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Scream - Let the Right One In - Review

“If I’m right about this, I could save a man’s life. Do you know what that could do for my book sales!” – Gale Weathers, “Scream”

This week’s “Scream,” I thought, was a bit of a mixed bag. There were parts of “Let the Right One In” I really dug, and parts that were a real drag.

Starting with the positives, my favorite plotline was the one involving Ms. Lang. Early in the episode, Ms. Lang is quite thirsty to make amends with an uninterested Emma for the incident during the lockdown. And we learn why later on when we see her transcribing a tape of their conversation in her office at the school. It turns out that Ms. Lang has tapes and files on all the members of the “Lakewood Six” and is, apparently, writing a book about them. So she seems to be an opportunist in the early Gale Weathers vein, and I am here for it.

What comes next is classic “Scream.” As Audrey and Brooke are being lured to the school (more on that later), nuGhostface gives Ms. Lang a ring. It was really fun watching someone new on the phone with him and seeing her go from composed to rattled as the call went on. Spooked, she heads into the hall only (in a good jump scare) to run smack into the killer, who (heh) waves Mr. Branson’s severed hand at her. From there, it’s a vintage horror movie chase as Ms. Lang flees for her life, trips over the bloody but still breathing Branson, and winds up getting flung down some stairs. Interestingly, we are told at the end of the episode that she’s still clinging to life so, between that and nuGhostface taking the time to trash her office, I’m wondering if she found something out during her snooping that will prove important down the line.

Moving on, I also really liked the tiny Lakewood history beat with Maggie and Sheriff Acosta. Armed with Kieran’s intel and the fact that Emma’s IP address was the source of the e-mails to Kevin, Acosta has some questions for Emma. She ends up telling him about the James family farm and the stalker shrine she saw there and a significant look passes between Acosta and her mother. Later, he summons Maggie to the farm (intriguingly, she asks if he also called Mayor Maddox) and shows her what he found – a picture of a young Emma with a mysterious man. Maggie insists they “handled that situation,” but Acosta thinks what’s happening now could be their fault. Very curious to see what the adults are hiding and how it’s tied to the James family backstory (particularly given my pet theory about Brandon’s brother Troy) as well as Emma’s dreams.

Most of the Noah/Zoe stuff was good, too. The sweet chemistry John Karna and Kiana Ledé have showed as their characters flirted, smooched, and came this close to sleeping together (Noah’s “Someone better be dead! Wait, is someone dead?” response to Audrey interrupting them was priceless). We did learn that Zoe actually wasn’t in Lakewood during last season’s murders. She first tells a lie Noah easily pierces, then confesses to a self-harming incident. Not sure I buy that’s the whole story, though. More dramatic was Zoe stumbling upon the recording of Audrey’s confession (why Noah would have kept it, I have no idea). Given her continuing jealousy of Noah’s bond with his bestie, I wonder what she’s gonna do with it. On the flip side, I could have lived without the cringey scene of Noah getting unasked for advice on condoms from a nosy older woman.

The Audrey/Brooke subplot – which found the friends dealing with Brooke going “all ‘Hard Candy’” on Branson last week and the killer using that to try and snare them in a trap – was wonkier. Pairing them was a good idea, but their scenes were very repetitive. And there was a bit of recessiveness in the writing. I guess it makes sense for Brooke to have some Monday morning regrets about what she did, but her panic after being so steely and in control in the last episode was a bummer. And Audrey backpedals about coming clean to Emma about her connection to Piper, only to change her mind again after an anvil-y conversation with Brooke.

But the worst stuff in the episode, of course, involved the show’s worst character – Eli. “Let the Right One In” got off on the wrong foot with me immediately with the weird cold open, which saw Eli making himself at home in someone else’s house (he later describes this practice to Emma as “Goldilocks-ing”). In a sequence that felt like it lasted forever, we watch Eli steal sunglasses, play with a knife, and chomp on some toast as the homeowners sleep. I don’t know if this was scripted to make Eli look suspicious or cool or both, but it only made me roll my eyes.

And, ugh, everything with him and Emma. Now I like Emma and Kieran together, but I don’t ship them so much that I’m opposed to the show breaking them up, putting them in a love triangle, etc. But nothing about Emma and Eli works for me. Given he’s already made a move on her, I don’t buy that Emma would agree to have dinner with him, even if she is fighting with Kieran. And I certainly don’t believe, given what’s been going on, that she would sip wine with him in an abandoned model home. It also doesn’t help that Sean Grandillo and Willa Fitzgerald have nooo chemistry, none.

The model home does prove important to the plot, though. When Eli is leading Emma there, he takes her through the same construction site entrance we saw Jake use back in the season premiere. It also appears that nuGhostface is using it as a headquarters as we see the bathtub filled with bodies. And the episode ends with the house on fire (the show seems to want us to think that the blaze was started by the killer, or even a jealous Kieran, but it was clearly Tina finishing the job Jake started for Mayor Maddox) and poor Mr. Branson – somehow still alive – regains consciousness just in time to realize he’s going to burn to death.

Did “Let the Right One In” do right by you? Share your thoughts on this week’s “Scream” in the comments section.