TV Review: Scream 2.12 “When A Stranger Calls” (Finale)
By Dr. Zaius
Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 at 1:00 pm
Scream Season 2 Episode 12 “When a Stranger Calls”
Directed by Patrick Lussier
Written by Eoghan O’Donnell
Created by Jill E. Blotevogel, Jay Beattie, Dan Dworkin
Starring Willa Fitzgerald, Bex Taylor-Klaus, John Karna, Amadeus Serafini, Carlson Young, Tracy Middendorf, Austin Highsmith, Billy Campo, Sean Grandillo, Santiago Segura, Anthony Ruivivar MTV
Air date: Tuesday, August 16th, 2016, 10pm
And so it comes to this. MTV’s Scream fell deep into a sophomore slump early on, but has been fighting its way with a series of good episodes heading down the stretch. Emma (Willa Fitzgerald) and Audrey (Bex Taylor-Klaus) killed the murderer, Piper Shaw (Amelia Rose Blaire) at the end of season 1, but someone has been continuing her bloody legacy. Legacy is the opportune word in Lakewood, a town known for its bloody legend, Brandon James. Piper, it turned out was Brandon’s daughter, Emma’s half sister. Could Brandon be seeking revenge for his daughter’s death? Sheriff Acosta (Anthony Ruivivar) thought so. But when he sent officers to the James family farm, they found the Mayor dead, and Emma and Audrey standing over the body, blood on their hands. Is the killer framing them as part of his games? Will the rest of the Lakewood 6 survive?
Spoilers for the season finale of Scream below.
As the girls are being taken to the station in a cop car, the killer appears in the street causing a swerve and car wreck. After killing the officer, the masked killer hands the girls the keys to their cuffs and scurries off. The killer’s plan is either a) kill the girls, in which case they had a perfect opportunity or b) set them up as the killers and send them to to prison, in which case they had a perfect opportunity. I am now totally confused by the endgame here. Kristin Lang (Austin Highsmith) believes that Emma’s PTSD has transmitted to Audrey, and that they’re delusional and psychotic. The killer makes contact and tells them, “I want to keep playing,” and threatens to kill more people if they get caught or turn themselves in. Emma confides their plan to Kieran (Amadeus Serafini), and they flee before mysterious cousin Eli (Sean Grandillo) shows up home.
Brooke’s (Carlson Young) tough run on the show continues. Her mom was killed last season, and she barely escaped alive. Her boyfriend Jake (Tom Maden) was killed in the season premiere, and now her dad (Bryan Batt) is the latest victim. Despite the evidence, she refuses to believe that Emma and Audrey are the killers. Their plan is to get to the movie theater and hang there. Brooke goes to the hospital to see Noah (John Karna). They’re both suffering from losses. Carlson Young kills it here and she’s been my favorite part of the season. Her reaction when Emma tells them to stay away for their own safety is great. And Karna totally owns the role of scared to death geek feigning machismo. Soon, the remaining Lakewood 6-ers are reunited at the theater.
When the killer calls, Emma has had enough and tells him to come to the theater for a final showdown. Soon Stavo (Santiago Segura) shows up claiming he was invited by Brooke, and then a highlight reel of murders begins playing. Before you can yell, “Don’t split up!”, they split up of course, and the killer shows up and stabs Brooke before bolting when Emma brandishes a gun. Suffice to say that plan did NOT work out.
At the hospital, there’s a rather touching moment between Acosta and Gustavo before Noah interrupts and shows him the picture of Eli at Will’s funeral. Meanwhile Emma gets a photo texted to her of Audrey tied up and is told to come alone or she dies. She heads back to the orphanage for one final confrontation. The killer wasn’t someone I expected, literally until this episode when I felt they were holding a bright neon sign over their heads reading “IT’S ME!” We got your typical horror movie final act, killer reveal followed by a quick cat and mouse, and of course the heroes survive to fight another day. I did really like the Noah-narrated epilogue that set up next season.
Final thoughts on this season: It started really slow and felt very forced at times, especially with the introductions of the new characters. Some characters I felt were just there to kill time, Emma’s dad shows up, then disappears again and seems forgotten. However it got steadily better towards the end, and I would definitely call the killer reveal a surprise. The biggest revelation this season for me was Brooke. Carlson Young totally owns the quippy Queen Bee-sidekick role. In season 1 she reminded me of Rose McGowan’s Tatum from the film, and I was ready for her to die off rather quickly. But she persevered and survived. In season 2, she deals with the deaths of her boyfriend, her former lover, her new close friend, and her father, and gets stabbed. No character has lost as much as her and that includes the two main protagonist girls. I’m pleading with the showrunners to flip the script and have Brooke assume “final girl” status in season 3. It would totally freshen things up as Willa Fitzgerald is just stale now having survived two seasons. She doesn’t have the charisma that a young Neve Campbell had. Young on the other hand showed several times this season that Brooke was hardened by the experiences she faced. Whatever happens, the second half of the season saved it for me, and I’ll be back for season 3.
SPOILERS… I AM GOING TO REVEAL THE KILLER… ONLY READ FURTHER IF YOU WANT TO KNOW…
Ok, so quick thought on Kieran being Piper’s “final surprise”. Yeah, I am totally cool with it. The fact that they built their relationship since last season, and he was one of the Lakewood 6 really felt like he was ruled out as a killer. But his motivations actually made sense and harkened back to the motivations of Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) in Wes Craven’s original film. What I really did not like was what the show ended up doing with Eli. They gave him the uber tease and spent a lot of time this season detailing his backstory especially for a new character, and he’s essentially nothing more than a cheap cliche McGuffin. His whole involvement actually ruined the surprise of Kieran being the killer, because if you’ve watched as much horror as I have, you know that when all signs point to someone as the killer… they will inevitably be killed just to keep you guessing.
Will there be a Scream season 3? We’ll let you know when we know.
Scream (Season 2) | “˜Cousin vs. Cousin’ Official Sneak Peek | MTV
Will we finally get some answers about Eli’s sketchy past? Catch the season finale of Scream Season 2 on Tuesday, August 16th.