Synopsis: Emma discovers that her mother is hiding a few secrets from her past and the killer challenges her to a dangerous game.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

The great thing about this episode of Scream is that, pretty much for the first time, it upped the stakes. Emma found out about her mother’s past, she initiated contact with the killer, the police got involved, we learned that Kieran has been to prison, and the killer forced Emma to make a choice.

For the first time, she wasn’t just listening to threats and vague hints about possible past events. She directly asked the killer what the hell his problem was, and he straight-up told her it was time to play a game.

P.S. I like games and was suspiciously absent this week. [MTV]
P.S. I like games and was suspiciously absent this week. [MTV]
What the game was didn’t become clear until the end of the episode, when, by pleading with the killer not to hurt Brooke, she inadvertently “chose” for him to kill Riley instead. I’d also like to take a second to give a shout-out to Brianne Tju for positively CRUSHING IT in her final scene. It is not easy to give new life (so to speak) to the prototypical drawn-out death scene, but she totally nailed it. It was awesome.

And so sad. [MTV]
And so sad. [MTV]
All of these things are moving the story along more than it has up to this point. When Emma talks to the killer on the phone, she tells him to find someone else to mess with, and now she’s lost another friend. The implication now is, that Emma will take on the role of ‘bait,’ and deal with the killer’s twisted game so no one else has to.

This is a little bit tired, but it gives more depth to her character than she’s ever had before – to be the hero and the martyr, especially since she blames herself for the whole thing getting started.

Meanwhile, class-acts Will and Jake are apparently up a creek because they’ve been spying on girls through their webcams and charging people to watch the stream. It turns out that Tyler – the missing teen that the audience knows to be dead but that everyone else thinks is probably the killer – was in on the racket with them, and they’re worried he’ll expose them once he’s caught.

I honestly don’t know what this has to do with anything, or why Tyler would bother turning them in even if he were guilty. It would just make him look worse, wouldn’t it? We do know that Nina is on those tapes, so maybe they’re worried it’ll make them suspect too? At any rate, they almost killed each other with shovels in the middle of the woods. Boys.

I'm an ex-con, but still way better boyfriend material. [MTV]
I’m an ex-con, but still way better boyfriend material. [MTV]
The episode was solid, but the show still flounders for complex storytelling. It feels like what a bunch of middle-aged people think teenagers want to watch, and doesn’t give teenagers nearly enough credit for being able to appreciate messing with the horror genre.

Now that secrets are spilling though, it’ll be interesting to see whose dirty laundry gets aired out next.

Body Count: 4

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