Season finale mofos. If you’ve been reading these recaps regularly, you’ll see that I already spoiled the ending by titling this post I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO. Sorry. But, to be fair, I fucking told you so.
The episode starts right where the last one left off: at the school dance with a Jumbotron streaming a bloody and tied up sheriff. Emma’s mom informs her that Branson has broken out, a cop is dead, that the police think it looks staged, and then makes her first responsibly maternal move all season: tells Emma to sit her ass down in the room full of cops and stay put for once.
Emma: lol okay
Piper shows up at Emma’s side the second her mom leaves. While I get that there’s kind of an emergency going on at the moment I’d still like to know why no one has questioned the presence of this strange adult at a school function. When I was in high school you needed two kinds of ID and a fucking DNA test to get in the doors, even when your date’s mom was the one checking people in.
Emma: Why would Mr. Branson do this?
Piper: Well if I was the killer, which I’m definitely not, I would use it as a distraction from what I was really planning on doing, which is murdering you. But idk, serial killers, am I right? Btw trust nobody.
Emma calls Kieran but he’s too busy loading a gun in his car to answer. Noah is attempting to track the killer by sourcing the video he’s streaming into the gym…with his iPad. My iPad crashed 5 times while I tried watching this goddamn episode, but whatever. It’s at this point that Emma and Noah realize that no one has heard from Brooke and Audrey in a while.
Luckily, is too busy getting blacked out at her house to worry about a potential murderer on the loose. It would also appear there is no cell reception in the entire town of Lakewood, because no one is getting any texts.
The murderer calls Emma to make a dramatic speech and goad her into leaving the safety of the gym. True to form, she falls for it and heads straight to the precinct where her mom is examining the body of the dead cop. After a very unenthusiastic scolding and some mother daughter sleuthing, they figure out that the Sheriff might be at the tree behind the Duvall’s old house where Brandon left gifts for Daisy. Honestly, the team from criminal minds would have figured that out in all of three seconds without having to pull clues out of the victims body.
Back at the party full of drunk teenagers being held in an open house despite the entire town being on murder lockdown, Brooke and Audrey bond over the fact that even if they do make it out of this shit alive, they’re about to be psychologically scarred for life.
Emma and her mom race to the old house where the Sheriff is tied up to a tree. Failing to learn from her daughter’s fatal mistake of rushing to the seemingly safe aid of a love interest, Maggie cuts the rope tying the Sheriff to the tree, which also happens to be the same rope holding his organs inside his body. First casualty of the night.
After an ill-timed pep talk about not letting the killer win, Emma and her mom part ways for some inexplicable reason. Piper, who of course happens to be at the scene of the crime, volunteers to go “check on Brooke” for Emma.
Piper: Hey, is our mom okay?
Emma: Uh, you mean my mom?
Piper: Yes that is definitely what I meant to say.
Noah calls Emma with news: he has managed to trace the video back to what appears to be Brooke’s address. The killer has also infected all of their phones with malware so that no one gets messages or notifications, except apparently when he’s the one texting them.
Noah: We should call the cops
Killer: Hoe don’t do it
Emma and Noah race off to Brooke’s house, and Noah spends the entire drive letting Emma know how fucking dumb she is.
Noah: We should really bring the cops with us
Emma: No, we finish this ourselves
Noah: DO YOU LISTEN TO YOURSELF SPEAK I SWEAR
Jake confronts Brooke in her wine cellar (which is ultimate fucking goals btw) and confesses to spying on her through her webcam. His motives were equal parts chivalrous and boob motivated, which weirdly enough Brooke isn’t all that flattered by.
Meanwhile Jake’s drunk ass date stumbles upon the next victim: unnamed kid who tried to use the inside bathroom despite explicit directions not to. Honestly, fucker deserved it. Bathroom etiquette at parties is non-negotiable.
The killer sneaks up on Audrey while she goes to examine the body, and she’s all “WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR.” It looks like he stabs her right as we go to commercial, which obviously means they are in cahoots.
Brooke walks outside to a completely empty party and is like WTF. I guess her Gringott’s wine cellar is too far underground to hear the stampeding feet of teenagers fleeing from a dead body. Branson shows up and tells her that he was set up. The killer showed up to jail, killed the guard, and then let him out of his cell. He confesses his undying love for her, and I guess we all just ignore the fact that he was a twenty something adult preying on a 16-year-old.
Brooke listens to his heartfelt speech and then is like “nah,” and locks all her doors. Branson is standing on the patio when the lights suddenly go out. When they come back on, the killer is standing at the window, staring at Brooke.
After a spastic and breathy sprint through her home, Brooke decides to hide in the freezer in the garage where her dad stored that drug addicts body. To the collective surprise of no one, this completely backfires. The killer locks her in, stabs a couple wounds/air holes into the box, and then turns the freezer on. She loses her shit as if:
1. this isn’t an ideal situation considering most people get dismembered and
2. she doesn’t have her goddamn phone with her
Noah and Emma show up at Brooke’s and find Piper’s car and shattered glasses, both covered in blood. I screamed “THIS IS A SET UP” at my screen, but I don’t think they heard me. While they’re creeping around the premises with a crow bar they happen upon Kieran, who is much better equipped with a revolver. At least someone is taking this shit seriously.
Emma: Why didn’t you call me back?
Kieran: Um maybe because you ruined our first date by accusing me of murder.
Both Noah and Emma are super suspicious of Kieran even though literally no victims have died of a gunshot wound yet. Emma lowkey accuses him of murdering Piper (even though her body hasn’t been found), and he is understandably confused.
Kieran: Why would I kill Piper?
Emma: Because you’re Brandon James’ son!
Kieran is like “um, no, I have one dad. The sheriff. You know, he’s fucking your mom and I love him very much,” at which point everyone realizes that no one has told him his dad was dismembered and tied to a tree. Emma decides that now seems like an ideal time to break the news. Considering his dad was brutally murdered, both Emma and Noah choose to let bygones by bygones, and the three of them go off in search of the killer together.
Once inside Kieran opts to split up, and Noah once again speaks everyone’s mind by being like “um, probably NOT the best idea?” Yet he heads out to the backyard by himself anyway. Emma and Kieran head to the other side of the house where they run into Jake, who was conveniently “walking around by the lake,” while shit went down. Together the three of them find Brooke, who is suffering from hypothermia after ten minutes in a freezer that hadn’t been plugged in for probably over a week. This actually might not be that far out of the realm of possibility since she’s about 90 lbs.
Once they decide she probably won’t die, Emma and Kieran run outside and find Noah with a barely wounded Audrey, who is suspiciously still alive. Brooke and Jake follow shortly and everyone is reunited and safe for all of .4 seconds before they decide to split up again.
Emma goes inside to call the cops on the landline (lol). The killer beats her to it and calls first. Instead of playing it cool and maybe calling Noah’s ass inside to track the call with his iPad or maybe a spare Tamagotchi, she taunts him some more. The killer tells her to come out to the lake, alone, or everyone dies.
She runs out to the dock where Brandon James died and finds her mom, tied to a chair. The killer turns up and unveils himself, and guess what….IT’S FUCKING PIPER.
* obligatory moment of silence where I congratulate myself for being right the entire time * Alright, let’s continue.
Emma is shocked because Piper is literally the only person she hadn’t accused of being the killer at one point. After Piper’s typical killer monologue about being abandoned, seeking revenge, and framing Branson, she slices Emma across the stomach with a butcher knife. One would assume this is a fatal wound, but that means one would also have forgotten what show they are watching.
Mrs. Duvall unties herself and tackles Piper, who still manages to stab her in the side. Either everyone on this show is horrifically uncoordinated, or Piper is a fucking superhuman. Just as Piper goes in for the kill she gets shot by Audrey, who just happened to show up by herself at the right time, and falls into the lake. Because everyone knows that no serial killer goes down with one shot, Emma is prepared to shoot Piper in the face when she pops back up. Based on the swelling music and slow motion pan out, I’m going to assume she’s actually dead this time.
For a fleeting moment, it seems like the episode is about to end with every loose end tied up.
– Jake deletes the peeping tom files from his computer. Ah, character development.
– Emma and Kieran (who appears to be coping with the murder of his father pretty well) have gotten over that whole “sorry I accused you of murder” thing and are back to being a happy, not emotionally scarred couple.
– Branson is released from jail and everyone ignores his statutory relationship with not one but TWO students.
– Noah has inherited Piper’s podcast and is fulfilling his one true dream: talking about murderers to an audience of no one.
All’s well that ends well, right? Wrong. This is an MTV show, no one can ever be happy. As Noah brings up the very valid point of “who attacked Piper if she was in fact the killer?” the camera pans to Audrey, who is staring at a photo of herself and Emma as she burns copious amounts of notes about Brandon James and what looks like months of correspondence and between her and Piper. I honestly shouldn’t even be surprised and yet here I am, unnecessarily angry and out of wine. Goddamn you, Scream. Goddamn you.
Will the murder just pick up again next season?
Is Audrey related to Emma, too?
Will people finally realize this town is a hell mouth and just fucking move away?
Will Noah ever have sex with a real life girl?
Tune in next year to find out.