Welcome back to our weekly Scream recap. The opening of episode 7 gives us a very different style than what we’ve seen previously in the MTV series. None of the killers in the Scream films have been known to take hostages. It probably shouldn’t work, but it only strengthens the investigative format and finally ties a few of the biggest subplots back into the main plot which should only make things more cohesive from here.
There are also a few great character moments—Noah’s “Free Audrey” T-shirt is particularly excellent—but ultimately it cheapens quite a bit of the character development to keep all of the revelations about what Will and Jake have been doing off-screen. These plot points have been building and boiling since the pilot leading to what everyone expected to be a meltdown and instead we have nothing, just in order to keep the plot moving.
Part of the appeal of doing Scream as a television series is to use the same format, but focus more on the character development and subplots. But there are moments when this episode seems to forget that.
At least there’s a strong Scream-like element when Emma and Noah actually acknowledge the change in format and try and guess what it means on a larger scale. It might fall into a little too much exposition when they talk about how the killer is toying with their lives, but it’s cool to see, nonetheless.
Jake continues to have a total lack of character development, too. But that kind of is development for him. The longer things go without him changing at all, the more it reveals who he really is. Where other people have layers, he has an emptiness and a total lack of empathy.
It’s at least nice to see some characters who have barely ever spent any time on screen together actually get to interact when they’re all trapped inside the bowling alley—which, as much as they talk about how strange of a location it is to be trapped by the killer, is still a very strange location even if it ties into the Brandon James backstory.
Yet the stuff inside the bowling alley elevates the episode at the same time. Once they’re in there, it plays like a siege film, almost Night of the Living Dead-esque even though there’s just the one killer.
The last few episodes have led me to start wondering if the main cast are truly off-limits in terms of the show’s mortality rate. If Emma, Noah, Brooke, Will, Jake and Audrey can’t die then that would immediately drop a level of interest and completely negate the “anything can happen” philosophy that it has been trying to push all season. Luckily, the showrunners are intimately aware of these doubts. They accounted for them. We’re so expecting everyone to be saved that it allows the creative team to toy with us much like the killer himself (or themselves). Every moment of episode 7 was spent building to that final, shocking scene, and that is why it works.