The finale opens with a Wes Craven tribute, which was extremely short, but they only had a few days to put it together. It’s nice for what it is and the intent is clear, and it’s fitting in some ways just to honor Craven and the original Scream before heading into the most similar episode to the original tone and franchise.
Like the third act of the original Scream, the finale takes place primarily at a house party, which I loved. In fact, it seemed like there was a very deliberate attempt on the part of the showrunners to bring us as closely back to the tone and style of Scream as possible. We have a mostly isolated cast, build-up to the reveal and the showdown with the killer. We have a new suspect for the killer almost every five minutes, it seems like. And that’s great. Part of the fun of Scream is playing the guessing game. You’re going through and trying to figure it out every ten minutes. At the end of each film in the franchise, they throw that guessing game into overdrive.
That’s exactly what this finale felt set up to do. You’re constantly guessing, all the way up to the end, even as it becomes increasingly more and more obvious. Which sort of leaves us with the biggest issue, in that the surprise isn’t actually much of a surprise at all. From the general consensus, it felt like most fans were guessing this character and had been for a few episodes now. Then we get to the finale and it’s almost surreal to get to this point and see that the writing is barely even trying to cover it up.
When you have a finale set at a party and then the killer reveals that they are somewhere else and demand the heroine to come alone—it’s sort of natural that the only person not at that party is going to be the killer.
Still, we get some decent action, a solid showdown with the killer and one of the best—at least, most emotional—death scenes of the season. I had been hoping to have two killers in typical Scream tradition. But what I had wanted, ideally, was for one killer to be caught this season and then have the other lead us into the next season. That’s basically what we got. The narration, while it may have been a little too on-the-nose definitely made it clear that there was probably someone else in on this thing. But the episode ended with giving us a pretty good indicator at who that other killer may have been.
I think the thing I actually liked best about the finale was the cinematography. It actually looked like Scream and that’s a level of care that I don’t want to go overlooked. From the tracking shots through the house to the big upward crane move at the end, these are classic visual cues in the Scream movies and it’s great to see them at play in the series. It’s almost like, in the finale, they finally felt confident that they had earned the right to be called Scream.
So, all in all, while it was a season that certainly had its ups and downs, it held my interest through all ten episodes and I will be tuning in for season two.