Synopsis: The death of another teenager casts doubt on the entire city and leads to a fight between Emma and Audrey. Meanwhile, reporter Piper comes to town to report on the murders.
The second episode of Scream was marginally better than the first, and it set up the next to be even better.
It was based around the fallout from the first death, rolled into that of a new, second death, coupled with the search for a third missing teen that only the audience knows to be dead. It had all the makings of good drama, but it didn’t quite hit the mark.
The episode focused a little too much on trying to update us on every character at once, rather than developing suspense that was already built in.
The first few scenes set up an interesting story engine of people getting texts and calls from people who hadn’t actually sent them. This introduced what is probably going to be a running trick, and provides endless red herrings to be used at absolutely any time, but did nothing to address it in the episode itself. We saw it happen, but there has been no payoff yet.
This culminated in Emma receiving another creepy phone call from the killer, initially posing as an employee of the home alarm company. The scene was wonderfully reminiscent of Drew Barrymore’s scene from the beginning of the original film, except that Emma lived. As cute as she is, it would have been a hugely beneficial jump for her to be killed and the narrative to latch onto a different character.
(For the record, my prediction of Nina being alive and behind it all has yet to be disproven).
That’s the kind of hard left turn the movies liked to make, and that the show has yet to try. The pilot seemed to foreshadow this, but the newest episode doesn’t seem to have progressed it any farther.
My impression is that the show is trying to get the same narrative beats that could make up a movie, stretch far enough to make up a TV season, and it’s not going to be enough. They need a little more kick per episode if they’re going to keep us engaged.
It did however introduce Piper, the Courtney Cox-esque nosy journalist character. This is exciting and clever because she is entirely shady and fantastically bubbly all at once. The double-edged sword now though, is that the show has allowed that the killer might be someone we haven’t even met yet.
In a certain sense, that means no rules at all, which is fun. In another, it’s cheating. It makes the show an impossible guessing game, and the tradition of a slowly-dwindling pool of suspects becomes pointless. Which is not fun.
I still believe the show has potential and some tricks up it’s sleeve, but they need to move the story along and stick to the Murder Mystery mythology if they want to hang on to their viewers. They also need to do away with the dreaded love triangle, and the constant, asinine condemnation of “kids and their technology”.
Current Body Count: 3