TV Review: Scream 2×04 “Happy Birthday to Me”


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Gratuitous Creep Factor

This week’s episode of Scream opens with Audrey burying the corkscrew that killed poor Crescent Palms Eddie, thus incriminating herself and obstructing justice. The next morning, she wakes up with a start and realizes her leg is bleeding. It seems Lakewood Killer #2 paid her a visit and left the corkscrew in her bed. She gets a killer voicemail, which I’ll count as a killer call. “Nice try partner, but I know you better than you think,” Lakewood Killer #2 rasps. Meanwhile, Emma has a dream about making out with Kieran that turns into a nightmare when Lakewood Killer #2 arrives to stab him. She records this latest sleep adventure in her dream journal.

Emma is Kind of a Chump

Kieran questions cousin Eli about his whereabouts the previous night, concerned that people are going to start talking. He doesn’t want Eli’s activities to ruin what he has going there, since he likes it in Lakewood. Interesting, considering he spent most of his time in Lakewood thus far being stalked by a psychopath who murdered his father in this same town a few months ago. To each their own. Eli offers to get Kieran’s friends together for his birthday, but Kieran declines—he has private plans with Emma.

Eli, being the mischievous little badger he is, convinces Emma that Kieran actually wants a big surprise party. Honestly, I get that Eli is his cousin, but I cannot believe that Emma fell for this. Kieran’s not a surprise party kind of dude, even before his father was brutally murdered. With her mom away, Emma decides to throw the party at her place. Eli declares that he will take care of the booze. “Sometimes I just like to be someone else,” he says, flashing his fake ID. We get it, you’re unknowable. Save it.

“Jake” Better Hurry Up Already

When her father suggests Jake as her escort to the Lady of the Lake pageant, Brooke explains that he’s not talking to her. She sends one last text to him that says, “Now you’re not even texting?? WTF Are we really done??” to which “Jake” replies, “I’m waiting for you to beg.” “Jake” promises that one way or another, he’ll see her the next day. Something tells me Jake’s death won’t be a secret for too much longer.

Mr. Maddox goes to Sheriff Acosta to demand that he find Jake, convinced that he’s avoiding Brooke to get away from him. Acosta doesn’t care, but Mr. Maddox strong-arms him into at least checking it out. Thanks to the school secretary, Acosta discovers that Jake has been supposedly out with strep and that his parents are in Mexico.

Audrey Doesn’t Trust Stavo

Audrey discusses how creepy Stavo is with Brooke. Having dealt with him before, Brooke is unconcerned as she describes his obsession with the Lakewood Six. Audrey pulls the fire alarm, clearing the room and giving her the opportunity to snoop through Stavo’s belongings. She finds drawings of the Lakewood Six on his iPad, culminating in a sketch of Emma with a knife in her head. Stavo is too obvious to be the second Lakewood Killer, but maybe we should get him some help all the same.

When Audrey questions Noah about Stavo, he doesn’t understand the fuss. “Brooding loners always get a bad rep. Jennifer Jason Leigh in Single White Female, Marky Mark in Fear. Their obsessions always lead them right over the edge to crazy Stalkerville, but that doesn’t mean that’s what’s happening here,” he explains, trying to pick out a shirt. Note, he’s taking Zoe to Kieran’s party. He thinks Audrey is just being paranoid.

Don’t Drink Things Left on Front Stoops

Emma and Eli drink and decorate together, which leads to a moment where they almost kiss. This moment is thankfully interrupted by Brooke, who comes bearing an expensive bottle of tequila with a note from “Jake” she found on the front steps. “A pricey birthday bottle from south of the border! Shots are on me,” it reads. She angrily throws the card away. Emma tells Brooke about her and Eli’s moment, divulging that she doesn’t know how she was feeling when it happened.

Stavo preps tequila shots for everyone in time for Kieran’s arrival, and they all knock them back. Everyone starts throwing up after a few minutes, leading Audrey to the conclusion that they should go to the hospital—especially when she finds out that the tequila was from “Jake.” As she is the only one of the gang who knows he’s dead, this unnerves her. Stavo thinks that they’ve been dosed with hayawocka, a hallucinogenic substance from Peru that will “bring [their] truth to the surface.” With everyone ignoring her call for the hospital, Audrey at least demands that they get everyone inside so they can be safe.

Everyone’s Brains on Drugs

Brooke: Brooke starts seeing flames—in water glasses, in Stavo’s eyes, etc. When she panics, Stavo brings her into a room to lie down. What I think is supposed to be considered chivalrous ends up creepy. She sees a hallucination of Jake, who warns her that Stavo is hitting on her. He informs her that she wants to have sex with Stavo, but her still being in love with him is holding her back.

Eli: Eli is having a grand old-time, laughing, throwing ketchup on plates, and eating everything in sight. Emma confronts him, annoyed that he lied about what Kieran wanted for his birthday, but it’s hard for Eli to care at the moment.

Kieran: Kieran gets sleepy, so Emma puts him to bed—but not before he sleepily explains that Eli once “borrowed” the neighbor’s dog, which they found dead soon after that.

Audrey: Everyone disappears in Audrey’s vision until the ghost of THAT GIRL arrives. Audrey apologizes for her death, convinced that it’s her fault. She kisses her…only she turns into Noah in real life. Zoe walks over, says that their energy is glowing, and the three take turns making out with each other.

Emma: Little Emma has something to show Present Day Emma. She leads her into the forest out back, where Emma finds framed photos of herself and sees flashes of her pig farm nightmare. She sees Lakewood Killer #2 and tries to convince herself that they’re not real until they start chasing her through the woods. Papa Duvall finds her and calms her down.

The Sheriff’s Conclusions

Sheriff Acosta doesn’t believe the kids when they explain the dosed bottle of tequila. If only they had a way to test that sort of thing…you know, with science instead of Acosta’s cynicism. I miss the old sheriff. Brooke explains that the bottle came from Jake, while Audrey calls out Stavo for his creepy obsession with the gang. At home, Acosta promises Stavo that he believes him, but then goes through his stuff. He finds unsettling drawings, along with a Brandon James mask. Acosta receives a call from Mrs. Fitzgerald, who he informs that her son is missing.

Emma truly believes that she was almost stabbed, but no one can back her up. Even Kieran thinks that she might be seeing things and that maybe she wasn’t ready to come home yet. Emma isn’t angry, but she does think that everything she needs to fix is in Lakewood. Things are also not totally smooth at school. Noah addresses awkwardness with Audrey right away, who brushes him off by insisting everything that happened was about the drugs. She tells him not to blow it with Zoe and walks away. When Noah asks Zoe out, she turns him down, convinced that Noah likes Audrey.

Beauty Pageants Never Work Out Well in Horror

At the Lady of the Lake assembly, Eli apologizes for lying to Emma about Kieran’s birthday. He insists that he believes her even if Kieran doesn’t. Emma doesn’t want to be placated; if she actually saw what she did, it means that everything that happened to them a few months ago is going to happen again.

The five finalists for the Lady of the Lake pageant are announced, including Zoe and Brooke. The on stage banner is unrolled, soaking Brooke with blood, Carrie-style—and dropping Jake’s dead body at her feet. Cue Brooke’s blood-curdling shriek, which wasn’t dubbed very well at all.

While this week’s episode of Scream was weak in terms of plot—being as basically nothing happened except dreams and hallucinations—it provided what looks like the turning point for this season. Most of this episode felt like we were re-hashing character points that had already been established. However, the reveal of Jake’s death means all the remaining Lakewood Sixers know that they’re back on the chopping block of someone who is way more willing to make a public spectacle out of their murders than Piper was for hers. Hopefully this means we’ll get moving on the truth behind the actions of our suspicious characters—these being Audrey (who should probably stop obstructing justice), Stavo, and Eli.

Best Line: “Brooding loners always get a bad rep. Jennifer Jason Leigh in Single White Female, Marky Mark in Fear. Their obsessions always lead them right over the edge to crazy Stalkerville, but that doesn’t mean that’s what’s happening here.” I have to give this week’s to Noah again, despite his newfound naiveté.

Killer Calls: 1 (I’m counting that voicemail–seems the killer got a little tired after the five from last week)

Body Count Per Episode: 0

Body Count Per Season: 2

Episode Rating: 5/10

Bri is a 25-year-old born and raised in the swamps of Jersey. Just kidding, she lives at least twenty minutes from those swamps. She’s a publishing professional that moonlights as a writer. She enjoys going to concerts (anything from Rooney to Springsteen to NKOTBSB), roadtripping, and complaining that she truly belongs in the 1950’s, the 1920′s, or the 1980′s depending on her mood. She definitely owns more books than she should and reads every chance she gets. If you stop hearing from her, it’s because the book piles have fallen over and smothered her to death in the night. You can contact her at Twitter: @bri_lockhart
  • Killsqu8d

    This show is so bad it’s good. Don’t know why I watch it every week

  • Claus Kruger

    The dumbest kids that I’ve seen.