First, a word of warning. No part of the following review mentions any sounds Jake makes. Hey, don’t be mad. You clicked on the clickbait.
It’s been 9 months since we last saw the Lakewood crew. Let’s recap.
In 1994, a deformed small town teenager named Brandon James fell for his bowling alley co-worker Daisy and ultimately slept with her, though her boyfriend was one of the bullies who picked on James for his unusual appearance and the surgical mask he sometimes wore. During a high school Halloween Dance, Brandon approached Daisy and accidentally started a conflict that resulted in the deaths of several teenagers and then Brandon’s own demise. Daisy, as it turns out, was pregnant with his child.
After the tragedy, Daisy and her family moved away and she gave her newborn daughter up for adoption. Years later, she returned to her hometown of Lakewood posing as the medical examiner Maggie Duval, along with her daughter Emma. A series of gruesome murders begin that threaten Emma’s circle of friends and eventually attract the attention of true crime blogger Piper Shaw.
Piper, of course, turns out to be the stab-happy daughter of Brandon and Daisy, and wants to make Lakewood pay for demonizing and killing her father. She also wants to destroy Emma’s perfect life, the one she could’ve had if her mother had not given her up. During a fight with Emma and her best friend Audrey on the dock (where Brandon James perished 20 years before), Piper is defeated and killed before she can impart a big secret to Emma.
Meanwhile, in a last-minute shocker, Audrey destroys evidence connecting her to the murder spree, revealing that she aided Piper. Which brings us to…
Scream Season 2 Episode 1 “I Know What You Did Last Summer”
We open with a cat named Butterscotch chilling on a dining room table while its owner, Vine superstar Lele Pons, pours food in a cat bowl and chats with her friend Becca about dating habits. It seems Lele thinks Becca is kind of a hoe. Suddenly, the cat goes missing and there are odd clattering noises from the upper floors. Better go investigate!
Upstairs, the collapsible wooden steps leading into the attic are down. Butterscotch is finally discovered and so is Becca, descending from the rafters clad in murdery black clothes. What? Murdery is completely a real word. It describes the outfit you choose to go murdering in.
As Becca rages at her former friend for slut shaming her and stabs her twice, the audience in a movie theater reacts and we can all relax, it’s just a movie–and a callback to the bloody theater stabbing that opened “Scream 2” in 1997. Poor Lele is thrown out the window onscreen while movie house employee Audrey Jensen stares off into space in the rear of the theater.
A text lights up her phone, reading “Going to the party?” She asks the sender to identify themselves and the response is: “Your conscience.”
In a town with a penchant for attracting vindictive psychopaths, that’s not good.
Noah calls her while playing with a motorized toy pig. (Remember that little toy for later.) He is on his way to pick up Audrey for the welcome home party at Kieran’s house for Emma’s return from a retreat, where she processed the trauma of almost getting killed several times.
Noah wants Emma to agree to be interviewed for “The Morgue,” his true crime podcast specializing in dissecting Piper Shaw’s violent misdeeds. Audrey knocks that idea off the table as it could bring up horrible memories for the poor girl. We learn that Emma had a mental breakdown at school, which led to the retreat.
Audrey asks the mysterious prank texter who they are again, and the response is even more troubling: “A friend of a friend. See ya later, partner.” If Piper was working with an unseen ally besides Audrey, that person might be unhappy that Miss Shaw was ultimately betrayed and killed by someone she trusted. The incoming texts are in all caps, so you KNOW they’re crazy.
As Audrey closes the theater down after the last showing, a girl named Haley Meyers asks for a selfie with the hero of Lakewood who shot Piper Shaw.
The lights shut off, and a familiar masked form rises up in the front row, brandishing a blade. The intruder chases her into the lobby wearing a chest mounted camera that live streams the action, and slaughters Haley. Audrey blasts the killer with a fire extinguisher and grabs an ice pick from a horror display. After being stabbed in the gut twice, the fella pulls off his mask to reveal a shocked face. Haley, completely unharmed by the fake stabbing, rushes to his side. Turns out it was all just a prank.
New Sheriff Michael Acosta arrives and dismisses Audrey from any wrongdoing. He advises her attackers that they could be held liable in court, and Noah whisks Audrey off to the party.
At Kieran’s house, Jake and Brooke canoodle. They’ve been carrying on a secret relationship; Brooke’s father despises Jake for blackmailing him. Kieran and Emma aren’t together, but Kieran hopes to change that. Emma finally arrives, prompting Jake to blurt out:
“Welcome home, girl interrupted. It’s a compliment cuz Angelina’s hot.”
We learn that Kieran has been living alone in the house since the murder of his father, the former sheriff. Emma wants to spend the night with him, though she told her mom she’d be at Audrey’s, and Noah makes a play to get Emma on the podcast. She’s the only member of “the Lakewood Six” who hasn’t been on it. She politely refuses, and suggests they all begin to move past the horrors.
As Audrey prepares to leave, her phone rings. Guess who? A sinister voice explains that he likes tormenting her and that she deserves it “after what she did.” She hangs up.
Back at Noah’s video game lair, the unbeatable team of Jensen and Foster try to track Haley and her boyfriend through the comments section of “The Morgue” podcast. It turns out someone has been posting angry tirades aimed at Audrey and the events on the dock the night Piper died. Noah puts Haley on his ever-expanding Murder Board, as he believes that someone else out there participated in the murders and that a dark conspiracy is afoot.
This makes Audrey more than a little uncomfortable.
At the high school after dark, Brooke and Jake make out in the swimming pool. Being kind of an idiot, Jake points out that she likes secretive relationships like the scandalous one she had with teacher Seth Branson. Brooke stomps off angrily as Jake yells out that he has a plan to win over her father and get her back.
Kieran and Emma kiss at his house, but he accidentally touches her knife wound, spooking her. They decide to just sleep, and Emma experiences a bizarre dream. She finds herself on a pig farm, following a very young girl who races into a gargantuan ramshackle barn. Inside, the girl is playing with the organs of dead pig bound in wire and horrifically dissected. She’s also laughing crazily as flies zip around her face.
The carnage looks very similar to the butchered pig left in the operating room of the abandoned hospital Lakewood General in the first season. Hmmmm…
Jake drives out to Wren Lake and while wandering around, finds Noah’s motorized pig toy. He then gets his leg stuck in a bear trap and it’s all downhill from there. Ghostface pops up with a baseball bat and knocks him out cold.
The next morning at the Duval residence, there’s tension between Maggie and Emma after her lie about sleeping over at Audrey’s is discovered. Given Maggie’s direct connection to all the madness and murder, there’s an emotional rift growing. After all, she did give birth to a psychopath who hacked up half the town and tried to kill her and Emma.
At school, Audrey used to be a hero for blowing away Piper. Now she’s a superhero with a fan base for stabbing Haley’s masked boyfriend at the movie theater. Brooke announces that she and Jake are splitsville.
Emma turns up and the gang showers compliments on her, fearing another mental breakdown at school. We flash back briefly to the past, as Emma catches stares from her fellow students immediately after the murders. She freaks out and starts crying while Audrey rushes to protect her.
In class, Brooke and Emma talk about their love lives and we meet Zoe, who warmly welcomes Emma back, and psychology teacher Karen Lang. She’s an upbeat, hip and fun type of educator, and Noah has a bit of a crush. As they discuss dream analysis and other aspects of psychology, and Noah references “A Nightmare On Elm Street,” loner Gustavo Acosta quietly draws a digital portrait of Emma on his tablet. Complete with head wounds and blood. Yikes. He’s the son of the new Sheriff and kind of an oddball.
After class, Zoe agrees to help Emma catch up with everything she missed school-wise. At his locker, Kieran is acting rather odd. He shrugs and essentially dismisses Emma’s interest.
Is he pissed because he had hoped to immediately rekindle their relationship when she returned?
Gustavo approaches Noah and brings up the idea of horror comics like “Hack/Slash” and “Nailbiter” versus horror films. He points out that things can change with every issue in comics and there’s always more to come, whereas films generally have a concrete resolution. Noah is impressed by his philosophy.
Audrey shows Noah her latest death text. It reads:
“I don’t like when you hang up on me. There are consequences for bad behavior. Blood stained consequences.”
Noah insists on going to the cops.
Jake comes to in a barn with a dirt floor, the bear trap still clamped to his leg. A camera films his struggles from above as he discovers a rusty pick axe in the corner.
Attached is a note that reads:
“See what you can do with this, boy interrupted.”
At the police station, Sheriff Acosta thinks the texted threats were sent by someone who wants to mess with a local hero like Audrey. He’s quick to dismiss any hint of danger. Acosta tells Audrey she can file an official report if she chooses and then steps out of the room along with Noah. Naturally, she gets another unfriendly message.
“I’d shut this down if I were you. I know what you did last summer…get it?”
She shuts it down.
Brooke and Emma discuss how much Kieran missed her, and that he never goes into his father’s room at home. Each of the survivors are dealing with the emotional fallout from the killings in different ways.
Noah and Audrey attempt to find connections between the angry podcast comments and the texts. Noah firmly posits the theory that Piper had a killer accomplice, and that the messages and online chatter are clues to their identity.
Emma and Kieran try to work things out, and not just romantically. They agree to help each other get back to some semblance of normal.
The last member of the Lakewood Six finally agrees to be interviewed on Noah’s podcast. Emma tries to espouse a message of hope and healing in the face of the chaos and death Piper left behind.
“People call me a Final Girl. But we’re all Final Girls and Boys here in Lakewood, because we survived. And now we’re here to help each other find a way back to normal.”
One of the images on Noah’s Murder Board catches Emma’s eye…a massive barn, the very one from her nightmare! It turns out to be the pig farm of Troy James, the older brother of town legend Brandon James. Suspicious!
As the camera films away at the creepy old barn, Jake attempts to escape using the pick axe to break the padlock holding the barn doors shut. He succeeds, but the killer is waiting just outside to greet him.
Brooke and Emma check out the Troy James property under the cover of night. Emma reveals that she was plagued by nightmares about this farm since childhood, but never knew why or that it was an actual location. The interior of the barn is dark and empty. They decide to look around the nearby farmhouse, too.
Jake is hung upside down like a pig about to be slaughtered while his abductor lurks nearby with a scythe. Jake attempts to escape, tells the masked psycho to go screw himself and is eviscerated from crotch to neck with the razor-sharp scythe.
He dies screaming.
And it’s too bad, really, because The Lakewood Five just sounds like a smooth jazz band. It just doesn’t have the panache of Six. Brooke and the town will have to face a sad future without The Jake.
In the beginning of the episode’s best sequence of creeping paranoia, Audrey is working at the theater when she gets a text. It reads:
“Time to pay the Piper. Stall 2.”
In the bathroom, she finds her many letters to Piper Shaw perfectly reconstructed and taped to the stall’s walls. Piper’s replies to them were among the incriminating items she burned at the end of the first season. Looks like somebody carefully collected her originals.
In them, Audrey tells her new buddy that Lakewood is evil and needs to pay. She sees the two of them as outcasts and wants to meet up. Her phone buzzes again:
“BTW I have them all. You can’t delete history.”
Brooke and Emma enter the Troy James house. Emma finds an old-fashioned television showing nothing but static, and articles and photos about the murders taped all over the walls. The photos show Emma as a young girl holding school projects, posing with trophies or playing the piano with Maggie. Emma hears a creak of floorboards as a figure emerges from another room, then lets out a bloodcurdling scream.
Those are the facts. Now, onto the speculation….
First, there’s Emma’s dream.
Unless she gained psychic powers and her retreat took place at Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters, it must be a repressed memory. Sometime in the past, she visited the James farm and was accompanied by a little girl with some pretty disturbing methods of making bacon.
Who is the adult version of this gleeful hog slaughterer? Or is this the younger Piper Shaw? Was she somehow raised by Troy James to be the weapon of vengeance she finally became? It doesn’t quite fit, since it took Piper years even with Audrey’s assistance to piece together who she really was. If she had been taken in by Troy, everything would’ve been clear to her much earlier in life.
Barring the idea of listening devices, how did the killer know about Jake’s “girl, interrupted” comment? Or that he would randomly choose to cruise around Wren Lake and stop to look at Noah’s pig toy? Obviously, there are no coincidences, and all signs point to one of the Six being under the mask and hood.