This review contains spoilers.
So far this season–and, apparently, for the next couple of weeks at least–Scream’s episodes are sharing titles with horror movies. Last week’s was appropriate and a little recursive, considering that its source–I Know What You Did Last Summer–is a movie that itself rode the tide of the original Scream movie’s teen slasher success. This week’s title, Psycho, is of course shared with one of the most legendary scary movies of all time.
It’s not just a movie title, though. See, being a member of The Lakewood Six–or Five, as Noah points out, not yet knowing how tragic his offhand comment actually is–does some stuff to your brain. To your sanity, even. In the series return last week, we got just what it said on the tin–some nicely done exposition covering the fallout of Piper’s rampage and (ambiguous?) defeat. With episode two, we begin to see the real toll of what these Final Kids have been through.
Willa Fitzgerald is killing it (pun maybe intended) as a jarred Emma trying to navigate the new reality forced upon her while also beginning to question reality itself. I admit she wasn’t always my favorite character last season, but the Emma we’ve seen lately is nuanced and at once more fragile and stronger than we’ve seen her. She has emerged from her initial stage of recovery only to be confronted with situations that could very easily undo any progress she’s made. In fact, she herself is beginning to doubt that progress, having had some very vivid and disturbing hallucinations–but are they really hallucinations?
As of now, we’re right there with Emma in not knowing if what she is seeing is real. Those around her are doing their best to at least humour her–such as Maggie who, in a show of solidarity toward healing their strained relationship, takes her back to the barn in the middle of the night to check out the room full of paraphernalia from Emma’s childhood…only to find it’s all vanished, if it had even been there in the first place. Meanwhile, though, it’s also Maggie who has been hiding from Emma the fact that she has a history with the farm in the first place.
And that’s just her mom. There are plenty of other sources of both support and apprehension from friends who are dealing with their own readjustments. It’s because of all these shades of truth and secret, of real and imagined, of confusion and sanity that we can’t be sure yet if Emma has come back from treatment better or worse. If it’s better, she’s going to have a hard time keeping on the right track/staying alive; if it’s worse, well, she might have a few more dead bodies to show for it.
Is Emma the “psycho”? We don’t know yet, but we do know that another of the Lakewood Six is growing more disturbed–and disturbing. Audrey has taken Emma’s place as the recipient of threatening texts, but she’s also on the giving end, using a voice masker to hastily shut up hotel receptionist Eddie before he can give Noah too much information about an alleged accomplice Piper might have had. (I bring this up specifically because I really like Eddie and I hope we see more of him, and hopefully not dead.) Audrey is on the verge of losing it in much more alarming ways than Emma, creeping around at night, accosting a classmate she thinks might be behind the texts, and seething at Noah’s investigations. This all culminates in her discovery of Jake’s decomposing body in a storage unit–and a note from the killer directed at her: “See how I finished the job for you, Audrey?” Whatever she’s done to get herself into this mess is miniscule in comparison to whatever is now dragging her deeper in.
“Psycho” could apply to this episode in a number of other ways–the new creepy lurking boys such as Gus and Eli, who both give off a little too much of a Norman Bates vibe; the mysterious Ms. Lang and the new girl with the cool hair; even the girl Audrey attacked supposedly by mistake isn’t completely in the clear. Brooke is being gaslighted by someone in possession of Jake’s cell, and I’m loving how Carlson Young is really bringing out both Brooke’s vulnerability and her maturity this season. It’s heartbreaking to watch her, worried and hopeful and annoyed, cling to her phone as she waits to hear from Jake and then get all prettied up when she thinks she’s going to see him. (Spoiler: she’s not. See previous paragraph.) Her dad has gone right back to his suspicious ways–he knows at least a little something about how Jake met his fate, we just don’t know how much. Noah’s obsessive murder board–not to mention the fact that he has literally taken over for Piper, at least podcast-wise–is unsettling. And Kieran’s playing supportive boyfriend–for now.
So, looks like we’re back to everyone is a suspect and no one is safe. Just the way we like it. See you next time, psychos.