SCREAM Recap: Season 1 Episode 1: 'Red Roses'

*All of our episode recaps contain spoilers*

Based on the hit film franchise, MTV’s Scream is a modernisation of the satirical slasher genre. It follows a group of teenagers who become embroiled in a masked killer’s execution spree, after a YouTube video gone viral awakens the town’s demons. It is cheesy. It is cliché. Quite frankly, it is insulting. And I LOVE it.

The season premiered with the release and subsequent circulation of a YouTube video entitled ‘Audrey’s face suck extravaganza’. The named victim was caught kissing a girl in a parking lot by Lakewood’s queen bitch Nina, who justified the release of the video by saying, “It’s a time honoured enforcement of the food chain. The weak are outed and then eaten”. Ah, the dream of every scientist – that their theory will come to be used as a defence of immorality.

Tyler, Nina’s ex-boyfriend, was the tech-savvy genius of the plan and the first to die. Someone, pretending to be him, sent Nina a series of ominous texts and present time videos of her in her house. These initially scared her but ultimately turned her on (weirdo), and she proceeded to engage in a flirty exchange with the unknown sender. Said exchange came to an abrupt end, however, when he slam dunked Tyler’s head into the hot tub. Seriously, this murderer has no game.

Let me sum Nina up for you. Nina is the kind of person who tries to use a phone with wet hands and then wipes the phone on her wet arm when it doesn’t work. She is also the type of person to be outsmarted by a phone. When she tried to call 911, her phone called Pottery Barn instead. GENIUS. Shopping definitely has a higher success rate than the police force.  She tried to escape, but the masked killer struck, slitting her throat from ear to ear. #Slashered.  ß We’re making that a thing.

Now for the introductions. With the king and queen of the social hierarchy brutally murdered, next in line to the throne are Emma and Will; the nice girl who got in with the wrong crowd and the idiotic jock. There is Audrey, the forced out of the closest artsy filmmaker. Charlotte, her socially awkward catholic school lover. Noah, the genius IQ outcast with a serial killer fetish and Audrey’s best friend. Brooke, the pretty airhead sleeping with the English Lit teacher. Jake, the jerk jock. Riley, the popular girl who falls for the nerd; and Kieran, the REALLY hot mysterious new guy.

This show would not be a satirical slasher tribute if it did not allude to itself with painstaking obviousness at every available opportunity. The first instance; the group were in English Lit discussing gothic genre, and the discussion came to gothic TV series. Jake made the mistake of saying Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween in the presence of a slasher fanatic and was corrected post haste by our expert.  “Those are slasher movies. You can’t do a slasher movie as a TV series. Slasher movies burn bright and fast. TV needs to stretch things out. By the time the first body is found, it is only a matter of time before the blood bath commences”. Aren’t you a bunch of clever writers; telling us something can’t be done whilst you are doing it. 

As Noah rubbed the brilliance of this show in our faces, Nina’s parents returned home to find their daughter’s body. They informed the school, and the students were made to undergo mandatory grief counselling. Her friends coped surprisingly well with the news. So well in fact, that Jake was more distressed at the lack of gory details online.

The topic changed from Nina to Brandon James; and Emma’s hasty departure at the mentioning of his name prompted another narrative from our slasher aficionado. Twenty years ago, five Lakewood students were murdered in a love fuelled killing spree. The perpetrator was Brandon, and the object of his affection was a girl called Daisy. Brandon was born with Proteus syndrome, and according to Noah he was ‘a classic case of the deformed kid who lived in the shed’. He was home-schooled, his dad was ashamed of him, and the only one who cared about him was his older brother, Troy.  At the Halloween dance he finally mustered up the courage to talk to Daisy. All was well until he revealed his face, causing her to run away in fright and a group of jocks to beat him up. “After a lifetime of taking it, something in Brandon snapped”, and so began the Lakewood horror story. The manhunt ended at Red lake and so did Brandon’s life. He was shot by police, but not before giving Daisy a necklace he had made her. “Nobody ever knew who she was” - except us. It’s Emma’s mom! Dun-Dun-Dunnn!

Okay, so I may have been a bit hasty with my ‘Dun-Dun-Dunnn!’ Someone else knows Margaret’s true identity. ‘Daisy’ received a package from an unknown sender – an animal heart and the following message, ‘Emma looks just like you at that age’. Frightened, she called Sheriff Hudson and entrusted him with her secret. We learnt that her dad kept her name out of the police reports because she was a minor, and only her family called her Daisy. As for Emma’s dad, he was stabbed by Brandon; and although he survived, their relationship did not.                                                           

Both he and Tyler are persons of interest in the investigation, which raises the question, where did Tyler’s head go? As for the evidence suggestive of his guilt, it can be explained away with ease. A neighbour saw his car parked outside around the time of the murder – he dropped Nina off at home. There was no sign of forced entry – she didn’t lock the door. There was a glass in the kitchen with his finger prints – the actual murderer planted it. I’m a Pretty Little Liars fan. It’s going to take more than that to fool me.

Brooke organised an “Irish wake kind of thing” for Nina and as Kieran said, “A bunch of drunk teenagers at a party by the lake where your home grown killer died… It’s like a natural slasher setting”. There was an ‘Is Brooke going to die? Isn’t she going to die?’ moment, but Noah already told us that TV has to drag things out. So we’ll have to settle for two deaths this episode.

Emma invited Audrey to the party; and as the two old friends reconciled, Noah and Riley bonded over Elon Musk and SpaceX. I smell the beginnings of a tortured love story! And I see the end of one with all my senses. Brooke hinted at a more than friendly relationship between Nina and Will, causing him to admit that he slept with her when he and Emma were on a break. I am having major Friends déjà vu right now. Did she get off the plane? Did she get off the plane?!

No, but she did end up in a greenhouse with Kieran.  When Emma told him thatWill slept with the deceased, his response was “Necrophilia is a problem”. Good looking, smart, AND funny? I think I’m in love. Our resident hottie moved to Lakewood because his mom and step dad died in a car accident six weeks ago, and he thought it would be better to live with his real dad than to stay at home. I bet you can guess who his real dad is. Sheriff Hudson. Did I mention he and Emma’s mom are romantically interested in one another? What a tangled web this show is weaving.

Oh, and Kieran is a hero! Having had a little too much to drink, Noah passed out and fell prey a prank. He was stripped of his clothes and put in the middle of the lake – the very same lake where Brandon died. He tried to swim back to shore, but something kept pulling him under the water. Luckily, Kieran saved him (and treated us to his heavenly abs at the same time).

Regretful of her friends’ prank, Emma went to see Audrey to apologise. She confessed that she was involved in the filming of the video, causing their reconciliation to come to a quick end. Following their fight, she received a phone call from an unknown number – the masked killer. The two had a stereotypical creepy conversation, but when Emma asked who it was, he replied “I’m the one that’s going to lift the mask”. Wow. This guy is going to be a badass. I can feel it.

And now for our final Noah narrative of the episode. Riley asked Noah how the town’s horror story ended, and he replied,  “You have to remember that the ‘whodunnit’ may not be as important in our story. You need to forget it’s a horror story; that someone might die at every turn. You see, you have to care if the smoking hot Lit teacher seems a little too interested in his female students. You have to care if the team wins the big game. You have to care if the smart, pretty girl forgives the dumb jock. You root for them. You love them. So when they are brutally murdered, it hurts”. I must say, I am beginning to look forward to his gems of slasher self-reference.

Question of the episode – ‘Are you even supposed to like your friends in high school?’

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