Scream Episode 3 “Vacancy”
We pick up with Audrey kneeling on the floor of the Crescent Palms storage unit, picking the incriminating message pinned to dead Jake’s chest off. Probably for the best, since the police might wonder what “See how I finished the job for you, Audrey?” means.
She gets a phone call from her unwanted partner, who points out that Audrey can’t call the cops no matter how tormented she is. She helped an infamous serial killer butcher residents of Lakewood, so that kinda puts an end to friendly alliances with law enforcement.
Emma tries to explain her father’s return to Maggie, who is concerned about Steve’s past history of dark issues. Father and daughter are meeting for breakfast.
Audrey contemplates the identity of her tormentor, until Emma calls with news of her pop’s return. Should be a cause for celebration, but Audrey mentally links it to her secret knowledge of the new killer in town. Turns out she knew Steve Duval years before and he was somewhat disturbed.
Could he be the new face behind the mask?
Audrey is a little hostile and paranoid towards Emma, putting her friend off. They end the call on bad terms.
At breakfast at the Grind (apparently the only eatery in town) it’s awkward. Steve reveals that Maggie and he have been in contact in the recent past but she told him to stay away because she felt Emma wasn’t ready. Another secret being kept by Maggie from her child.
If aliens showed up in flying saucers and began destroying the town, would Maggie turn to Emma and say, “Actually, I always knew aliens were real”?
The conversation turns to Emma’s dead friends. Steve explains that he was the survivor of the original massacre and carried the burden of his friend’s deaths with him. He was that generation’s Emma, except as a Final Guy.
She asks him why he left her all those years ago, and he has no answer. Emma storms off and makes another angry call to her mother about the collection of secrets between them.
Audrey and Noah approach the storage unit. It’s unlocked and inside, there’s….nothing!
In true horror movie tradition, the killer has wiped down the whole place.
Noah does discover an internal security camera that Audrey missed the night before, and takes the footage with him.
At the Lady of the Lake beauty contest rehearsals, Brooke and Zoe discuss the latter’s crush on Noah. Gustavo shows up and acts creepy.
Kieran, his cousin Eli and Emma discuss her parents and Audrey’s odd behavior at school. Emma agrees to help Eli acclimate to his new high school.
At Noah’s lair, Audrey is freaking out as Noah prepares to load the security cam footage to his computer. First he calls Eddie Krueger at the motel and demands to know who else Krueger told about the storage unit. The clerk is clueless. As the camera and laptop begin synching, Audrey picks up a heavy dragon shaped bookend and considers the unthinkable; bashing in her best friend’s skull to keep him from viewing the footage. It’s a no go, luckily. The footage fails to load at the last second and Audrey replaces the bookend.
After leaving, her smart phone gets a copy of the security footage overlaid with text: there’s a clear shot of her face as she kneels before Jake’s body and the words: “Don’t worry, partner. I covered for you.” Whoever this killer is, they make good memes.
Time for a chat between Maggie and Steve. This should go well. Maggie mentions that Steve has been living in Atlanta, hey isn’t that where Kieran’s Aunt Tina and cousin Eli came from? Weren’t they living there with Tina’s loser boyfriend? Ten bucks says we now know her boyfriend’s name.
Steve reveals that he had been getting hundreds of emails from Emma’s friend, Riley Marra, since the death of Piper. You remember Riley; cute, liked Noah, died on the roof of the police station. Steve was unaware that she was dead, and the emails urged him to come to Lakewood.
Brooke wants to hook up Zoe and Noah, and then gets a phone call from Season One. I mean, from a Season One character. It’s good old Seth Branson, the former high school teacher who loves hands on learning by having sex with his students. He’s back in town and keen to get
ro-Bran-tic with Brooke. She’s not really into it.
Kieran introduces Eli to Audrey and Noah.
“Hey, man. First day?”
“School is school.”
“Sure. Except at this school, people get killed by knife wielding maniacs every twenty years,
give or take.”
Audrey and Emma quarrel about her father in front of Brooke, after she drops the news that Branson has surfaced again. There’s some undefined bad blood between Audrey and Steve Duval.
Sheriff Miguel Acosta doesn’t think the Riley Marra email thing is that big a deal. He and his family left Lakewood twenty years before in the wake of the Brandon James Massacre. He has a long history with Maggie, as it turns out. Acosta reluctantly agrees to trace the email account activity through a FBI friend.
At the Grind, Emma gets a message from Steve asking her to come to the Crescent Palms. He apparently called the coffee shop looking for her.
At the Palms that night, Eddie Krueger carries a delivery-a bottle of red wine and a corkscrew up to room 213, the one occupied by Steve Duval. The room is open and shrouded in plastic tarps to keep the furniture from getting bloody. As Eddie looks around, a covered piece of furniture rises up and steps forward. After bashing Eddie over the head with the wine, the killer jabs him to death with the corkscrew.
After so many bad dreams, Krueger is defeated.
Audrey dresses for work at the movie theater and gets a phone call. If she doesn’t head out to Crescent Palms right now, a video of her with Jake’s dead body will be posted to Noah’s podcast page.
“Killer Klowns From Outer Space” is being shown at the Zenith Theatre where Audrey works. Noah and Gustavo show up, and Stavo points out that Noah should be careful with investigating the accomplice to Piper’s crimes. Zoe and Brooke turn up, and they head inside to find Seth Branson buying popcorn. Brooke and Branson argue, and then Noah goes:
“Hello, Mr. Branson. This is not at all uncomfortable. Any new missing girls to report?”
Brooke identifies Stavo as her new boyfriend, and he takes the initiative to intimidate Seth. Branson ain’t buying it, so they kiss awkwardly. Then Seth reveals that he, not Jake, left the flowers and the apology note on Brooke’s car a few days ago. She is shocked.
At the Palms, Emma finds the place deserted. She opens the guest registry and finds her father’s room number, then heads upstairs. In his unlocked room, she finds Troy James farm newspaper clippings about the Shaw murders. As she paws through them, the bathroom light clicks on behind her.
Audrey, on the road to the hotel, gets a call from Noah about Branson and Stavo and everything else. It’s too much to handle, so she blows him off. Then Ghostface calls with the news that Emma is in the hotel room with him. He does a video call from the bathroom, showing Emma’s back as she is studying the news articles. Audrey calls the cops from her car and sends them to the motel. Emma finally notices the lit bathroom and reaches for the doorknob as a fight breaks out just outside between two tenants.
Distracted, she leaves just as Steve is being kicked out of Lakewood Lounge, a local dive bar adjacent to the motel. He’s super drunk. Steve tells the bouncer about the terrible things he’s seen and winds up fighting and easily defeating the man.
Audrey pulls up to find Emma alive and horrified by Steve’s drunken violence. All this hubbub and drama has taught us one thing we kinda already guessed; Steve Duval is not the killer of Season Two.
You can’t be hiding in a bathroom in costume and getting drunk in a crappy bar at the same time. And Branson, Zoe and Stavo are off the list too, because Krueger was being killed while they were seen at the movie theater.
Aunt Tina, Eli, teacher Karen Lang and Miguel Acosta remain suspects.
Steve denies having newspaper clippings or leaving any messages. He says he dealt with his horror over the original murders by drinking, and that he beat up Maggie one day while drunk and trying to take the child version of Emma for a drive. Em is horrified.
Two police cruisers show up and Audrey adds to her many lies by telling them she saw Steve and the bouncer fighting and was worried Emma might get hurt.
In her car, Audrey gets a text: “Look under your seat.” She finds the bloody corkscrew. A new text pops up with an image of Krueger’s bloody face and the words: “You shouldn’t have called the police. Gotcha!” With blood smeared hands, she drops the phone.