‘Scream’ review: Nobody died this ‘Dawn’

Season 2, Episode 5
“Dawn of the Dead”
Airdate: June 28, 2016

Last episode, we finally got the big “Jake is dead and now everyone knows” reveal. This week, we get the aftermath which is comprised of a school lockdown led by the worst police force rejects since Police Academy…which, honestly, is pretty insulting to that esteemed force of justice. More on that a little later.

The crux of the plot deals with Emma somehow ending up with Jake’s phone which causes the Lakewood Six Five to panic, birth live kittens and do stupid shit: since the police are “searching all lockers, Keiran and Noah decide to sneak out of the completely unguarded library so that Keiran can retrieve his gun. Which he suddenly totes around in his shoulder bag at school because that’s not at all stupid or illogical.

Meanwhile, Audrey is suspicious of ‘Stavo because all he seems to do is sit, stare and draw gruesome pictures of the Lakewood Six bleeding all over the place. So she starts a riot by showing her fellow students what ‘Stavo really does with his free time. The entire scene chokes on its own terrible and unintentionally funny dialogue:

AUDREY (to entire room): Look at these pictures! Who would draw stuff like this?!
ENTIRE ROOM: YEAH!!! (Incoherent Shouting)
RANDOM GUY: That’s SICK! (Tosses a soda at ‘Stavo) That’s GROSS!
‘STAVO: That’s totally not what these pics are about, guys. I can show–.
(Entire room suddenly proceeds to physically kick the living shit out of ‘Stavo.)


As for Emma, she’s finally “evolved” to become a “strong female character”. Do I sound dissatisfied and unconvinced? I am. After getting into a fight with “Haley Myers”, the uninteresting brunette student who (like our other throwaway character, Seth Branson) appears every three episodes when it’s convenient to the plot or the show needs an unbelievably pointless red herring, Emma’s locked in an office by school counselor, Mrs. Lang, because she’s “suffering from trauma” and “has too much adrenaline triggered by a fight-or-flight response” to Haley’s bullying. Is Emma assigned a police detail?

Nope. So, surprise! Ghost McMeltFace shows up to mock her through the office window. Emma ain’t havin’ any of that shit and uses a chair to break the glass. Except the Killer is always Batman and vanishes into thin air even though Emma was looking at The Killer the whole time. The entire scene is topped off by Emma declaring that she isn’t hiding and that she wants to fight. Yay? Look, forgiving the fact that her transformation is so ridiculously forced and silly that it’s like watching a completely different person, there’s literally no reason The Killer should be coming after Emma aside from the fact that she’s the show’s main character and the showrunners just now realized it.


That’s the real crime of this episode. While so much time is wasted on the bullshit mentioned above (I cannot believe I’m about to say this) precious little time is spent showcasing Brooke and her emotional recovery with regard to Jake’s death. Yes, I’ve spent a lot of time wondering why Brooke exists on this show. I’ve called her character completely pointless and said she’s a terrible example of the female gender. This episode finally serves to shut people like me up. Here, we see Brooke broken, glassy-eyed, numb. But she’s grown. It’s never more apparent than when she decides to tell the truth to the police:

SHERIFF ACOSTA: When was the last time you saw Jake?
BROOKE: A week ago in the school swimming pool.
SHERIFF ACOSTA: The school swimming pool?
BROOKE: Yeah. We broke in there so we could have sex.
SHERIFF ACOSTA: You…uh. Ok. Trespassing…bet that was fun.

Yeah, it’s still cringe-worthy, but watching Brooke dump this information on Sheriff Acosta (and her father – awkward!) in her newly-assumed numb, robotic state is nice to see. The superficial idiot that was the old Brooke is gone and in her place is what Emma should be: a damaged girl with a broken shield but stronger for it — all topped off by a beautifully shot scene in the same pool where she and Jake got together. She dips herself into it, submerging herself while fully clothed, as if to baptize herself — and then releases a primal scream that only she can hear. Brooke is truly alive — even though it took the death of her boyfriend to get there.


Ultimately, it’s the rest of the episode that sinks the whole affair. The worst of the worst is the Lakewood Police Department and the way they run the whole affair. As mentioned before, Lakewood’s Finest have put Lakewood High into Lakewood Lockdown until they can get to the bottom of how a killer was able to drag Jake’s body up a flight of stairs into theater rafters and drop him in front of Brooke.

Let’s sing their praises this week:

  • Nobody is allowed in or out of the school in order to prevent leaks or contamination of evidence. Except the students wander around and are allowed to use portable devices…which would contribute to leaks. Seriously, Haley Myers phones a friend — in front of the police — and tells them everything they’re doing. And they don’t care.
  • No police actually guard the school library. So Jake and Noah are able to escape the room and wander around until Jake accidentally gets discovered.
  • Brooke has to be photographed for “evidence purposes”. With her boyfriend’s dead, bleeding body on the theater stage. While still covered in his blood, which is ridiculously unbelievable, unsanitary and unhealthy.
  • After she’s finally allowed to shower, Brooke needs clean clothes. The cops provide her with a cheerleader outfit they “found”.
  • THEN, Brooke’s Dad is allowed in. This would be a good time to review the first bullet point as well as the prior bullet point.
  • Keiran is caught toting his gun around in his shoulder bag. It’s all good.
  • Brooke confesses to the police about trespassing on to school property to have sex with Jake in the school swimming pool. It’s laughed off.
  • Collecting incriminating evidence from Emma. In front every single one of the 50 or so students waiting in the library. Before telling Emma that she needs to come along with them.
  • Allowing all of the suspicion they caused to fester and eventually rear its head in the form of one fist fight and a riot that nearly sees ‘Stavo (Suavé!) getting beaten to death.
  • Excusing Maggie Duvall from her involvement in the case for “contaminating evidence” when Acosta ends up doing that himself later in the show.


Additionally, nobody dies here — which is just preposterous considering the ages-old “people trapped in a confined area” premise, the fact that Jake was just killed and the killer — as Keiran and Eli point out — could still “locked in with them”, and the fact that the episode pretentiously rips off another horror film title in “Dawn of the Dead”. BUT NOTHING FUCKING HAPPENS. It’s this kind of thing Scream does to its audience. It just can’t be helped. I point this out week after week and it’s frustrating.

The only other big reveal is that Noah finally finds out that his friend Audrey has been hiding the truth about Jake and a whole lot more after boosting her cell phone and successfully guessing her password. While this makes for some interesting future possibilities, it’s hard to believe that as paranoid and secretive as Audrey’s been the last five episodes, she wouldn’t have tracked down her phone using an app. It also serves to negate Emma’s new “fighter girl” storyline since we’ve been promised that as well.

The upside to all of this is that we’ve “moved into Act Two”, as Noah tells Audrey, so maybe —just MAYBE — all the pieces are on the board and we’re ready for a nice coast downhill. Let’s hope that it’s a smooth slope rather than a rocky finish that ends the show on a down note.

Matt Perri
Matt Perrihttp://mattperri.wordpress.com
Matt Perri is one of those literary Ronin you’ve never heard of until he shows up and tells you he’s a literary Ronin. He’s a native Californian, a film buff, old school gamer geek, and a sports/entertainment fan. A lifelong Giants, 49ers and Sharks fan, he also covers the world of pro-wrestling, writing recaps for WWE Monday Night RAW and Total Divas at Scott’s Blog of Doom. You can follow the guy on Twitter via @PerriTheSmark as well as here at The Workprint and his own blog, Matt's Entertainment.

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