[TV Review] "Scream" Episode 2.03: 'Vacancy' - Bloody Disgusting
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[TV Review] “Scream” Episode 2.03: ‘Vacancy’



Scream 2.03 Review

Well I’ll be damned. Scream actually made me care about Emma this week, but for an episode titled “Vacancy” there sure were a lot of male characters showing up out of the blue. Emma was the focus of the episode as she dealt with the implications of her father’s return to Lakewood while Branson (ugh) returned to cause trouble for Brooke. On the Audrey front, we’re still sitting through her sloppy attempts to cover up her connection to Piper.

Picking up right where last week’s episode left off, Audrey is in a bit of a pickle as she is still standing over Jake’s corpse. After stupidly pulling the pins off of his chest, she just leaves without even locking the damn door. I’m not sure what Audrey thinks she is doing. From the storage unit fiasco to nearly bashing Noah over the head with his collector’s edition bookend, she is bound to get caught sooner or later. It’s baffling that Noah hasn’t already confronted her about how batshit insane she has been acting. There’s no subtlety at all in her actions, which also means there is no way in Hell she is the killer this season. It would be nice if she’s caught with that corkscrew next week though so we can move her plot along. Her shenanigans are growing tiresome.

Speaking of Noah, homeboy is dumb. He letting his curiosity get the better of him, causing him to look past all of Audrey’s suspicious activity. It’s difficult to believe that he would fail to realize that something is clearly going on with her. Also puzzling that no one on the show has really looked into Jake’s long absence from town, but whatever. Rich boy. Vacation. Mexico. Blah blah blah. It just goes to show that like the audience, none of the characters ever really cared about him all that much (though Audrey seemed devastated at his loss, which doesn’t make a lot of sense).

It wasn’t all bad this week though. Audrey/Noah nonsense aside, this was arguably the strongest episode of the season. Once again the focus was on Emma this week, but you actually found yourself caring about Emma. Sure, the “abandoned dad returns” trope has been done to death, but Fitzgerald sold it and is making it easier and easier to actually enjoy Emma’s presence when she’s on screen. After getting into a fight with Audrey because Audrey is understandably skeptical about Kevin’s sudden arrival, Emma spends most of the episode with her father. Of course, it was clear from the start that Emma should have been equally skeptical since both her best friend and her mother warned her about him. He turned out to be an abusive drunkard. Again, it’s not the most original story, but it works to give Emma more emotional depth. Now if Scream could give her a good winning moment and she could become a somewhat decent final girl.

Brooke was entertaining as ever this week as she spent the majority of the episode paired with Zoe, who finally had some character development this week. It’s unfortunate it had to revolve around her crush on Noah, but I’ll take it. It is interesting that Scream would set up Zoe to be Emma’s good friend, only to have her really hit it off with Brooke during this episode. Not that I’m complaining. Brooke’s and Zoe’s scenes together were charming. Carlson Young and Kiana Ledé sold their friendship well, especially considering we’ve never been given any information to suggest that they were good friends.

Equally compelling this week was Gustavo, who finally (finally!) got to act like a normal human being rather than a creepy starer. The entire sequence in front of the movie theater, while not very horror-y, was the most entertaining scene of the episode. Unfortunately this week saw the return of Seth Branson, who is still insufferable (though he did get in a nice jab at Noah that made me chuckle). And his confession that he left Brooke flowers on her car was a nice touch, but it’s still odd that it doesn’t make her worry about Jake. Surely they’re not going to hold off on revealing his death until the finale, right? Right?

Finally, he killer this season has actually been more entertaining than Piper was at this point last season (and bear in mind that that was when we lost Riley, a peak in quality that Scream still hasn’t been able to match). He/she is definitely more brutal, with both Jake’s and the concierge’s deaths gorier than anything we saw last season (that corkscrew stabbing was just brutal). MTV is upping the violence this season which is a nice little treat for horror fans. It would be nice if he/she would start tormenting someone besides Audrey though.

Scream offered up the strongest episode of the season so far with “Vacancy.” Viewers were gifted with a brutal death, forward momentum with Emma and character development for Zoe and Gustavo. Even if the Audrey arc is becoming tedious, Scream is at least heading in the right direction. Next week looks to be like a bottle episode with all of the kids trapped in a house. Color me intrigued!

Random Notes

  • Emma’s dad has been getting emails from Riley, who is dead, and the sheriff doesn’t think it’s that big a deal. Alright.
  • The second I saw Branson in the “Previously On” segment I actually groaned.
  • Why did Emma take her dad to the same coffee shop she freaked out at last week? Could she not have taken him anywhere else? Why does she still work there? Is there only one coffee shop in Lakewood? These are the questions I ask myself while watching Scream.
  • “All this hype and then nothing. It’s like people saying ‘Go see The Blair Witch Project!'” –Even if Noah was a senior in high school, this would mean he was born in 1998, just one year before The Blair Witch Project was released. This makes absolutely no sense. You’d think they would have picked a more recent movie that a 17-year-old would think was over-hyped (It Follows, The Witch, The Babadook, etc.).
  • Audrey. Girl. Just tell Noah what your secret is. Your blood pressure must be through the roof!
  • Obviously Branson is not the killer, but his phone voice sounds a lot like the killer.
  • “What is it with men from the past mysteriously showing up?”
  • “I never liked you Foster.” -Branson, speaking on my behalf.
  • That killer is really good at cleaning up bodies, isn’t he?
  • I would like to leave you all with this fantastic GIF of Brooke’s bitch face. May we all strive to achieve this level of bitchery.

Scream 2.03 Review

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.