In this episode of Scream, “Happy Birthday to Me,” Emma throws a surprise party for Kieran but a bottle of tequila makes the event anything but festive, Sheriff Acosta searches for Jake, and the killer makes a bold move.

With all of the trouble Audrey is going through to cover her ass, she might find it easier to come clean. She’s had a rough few days, and now she’s out burying the bloody corkscrew used to kill the motel clerk — as if our mystery killer isn’t watching and that thing won’t show back up somewhere down the line. Better to toss it in the lake, I think. Sure enough, she wakes up with it in her bed the next morning Godfather-esque style.

Scream: How the Killer Messes with Audrey in “Vacancy” >>>

Eli Comes Between Kieran and Emma

Emma is still plagued by nightmares, with the latest being Kieran getting killed by Ghostface/Brandon James in the middle of pre-coital bliss. Her dream journal is definitely a must-read.

Eli and Kieran are doing their best Odd Couple impersonation. Eli wanders in after being out all night, and Kieran is concerned that his cousin is up to no good. These two have dirt on each other, but since we can’t know what it is, they talk in veiled threats. Kieran’s got a good thing going in Lakewood and he doesn’t want Eli to mess it up. 

Eli continues to covet Emma. He runs into her at Grindhouse where he’s filling out a job application. He suggests that they plan a party for Kieran’s birthday, even though he knows Kieran and Emma have a romantic one-on-one date planned. Eli convinces her that Kieran actually wants more of a celebration than he’s letting on. 

Note to Scream writers: please stop conveying vital information via text messages. It makes it kind of hard to read. Geesh.

Where in the World is Jake Fitzgerald?

Brooke remains obsessed with Jake. She continues to text, suspecting that he’s gone to Mexico with his parents. He finally responds and promises that she’ll see him soon. 

Audrey Grows Suspicious of Stavo

At school, Audrey gets a text: “Hey, killer. Isn’t it fun to be screwed with? I’ve got my eye on you.” She looks around and spots Stavo giving her some side eye. He would appear to be the frontrunner as our mystery killer, but that would be too obvious, wouldn’t it? He could just be a major creeper. Audrey snaps a few pictures of him, so he’s now on her radar as her possible stalker. 

Audrey asks Brooke and Em what they think of Stavo, and Brooke believes he’s a “total weirdo,” a fanboy obsessed with the Lakewood Six. Audrey excuses herself from study hall, and a few minutes later the fire alarm goes off. The library clears out, and Audrey takes the opportunity to snoop through Stavo’s computer. She finds drawings of several members of the Lakewood Six, herself included. But the real kicker is a picture of Emma with a knife sticking out of her head.

The Sheriff Searches for Jake

The Mayor tells Sheriff Acosta that he needs help tracking down Jake. The Mayor explains that he doesn’t believe Jake is missing so much as avoiding him. Quinn wants to have a few words with Brooke’s ex. He explains that Jake screwed him over and skipped town. The esteemed Mayor would like Acosta to find him. The Sheriff finds it hard to deny Quinn’s request once he reminds the Sheriff how he did him a solid by hiring him and all. 

The Sheriff pokes around and learns that Jake called in sick to school with strep throat. It’s not entirely suspicious that a kid whose parents are out of town would blow off school. Acosta’s going to have to dig a little deeper. 

He arrives at Jake’s house but, of course, nobody answers the door. 

Party People in the House

Plans for Kieran’s surprise party are going ahead. Emma’s mom will be out for the night, so the jam will be at her place. Eli has a fake ID, which means booze. 

Noah has asked Zoe to be his date, and as he tries to find the perfect ensemble, Audrey quizzes him about Stavo. Noah thinks the kid is pretty cool, especially since Stavo is a fan of The Morgue podcast. 

Audrey tells Noah about the pictures she found and Brooke’s theory that he’s obsessed with the Six. Audrey thinks she’s right. Noah argues that Brooke thinks everyone is obsessed with her. Noah accuses Audrey of being paranoid. 

Emma and Eli have a couple of pre-party cocktails while getting things set up and share a “moment.” No lip-locking, but there’s a bit of chemistry there. Luckily, Em is saved by the bell — the doorbell.

Brooke arrives, toting a huge and very expensive bottle of tequila that she found sitting on the porch. A card says the gift is from Jake. 

Emma confides in Brooke about her almost-kiss with Eli, and even though she’s with Kieran, Emma is definitely feeling the Eli vibe. Brooke isn’t.

Soon, the party is in full swing. Stavo is handing out shots of tequila when the birthday boy arrives. Kieran questions the change in plans, and Emma says that Eli suggested it. 

Audrey wants to know why Brooke invited Stavo, and she says she didn’t. But she seems to be having a change of heart about him, deciding that he’s probably harmless — and what the hell, it’s a party.

Scream Recap: Emma Learns the Truth About Her Father >>>

A Really Bad Trip

Noah and Zoe point out that the tequila tasted and smelled a bit funky. (How can you tell?) Brooke comments that there’s no telling what it is since it came from Jake. This catches Audrey’s attention. She’s the only one who knows that Jake’s dead, so she figures foul play is afoot. 

All of a sudden, people are starting to get really sick. Nothing puts a damper on a party more than mass vomiting.

Stavo believes the tequila was laced with Ayahuasca. He says that when he lived in Phoenix, it was a thing to go to the desert and trip on the psychoactive brew. It had the same pungent smell as that tequila, and he suspects they all might have been dosed. This party just … got … interesting. Soon, the puking will stop and the hallucinating will begin.

Emma learns that Eli played her as well as another interesting tidbit. Kieran tells her that Eli once “borrowed” a neighbor’s dog, and the canine wound up dead. She barely has time to process this before she starts tripping, hearing pigs squealing.

She’s lured out into the woods by a younger version of herself, where she encounters the killer. She thinks it’s a hallucination, but the attack is real enough to send her running. She encounters her dad, who is very much real. 

The Sheriff gets called and has a hard time believing the whole dosed-with-an-ancient-hallucinogenic-drug story. Emma insists that she was almost killed by someone in a Brandon James mask, but Kevin can’t corroborate her story; nobody can. 

Brooke tells Emma that she also saw a lot of weird stuff that wasn’t real (Jake mostly). She blames it all on Jake and his toxic tequila. The Sheriff asks if Jake was actually at the party, but Brooke says that while he didn’t make an appearance, Jake was the one responsible for the doped-up tequila on the doorstep.

Audrey comes to Emma’s defense. She fully believes Emma’s story. Audrey also tells the Sheriff that he might want to question Stavo since he seems to enjoy drawing Emma covered in blood. 

Brandon James: The Sequel

Later at home, Stavo swears to his dad that he didn’t do anything. Acosta tells his son he trusts and believes him. But he searches Stavo’s room the first chance he gets and finds a Brandon James mask.

Kevin gives Emma a picture of them during happier times as a reminder that he wasn’t always a bad father. He wants to help his daughter, but he’s just too messed-up. Kevin’s going to leave and try to get his act together. 

The next morning, Emma’s still convinced that her attacker was real. Kieran thinks she’s been under a lot of stress, especially when it comes to figuring out what’s real and what isn’t. Maybe she did come back too soon after all. Emma doesn’t believe going back to the treatment facility will change anything. Everything she needs to fix is right here. Eli is eavesdropping nearby.

Noah and Audrey are dealing with some fallout from the party as well. They had a bit of a three-way thing going with Zoe. In Audrey’s defense, she thought she was making out with her dead ex.

For people who were tripping out of their minds, they remember a lot. Noah questions why Audrey apologized to him before their lips locked, but she chalks it up to the drugs. Obviously, Audrey is harboring some guilty feelings about her girlfriend’s death. 

The ice is thawing between Stavo and Brooke. He tried to help her out while she was hallucinating, and even though visions of Jake sent her into a major freak-out, she appreciates his effort. 

Eli tries to make amends with Emma. He tells her that he believes she was attacked, even if Kieran doesn’t. His attempt to worm his way back into Em’s good graces doesn’t go as planned. Emma isn’t interested in him telling her what Eli thinks she wants to hear. In fact, he doesn’t get it at all. If what Emma saw in the woods was real, there’s a new killer in town. 

At a special assembly announcing the Lady of the Lake finalists, Brooke is reunited with Jake. As she stands on stage, blood drops on her (an homage to Carrie, no doubt) and Jake’s mutilated body follows. Now everyone knows that there’s a new psycho in town.

Scream airs Mondays at 11pm on MTV.

(Image courtesy of MTV)

Jennifer Lind-Westbrook

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Jennifer has worked as a freelance writer in the entertainment field since 2012. In addition to currently writing feature articles for Screen Rant, Jennifer has contributed content ranging from recaps to listicles to reviews for BuddyTV, PopMatters, TVRage, TVOvermind, and Tell-Tale TV. Links to some of Jennifer’s reviews can be found on Rotten Tomatoes.