Four episodes in and someone had to ask it: “What do you guys think of that Stavo dude?”
Scream: The TV Series has gone out of its way to make it seem like Stavo (Santiago Segura), the new sheriff’s creepy-as-fuck son, is the killer this season. This kind of bait and switch is par for the course in the horror movies Scream is emulating, because you need to at least make it seem like someone is screwed up enough to don a mask to brutally terrorize the people closest to them. But Stavo is so creepy, and so obviously supposed to be the killer at this point, that he can’t possibly actually be the killer. The worst kind of scary movie is an obvious one, and thankfully this episode’s big birthday party sequence gave us more evidence for Stavo and a few other characters as potential culprits.
The series continues to form its main narrative around Audrey (Bex Taylor-Klaus), and her increasingly desperate need to figure out who knows she was Piper’s accomplice. It’s the best thing Scream has going for it, because it complicates the audience’s connection to an otherwise sympathetic character.
Ghostface taunts her with phone calls, texts, or planting the corkscrew he used to kill that poor Crescent Palms Motel employee in her car. We pull for her to figure it out, and yet it’s easy to forget she’s partly responsible for all the murders that happened in Season 1. Audrey hallucinating her late former flame Rachael in this episode should be enough to remind you of that (but more on that in a bit).
When that blood-soaked corkscrew shows back up in her bed after she buries it, she knows she better do some more digging on who’s responsible before everyone finds out. After a few more weird messages and extended stares from Stavo in study hall, Audrey thinks she’s found her man, doubly so after she finds a bunch of macabre drawings of the Lakewood Six crew on his iPad. It may seem weird that Brooke (Carlson Young) and the others allow him to just show up at a big birthday bash for Kieran (Amadeus Serafini) later on in the episode, but it’s enough for Audrey to at least try to observe and confront Stavo about his bloody fixation.
Too bad Brooke gets another surprise gift from Jake (Tom Maden) — who is dead and not in Mexico like everybody thinks — of some anejo tequila for everyone to celebrate the festivities. Stavo curiously makes everyone take a shot, and unbeknownst to the underage drinkers the stuff is laced with some ayahuasca. “I think we might have been dosed,” he says, blocking Audrey from really getting to the bottom of what makes him the go-to Ghostface.
Before long, they all start tripping balls; Audrey, Noah (John Karna), and Zoe (Kiana Brown) start making out, Kieran lives his birthday in slow-mo, and Emma runs out into the woods and possibly sees Ghostface. It’s the perfect distraction for Stavo at the exact right time.
The other major suspect is Kieran’s cousin, Eli (Sean Grandillo) — the other Lakewood newcomer. Up to this point he’s basically been tagging along with his big cousin or weirding out Emma at school, but Eli takes unspecified matters into his own hands and convinces Emma to throw Kieran a huge party instead of their previously planned romantic couple’s dinner. Why? Maybe it’s because he’s the killer, or maybe it’s because he wants an easy way to get to know his classmates. The show does a great job of casing his social awkwardness in being that new guy, and potentially having a crush on Emma. On the one hand, he could be getting closer to Kieran’s girlfriend because he’s Ghostface, on the other he’s challenging his big cousin because he’s the new guy with something to prove. But for real, he’s way too short to be Ghostface.
Being on the nose doesn’t mean Scream isn’t surprising. The episode ends with Stavo’s dad finding a Brandon James mask in his room, and finding out just why it’s there will definitely be the highlight of the upcoming episodes. But mostly the writers used this episode to finally reveal to everyone that theres a new killer on the loose. Jake’s body and a bunch of blood tumble down onto Brooke like the infamous prom scene from Carrie at the start of Lakewood’s annual Lady of the Lake pageant, and the cat (or in this case Jake’s dead body) is out of the bag. Now that everyone who isn’t named Audrey realizes there’s a copycat killer in town, everything is in the right place for the horror and the mysteries to keep building.