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‘Scream’ Season 1 Episode 3 ‘Wanna Play a Game?’ Review

Written by: Ignacio Ramirez

Four films, three sequels, 32 ill-fated victims, $608,558,434 in box office sales worldwide, and 18 years later, social media introduces a new rumor: “Is there a Scream television series in the works? And is MTV its new home?” Many of you probably rolled your eyes as much as I did when you first heard this rumor and prayed to (anyone really) for this to be fake and for a fifth Scream film to be announced as relief instead. Unfortunately, a television adaption was the case and even worse it was indeed slated to air on the MTV network.

Fast forward to June 30th of 2015. Scream, subtitled “The TV series”, debuts to a good audience, considering all the low expectations, and gathers mixed reviews. The first episode lays down the rules, sets up its characters and murders its first on screen victim, Nina Patterson (Bella Thorne, Shake it Up, Amityville: The Reawakening), the high school mean girl also known as the school slut according to Jake. The second episode deals with the aftermath of Nina’s murder while another unfortunate Lakewood resident bites the dust, Emma’s (the series’ heroine) curiosity is triggered by the town’s killer making her question her friends and family. By the third episode the murders begin to become a little more personal.

Episode 3 opens with a chase scene, 20 years ago. It’s safe to assume it was one of Brandon James’ tormentors who finally got what they deserved. He chases down the teenage girl in an open field leading her to her supposed boyfriend when all of a sudden her throat is slashed and blood soaks her t-shirt. Her boyfriend’s reaction is pure horror when the killer makes his appearance and shoves a long pointed tree branch through his victim’s eye, killing him instantly. The chase scene could’ve been longer and the acting should’ve felt more believable – especially because there’s a killer maniac chasing him – but the opening was still entertaining, besides who doesn’t love a good throat slicing?

Cut to Noah and Piper in the middle of an interview concluding their thoughts on the Brandon James murders with Noah expressing that, “Nobody puts on a mask and commits a murder like that just once. The real question is: who’s next?” Well, who is next? We don’t find out until towards the end of the episode and while we all bite our nails (well some of us do) trying to figure out who the killer will go after next, we find out a little more of what Will and Jake are up to. Apparently they both hid a nice amount of money in the woods as a result of their perverted video sales online starring none other than an unsuspecting Nina. Jake decides to dig up the money only to discover it gone, stashed away by Will as payback for Jake disobeying his request for the deletion of the Nina videos.

Now, we all now boyfriends are not the most innocent in this franchise and their best friend isn’t off probation either, but for a second let’s leave the ‘Jake and Will are the killers’ theory to sleep. Is it just me or is Kieran sort of just floating around or is he actually the killer or (perhaps) knows who is behind all of this? Maybe the new kid in town cliché plays into that too much and makes us just overlook it. For right now I won’t get into that too much, I’ll let you guys conjure up your own theories.

Now, what’s Audrey been up to? After learning about Rachel’s ‘suicide’, her anger towards the world becomes stronger and when she attends Rachel’s wake, Audrey tries on her own noose in the same murder scene and to her surprise Emma walks in on her little scene to push her off of the edge. Audrey responds that she didn’t want to commit suicide but to see for herself if it were even possible to hang oneself from an eight foot high ceiling fan. Emma then informs Audrey that she over heard her mother and sheriff Hudson speak of Rachel’s suicide most likely being a murder which gives Audrey a sort of relief knowing that her girlfriend did not indeed commit suicide.

Now, I have to be honest I actually did care for Rachel, which is rare given the fact that her screen time is minimal, only being in an episode and an opening of a second one. I believe it’s a bit easier to relate to a sensitive subject such as bullying because at one point in our lives someone always thought they were better than us and treated us like shit. I don’t want to talk too much about me and my bullying experiences in high school but I am going to say I felt for Rachel on a personal level, which made it hurt when Ghostface killed her.

So now with Rachel gone, Audrey’s storyline – I believe – will become more interesting for the fans of the slasher part of the show. The way I see it is that there’re three types of fans of the show, the ones who love the horror part of it and hate the teen drama that comes with it, the ones who love the teen drama part of it and grow queasy of the blood and gore and then there’s people like me who enjoy the teen drama and love all the gory goodness. So when it comes to the ‘teen drama’ I feel it is essential to the story line because in my opinion random people just getting murdered doesn’t open the door for the best character development, so the love affairs and the bullying sort of evens the storyline out. Plus the show is centered around teenagers which means drama, and as much as some people don’t like it in this series, it really just makes logical sense because like I said, they are teenagers and drama is their number one priority. I know because I only graduated high school a year ago.

Speaking of, let’s move on to Riley and Noah; I actually like these two together. Their chemistry, I have to say, reminds me of one of my personal experiences and when they get paired up for a class assignment it seems like fate is on poor little horn dog Noah’s side, right? Wrong! Fortunately for Noah he gets a little bump and grind action with Riley as a ‘reward’ for being so romantic but unfortunately the session gets interrupted by a text message that read, ”HELP ME!” from Tyler… or is it just the killer? The gang then takes the news to the cops who set up a plan to have Riley meet up with Tyler so when he does show up the cops can bring him in for questioning. Of course, when ‘Tyler’ does show up it’s revealed that it’s not him but some random man the killer paid to show up and send a message. Sheriff Hudson is handed the note that reads, “Nice try,” with a picture of Ghostface on it.

Typical Ghostface type of lead.

With Brooke receiving a message from Mr. Branson, she decides to ditch Emma and meet her boyfriend at a hotel but we all knew it isn’t Mr. Branson. While Brooke falls for the killer’s trap Emma and her mother go on a search for Brooke believing she might be in trouble. Emma then contacts Ghostface begging him not to hurt Brooke believing Riley is safe at the police department. Boy, was Emma wrong. Knowing that she might’ve just killed Riley, Emma and her mother rush for the station. The killer then decides to play little mind games with Riley by texting her, posing as Tyler, and making her meet him in the back of the station. And like any innocent teen girl she agrees and subsequently meets her bloody end.

Riley walks towards Tyler’s car asking him for his location through a text when the killer punches her and she begins to run for her life and ends up at a dead end when she decides to climb a ladder to the roof. The killer follows her and stabs her in the back then her calf, and can I just say Brianne Tju’s acting in this scene was actually very good! I love the expression in her face when Ghostface continues to pierce her with the knife. You could definitely read a very unique shade of terror on her face.

Riley eventually makes it to the roof top to receive a face time call from Noah, seeing Riley in such distress triggers him to jump out of his seat and try to calm her down, unfortunately Riley dies on the spot from extreme blood loss, but not before telling Noah of “their stars” and how she can see them. If only Riley would’ve listened to her friends about the bogus messages, she might just still be here, at least for a few more episodes.

This is another character I cringed at while watching her murdered. maybe I’m just a sensitive dude, but I was literally screaming at my television screen in mid tears. It was hard to watch her being killed because of how cute and likable the character was. I didn’t really think I was going to feel much when one of the characters were killed but when Noah mentioned before about how it was going to hurt he was not kidding, he knew what he was talking about and it was a matter of time before his theory was proven.

Now back to Emma and her mother, they finally arrive at the police station not finding Riley anywhere, but when Emma dials her she hears the ringing on the blood stained roof top window. She then rushes to the roof to find poor Riley in a pool of her own blood. I think the question on all our minds is, ‘why was Riley killed?’ Maybe Riley was catching onto something or was she just another fun message for the killer to send the town back into terror? Whatever the reason was, hopefully we get some answers soon and not just a random body for the cops to discover.

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About The Overseer (2283 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

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