The body count on MTV's "Scream" is currently at three, but that number is about to rise. Episode 3 of the new TV series based off of the 1996 slasher film revealed more details about mass murderer Brandon James, and his connection to Emma's (Willa Fitzgerald) family.
Episode 3 kicks off with a flashback to the night of the murders. A girl was running through a field when she smacked into a guy wearing a toga. The guy told the girl that somebody “got what he deserved.” However, when he turned back around he discovered that his frightened female companion had her throat cut. The guy takes off running, afraid to meet the masked killer. But unfortunately a fall causes him to face the murderer. After calling him a “psycho,” the teen is killed when the masked man drives a stick through his head.
Cut to present day. Noah (John Karna) is happily relaying the history of Brandon James to new reporter in town, Piper (Amelia Rose Blaire). Meanwhile, the murder cases in town are piling up. Maggie (Tracy Middendorf) tells Sheriff Hudson (Jason Wiles) that Rachel (Sosie Bacon) didn’t hang herself … she was killed. Emma overhears the whole conversation – including Sheriff Hudson revealing that they’re trying to locate her dad to question him about a heart that showed up on their doorstep. Needless to say, this doesn’t help ease her worries after the unknown caller stalking her revealed that she can’t trust her mom. And she’s pushed even closer to the edge when she receives another text: “Morning, Sunshine. You and mom have a heart to heart yet?”
Elsewhere in Lakewood, the secrets are building. Mr. Branson (Bobby Campo) wants to have cyber sex with his student, Brooke (Carlson Young), but Brooke has other plans. She reveals that she hid a dirty photo in his classroom … and that he has to find it before someone else does. Meanwhile, Jake (Tom Maden) has to do some digging to unearth his secrets. He digs up a box – but it’s empty. Turns out that it should have contained money from a blackmail operation that he and Will (Connor Weil) had set up with Nina (Bella Thorne). Will wants Jake to shut it down, so he took the money as a form of encouragement. Jake is obviously not pleased.
In an effort not to keep any more secrets from Audrey (Bex Taylor-Klaus), Emma decides to tell her about the police investigation into Rachel’s murder. She also opens up about the harassing calls and texts she’s been receiving. Audrey’s opinion? Text the caller back.
Emma texts her mysterious stalker and waits for his reply. Meanwhile, she gets the opportunity to learn more about Brandon James and his connection to her family when she gets paired with Kieran (Amadeus Serafini) during a class project. Kieran reveals that his dad has the old Brandon James case files at the house, and Emma asks to flip through. Reading the files, Emma learns that her mom was called “Daisy” and that Brandon James was obsessed with her.
Emma tries to confront her mom about what she learned, but Maggie won’t talk. And the stalker doesn’t want Emma to talk because he threatens to “gut” Maggie if she goes to the police. The threat causes Emma to cut off her stalker’s “game.” But that’s not an option. “Then I’ll find someone else to play with,” he texts her.
The killer’s new playmates? Brooke and Riley (Brianne Tju). He texts the two girls under the guise of Tyler (Max Lloyd-Jones) … the same Tyler whose head ended up in Nina’s hot tub. Of course Brooke and Riley don’t know that Tyler is really dead, and instead believe him when he asks for help. It’s Emma that has to break the news that it’s more than likely not Tyler that’s texting them.
With Tyler wanted for questioning in the murder of Nina, the girls decide to go to the police with the message. Meanwhile, Will and Jake take matters into their own hands. They’re afraid that Tyler will talk to the police about their blackmail operation, and text him to meet up. However, Tyler doesn’t show … because Jake didn’t text him. Instead Jake makes one more threat to Will, warning him to hand over the money.
The police are able to confirm that the messages came from Tyler’s phone, and set up a sting operation to catch him. While the teens wait at the police station, the cops place an undercover officer that looks like Riley at a local park. A man shows up to meet “Riley” – but it’s not Tyler. When the police get him on the ground they find a photo of Brandon James’ mask. “Nice try,” the photo says.
While the police are preoccupied, Brooke gets a text from an unknown caller telling her to meet at the hotel. Brooke thinks it’s Mr. Branson – but it’s not. By the time Emma figures out that Brooke is missing, she puts two and two together that her stalker is now playing with her friends.
“Now you have to choose,” he texts her. “The good girl or the bad girl … Choose or I choose.”
Not wanting to pick one of her friends, Emma tries to get in touch with Brooke. However, Brooke’s too busy getting herself ready for "Mr. Branson" to answer the phone. She manages to get Riley on the phone and is relieved to hear that she is still at the police station. Emma tells her to stay put, and texts back the stalker: “Do NOT hurt Brooke.” His response? “As you wish.”
Unfortunately Riley does not listen to Emma. She gets another text from Tyler, this time saying that she set him up. She apologizes and he tells her to meet her behind the police station. Riley does as he says, and finds Tyler’s car in the parking lot. But Riley doesn’t see Tyler … she see’s a masked man with a knife.
Riley gets slashed, but still manages to make a run for it. The bad news is that she runs in the direction of a closed off alleyway. With some quick thinking she hops on a ladder up to the roof of the building, but the killer is right behind her. As she clings to the ladder, he plunges the knife into her back a couple of times.
Riley gets all the way up to the roof and tries to yell for help on a skylight. However, the janitor below is listening to music and cannot hear her. Noah calls and Riley tries to get help, but she doesn’t get the chance to tell him where she is. She dies while still on the phone with him, but it’s Emma who discovers her body.
Episode 3 of “Scream” ends with Emma crying over her friend and the police finding Tyler’s car flipped over and on fire.