In this episode of Scream, “Village of the Damned,” the town celebrates Lakewood Days, Audrey tries to find the courage to tell Emma about Piper, Brooke has a very public meltdown, information about Eli and Kieran’s pasts come to light, Audrey receives cryptic messages from the killer, and Sheriff Acosta suspects his son.

There may be a crazed killer on the loose (again), but that’s not going to stop the residents of “Murderville” from celebrating the town’s centennial.

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A Bloody Wake-Up Call

Audrey’s day doesn’t get off to a great start. She wakes up to find that the killer has been in her room. He left a few messages. One on the ceiling reads, “12 Dead,” and another on her mirror says, “No One Will Ever Forgive You.” The cryptic notes are written in blood. Speaking of dead, these kids must sleep hard because I know somebody couldn’t drag furniture around and take the time to write a message above my bed without attracting my attention. Have you ever tried to write on a ceiling? Yeah, not easy.

The first thing Audrey does is run and tell Noah. Now that he knows the truth (or does he?), they have an open-door policy about everything that Audrey’s sick secret admirer (or deadly foe, it’s hard to tell) does to her. This cat is fickle where Bi-Curious is concerned, covering her ass one minute and setting her up the next.

The two tally up the total body count since the killings first started: Nina, Tyler, Rachel, Riley, Will, Grayson, the guard outside Branson’s cell, Sheriff Hudson, Jake, Eddie and Piper. That’s only 11. I’m assuming number 12 is Branson since, last we saw, he was being toasted like a marshmallow over a campfire. 

Noah tells Audrey that she’s got to take her power back. As long as she’s keeping her terrible secret about partnering up with Piper, the killer owns her. If she tells Emma the truth, Audrey will be free.

The Sheriff Hides Evidence

Sheriff Acosta is investigating what happened to Miss Lang. She’s still comatose, which makes her an unreliable witness, and nobody else saw what happened. Although, Audrey and Noah are confident that the killer was involved.

All of the intel that Miss Lang has been keeping on the Lakewood Six (minus one) is now in the Sheriff’s hands. He sees that there is one audiotape with Stavo’s name on it, and he discreetly sticks it in his desk. It appears that Miss Lang was interested in more than just Em and her closest pals. 

Eli’s Sketchy Past is Revealed

The Sheriff of this not-so-sleepy hamlet is having a busy day. He’s got to go to Wren Lake Estates and find out who or what started the fire. There’s zero question it was arson. If the killer’s goal was to cover his tracks, he failed. The fire failed to completely destroy the remains of Eddie and Mr. Branson. 

Emma, who believes the Sheriff is firmly on her side, decides to tell him the truth about being at the model home. Emma figures it’s not that big a deal, just two crazy kids doing a little trespassing. Acosta doesn’t mention the bodies in the tub, but he does tell Emma that the fire was set intentionally. He also informs her that a young woman in Atlanta has a restraining order against Eli. Apparently, he Goldilocks’d her. 

Acosta warns Emma not to go to isolated locations with boys she barely knows. He also makes it clear that Kieran was ratting on her; he was simply trying to help her out. 

Emma’s off the hook for now, and Sheriff Acosta tells Officer Dwayne to keep an eye on our femme fatale. 

The Sheriff Suspects His Son

Sheriff Acosta wants to put Maggie back on the case. He took her off after Jake’s death, believing her to be too close to the situation to do her job effectively. He’s had a change of heart. Acosta needs her to identify the bodies because Acosta believes they’re victims in the same murder spree that started with Jake. He shows Maggie the picture of Emma he found at the pig farm and tells Maggie she knows where he’s going with this. Acosta pleads with Maggie to help him find answers, not just for Emma and Stavo’s sake but for all of Lakewood’s teens. It’s time to catch this monster.

Sheriff Acosta didn’t come back to Lakewood because he was nostalgic for his boyhood home. We learn that he kind of needed to hightail it out of Phoenix.

He and Stavo have a bit of a blowout when Stavo catches his father searching his room for the Brandon James mask. Acosta talks about Lakewood being a fresh start, and Stavo says, “It was an accident.” His father responds that it’s what Stavo did after the gun went off that troubles him. Stavo replies, “He was my friend. I needed to remember how it felt. It was important to me.” 

So Stavo shot somebody under mysterious circumstances. But what the heck did he do afterwards? We know he has this thing about murder being art, so did he recreate some gruesome tableau? Whatever it was, it’s disturbing enough for Acosta to believe that his son might have something to do with the Lakewood murders.

Stavo practically dares his father to prove that he’s been butchering locals.

Kieran Warns Emma

Emma decides to forgive Kieran. She knows he’s just being protective because of what happened to his step-dad. Kieran gets agitated, questioning what Emma knows and how she found out. Kieran doesn’t confirm the story, so something is amiss. He won’t tell Emma why he’s so upset but warns her to stay away from Eli. The kid may be family, but he’s not right. 

Audrey Can’t Hide from the Truth

Audrey, who should really consider changing her phone number, is sent a video clip shot by the killer of him (or her) creeping around in Emma’s room while she’s sleeping. That seems right up Eli’s alley. 

The killer calls, telling Audrey he can’t wait to see what happens when Emma finds out the truth. Audrey begs him not to spill her secret, but whoever it is says that Audrey is a killer, not the victim. Audrey can’t go to the cops, and she can’t tell Emma. All she’s got is this living, breathing, homicidal reminder of her checkered past. 

Audrey decides to ask Emma to go with her to the carnival. They reminisce about attending the big event together every year since they were kids. Audrey’s really greasing the wheels, reminding Emma of how close they once were, laying the groundwork for the big reveal.

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Boy Trouble or Troubled Boys?

Brooke and Zoe are prepping for the “Lady of the Lake” pageant. Brooke’s heart isn’t in it. She’s only doing it to appease her dad. He’s in the middle of a campaign, and Wren Lake Estates is being built on his dime, so the recent fire has him in a bit of a mood. But Brooke has no interest in winning, so she puts all her effort into making sure Zoe does. The makeover has helped her lift her out of her grief spiral, albeit temporarily.

Brooke drowns her sorrows in a flask provided by Zoe, who was keeping it on hand as an antidote for her stage fright. Brooke, alone in the dressing room, gets a visit from one keyed-up Stavo. He suggests that Brooke ditch the pageant and hang with him. Stavo says that Brooke’s just doing it to appease her dad. Plus, how ridiculous is it to be having a carnival with all the carnage going on? 

Brooke argues that she has her own reasons for going through with it, and if Stavo is going to judge her, he can kick rocks. 

Eli approaches Emma and calls her out on her frosty behavior. He suspects that she thinks he started the fire and knows the Sheriff said something to weird her out. While Emma doesn’t think Eli is the firebug, she does admit that the Sheriff told her about his Atlanta situation, and it made her realize she doesn’t know him at all.

Eli admits he’s made some mistakes, but he’s not a bad guy. All he wants is a chance to explain. Emma points out that now isn’t the best time, and Eli grabs her arm. He swears he would never do anything to hurt her. Kieran swoops in, and the two get into a shoving match. Emma breaks things up, but Kieran warns his cousin to stay away from her and to stop telling stories. Eli says Kieran shouldn’t worry because he didn’t tell Emma the worst part, which causes Kieran to jump his cousin and start punching him. Emma gets him to stop, and Kieran storms off. A bloody Eli tells Emma that he’s not the one she should be afraid of. 

Emma tries to call Kieran, but he’s disappeared. Emma confides in Audrey about Eli’s restraining order, and you can see the wheels turning. She fills Emma in on her overnight visitor and wonders if Eli could be the culprit. Emma can’t say no, and someone did break into her house to send those messages to Kevin. 

A Beauty Queen Breakdown

The pageant is in full swing. Zoe kills it, but Brooke is hammered. Instead of reciting the speech she and her daddy prepared, she decides to wing it. She gets a bit weepy about Jake but then lays into the revelers for lying to themselves for 100 years. Lakewood is cursed. People die in the town all the time, and they act like nothing happened. Death is a dark, empty abyss, and that’s where Jake is right now. If they all stop acting like this isn’t Murderville, they’ll all wind up like Jake, and they’ll deserve it. (Drop the mic, she’s out.)

Stavo Becomes a Prime Suspect

Maggie has identified at least one of the victims, and it is indeed Seth Branson. So anyone hoping that the handsome teacher would cheat death again is bound to be disappointed. Maggie notes that one of Branson’s hands had been severed at the wrist.

After Maggie leaves, Acosta goes through a folder of what has to be Stavo’s artwork. There’s a drawing of Seth Branson handcuffed to the bed in the hotel room. 

The Killer Sets a Trap

Emma gets a text — presumably from Kieran — saying they need to talk and to meet him by the Ferris wheel. Once there, she gets a call from the killer. Emma wants to know where Kieran is, and she receives a video of Kieran bound and gagged inside the funhouse. Emma rushes in looking for her boyfriend.

Audrey gets a video message of her own. It’s of Emma wandering around searching for Kieran. She tries to call and warn Emma but gets her friend’s voicemail instead.

Poor Office Dwayne. He’s doing his due diligence, keeping an eye on Emma, but that means he’s now inserted himself into the killer’s path. The guy gets thrown through a mirror but survives. Emma stumbles across him and, after spotting the killer, grabs Dwayne’s gun and takes a shot. She misses, fooled by a reflection, and the killer takes off. 

The police arrive as the killer is leaving the funhouse. He drops to his knees. Emma follows, waving a gun around, and Acosta orders her to drop the weapon. It’s time for the big reveal. The mask comes off, and it’s Kieran. His mouth is still taped shut, and the knife he was holding was taped to his hand. Obviously, the killer was hoping that either Emma or the cops would shoot Kieran, or is this all an elaborate ruse by Kieran to cover his tracks?

Sheriff Acosta looks incredibly relieved, and we don’t know if it’s because they didn’t kill a potentially innocent kid or because the guy in the mask wasn’t Stavo.

Later, Kieran reveals to Emma that he was in the car the night his parents died. He had been fighting with his step-dad. During the argument, his dad took his eyes off the road, and that’s what caused the accident. Kieran’s been living with the guilt ever since. Emma and Kieran reassure each other that nothing that has happened is either of their faults.

Emma Learns the Truth

Noah and Audrey dissect the evening’s events. The killer wanted Audrey to feel responsible for whatever happened. Audrey feels like everything is her fault. She declares that she’s done. She’s not going to do what the killer wants anymore. She’s going to tell Emma everything.

But just as Audrey bursts into Emma’s bedroom to unburden herself, she discovers Emma listening to the recording that Noah accidentally made of her confession, the recording that only Zoe seemed to know about. Audrey has got some serious explaining to do. 

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.