by Melissa Parkin
Out with the melodrama, and in with the bloodbath. After some rather lackluster, teen soap-opera episodes, Scream: The TV Series ups its game in the second half of its season. Though chills and thrills may come in abundance, the story-line still falters from some overall pacing issues. That said, it’s not nearly as cringe worthy as earlier episodes. The scares satisfy. The deaths (though oddly fewer than expected) deliver in brutal fashion and the mystery is compelling in its own right. With that being said, the parallels one can draw to it and its obvious source material, Harper’s Island, are still too numerous to mention. That spat (though a rather large one) aside, the show does accomplish what it set out to, despite its rocky start.
Though serial killer couplings are a rarity in reality, having two people working together in a murderous bloodbath seems relatively common in film and television—especially in the whodunit category of the horror genre. Given that the other killer can perform alone, this pairings tactic provides alibis for each potential suspect for at least one killing. Of course, this should stump the audience as to who’s really behind the acts. But considering that three out of the four Scream films used this ploy, as did Harper’s Island, it’s all the more fair to assume that we should be looking for two killers versus one. So, who are our prime suspects?
Noah Foster: Labeled as the “Randy” in the small screen adaptation, this slasher film aficionado is not only very tech-savvy, but also an enthusiast of mass murderer, Brandon James. A deadly combo . . . .
Jake Fitzgerald: Revealed as a total creeper, this arrogant jock was spying on Nina Patterson via web cam all the way up to her violent murder, and was also blackmailing the mayor with stolen security footage. If this doesn’t establish this guy’s lack of morals and empathy, I’m not sure what might. Also, he recently managed to miraculously survive when the killer brutally stabbed him in the chest. The killer missed all of his organs. That’s convenient.
Kieran Wilcox: Sure, the guy has the face of a devilish angel, but who can ignore the fact that this steely-eyed bad boy just so happened to stroll into town when the murders began? The son of Lakewood’s sheriff, Kieran enters the picture after both his mom and stepdad were killed in a car accident. Was a car involved? Most likely. Was it an accident? That remains to be seen. Not much is known about him aside from his deep interest in gothic literature and that he has a rough relationship with his father. After making it a point to zero in on our protagonist, Emma, he’s managed to seduce her easily with his enigmatic charm, despite her mixed emotions after her bitter breakup from Will. Then, when Emma returns her affections to Will when he nearly dies, Emma’s ex has another sudden brush with death. It ends with him being sawed in half, right down the middle. Could jealousy be another one of Ghostface’s evil attributes?
These three definitely have some questionable circumstances surrounding them, but let’s be honest. Two people in particular stand out amongst the rest.
Prime Suspect #1: Audrey Jensen – Having lost her former best friend, Emma, to Nina Patterson’s high-status clique, she’s found herself as the subject of ridicule by fellow classmates. After Nina sends out a video of Audrey making out with another girl to everyone in town, causing it to go viral, Nina gets sliced and diced by her poolside. Just as the late Nina made Audrey an internet sensation, Ghostface returns the favor by releasing a GIF to everyone of the killer taking a selfie with Nina’s dead body. Then, only later when Emma confesses to Audrey for being a part of the video prank does Ghostface start harassing her, leading to the leaked video of Will deflowering Emma. An eye for an eye, perhaps?
Audrey’s DNA was also found inside one of the Ghostface masks from the abandoned hospital containing the killer’s lair. And we’ve seen this artsy student’s murderous temper on the video that Emma and Noah discover when Audrey is taken into police custody. The only reason she’s released is because Emma made up a false alibi for her out of guilt. Audrey also admits to having used the Ghostface’s voice changer for one of Rachel’s movies, and she keeps a secret photo of Brandon James amongst her possessions. This circumstantial evidence seems suspicious enough, but one thing is damning above all. Ghostface boldly takes credit for each of his/her kills, with the exception of Rachel Murray, Audrey’s make-out partner from the viral video. The killer goes through the effort of making Rachel’s death look like a suicide. Why? When a highly publicized serial killer makes it abundantly clear that he/she enjoys the notoriety, wouldn’t said person want to take credit for killing Rachel? Nothing about Rachel, aside from her relationship to Audrey, connects her to the rest of the victims. She didn’t even live in Lakewood. The only reason she danced the Gallow’s Jig seems to be because of something she may have known about Audrey that could implicate the rebellious teen later.
Prime Suspect #2: Piper Shaw – Anyone with a keen eye can figure out that there’s something extremely shady about this intelligent crime podcaster. The girl comes face-to-face with Ghostface, and only walks away with a minor head bump while Will is stabbed and dragged away. She also uses her injury later to excuse herself from the abandoned bowling alley just before some major smack goes down. When introduced in the second episode, Piper mentions to Emma that her father was murdered before she could remember. In episode eight, we find out that Emma’s mother was pregnant with Brandon James’s child after he was killed by police following the massacre. Maggie gave up the child for adoption, leaving said individual to be about twenty or twenty-one years of age in 2015. Can you guess how old Piper is? Yep. And who could ignore the showrunners’ attempt to dress down the gorgeous Amelia Rose Blaire with those ridiculously nerdy glasses? This purposely executed persona of demure and sweet immediately sends up red flags.
But what would Piper’s motives be? Well, that’s where some theorizing comes in. Even Maggie (Emma’s mother) believes to this day that Brandon James was innocent for the massacre in the mid-90s. If true, then who is the original killer? Taking a page out of the first Scream movie, it could be the soul ‘survivor’ of the attacks, Emma’s father. He was obviously furious about Maggie’s relationship with Brandon, and even left his wife and daughter years later when he discovered that Maggie had given birth to Brandon’s child. If Piper is in fact Brandon James’s daughter, then coming to Lakewood to start a similar bloodbath might spur her father’s murderer to return to town . . . as he later does. Ghostface makes numerous mentions to Emma that her entire family is a lie. Well, if Emma’s mother really loved Brandon, but later unwittingly married the man responsible for his death and sullied legacy, it would definitely make Emma’s family a sham.
So, who do you guys think is behind the mask? Let us know.
Scream: The TV Series – B-/C+