Let’s take a moment to praise “Scream” for building its own little universe while also referencing the film series. Unlike most slasher movies, in which we await the gruesome demises of shallow morons, the deaths here have more emotional cost and substance. The television series format allows time for character development that feature films can’t touch. If they gave out awards for horror on the tube, this episode would win Best Last Second Murder.
We pick up the series in the warehouse of mystery, where Piper Shaw wakes up. It is the morning after she was knocked unconscious by Ghostface, whom then stabbed and kidnapped Will Belmont. Piper spies a trail of blood on the stone floor.
Will, now a captive, is laying flat on the floor of a room filled with strange machines. He is tied up with duct tape over his mouth. Ghostface appears and places a shushing finger over his own mouth as Will struggles and cries out.
Maggie prepares her signature sausage and kale dish for a dinner get together with Hud and Kieran. Emma gently teases her about her affection for the sheriff. The conversation turns to Brandon James and the secret of his innocence and the weight of that secret over the decades, and then Emma asks about why her father left.
“Not everyone learns to live with it.”
At school, Emma and Kieran make out in the parking lot before class. A text from Will’s phone ruins the tender moment. It reads: “Tried to make things right last night and failed. So sorry.”
Noah, wearing a Free Audrey shirt, welcomes Audrey back to school after her ordeal with being blamed for the murders.
He fills her in on the latest. The Malware is gone from the high school database and Seth Branson has a substitute teacher filling in for him.
Jake and Brooke discuss her father’s secret meeting the night before (Brooke doesn’t know that her father was meeting with Will) and his suspicious behavior. Emma shows up and explains the text from Will and Jake puts it together. Emma is let in on the blackmail plot.
Piper approaches the trio in the hallway. She leads them to the warehouse, where a message is painted on a cinder block wall: No Cops, Emma.
Ghostface calls Emma and suggests a game of hide and seek. He challenges her to find Will, and takes time to call her mother “a lying whore” when Emma reveals that she is aware that Brandon was not a killer.
Noah plays with anime figures before being enlisted by Emma to triangulate Will’s cellphone location with an app. Noah has zero interest in helping Will do anything, but with lives at stake, he works his magic.
Brooke takes Jake’s advice and confronts her father at the Mayor’s Office. He acknowledges the blackmail video but says it had nothing to do with any murder. He doesn’t know where Will is and insists that Brooke’s mom is in rehab. Clearly he is keeping a big secret, but it’s probably not related to the murders. Or is it? Dun dun duuun!
Noah locates Will’s phone in an abandoned part of town. Brooke, Emma, Jake and Noah head out on a rescue mission. Jake brings huge knives.
They discover a boarded up bowling alley that has fallen into disrepair and break in.
Meanwhile Kieran calls Emma from the dinner at the Duvall house. She asks him to tell her mother she is helping Audrey study and can’t make it. He agrees, but is concerned.
We learn from Hud that Detective Brock has been removed from the case and banished from Lakewood. Maggie asks Kieran how he likes the town so far.
“Yeah, aside from all the murders, it’s nice.”
Back at the bowling alley, Jake makes a rather odd suggestion.
“This place is big. We should split up to find Will.”
“Said no one who ever survived a horror movie.”
They pair off. While alone with Brooke, Jake hits on her while holding a massive hunting knife. Noah tells Emma his suspicions about Jake being the killer as they search the bowels of the huge building.
Back at the dinner party, Kieran offers to pick up Emma and bring her back. He heads out.
Jake leaves Brooke alone to use the bathroom. She is promptly confronted by Ghostface and runs to find Emma and Noah, who locate Will in an old work room. He is unconscious and hanging from the ceiling by a rope around his wrists. As Emma brings him back to his senses, Noah gets a call from Audrey. He explains where they are and what’s going on as Brooke bursts in and announces that the killer is here. Will wakes up.
Audrey heads to the Duvall house and everyone is confused about where Emma really is. She tells Hud that the gang is in the old bowling alley and in trouble.
Emma bandages Will’s stab wound with duct tape. Noah begins constructing a knife stick using a long plank, tape and one of Jake’s knives. Brooke takes the mess he’s making and rapidly constructs the perfect weapon. Will discovers a carving in his back: B4.
Emma checks out a series of numbered and lettered slots on the wall until she finds slot B4. Inside she finds an employee time clock punch card for Brandon James, former employee of the bowling alley they are trapped in. It is wrapped around a cassette tape, which is labeled PTSD PROJECT: KEVIN DUVAL.
Shocked at seeing her father’s name, Emma is made even more uneasy when a creepy song begins playing over the PA system. “Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do.” She makes a decision and utters a great line.
“Guys, this is gonna to sound ridiculous, but I’ll be right back.”
As Emma races to find the source of the music and play her father’s therapy tape, Noah, Will and Brooke prepare to look for Jake while armed with Knife Sticks. Emma shuts off the strange song and listens to the cassette. On it, her father describes Daisy sleeping with Brandon James and hiding away in that bowling alley. He is horrified, angry and betrayed.
Noah opens a door and is confronted by Ghostface, who quickly steals the Knife Stick. No! You bastard!
The door is slammed in the killer’s masked face. Jake is found by Brooke after he was stabbed in the chest . She pulls out the blade and he lives!
Ghostface chases Emma in glorious slo-mo until the black clad killer is tackled by that do-gooder buzz kill Will Belmont. The police burst in as the costumed maniac recovers from the tackle and makes a swift exit.
Kieran appears and claims to have been driving around until he heard the police scanner. Sorry, buddy. I’m not buying that flimsy story.
Back at the Duval house, Emma explains to Kieran that she’s emotionally confused right now and they sorta break up. Hud and Maggie decide that a protective detail will be assigned to Emma. Will calls, looking for company to watch “The Expendables” on Blu-Ray.
Noah confides to Audrey at the Nightmare Level video game store that he believes Jake and Will are the killers. Both were stabbed and are recovering pretty quickly.
Emma arrives at the Belmont farm with candy for the movie. Will calls and playfully asks Emma to come and find him. She is immediately suspicious and the voice on the phone turns to Ghostface. He tells her that Hide and Seek is back on and that she better run.
Through the nearby barn, she finds Will duct taped to a chair ad seated beneath a whirring ditch digging machine with an extended boom that resembles a seven-foot long chainsaw. Emma accidentally activates a trip wire and the boom lowers into Will’s cranium, spraying her with his blood as she stares open-mouthed in horror.