Happy (early) Halloween! “Scream” Season 2 concluded in August, but returned to MTV as promised Tuesday night for a special two-hour Halloween installment. The episode introduced a new killer, while setting up the plot for the highly anticipated third season.
The Halloween special picks up with Kieran (Amadeus Serafini) facing a judge for his crimes. He’s hit with 10 life sentences to be served consecutively, but he isn’t exactly given the chance to spend his life behind bars. While in a holding cell waiting for transportation, Kieran looks up to find someone wearing the Brandon James mask hiding above him. But the mysterious person behind the Brandon James mask isn’t interested in bailing Kieran out. After snapping the neck of a guard — practically twisting his head behind him — the killer cuts Kieran’s throat. Kieran tries to get away, but the Brandon James killer finishes the job by stabbing the teen in the back.
Fortunately the others appear to be doing much better. Audrey (Bex Taylor-Klaus) has a new girlfriend named Gina (Zena Grey), and Brooke (Carlson Young) is applying early admission to NYU. Stavo (Santiago Segura) and Noah (John Karna) teamed up to publish a best selling graphic novel telling the story of the Lakewood murders. In fact, their book is so popular that their publisher wants a second one — ASAP. The only issue is that Noah has writer’s block. As for Emma? She’s still trying to figure out who she is as she wraps up her senior year of high school. With her mom pressuring her to apply to college, Emma’s not sure what she wants.
Kieran’s murder just so happens to fall on Halloween weekend, which is also when Piper (Amelia Rose Blaire) started her killing spree a year ago. The teens are uneasy, and jump at the opportunity to leave town when Noah and Stavo reveal that their publisher, Jeremy (Alex Esola), booked them a weekend at a mansion on Shallow Grove Island. What Noah and Stavo fail to tell everyone is that Shallow Grove Island is also known as “Murder Island.”
According to legend, a girl named Anna Hobbs lived on the island with her family in the 1930s. Her family worked for the Whitman’s who made their wealth as rumrunners. Anna was said to be crazy. She allegedly killed her entire family with a pair of gardening sheers, and then turned the blade on Mr. Whitman. She wore only a mask, and killed herself before police could arrive.
The goal of the weekend is to inspire Noah to write a second book. However, Noah doesn’t exactly like the Anna Hobbs story. He has questions about why she snapped in the first place.
Despite Emma, Brooke and Audrey being brought to the Island without knowing its bloody history, the weekend gets off to a good start. Emma meets a sexy local named Alex (Alexander Calvert) at the convenience store, and later runs into him on the docks. The two have an immediate connection, and Emma quickly discovers that Alex is the heir to the Whitman mansion. The two make plans for lunch the next day while Noah, Stavo and Jeremy dig into the legend of Anna Hobbs. A historical society located on the Island has the mask and sheers belonging to Anna Hobbs, but the trio want more details. They meet the mansion caretaker, Billie (Lindsay Lavanchy), who promises to tell them more about the story later that evening.
Billie follows through on her word. She shows up for drinks later and reveals that Anna Hobbs was “completely nuts.” There are stories that she tried to light her teacher on fire, and attempted to drown a child in a well. Anna’s mother was sleeping with Reginald Whitman in an attempt to get him to financially help get Anna in an institute off the Island. However, Anna reportedly found out about that affair and her mother’s plans to institutionalize her. That’s when she grabbed the sheers and began her murder spree.
Everyone is completely wrapped up in the story, so they don’t see that a masked person holding sheers is behind them. But Emma’s no longer a helpless teen. She’s been taking self-defense classes and uses her training to take down their masked attacker — who turns out to be Jeremy. He was just trying to have a little fun. Sounds like no one told him not to pretend to attack a bunch of serial killer survivors.
Billie, who has a thing for Stavo, gets the teen to walk her home. She goes in for a kiss, and although Stavo is on the outs with Brooke, he puts a stop to Billie’s advances. He leaves Billie at her door and returns to the house where his friends are staying. That’s unfortunate for Billie, who discovers that someone has been inside her cottage. She does a quick sweep of the rooms before returning to lock the door, and that’s when she’s attacked. Her attacker is wearing the same mask that Anna Hobbs wore when she went on her killing spree. The killer stabs Billie with a pair of sheers and throws her out the window.
Stavo, Noah and Audrey arrive at Billie’s cottage the next day to find a pair of bloody sheers and a pool of blood. Billie’s nowhere to be seen, so they call the local sheriff to investigate. The sheriff, who has dealt with numerous pranks over the years, doesn’t think anything of the crime scene.
Billie’s body ultimately shows up on the porch of the house that they’re staying at. Emma returns home after her date with Alex to find the house empty. The phone rings and someone with Brandon James’ voice is on the other end of the line. He encourages her to turn on the porch light, which is where she finds Billie’s bloody body. She immediately calls the police, but the Sheriff ends up being the killer’s next victim. His head turns up on the porch, just as Gina arrives to surprise Audrey.
With no police and a big storm headed their way, Emma brings her friends to the only person she knows on the Island who has a boat — Alex. He races the gang to the docks but his boat is mysteriously gone. They head back to the Whitman mansion to hatch a new game plan.
Noah and Stavo attempt to get an old CB radio working while the ladies lock themselves in the house. Emma uses that time to come clean to Alex about her history, and surprisingly, he embraces it. He loves that she’s a survivor and appears interested in taking their relationship from weekend fling to something more serious.
But while Emma’s relationship with Alex is growing, Audrey’s relationship with Gina is failing. With a killer on the loose, Audrey is beginning to get suspicious of her girlfriend. She showed up at the house just as the bodies started piling up. Plus, Gina has photos of Emma and Audrey on her phone from the day before. Gina initially said that she arrived earlier that day, so why would she have those photos of Emma from yesterday?
Audrey confront Gina, who claims that she’s jealous of Audrey’s relationship with Emma. She always goes running whenever Emma calls. And Audrey can’t deny it. Gina runs off just as Jeremy resurfaces. No one has seen him since he tried to scare them the night before, and they think that he could be the one responsible for the murders. Not willing to take any risks, Alex takes out a gun and locks Jeremy in a closet.
Jeremy doesn’t stay locked in the closet though. The lights go out and the gang quickly discovers that Jeremy managed to get loose. The good news is that Stavo and Noah were able to get the CB radio working and made contact with the coast guard. Now they just have to survive the next few hours.
With no where else to go, Jeremy ends up in the caretaker’s cabin. Gina is already there attempting to start a fire, but she never met Jeremy, and runs out of the building in fear. Jeremy picks up where she left off with the fire, and discovers a photograph inside. He gets distracted by the image and doesn’t see that the killer is behind him. He’s stabbed in the back with a pair of sheers. But the killer’s not wearing a mask — it’s Alex!
He returns to the house, where he continues to comfort Emma. Meanwhile, her friends are hiding out in the master bedroom, the same room that Reginald Whitehall used to stay in. They discover an old photo album in the room that has multiple photos of scantily clad women. A couple photos are missing but they’re labeled “Anna.” That gets Noah’s mind spinning, and soon after he discovers that the book shelf in the room is actually a secret door that leads them to the caretaker’s cabin.
With the new information, Noah is able to piece together a different story of the Anna Hobbs murders. He speculates that Reginald developed a fascination with Anna. Her mother tried to stop Reginald from touching her daughter, which is when he took a pair of sheers and killed the woman. He turned the blade on Anna’s brother next, who witnessed the whole ordeal. Anna tried to fight him too, so he stabbed her in the stomach and attempted to have his way with her. Anna managed to fight back, and killed Reginald. She eventually ended up at the docks, where she succumbed to her wounds.
That might solve the Anna Hobbs murder mystery, but they still have no idea who is responsible for the recent murders. That is, until they stumble across Jeremy’s body. The photo he was holding is underneath him, and it’s revealed that the image is of Alex and Billie. But it’s not the same Alex that they met. They quickly figure out that the Alex they know is pretending to be the real Alex Whitman.
As they race to fill Emma in on Alex’s identity, Emma stumbles across a body in the house with the initials “AW” on him. Alex doesn’t even try to deny it, instead revealing that his real name is Tom and that he’s the man that she’s “meant to be with.” Tom explains that he committed all of the murders for her because he understands what she’s going through. When he was a small child his parents were murdered in front of him, and he was with their bodies for three days before the police discovered them. He’s used to being a survivor, and being hounded by the media because of it. After seeing her on the news, he knew that he had to meet her. He went on Jeremy’s website to create some buzz around the Anna Hobbs legend. He killed only the people who could identify him or got in his way, and staged the murders so that he could be Emma’s hero.
Despite initially attacking her with the pair of sheers, Tom insists that he doesn’t want to hurt her. In fact, he wants to just run away with her. He promises he can teach her to be somebody else, which Emma so desperately wanted when they first met at the convenience store. Fearing for the safety of her friends, Emma decides to play along. She gets him to confess that her friends are safely locked in a room, and that he’s not the one who killed Kieran. But Emma’s not the weak teen we met two seasons ago. She uses her self-defense skills to knee him and run away. She’s hiding with the sheers he used to kill everyone when Gina walks in the front door. She uses the distraction to go up behind Tom and stab him in the back, causing Gina to go screaming in the opposite direction.
But as every “Scream” fan knows, it takes more than one hit to take down the bad guy. Tom corners her on a balcony where Emma gets one last shot to be the strong “final girl.”
“I don’t need a hero, I’m Emma Duval,” she says, pushing him over the railing to his death.
The rest of the gang arrives just in time to find Tom’s body on the steps outside the mansion. Shortly after the Coast Guard arrives to get their statement.
Audrey and Gina resolve their issues, with Audrey explaining that Emma’s always going to have an important place in her life. However, she doesn’t want to break up with Gina. The two mend their relationship and promise not to push each other away.
Brooke and Stavo also set aside their differences. She formally invites Stavo to New York with her, telling him that she wants to be wherever he is.
That leaves Emma and Noah — who would honestly make the perfect couple. The killing spree helps Noah break his writer’s block and his survivor’s guilt. He realizes that it’s his responsibility to make sure that the victims are heard. Emma’s also finally happy with who she is. She gets her last name tattooed on her wrist, proud of the fighter she’s become. Emma also applies to college, deciding to give Lakewood University a shot.
The “Scream” Halloween special concludes with Noah setting up the plotline for Season 3.
“I have a feeling our story isn’t over,” Noah narrates. “And there is another sequel in the works.”
The camera cuts to Emma’s dad (Tom Everett Sccott) standing over Kieran’s grave. If Tom didn’t kill Kieran, than who did? Noah asks if it was someone that Kieran hurt — like Emma’s father — or “someone who wants to take his place.” That’s when viewers see another clip of someone named “Mr. James” checking into a Lakewood motel.
Could it be the real Brandon James? The important thing to note is that the real Brandon James was disfigured, which is why he wore the mask. Although “Scream” fans don’t get to see who this mysterious person is, he doesn’t appear to be wearing a mask.