We open with a flashback to the violent murders of Brett Keener and Dara Alton, who died after the 1994 Halloween party which began the Brandon James Massacre. Brett did something terrible to Brandon, and Dara is just an innocent caught in the crossfire. Noah, our resident obsessed murder fanatic, explains all this to his new pal, true crime blogger Piper Shaw.
The police, through the forensic expertise of Maggie Duvall (aka Daisy), discover that Rachel was murdered and did not commit suicide.
Our friendly neighborhood killer texts Emma to see if she has confronted her mother about the secrets of her past.
Brooke performs a striptease as part of cybersex with her high school teacher, Seth Branson. He considers this safer than actually meeting, but she’s kind of bored with it. Brooke is temporarily living in her mother’s permanently reserved posh hotel room. She tells Branson that she hid an incriminating photo of herself somewhere in his classroom, playing a little game with his career.
Lunkhead jock Jake digs up a metal case in the woods which formerly contained a large amount of cash from a blackmail scheme involving Will (Emma’s boyfriend), Jake, Tyler and Nina. The case is empty, leading Jake to confront best friend Will on his family’s farmland. Since Tyler and Nina were the first to die, the unrevealed blackmail plot is hugely important. Will explains that he removed and hid the money.
At the wake for Rachel, Audrey tests her weight on the ceiling fan to see if a hanging was even possible. She is interrupted by Emma, who tells her that Rachel did not take her own life.
At the coffee house, Emma explains the phone calls and stalking she has endured to Audrey, and they discuss the links to the series of murders. Audrey asks Emma to text the killer back as a bid to trap him. They send him this question: “I know you killed Rachel. Why?”
Riley explains her difficulties to Brooke in hooking up with Noah, who is too shy to make a move. As she listens, Brooke applies lip gloss taken from now dead Nina. During class, Brooke blatantly checks out Mr. Branson’s backside as he searches the classroom for the damning photo while lecturing about Aristotle. He assigns paired-off groups of students to perform a dramatic scene from a work of popular fiction. Noah and Riley flirt adorably. D’aaawww!
Kieran, still marvelously coiffed, informs Emma that his cop father has all the Brandon James case files from 1994. He brings them to the Duvall house and we see a clear image of the unmasked Brandon James in a hospital gown prior to surgery.
Emma learns that her father Kevin and his girlfriend Daisy were at the center of the 20-year-old murders. She puts two and two together and realizes that “Daisy” is her mother. It’s interesting that Kieran brings this to her attention while reading through the files, considering that the killer has made so many comments about revealing the lies of Emma’s parents to her.
Jake reveals to Brooke that he knows she has an older lover, and that his bro-tastic friendship with Will is on the rocks. Brooke is rattled when Jake challenges her control over her own romance with Branson.
Emma confronts her mother, who seems only mildly annoyed that she got a bloody heart in a box just two episodes back. Maggie says she’s dealing with it. I think she’s doing a pretty terrible job. We learn that Emma’s father is a person of interest for the town sheriff. Dun, dun duuun!
Noah takes Riley to his workplace, which is packed with next-gen video games. They bond over shared love of gaming and make out. It’s like watching two puppies wrestle. So cute! A couple of modern games “The Last Of Us” and “Sunset Overdrive” are mentioned or shown.
Emma gets another call from Ghostface. He tries to sell himself as a kind of ally who is the only one telling her the truth. With all the murdering of her friends, it doesn’t quite work out.
Noah and Riley kiss and grind hot and heavy, bust out condoms and seem ready to challenge the sexuality censors of television when she gets a text asking for help from Tyler, who was decapitated in the first episode. She majorly freaks. Immediately following this scene is a commercial break headed up by a condom ad. Yay, safety AND conspicuous product placement!
We learn that Faux Tyler has texted Brooke as well, leading Emma to tell her friends about her dangerous caller and his wicked mind games. Jake and Will are privately concerned that Tyler will give up the blackmail scheme to the cops. At the police station, the cops force Riley to text Tyler back and try to meet up so they can bust him.
Jake and Will meet to discuss the stashed money, during which Jake reveals darker shades of personality and Will clutches a hunting knife behind his back.
Meanwhile, Riley and the cops set up a trap at a rural park. Back at the station, Brooke gets a text from Branson asking to meet at her hotel room for sex. She heads off, even though she was just told that the killer adopts the identities of other people in texts.
Hmmm… Ghostface is pulling the “Honeypot Manuever” here. Classic!
Riley is approached by a hooded fella, who turns out to have been paid $ 200 to deliver a message: a piece of paper with an image of Ghostface and the words “Nice try.” Epic fail, cops!
Maggie and Emma leave Riley at the station and go out in search of Brooke. This journey involves more texts from Ghostface, who asks Emma to choose between the Good Girl (Riley) and the Bad Girl (Brooke). Thinking that Riley is safe with the police, she begs him not to hurt Brooke. He agrees, and slays Riley instead.
What? Nooooo!!!! The Bad Girl always gets it! That’s one of the rules!
Brooke, who handcuffs herself to the hotel bed with fuzzy cuffs in lingerie, is left hanging. No Branson, no getting slaughtered.
Riley’s body is discovered, as is the burning wreck of Tyler’s car at the bottom of an embankment, just before it explodes.
The police take possession of the suspiciously headless remains and we’re left wondering: