‘Scream’ S2: E08 ‘Village of the Damned’ Review

Photo Credit: MTV
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Emma (Willa Fitzgerald) finds herself forced into a series of deadly games at the Lakewood Carnival while Brooke (Carlson Young) launches her own attack on the town. Audrey (Bex Taylor-Klaus) continues to be tormented by her past.

 

**Spoiler Alert**

This review contains spoilers for S2E08 of Scream. If you haven’t yet watched, read at your own risk.

 

The Good

A Jaws reference right off the bat. The episode opens with a podcast voiceover from Noah where he remarks that they’re heading to the beach even though they know there’s a shark in the water. One of the hallmarks of movies with small towns going through trying times is that the small town never starts to realize the extent of the terror until it’s too late. Much like the mayor in Jaws, Mayor Maddox is one of the “show must go on” variety, which means the whole town is heading out to a carnival with a serial killer who likes to make a statement on the loose.

Brooke and Zoe bond. Brooke is in a tough spot, so I’m glad to see that she’s sticking close to the friends she’s made even while she’s hurting. She needs them. Even if she’s putting her energy into getting Zoe the perfect dress and making sure Zoe and Noah are happy together. Brooke might partially be distracting herself from her own pain by helping Zoe, but it’s a better idea than her drinking all of Zoe’s liquid courage before her speech.

Emma continues her new honesty train. After last week’s fire, Emma is ready and willing to spill all to the sheriff about anything and everything that happens to her. Unfortunately for Emma, pretty much everyone around her is hiding something. It’s kind of funny to watch her be constantly surprised when new information is given to her about each and every one of her friends.

Noah brings Zoe a cotton candy bouquet. This isn’t a huge moment in the grand scheme of the plot, but how cute was that cotton candy bouquet?

We get a little Kieran drama. We don’t get the whole story (at least, I don’t think so), but something is definitely off with the relationship between Kieran and Eli. They both seem to have some dark stuff in their past and the both are keeping it from Emma. Combine that with Kieran being targeted by the killer tonight, and he’s doubly safe of not actually being the killer, right?

MTV

Brooke gets real. While Brooke is waiting for her turn to give her speech, she drains the alcohol Zoe brought to get her through a little stage fright - on an empty stomach. As a result, it doesn’t take much for Brooke to get drunk and decide to throw out the speech her dad wanted her to make. Instead, she roasts Lakewood for holding a carnival when Jake’s body was thrown right in their faces. She calls the town cursed and accuses them of 100 years of lies. Best of all? Brooke’s not wrong. She’s used to putting on a front and keeping her own mask firmly in place in front of the crowd for the sake of her family. Carlson Young is so great in this scene. She was a surprise standout last season, and she’s poised to be the same this season. She’s been delivering consistently amazing performances as Brooke gets a little crazy and a lot emotional this time around.

The Village of the Damned. So, this is an interesting title for the episode because it’s the name of a 1960 horror movie and a 1995 remake about a small town where after a strange event all of the women of childbearing age in the town end up pregnant. Not only that, but all of the children experience strange psychic abilities. It doesn’t really sound like it would have anything in common with the episode, but it plays into the idea of small town secrecy that’s prevalent on the show. We also know that the adults, at the very least Emma’s mother and the sheriff, are keeping something from the kids. It almost seems like a teaser of things to come instead of a direct tie-in to the episode, which I find very interesting.

 

The Bad

Spotlighting the different suspects makes me suspect no one. Every week, a different character gets a huge spotlight on them instead of just dropping little clues. It makes it seem like it has to be a recurring character rather than one of the main cast at this point, which kind of lessens the stakes a bit.

Emma goes for Kieran alone. Has she learned nothing? She gets a message and runs off immediately instead of getting one of her friends to help her? She knows what happens to people who go up against the killer alone. She’s seen it.

Cliffhanger on Audrey’s confession. I think we all knew that Emma was going to hear that recording before Audrey could tell her the truth. Why bother ending the episode with it? Place it in the middle of the episode to give us some real tension between the friends.

 

The Killer

Like I said, spotlighting the different characters the way the show has already has me banking on none of the main cast of teenagers being the killer this time around. It’s more likely that it’s one of the recurring characters (like the girl who tried to video Audrey in the first episode) or even Brandon James, back from the dead, at this point. Logistically speaking, no single person in the main group could have pulled off these acts alone. Even two of them would be a tough sell considering nearly everyone’s actions are accounted for during almost all of the kills.

 

Grading the episode: Despite the very tropey moments that detracted from the episode, there was one huge saving grace, and that’s Brooke. Hats off to Carlson Young and the writers for making sure that the audience can’t see Brooke as he typical shallow mean girl on a TV show. She was so great tonight. I would have watched an entire episode of just her storyline. B