Well my #1 suspect got killed off tonight, so I have no clue as to who the killer can be. My bruised ego aside, this was one of Scream’s strongest episodes of the season and the main reason is because it narrowed down its focus to a few core characters. The entirety of the episode focused on Noah and Zoe’s kidnappings, with the occasional drop-in on Acosta and Maggie. This focus allowed Scream to actually tell a suspenseful story. It wasn’t perfect, but it sure was entertaining.
It was fairly obvious from the get-go that Zoe was going to be a goner this episode. While I wouldn’t put it past Scream to go yet another week without adding to the body count, it was reasonable to assume that either Noah or Zoe was going to die. Zoe has been a problematic character this season because she just hasn’t been that compelling of a character. In the early episodes of the season her scenes felt shoehorned in until her romance with Noah started developing. Kiana Ledé has been fine in the role, but her chemistry with John Karna hasn’t ever gelled on screen, with the buildup to their sex scene last week being the only time their relationship wasn’t grating.
Still, it’s hard not to feel bad for Noah in this situation. The circumstances surrounding Zoe’s death were a tip of the hat to the *SPOILER ALERT* “It’s not live” ending of Saw II and the *DOUBLE SPOILER ALERT* buried alive ending of The Vanishing, where the episode gets its namesake. The first woman Noah ever loved was taken from him so quickly. How he handles Zoe’s death will be anyone’s guess, but we’re most likely in for a very different Noah after this.
Noah’s kidnapping scene was a nice little homage to Randy’s death from Scream 2, right down to the spinning camera. Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer (the directors of Starry Eyes) did a great job nailing the intensity that the characters were feeling by mirroring the camera movements with their emotion. Bringing them back to direct another episode wouldn’t be the worst idea. Frequently cutting to Noah in the coffin exposed my cleithrophobia (yes, it’s different from claustrophobia), but I could have done without the Zoe hallucinations. It’s easy to see why they included her (to give Ledé more to do and emphasize Noah’s attraction to her to make her death more impactful), but it wasn’t necessary.
The majority of the episode was spent with Audrey and Emma, as they worked out their differences whilst hunting for Noah. Audrey confesses that she knew Piper was Emma’s half sister the entire time, which almost makes you want to go back and watch the first season and watch Taylor-Klaus. With this information, it’s more understandable that Audrey was so terrified of telling Emma about her relationship with Piper (and that she was mad at Emma for breaking her heart). It still doesn’t completely justify her childish behavior all season, but it makes it somewhat more tolerable.
We didn’t get to spend much time with Acosta and Maggie this week but we did get to see some flashbacks to their teenage years. It turns out that he helped Maggie bury a knife that Brandon had used to kill someone. Not much more information was given so it’s not exactly the most compelling part of the episode, but at least he found the killer’s lair in the farm house. Maggie revealed how she would communicate with Brandon as a child: by placing notes in the tree outside her house. In the present, she places another note in that very same tree in an attempt to save Emma’s life. This should be a touching moment, but it just enforces the idea that Maggie is a terrible parent who has barely been around all season (seriously, why isn’t she watching Emma like a hawk?). If your daughter is being stalked by a psychotic killer, maybe you should skip town until he’s caught. Don’t be placing notes in trees. That’s a little too passive for a situation of that magnitude.
“The Vanishing” gave us the best episode of Scream in weeks. Let’s hope it can keep up the momentum for the season’s final two episodes.
- Next week’s episode is titled “Heavenly Creatures“, after Peter Jackson’s most underrated film (it stars a very young Kate Winslet) and is directed by Jamie Travis, who directed the very underrated sex comedy For a Good Time, Call… That’s a weird pairing, but I’m intrigued to see what results from it.
- Eli witnesses Maggie placing the note in the tree. That can’t be good.
- That shot from inside Piper’s chest cavity was pretty neat, wasn’t it?
- “Long time listener. First time caller.” -I didn’t realize this was Noah’s first call from the killer. It’s about damn time!
- “How are my favorite final girls?”
- “He killed a hotel clerk just to prove a point!”
- Audrey looks around Noah’s room for two seconds before saying there’s too much stuff and it’s impossible.
- “Somebody’s living in that pig farm.” -This is just a phrase that sounds funny when spoken so seriously, but Fitzgerald sold it.
- “Well that’s not ominous.” -Audrey, on the scythe locking the doors to the pig farm.
- “You go outside and look in that field of daffodils and I’ll stay and look here.” -I cannot be the only one laughing at these lines, can I?
- Only two episodes left in the season everyone! Since my #1 Suspect was killed, who do you think is the killer now? I really don’t think it’s Gustavo (too obvious). Maybe it’s Aunt Tina? Whatever happened to her subplot with the mayor? She just disappeared off the face of the earth.