In this episode of Scream, “Vacancy,” Brooke’s love life grows more complicated, Emma tries to connect with her dad, Audrey tries to stay one step ahead of Noah and the body count grows.
So Audrey has found Jake’s body, the smell poorly disguised by a ton of air fresheners hanging from the ceiling. Her stalker calls to taunt her, knowing that Audrey’s going to have to deal with this mess herself. Audrey tampers with the crime scene by picking up the note the killer left behind that reads, “See how I finished the job for you, Audrey?” and then takes off. Doesn’t the girl watch CSI? Of course, this is Lakewood, so forensics isn’t quite up to date.
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Emma breaks the news to Maggie that her dad is back in town. Maggie warns her daughter that Dad has had some “difficulties” and makes Em promise to be careful. Emma can’t make any promises because she has no idea what to expect herself. All she knows is that she needs to talk to her father and hear what he has to say.
After a night of tossing and turning, Emma calls Audrey, the only person who knew Emma’s dad before he left. Audrey finds daddy dearest’s sudden return a bit suspicious. Where was he when all of her friends were getting slaughtered? Audrey also recalls Emma’s dad being a bit “damaged.” Emma defends her Pops, but like Maggie, Audrey warns Emma to be careful.
It turns out Dad did want to come back, but Maggie told him that Emma wasn’t ready. This comes as news to Em. Emma gets that her parents couldn’t make it work, especially with Piper and all of Maggie’s lies and secrets. But she doesn’t understand why he had to leave her. Unfortunately, Em’s dad doesn’t have an explanation.
I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me
Noah and Audrey head to the storage facility, and Noah sees that the lock has been broken. When he opens the door, Jake’s body is gone. Audrey chalks it up to foolish shenanigans, but then she notices a camera perched in the corner of the ceiling. She tries to give Noah the bum’s rush to get him out of there, but he’s convinced someone got there first, someone who didn’t want anyone to find what was in there, meaning there was something to find. He, of course, spots the camera and grabs it.
The New Kids on the Block
After she believes she’s been stood up by Jake, Brooke leaves Jake a voicemail expressing her displeasure at his continued disappearing act. She’s also left without an escort for the Lady of the Lake pageant. Stuck at rehearsal, Brooke spots Stavo who is very curious as to whether Brooke has managed to track down Jake. Just in case she wasn’t clear the first time, Brooke tells him to go away. He takes that as a no.
It’s Ian’s first day, and he’s got nothing better to do than linger by Kieran’s locker and eavesdrop as Emma recounts her morning coffee with her dad. Ian’s got a “complicated” relationship with his father as well. Kieran isn’t thrilled to have his crazy cousin skulking around, but the kid is new so sweet Em offers her services as a tour guide.
Audrey Gets Lucky — Again
Nobody has more time to kill before school than the kids at Lakewood High. Audrey and Noah head back to Noah’s house where he plans on finding out what the storage unit video camera will reveal. First, he calls Eddie at the Crescent Palms, demanding to know who the guy told about the storage unit. Eddie’s got no comment. Audrey tries to convince Noah that he’s going overboard with the conspiracy theories, but he’s a man on a mission.
Noah is so focused on getting access to the camera footage that he fails to notice his bestie pacing in circles like a 5-year-old who’s high on Red Bull. With an impending sense of doom, she spots an incredibly heavy bookend and readies to bash Noah in the head. But he’s spared a nasty head bump when he’s unable to sneak a peek.
Audrey leaves and receives a text from her twisted admirer. It’s a video of her and former Lakewood Sixer Jake with a message that reads, “Don’t worry, partner, I covered for you.” Friend or foe? What is up?
Kevin arrives at his ex’s place to find her peeved that he ignored her request to not return to Lakewood. Kevin’s been getting e-mails from one Riley Marra saying how much Em needs her daddy. Yep, the same Riley who bled out on the roof of the police station months earlier.
Brooke gets a call from Branson. He’s heard that Jake and Brooke have broken up and wonders if the former teacher’s pet misses him. The answer to that would be a resounding no. This interaction requires a girls confab in the ladies room where Emma and Brooke are left to ponder how Branson could know about Jake and Brooke going Splitsville when barely anyone even knew they were together. Audrey thinks it’s another odd example of a mysterious man from the past just showing up.
Emma wasn’t ready to share, nor does she appreciate Audrey’s constant digs about her deadbeat dad. Brooke is hurt that Emma was keeping Kevin’s return a secret from her. After Audrey’s unflattering opinions about her dad, Emma wasn’t eager to spread the news. Audrey is a bit touchy and informs Emma that the entire world doesn’t revolve around her and leaves the bathroom in a huff.
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Maggie and Kevin show the messages to Sheriff Acosta, who wants to write it off as identity theft. The town has been deluged with hijinks thanks to Maggie’s run-in with Piper. Acosta tries to smooth things over by pointing out that they all grew up in Lakewood, but Maggie reminds the Sheriff that both he and Evan left. Acosta reminds her that his family left because of the whole Brandon James incident. Maggie states that with their “particular history,” the Sheriff should investigate. Acosta does know a guy who might be able to trace the activity, but it’s going to take a while. In the meantime, Acosta doesn’t want Emma to know. The last thing he needs is the entire student body gossiping about Riley returning from the dead.
That night, Eddie makes his way to Kevin’s room with a delivery from the liquor store. The room is empty and covered in plastic, which Kevin merely views as kinky. But the killer is waiting, and he brutally stabs Eddie to death with a corkscrew.
The killer calls Audrey and tells her to go to the Crescent Palms. She refuses, but he threatens to post the video of her and Jake’s mangled body in the comments section of Noah’s podcast.
A Friendly Warning and an Unwelcome Reunion
Noah waits outside the movie theater and Stavo approaches him. He’s been following the podcast and tells Noah that he thinks he’s making some real progress with his whole accomplice theory. Stavo questions what Noah plans to do if he does uncover the accomplice’s identity. Chances are they want to keep their secret and Noah could get hurt. Noah agrees that Stavo has a point, but their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Brooke and Zoe. Brooke is playing matchmaker for Zoe, who has admitted to having a crush on Noah.
While Brooke isn’t happy to see Stavo, her night gets much worse when she sees Branson inside the theater. He may have lied and withheld some pertinent information about his past, but Branson insists that he genuinely cares for Brooke, even though she locked him out of her house when a murderer was on the loose.
Brooke tries to shake off Branson like a bad habit, but he’s persistent. Brooke decides to introduce Stavo as the new man in her life. Branson isn’t a believer, so Stavo plants a big kiss on Brooke to make their courtship seem more believable.
No longer in the mood for a movie, Brooke suggests that she and her friends leave. Branson tells Brooke she’s changed, pointing out that she never thanked him for the flowers. So it wasn’t the killer trying to bait Brooke after all. She assumed the bevy of buds was from Jake, but they were actually a token of Branson’s affections.
Outside, Brooke texts Jake, telling him they’re through, and whoever has his phone takes the news pretty well.
A Close Call
Emma, who received a note that her dad wanted her to meet him at his motel, shows up at the Crescent Palms. She enters his room, but all she finds are newspaper clippings about the murders three months earlier. Suddenly, a light goes on in the bathroom.
Audrey knows who’s in the bathroom; it’s the killer and Eddie’s dead body in the bathtub. She gets the live video feed streaming directly to her phone. Audrey calls Emma, but since Em’s still pissed at Audrey, she doesn’t answer. Next, Audrey calls 911 and tells them that someone needs to get to the Crescent Palms hotel ASAP.
Emma finally notices the bathroom door and is seconds from coming face to face with the killer when she hears a couple arguing outside. This draws her out of the room and down to the lobby. She hears her dad yelling and finds him drunk and disorderly at a bar next door. Dad’s got a bit of a violent side and color him red when his daughter catches him beating the crap out of another patron.
A Father/Daughter Chat
Emma figures out that her dad didn’t write the note and, after seeing the clippings, questions if he was at the James’ farm. Kevin doesn’t have a clue what’s going on, and he checked out of his room hours ago. Emma can’t believe Kevin was going to blow town again without any explanation.
He admits that almost being murdered made him angry. Then he started drinking, which didn’t exactly help with his temper. One night, he attempted to take Emma. And when Maggie tried to stop him, he attacked her, fracturing her jaw. So Dad left because he was an abusive drunk.
Audrey arrives, as do the police. Audrey uses the fight as an excuse for her 911 call. The police turn their attention to Kevin, while Audrey deals with a distraught Emma. Emma worries she’ll wind up like her dad, but Audrey assures her that they aren’t the same. The two apologize and make nice, and Emma heads home.
If the Corkscrew Fits
Back in her car, Audrey receives a text telling her to look under her seat. The killer left her a little gift: the blood corkscrew used to kill Eddie. Then she gets a picture of the expired front desk clerk with a message that says she shouldn’t have called the police. We know he killed Eddie before, so the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.
Scream airs Mondays at 11pm on MTV.
(Image courtesy of MTV)
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.