“Happy Birthday To Me”
This week, Ghostface puts down his knife and picks up a far more destructive and devious weapon; tequila, that great shatterer of dreams and ruiner of friendships. It was one thing when he was just bothering people with menacing phone calls and the occasional stabbing. Now he’s giving them hangovers? You’ve gone TOO far this time, my frienemy!
Just had to get that off my chest.
We open with Audrey burying the bloody corkscrew that killed Eddie Krueger. Meanwhile, Kieran and Emma make out in bed. And yes, his impeccably gelled hair gets slightly ruffled, which proves that he’s human after all.
Things are going super until Ghostface leaps out and shanks Kieran in the back, then closes in on Emma. But wait! It’s all just a terrible dream to be recorded in the Dream Journal assignment Karen Lang gave out.
Audrey wakes with a start in her bed. Her leg is bleeding, and her phone rings. Ghostface is on the line and informs her that he’s always one step ahead. She pulls the sheets away to reveal the corkscrew, which nicked her leg, then looks in fear at her wide open bedroom window.
Whoever killed Jake crept across her floor in the night and placed the item next to her vulnerable, sleeping body.
Emma and Kieran have made plans for a romantic night to celebrate his birthday. Before leaving for school, she texts him a “Happy birthday.” Downstairs, Steve has come to apologize for the drunken violence the night before. He and Maggie bicker like old times, but Emma calls both of them out on their bullshit. Maggie, for hiding every possible secret in the universe from her daughter, and Steve for hitting Maggie years ago.
Eli arrives home in the early morning as Kieran gets ready for school. He’s been mysteriously out all night dressed entirely in black. Hmmm…
Quinn Maddox brings Brooke coffee in bed. He’s pumped for Brooke to be a finalist in the Lady of the Lake pageant the following day, though he doesn’t think she can actually win with Jake on her arm. Brooke explains that Jake is missing in action, possibly in Mexico with his parents.
After her father steps out, Brooke texts Jake again.
“Are we really done?”
“I’m waiting for you to beg.”
“I don’t beg.”
“Either way, you’ll see me tomorrow.”
At the Grindhouse, Eli runs into Emma as he’s filling out a job application to work there. After learning of Emma and Kieran’s birthday plans, Eli manipulates Emma into believing that Kieran really wants a big bash with tons of people. A quiet evening turns into a booze-fueled surprise party at Emma’s house, as Maggie will be out late working. Eli pulls out his fake ID, which claims he is 23-year-old Anthony Giordano. He’s going to supply the evening’s libations.
In study hall, Audrey gets a text from her special friend. “I got my eye on you.”
She looks around the room and sees Stavo staring back. Audrey snaps a few photos of his face while Brooke and Emma discuss the guest list and other details of the big celebration. After Brooke reveals that Stavo is interested in the Lakewood Six, Audrey leaves the classroom to use the bathroom. A fire alarm goes off and students are instructed to leave their belongings and head outside. When they’re gone, Audrey emerges from another door and checks out Stavo’s tablet. She finds digital drawings of the Six in black and white. Jake, herself, Noah, Brooke, Kieran and finally a bloody image of Emma with a knife rammed through her head.
Nothing to see here, folks.
Everything’s very normal.
Quinn Maddox visits Sheriff Miguel Acosta to pressure the officer to find Jake Fitzgerald. He screwed Quinn over in a business arrangement. Maddox also reminds Acosta that he selected him to be Lakewood’s new top cop and pulled strings to get him in. Now Maddox expects favors.
Noah and Zoe are adorably awkward on campus. He invites her to the surprise party in a very roundabout way until Brooke passes by and clarifies.
Acosta goes to George Washington High to check Jake’s attendance. A receptionist informs him that Jake has been out for a week with strep throat. He called in to let the office know, and his voice sounded strange. Distorted, almost. Miguel contacted the Fitzgeralds in Mexico and they had no idea Jake was calling out of school.
In Noah’s bedroom, Audrey casually questions Noah about Stavo while he tries on a variety of outfits he thinks Zoe will like. He gently chides over her suspicion of the Sheriff’s son.
The surprise party is getting set up. Eli mixes drinks for Emma and they share an odd moment of almost kissing. Brooke arrives with a jumbo sized bottle of $300 fancy tequila and a card. She found both on the front porch. The card is from Jake, wishing them a great time.
No one stops to wonder how Jake knew about the party at all, or what house to send the liquor to. If it was a gift for Kieran, why not send it to the Wilcox house?
While Eli steps out for a moment, Emma describes the almost kiss thing to Brooke. The party starts and Noah and Zoe arrive. Stavo walks around with a tray of shot glasses full of Jake’s tequila. Kieran arrives and is indeed quite surprised. Everyone does a shot after greeting him.
Brooke reveals that she never invited Stavo, and Noah and Zoe complain about the odd tasting tequila. During the conversation, Audrey learns that the liquor came from Jake, who she recently saw with his internals on the outside. The shot thickens. Err, the plot thickens.
Cut to everyone at the party barfing all over the place. Stavo recalls that back in Phoenix, he and his friends used to go into the desert and trip on the drug Ayawaska. It had the same odor as the fancy tequila and caused hallucinations. He thinks they were dosed.
Starting with Brooke, they begin experiencing weirdness. Time moving fast or slow, flames glowing in Stavo’s irises, tattoos that grow and shift, etc. Kieran blames Eli, who is wolfing down party food. As Stavo massages Brooke’s feet and tries to help her clear her mind, a phantom of Jake shows up and mocks her for still being in love with him.
As Kieran is drifting off to a drug-induced sleep, he tells Emma that Eli once stole a neighbor’s dog as a prank, and it wound up dead. Before she can press for details, he’s out.
Audrey hallucinates that the Duval house is dark and empty. She is confronted by the ghost of her dead girlfriend Rachael Murray, with the noose still around her neck (from Season One). Audrey apologizes for her role in the murders and they kiss. Back in reality land, Audrey is actually kissing Noah! What the what! Then Zoe kisses Noah, too. And Audrey. Everybody is kissing everybody.
So what about Emma? Is she having fun orgy visions? Negative! She’s being led outside by a mysterious little girl. The moonlight blinds our heroine temporarily, until the moon turns a shade of dark blue. Emma heads into the woods and experiences flashes of slaughtered pigs in a field and photographs showing two nearly identical little girls. A twin sister?
Off in the distance she sees Ghostface, who begins to sprint towards her like Usain Bolt. She closes her eyes and he vanishes, only to pop up and slash at her. She ducks and runs back towards her house, but crashes into Steve. He’s been lurking about, looking out for her.
The police arrive and doubt Emma’s story of near death, and Steve says he saw no one out there, but Audrey steadfastly believes her. She points out to Acosta that Stavo, his son, is mostly likely behind this and exposes his secret drawings of Emma. Steve gives his daughter a photo of her as a toddler sitting on his shoulders. She asks him if he saw anything again, and he denies it once more.
He’s plainly lying, but why?
Later that night, Miguel takes a look in Stavo’s room. He finds drawings of pigs, scalpels and flies and a package containing the Brandon James mask. Over the phone, he asks the Fitzgeralds to come back from their vacation as all the clues point to Jake being missing.
Kieran and Emma discuss the killer in the woods. He thinks she’s cracking up a bit under the pressure of her dad drama and the murders the year before. Eli secretly listens in.
Noah asks Audrey why she apologized to him before the kiss, when she was actually apologizing to Rachael for being in league with the killer who snuffed her out. She blames the drugs. Zoe is even more confused. Is she still with Noah, or does he like Audrey more? She ends what had barely begun with him. Stavo and Brooke, who previously posed as fake romantic partners in front of Branson, seem to be connecting at least as friends. When she was incapacitated the night before, he was a gentleman. This is not lost on her.
Eli tells Emma that he believes her about the killer in the woods.
“That means there’s a new killer out there, and all this is happening again.”
At the Lady of the Lake assembly, the five finalists for the crown are called to the stage. Zoe is among their number. The fifth and final contestant, Miss Brooke Maddox, takes her place with the others. A stage hand is ordered to unroll a huge banner behind the girls. He pulls a rope, showering Brooke with blood as Jake’s rigid corpse smashes into the stage from above.