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Scream - Hello, Emma - Review

“What character? I’m Candy, the chick who gets killed second. I’m only in two scenes.” – Sarah Darling, “Scream 3”

Though the show likely won’t kill someone off every episode, “Scream” goes two for two this week as “Hello, Emma” says goodbye to another character.

The victim is Rachel Murray (who, as I mentioned in the comments section of last week’s review, is played by Sosie Bacon, the daughter of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick), the girl Audrey was filmed making out with. Already having a hard time with the nasty comments the since-pulled video received and struggling with cutting, Rachel’s night takes an even worse turn when she’s targeted by nuGhostface. The killer somehow fakes a call from Audrey’s cell phone, even managing to convincingly mimic her voice (shades of “Scream 3”). He then toys with Rachel before luring her onto her balcony, tossing a noose around her neck, and throwing her to her death.

So why kill Rachel? We know that nuGhostface is primarily fixated on Audrey and, more actively, Emma. And with Nina, it could be argued that the killer was punishing someone who had hurt them both – she was the one who posted the video of Audrey and Rachel and she slept with Emma’s boyfriend behind her back. But Rachel’s death hits the girls hard and drives even more of a wedge between the former friends. Audrey is devastated (though, honestly, I expected more from Taylor-Klaus in these scenes), dealing with it by editing together a tribute video. And Emma, who was already feeling guilty about not stopping Nina from filming the tryst, is horrified that the scandal could have played a part, however small, in Rachel’s demise and has a bit of a breakdown when she sees her in the morgue (why mother Maggie didn’t at least throw the draping back on the body, I dunno).

The killer goes through a lot of trouble restaging the scene of Rachel’s murder so it looks like a suicide, having to know that Maggie would realize during the autopsy that foul play was involved. And it’s not because he’s hiding since he mass texts a gif of himself gloating over Nina’s body to every student at George Washington High School. I was surprised nuGhostface publicized his existence so early on; I figured he’d want to stick to the shadows for a while longer. It’s also interesting that the kids immediately recognized the mask as being modeled after Brandon James’.

Speaking of, we get more information about Lakewood’s infamous mass murderer. During a conversation between Noah and Sheriff Hudson (Jason Wiles, “Beverly Hills, 90210”), it comes out that his killing spree lasted just one night – Halloween 1994 – and that Emma’s MIA father Kevin wasn’t just a survivor, he was the only one, outside of “Daisy.” Noah also confesses to having been in contact with Brandon’s brother Troy a few years back; I’m almost certain he’s going to be involved in this story somehow. And the mayor (“Mad Men”’s Bryan Batt) is worried that the town’s “Murderville” reputation will come roaring back to life if Tyler (still the prime suspect) is on the loose for too long.

We also meet Piper Shaw this week, played by “True Blood” alum Amelia Rose Blaire. If Emma’s the Sidney and Noah’s the Randy, then Piper is clearly the Gale Weathers. The host of a popular, “Serial”-esque podcast called “Autopsy of a Crime,” Piper comes to Lakewood to report on Nina’s case and explore the Brandon James connection. There’s a bit of tension when she and Emma meet and Piper presses about her dad, but as a whole, I kinda want Piper to be bitchier, more ruthless, as she pursues the story.

Elsewhere, Emma’s got boy problems, in that both her suitors could possibly be the person stalking her. Will’s still trying to apologize for sleeping with Nina and, shockingly, his attempts to fob blame onto Emma and then the deceased go over like gangbusters. Later, he conveniently shows up, all Billy Loomis-like, just as Emma is spooked by a hooded figure in the alleyway outside her job (nice touch alert – the cafĂ© where she works is called Grindhouse, heh). The moment thaws the tension between them, but then Kieran (newcomer Amadeus Serafini) suggests to Emma that Will set her up, to lower her defenses and give himself an opening. Is Kieran right, or is he actually the one manipulating Emma? Time will tell.

Turns out the slash of red on Noah’s forehead in last week’s final shot was just paint, as our Randy painted the word “doosh” (heh) on Jake’s truck in revenge for the prank at the lake party. Although he gets pummeled against a post for his trouble, he does make progress with Riley, who (somewhat bafflingly, wouldn’t Brooke be shading her big time for this?) seems to be in to him. After a lame jump scare attempt on the football field, the two meta banter about romance being shoved into genre fare before Riley jumps his bones. In other relationship news, I continue to not care about whatever’s going on with Brooke and the teacher.

The episode ends with Emma being terrorized over the phone in scenes that echo the first “Scream” film. It starts when the security alarm goes off in Emma’s darkened house and she finds the back door open. She’s reassured when someone from the security company calls, but we know it’s the killer. The tension builds as the conversation continues - with talk about their favorite TV shows (nuGhostface’s a fan of “How to Get Away with Murder,” natch) - until he slips that he can see her (“You do look tired”). He then rants to the scared (but tough; I liked seeing her defend herself with baseball bats and 2x4s) Emma that he’s going to expose the truth about her “two-faced friends,” her “fraud of a family,” and her “whore of a mother.”

And after that, the obvious question has to be asked – is there a chance Emma is actually Brandon James’ daughter?

Want to share your thoughts about “Hello, Emma?” Scream them loud and proud in the comments section.