In this episode of Scream, “The Vanishing,” Emma and Audrey must work together to find one of their friends, Maggie and Sheriff Acosta wonder if their past has come back to haunt them, and Noah suffers a devastating loss. 

Maggie investigates Piper’s remains and determines that Piper was dug up from her grave and preserved by refrigeration. In addition, she’s got new stitches. Somebody hid something in the body — a pig’s heart. Okay, so we’re back on track with the pig theme that has been consistent since the fist shot of Noah in his bedroom in the season premiere, followed by the toy pig spotted by Jake and Miss Lang, and Emma’s dreams of Troy James’ pig farm.

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Nothing Personal

Emma and Audrey have no choice but to work together. The girls are convinced that whatever is going on is about them and Piper, and Audrey can’t keep things from Emma anymore.

Audrey admits that she knew Piper was Emma’s half-sister the whole time. Emma had her suspicions that the killer could be her half-sibling and wonders why Audrey didn’t speak up then. Audrey insists it never occurred to her that Piper could be the killer, and Piper swore she wasn’t. We all know that homicidal maniacs never lie, so a pinky promise should suffice when the local teens are getting offed. 

Audrey was naive, but Piper also had an alibi for the night of Rachel’s killing; she was with Audrey at the Crescent Palms Motel. Audrey figured that if Piper didn’t murder Rachel, she couldn’t be the killer. So does this mean this season’s killer was already at work last season? Because that would rule out Stavo and Eli, theoretically. 

Emma isn’t sure if she can believe what Audrey is saying, and Audrey swears she’d never use her ex-girlfriend in a lie. After everything Audrey’s done, Emma isn’t so sure, but Audrey reminds Em that she knows her. 

Em points out that they used to be close but grew apart, and then Audrey brought Piper to Lakewood to get back at her. Even if Audrey didn’t know that Piper was a psycho, what Audrey did was still intentionally hurtful. 

Audrey swears that wasn’t her motivation. She wanted to make a documentary about Brandon James. It wasn’t about Emma; it was about Lakewood and hypocrisy. Emma doesn’t buy it, and as much as she wants them to be on the same side, Emma just doesn’t trust Audrey. I can’t imagine why. Audrey has done some pretty bizarre things to cover her tracks, including staging her and Noah’s kidnapping. 

The Return of Brandon James?

The Sheriff has his hands full, and Stavo still hasn’t checked in. One of the deputies states that Stavo was spotted at the party but not after that.

Acosta pulls Maggie aside, and while a lot of scenarios could be at play, the pig heart was a message meant specifically for them. They did something pretty heinous that at least one person knows about and, in the Sheriff’s mind, only one person.

Piper was Brandon James’ daughter too, and maybe her death brought him out of the woodwork looking for revenge. Maggie doesn’t believe that Brandon could have survived everything out there on his own, and if by some chance he did, he’d never target Emma. 

A flashback shows a young Miguel Acosta laying in his bed. Maggie knocks on his window, and the two head into the woods where they encounter someone who appears to be injured. We can only assume that someone is Brandon.

Noah Gets Attacked

Zoe skips school and Noah calls, leaving a message. With everything going on, he just wants to make sure she’s okay. Knowing a psychopath probably heard you having sex can be tough on a girl.

Zoe texts Noah that she went to their spot at the lake to think, and he offers to meet up with her. Yeah, just know that this is probably not going to end well.

Noah arrives, but there’s no sign of Zoe. He gets a text saying she’s there and instructs him to walk straight ahead. The directions continue, and Noah is drawn into some nearby woods. He finally starts to get a little hesitant and stops. Immediately, he gets another message asking why he stopped. Shouting that this might not be the best time for a scavenger hunt, Noah is startled when his phone rings. Obviously, it’s not Zoe; it’s the killer. 

According to the killer, now that Zoe and Noah had sex, they’re both on the chopping block. Them’s the rules. There’s no other way for this to play out other than for Noah to do as he’s told. At the very least, the killer has Zoe’s phone. 

Noah winds up getting stabbed in the stomach, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to leave a mark. Noah remarks, “It’s not supposed to end like this,” and the killer knocks him out. Hey, in the Scream sequel, movie aficionado Randy met his grisly end, it would be apropos if the same happened in the series. 

A Scavenger Hunt from Hell

Back at school, Audrey is worried about Noah. He wasn’t in class, and he hasn’t been answering any of her calls or texts. She and Emma both simultaneously get a message that shows a video of Noah who is alive but doesn’t look so hot. 

The killer calls, and Audrey makes the requisite threat that if he does anything to Noah, she’ll come for him. Although, if any of this bunch were to make good on such a promise, it would be her.

The killer is sending Emma and Audrey on a treasure hunt. If they tell anyone, Noah dies. If they follow his clues (because what girl could have strung Hayley up that way?), Noah might live. He’s got about five hours of air left. Unfortunately, the kid’s also got a gaping hole in his stomach. 

Audrey gets a text stating that Noah thought he knew all the answers. It’s up to Emma and Audrey to find out where Noah went wrong. Their first stop is Noah’s murder board.

As Audrey digs around on Noah’s computer, Emma finds one of the letters that Audrey wrote to Piper. Audrey described Emma as a “vapid, princess bitch!” So much for Audrey’s promise that her interest in Piper had nothing to do with Emma. The phrase “That’s why we need to bring her down” is pretty much the final nail in Audrey’s coffin. 

Emma doesn’t share what she finds, realizing that she’s got to focus on the task at hand. Emma figures out that the clue is behind the murder board, where she and Audrey find a daffodil in a plastic baggie. Emma doesn’t get the connection, but Audrey does.

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A Cover-Up

The Sheriff heads out to the old pig farm. His flashback continues. He and Maggie arrive at the house with Brandon. Maggie finds Brandon’s knife in the backseat, and Acosta and Maggie bury it. Acosta tells Maggie they have to forget all about “this.”

In the present, the Sheriff lets himself into the house and hears something coming from upstairs. In a hidden bedroom, he finds pictures of Emma and an open window. He peeks outside but misses the shadowy figure in a hoodie standing partially obscured from view by a nearby tree. 

The Ugly Truth

Noah’s convinced that the person he hears screaming is a figment of his imagination. He also hallucinates Zoe inside the coffin with him. He admits he’s scared, and she tells him that’s okay. The only ones who aren’t scared are the monsters.

Audrey and Emma head to the stables where they used to hang out as kids; it’s where they met and daffodils grew all around the place. They reminisce about the good times they had there, and Emma questions what she did to make Audrey hate her so much. Again, Audrey sticks to her story that bringing Piper to Lakewood wasn’t about Emma. That’s when Em pull out the letter. Audrey starts to deny or explain, but Emma cuts her off. Realizing that changing Emma’s mind about anything is an exercise in futility, Audrey keeps quiet. 

Emma and Audrey make it to the stables, but Emma can’t figure out how the killer could know so much about their childhood. Audrey deduces that this killer must have been working with Piper all along. Audrey brought Piper there a few times and told Piper everything about her relationship with Emma. Piper wanted to know everything about her sister.

Audrey swears that she was just looking for a friend. She had no idea Piper was just using her, at least not until it was too late. 

Sheriff Acosta tells Maggie about the hidden bedroom, and he’s convinced that Brandon is back. Maggie still believes that Brandon is dead in the woods somewhere. That may be true, but the Sheriff says that if it isn’t Brandon, it’s someone who knows their secrets. Either way, what’s happening now is on them.

Maggie has a plan to determine if Brandon is really back.

The killer calls the Sheriff with an anonymous tip. Something fishy is going on at the old horse stables. It sounds like something or someone is being gutted. Maybe the Sheriff can make it stop. 

Audrey and Emma make it to the barn where Jake met his untimely end. All Emma and Audrey find is the body of a pig. Emma’s freaked out because this is the stuff of her nightmares. 

The two start looking for signs of digging or fresh dirt but receive another video message. This one is of Jake getting gutted. 

Noah’s getting low on air, and Audrey can’t figure out if Noah is really there or if the killer is just messing with them

For two people so concerned about finding their friend before his air supply gives out, Emma and Audrey keep finding time to argue. Emma wants to know why Audrey brought the wrath of Piper down on them, and Audrey finally admits it’s because Emma broke her heart.

Noah’s Bad Luck with Girls Continues

Audrey and Emma hear singing (Noah) and discover Noah’s hiding spot underneath the body of the pig. They pull him out but still hear Zoe screaming. They pull up Noah’s coffin but only find a box with a video of Zoe screaming. She’s buried alive too, just somewhere else. 

The threesome recognize Zoe’s Lady of the Lake sash, and it looks like her box is submerged underwater. Noah is still surprisingly alert for someone who’s been bleeding from his gut for hours and hours. They head to the dock where Emma and Audrey killed Piper at Wren Lake. 

Sheriff Acosta arrives at the stable, but Noah, Emma and Audrey are already gone. What he does find is the pig’s carcass strung up like Hayley’s. The heart is missing, and there’s a hand in the mix that could be a match for Seth Branson.

The threesome find a rope and pull a box out of the water, but Zoe is already dead. The video showing her alive is old footage. 

Noah’s worried that he dragged Zoe into this mess, and he’s bound to have some serious guilt over her death. On the upside, spending the day together has reconnected Audrey and Emma.

Cryptic Calls and Love Notes

The killer calls, and Emma warns him that he’ll lose in the end. But he utters a very cryptic clue: “Look at the evidence. You’re dead in the water.”

Emma is certain of one thing: if these killings are going to stop, it’s on her.

Maggie sees things differently. She has a flashback of her own. Before Brandon disappeared, he left a note for her in a tree near her house (how very Boo Radley). It told her not to forget him. Now Maggie puts a note of her own in the same spot which reads, “Stay away from her.”

Someone is watching; it’s Eli. 

Scream airs Tuesdays at 10pm 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.