*All of our episode recaps contain spoilers*
After having had some time to calm down, I now realise that Emma is not to blame for Riley’s death. Sheriff Hudson is. And because Margaret is insisting that it is not his fault, I blame her a little as well. Riley was murdered on his watch, at his station, and what does Margaret say? “You couldn’t foresee this”. He didn’t need foresight to protect her, he needed common sense. Scratch that. He just needed a functioning brain. (In case you haven’t guessed, Riley’s death hit me pretty hard). At the end of the last episode, we saw the mysterious car from the parking lot engulfed in flames as it crashed through construction on Kincaid Bridge. The driver of the car was decapitated in the crash (oh, you sneaky killer, you!) and a Brandon James mask was found in the wreckage. Whatever will our Sheriff do next!
Piper Shaw offered her condolences to the family and friends of Riley in her podcast, also saying “This is a tough one to talk about. I mean, I’ve covered some terrible things, but last night, I felt it”. Oh, you felt it when you were filming Noah breaking down at the station? You, my friend, have just been blacklisted. Brooke, however, has been taken off my list. She holds herself accountable for Riley’s death because she abandoned her to answer a booty call to a guy who didn’t even show up. How do I know her remorse was sincere? Two reasons; firstly, her waterproof massacre ran. Secondly, never before has an expletive moved me the way it did when she called Riley a bitch for having naturally long eyelashes. I felt the love. It was immense.
As well as Emma did consoling Brooke, I would definitely want Audrey to be my shoulder to cry on. When Noah theorised that punching his V-card would have made the rules of horror kick in, thereby making him the victim, she said “I would offer to deflower you, but I would just be taking advantage of your heightened emotional state and we can’t have that”. Sassy – I like it. Then, when Noah said he wanted to channel his anguish into vigilante justice, she suggested they team up – “Bi-curious and The Virgin”. They would be the best crime fighting duo ever.
The worst crime fighting duo is Sheriff Hudson and Mayor Maddox. The mayor organised a meeting at the town hall, but left the talking to Sheriff Useless. To dispel the “rumours floating around”, he gave an official statement as to the recent events, and ended said statement by telling the residents of Lakewood that he is “confident that we’ve got our man. It’s over”. In other words, we haven’t got our man and it isn’t over. He failed to mention Rachel during his address, causing Audrey to question if he is going to pin her death on Tyler just to close the case. He responded by suggesting to Emma that she take her friend “to see one of those grief counsellors”. Well, excuse me! How rude.
I know I’ve said this before but teenagers are devil spawn. Whilst shopping for funeral nail polish, Brooke received an alert from Chirpste, which I assume is the equivalent of Twitter. “Lakewood’s hottest clique is being murdered. Vote for who you’d rather see on the chopping block. Emma or Brooke”. Emma had two votes. Brooke had 346! Perhaps she can take solace in the fact that Nina would have gotten more votes than her had she been the other girl still alive.
Emma may be spared by her peers, but she is our killer’s favourite. Somehow in his busy schedule he found the time to deliver a gift to her house – the 1994 Lancer yearbook. He even personalised it! He cut out the pictures of Brandon James’ victims and scribbled out the picture of Emma’s father. Above the picture was the following message, ‘The truth lies where the mask was made’. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? We need Noah.
Emma thought the same thing. She went to visit him at his place of work, and the Noah we love made a brief appearance. He informed her that the mask Brandon James wore was actually a surgical mask used to protect his sutures from infection, post op. He doesn’t know who made the mask, but Brandon’s surgeries were done at Lakewood General, “but it closed down like six or seven years ago”. He was so excited by the lead, and Emma just shot him down, reasoning that it could be a trap. In actual fact, she wanted to go alone. Audrey wouldn’t hear of it; and the two ended up going together, leaving poor Noah to grief-game. He deserves better.
Before we join Emma and Audrey at the hospital, let us go to our tricky twosome – Will and Jake. Will got into Duke, but he didn’t get a scholarship, which means he’ll have to pay 63 thousand dollars. His dad won’t co-sign for student loans, so “that’s it”. Or not. Jake suggested that if Will needs some fast cash for tuition they can “finish what Nina and Tyler began”. And what the deceased duo began is a black-mailing scheme. Can you guess who will be paying for Will to go to Duke? Brooke’s father, aka Mayor Maddox. “It’s not over. Time for another $100k. GPS coordinates coming. 8pm tomorrow”. $100k?! What did you do Maddox?!
The expedition to Lakewood general started well. Audrey and Emma established two very important things. First and foremost, the chances of them being killed are small. As Emma said, “this guy killed Riley at the police station and Nina at her house; and I know for a fact that he was outside my house the other night. If he wanted to kill me, he’s had plenty of chances”. Secondly, the killer is not necessarily a man – proved by Audrey using a $1.99 voice changer app. Good start, right?
It gets better. NOAH ARRIVED. And he came bearing the gift of a narrative, albeit not his best one. “It’s a genuine killer’s lair. A lair is an extension of the killer’s psychosis... No, this looks staged. I mean, you see lairs on TV, not in real life. Take Pretty Little Liars. They’re always chock-full of bloody clues and creepy unrealistic icons. I mean, seriously, how would A get her hands on four Victorian dolls that look just like the main characters?” Woah. Did he really just throw shade at Pretty Little Liars? That’s practically blasphemy! There is nothing A cannot do. She is the badass of all badasses! This… This hurts.
Anyway, “bastard took souvenirs”! The killer, not Noah. See? You’re mad as well! Our killer stole a figurine from Rachel’s room, a necklace from Riley, and a keychain from Nina. He also took the queen bee’s laptop, which we now know is the hub of the blackmailing plot. The trio found folders on Mayor Maddox, the sheriff, their principle, and the friendship group, but could not access them as the folders were encrypted. As they argued over what do with the laptop, they heard a noise. With the threat of capture looming ever near, Emma transferred the files onto the SD card from Audrey’s camera. They high-tailed it out of the lair, but not before grabbing a Brandon James mask and getting Tyler’s head instead. But that wasn’t the biggest shock. No, that honour goes to Sheriff Hudson stopping them dead in their tracks.
Someone saw our vigilantes breaking into the hospital and called the police. Grass. Sheriff Hudson accused them of making every piece of evidence in the hospital potentially inadmissible, but admitted that they were right about Tyler not being the killer. He took Audrey’s camera, but it doesn’t matter. We have what we need – the SD card and our crime fighting duo, Bi-curious and The Virgin.
At their den (Noah’s place of work), The Virgin got to work. Emma ejected the SD card too soon, so only one folder had available content. While he was unencrypting the single file, Audrey complimented him on how cool he made hacking look, to which he responded “Yeah, well, we’re cooking. We’re cooking with gas”. It wasn’t necessary to tell you that, but it made me forgive me slightly so I thought it might do the same for you. The file was of Emma and Will – specifically their first time. Noah tried to shut it down, but a hidden executable uploaded it and sent it to everyone. And I mean EVERYONE. I know no one died, but I feel like this situation warrants a ‘slashered’. So, this one is for you Emma - #SLASHERED.