[TV Review] 'Scream' Episode 1.09: "The Dance" - Bloody Disgusting
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[TV Review] ‘Scream’ Episode 1.09: “The Dance”



MTV Scream 1.09

Tonight’s episode of Scream was directed by Ti West, although you probably wouldn’t know that just from watching the episode. I’m a huge Ti West fan, so it was a little disappointing to not see him put much of a stamp on the episode. That being said, it was a decent episode of Scream with enough forward momentum to merit a watch. Although for an episode called “The Dance,” there weren’t many scenes shot at the titular social event (it didn’t even start until the 28-minute mark of this 39-minute episode).

Emma is pretty much back to normal this week. After giving us a dark Emma last week, she seems much less traumatized by the fact that her boyfriend was vertically sliced down the middle in front of her. And without any therapy! Good for you, Emma. Seriously though, it was a little odd to see plucky Emma back so soon after everything that she endured last week, but I digress.

“The Dance” borrowed a lot from I Know What You Did Last Summer. Not that I’m complaining, as I’m a huge fan of that film, but the similarities went just a bit beyond homage and started trickling into pastiche. The visit to Brandon James’ mother was pretty much a replica of the scene where Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sarah Michelle Gellar visit Anne Heche. Piper even showed her a yearbook to point out who visited her just like they did! I halfway expected Cassie to say her visitor’s name was Billy Blue.

The episode actually opens with a “One Year Ago” flashback we see the killer break into the Hall of Records and steal the Brandon James mask and look through some files (which is actually reminiscent of the moment in Scream 3 where Dewey recounts how the police files on Sidney had been ransacked), before we see Sheriff Hudson interrogating Mr. Branson.

I kind of love the fact that Mr. Branson was acting so suspicious during his interrogation. It doesn’t make any sense, but it’s so incredibly over-the-top and soapy that you sort of have to buy into its ridiculousness. Equally ridiculous is the lack of the law enforcement’s ability to, you know, enforce the law. First, they let Emma go into the interrogation room to talk to Branson (there is no way this is legal in any way), then Sheriff Hudson finds the house that all of the calls from Branson’s burner phone for coming home and just walks inside. No warrant. No permission. He just walks in. Scream asks for a lot of suspension of disbelief from its audience, and I’m not fully there yet, but it’s hilariously entertaining.

MTV Scream 1.09

The dance itself, once we finally get there, does deliver plot twists in spades. Noah and Audrey show Emma Rachel’s raw footage showing Kieran at a Bar with Nina. Piper shows up to tell Emma that it was Kieran who visited Cassie and told her he was Brandon’s son, not Seth. A video of a bloodied Sheriff Hudson tied to a tree is projected on the projection screen for all of the dance attendees to see. Finally, Branson is shown to have escaped jail, leaving behind the body of one of the cops on duty.

That is a lot to happen in the final 10 minutes of the episode, and it sets up what could be a pretty bonkers finale. The reveal that Kieran was actually the one to visit Cassie James was clever, though I hope he doesn’t end up being the killer because he’s had the least screen time out of all the characters. As of now, I really don’t think Mr. Branson or Kieran are the killers. Too many fingers were pointed at them this week so if either of them were the killer it would be a little anticlimactic. My money is either on Jake or Piper. Hell, maybe Scream will pull the rug out from under us and have Brooke be the killer!

There are plenty of questions left for the finale to answer: Will Sheriff Hudson die? Will we find out who the killer is? Will it be a satisfying reveal? Will Maggie ever make her sausage and kale thing again??? I have to know! See you all in a week!

Random Notes

  • I’ll just reiterate here that I realize I make fun of Scream a lot. It’s not because I don’t like it. I do like it and find it very entertaining, but it is so, so dumb. The scale I use for scores is 2.5 skulls for entertainment value and 2.5 skulls for quality. The total score is a combination of those two factors (for example, this episode gets 1 skull for quality, and 2 skulls for entertainment)
  • Brooke’s having a party in the finale. That can’t bode well for her.
  • Bella Thorne’s return to Scream was a big news item at Comic Con few weeks ago. Her presence in this episode felt a bit underwhelming, no?
  • Piper reminded me a lot of Debbie Salt/Mrs. Loomis rather than Gale Weathers during the press conference with Sheriff Hudson. Could that be intentional/a clue for fans of the films?
  •  Noah acknowledges the “Branson” being “Bran’s Son” theory, thereby cementing the fact that Mr. Branson is NOT the killer. Good for you Scream! I’m glad you subverted my expectations with that one!
  • “Bicurious and The Virgin are on it!” “And the crime world trembled.” -I have to admit, I laughed at that one.
  • Maggie is ordering pizza for dinner, but it’s not her sausage/kale thing. What does this mean????
  • It’s been a few years since I’ve seen Pulp Fiction, so I went back and re-watched the dance scene. You’d think they would have just cloned the scene shot by shot to pay tribute to Pulp Fiction, but it’s just Emma and Kieran busting out random moves (out of order, I might add) from the dance. It seems like a missed opportunity for Ti West, but I guess they couldn’t devote two full minutes of screen time to two characters dancing.
  • “Kieran was leaving a bar with Nina. Then Nina got dead.” -Audrey was really the voice of reason for this entire episode. Go Audrey!
  • “You’re a lot smarter than you look.” -Random slutty girl to Jake. Oh girl, you are dumb.
  • Tom Maden’s acting actually wasn’t terrible tonight, but don’t think I’ve forgotten to post a GIF of one of his bad face acting moments:


An avid horror fan, especially of the slasher variety, Trace has earned Bachelor's Degrees in Public Relations and Radio/TV/Film from the University of Texas at Austin. He enjoys spending time with his husband and their adorable dog Coach McGuirk. He's also a pretty decent cook.