TV Review: Scream (1×03) “Wanna Play a Game?”


Need a refresher? Look back at my other Scream coverage by clicking here.

The third episode of Scream brings some facts to light for Emma, an explosion to the town, and yet another kill. Let’s get to it.

Murder, NOT Suicide

Maggie explains the whole hanging situation to Sheriff Clark, who decides to give Rachel’s family one day of mourning before opening up a murder investigation. They also discuss the heart delivery, along with all the secrets in Maggie’s past that she can’t tell her daughter. Emma overhears everything and gets very, very annoyed.

Emma goes to Rachel’s wake to tell Audry that the suicide was actually a murder. She shares her theory that this murderer killed Rachel to get to her, so Audry suggests they contact them. Emma texts the murderer: “I know you killed Rachel. Tell me why.”

The Teacher-Student Affair

Brooke and Branson are having “cybersex” (if there was any doubt this show was written by people who grew up in the 90s, there isn’t now) because Branson is scared of their relationship being discovered. After all, the police are out looking for someone who is preying on teenage girls. Brooke isn’t happy with this arrangement and has a game for Branson: there’s a naughty picture hidden in his classroom somewhere—he better find it before someone else does! I really hope this teacher gets busted for statutory rape.

And Now for Some Drama

Branson distractedly assigns partners for a dramatic scene, trying (and failing) not to be completely obvious in his search for this picture. We end up with the pairs Emma/Kieran, Audry/Will, Riley/Noah, and Jake/Brooke. Kieran lets it slip to Emma that Sheriff Clark has been keeping the Brandon James case files at his house. Emma expresses interest, and Kieran offers to bring them over. Dude, I’m fairly certain that’s extremely frowned upon. Note: Kieran has been arrested in the past and promises to tell the whole story if Emma plays him a song. In their perusal, they realize that Brandon James was obsessed with Emma’s mother. Emma confronts Maggie, claiming that the person who left the heart for Daisy is the same one stalking her.

Killer call! This time, the murderer threatens Maggie—if Emma tells her anything else, he’ll gut her. Emma isn’t biting; she’s through playing games. The murderer shoots her a text: “Then I’ll find someone else to play with.” Dun dun dun.

The Elusive Tyler

Jake’s freaking out because the money is gone and he thinks the missing Tyler took it. Will took it before Tyler did, mostly because he knows Jake didn’t shut down the webcam footage to Nina’s room. In sum: these two bozos no longer trust one another.

During a heavy make-out session with Noah, Riley gets a “HELP ME!” text from “Tyler.” Emma thinks the text actually came from her stalker, while Riley thinks they should hear “Tyler” out. The sheriff has Riley set up a meeting in order for Tyler to prove his innocence, where they end up tackling some random guy who was paid $200 to give Riley an ominous note.

Emma implores the killer not to hurt any of her friends, so he gives her an option: the good girl or the bad girl? Riley’s at the police station while Brooke breaks off from the group to go meet Branson in a hotel room. Thinking that Riley is safe at the (now empty) police station, Emma tells them not to hurt Brooke. After “Tyler” gets Riley to go outside, she’s met with the murderer, who chases and kills her on the roof of the police station. She facetimes Noah for help (yeesh, that’s definitely scarring him for life), but it’s too late. When Emma sees Riley’s dead body, she tearfully explains that she didn’t mean to choose. The police follow Tyler’s car, only to see it blow up at the close of the episode.

Well, goodbye, Riley. There are definitely people who should have gone before you did. It looks like her death is going to be the catalyst for Emma, Noah, and Audry to really make moves on this case. One thing I’ve noticed about Scream is that all of the characters use masculine subjects when discussing the murderer—who’s to say this isn’t a girl? They’re missing a whole bunch of possible suspects by ruling out one whole gender…

Best line: “Nobody just snaps…a bomb doesn’t become a bomb because it gets lit.”—Noah while explaining the Brandon James murders to Piper Shaw

Killer Calls Per Episode: 1.

Body Count Per Episode: 1.

Cumulative Body Count: 4.

Episode Rating: 7/10.

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