after Piper got caught. You think that maybe the police would have thought to check the download histories of potential suspects, huh? Well then, both yours and my expectations are far too high for this show.
Fresh from their romantic romp in the car, Kieran and Emma are greeted by Aunt Tina, who reveals that she and Eli will be moving in. Hurray, Kieran can stay! Double hurray, his questionable cousin will now have near constant access to Emma!
Freshly empowered from overcoming her trauma/sex with her crazy hot boyfriend, Emma decides to WALK HOME BY HERSELF IN THE DARK.
Kieran: You sure that’s a good idea?
Emma: I’m an independent woman.
Kieran: I mean, sure bu—
Emma: INDEPENDENT. WOMAN.
She at least calls her mom on the way home, which serves to distract her from the slowly idling car behind her. I thought I had the worst survival instincts on the planet, but Emma honestly makes me look like Bear Grylls.
Shocking no one, the car begins to aggressively chase her and the circuitous escape route she takes leads to them facing each other chicken style in the middle of the road. No one in the main square of this town has noticed a beat up old car screeching around corners after a teenage girl. Lakewood out here making Westeros look like a safe place to live.
“WHY ARE YOU CHASING ME” Emma screams at the car.
“BECAUSE YOU CLEARLY HAVEN’T ACQUIRED A SINGLE SELF-PRESERVATION INSTINCT THROUGHOUT THIS ENTIRE EXPERIENCE,” the driver hopefully screams back.
Turns out it’s not a serial killer, just her estranged father who thought the best way to overcome that awkward initial interaction was to chase her Christine style around town.
Mr. Duvall: I was just trying to figure out the best way to approach you.
Emma: Stalking me in a strange car at night was probably not the way to do it but ok.
As per usual, the episode closes with a creepy voiceover from Noah, this time detailing the recent advances in his search for Piper’s accomplice.
Noah: I’ve had a few setbacks.
Noah: It’s almost like someone is trying to stop me from discovering the truth.
Noah: Tbh, I have a feeling I’m not going to like what I find.
Noah: If I was smart, I’d probably just stop searching.
Noah: lol nah
While he continues to narrate, story lines are wrapped up all around town. Emma tells her mom about the ill-timed and completely inappropriately carried out return of her father. Gustavo watches from the bushes as Brooke waits outside Jake’s clearly empty home. Most interestingly, Audrey breaks into a storage locker that looks to be filled with hanging car air fresheners. Tacky at best, severely ominous at worst.
Behind the air fresheners lies the source of the awful smell that apparently only 30 pine scented tree tags could cover: Jake. He was left there for Audrey to find with a note pinned to his chest, cut from her own letters, and organs spilled all over his lap. There goes our hope for a fake out.
Death Count: One. Deuces, Jake.
Current suspect: No one who looks guilty in the second episode is going to be the actual murderer, so I’m skipping the obvious choices of Gustavo and Eli and sticking with my original prediction, Zoe. Don’t trust anyone who claims to be that invested in dream analysis.