Before heading to my DVR in order to watch Scream's newest episode, "Wanna Play a Game?", from the beginning, I had hopes that the plot, acting and writing would improve. I was right about the first two, but wrong about the last one and throughout most of the episode, I found myself rather uninterested.
The start of this new episode picks up almost immediately after where the last one left off, with the death of Emma's friend, and Noah's girlfriend, Riley. It's here that we see for the first time how truly distraught and upset Noah is over the death, thanks to the great acting from John Karna, who arguably puts in the most and best effort in the episode, if not the whole series thus far. We see his character's sadness in later scenes as well, such as when he becomes sassy towards the sheriff and when he's seen drinking at work.
Around this same time, we see police surrounding the investigating the burning vehicle and body of Tyler O'Neil. It is here that they find the killer's mask and take it as evidence, believing that Tyler was the killer and killed himself after killing Riley. Now, when I mentioned that the writing was really shoddy, this is what I was talking about. The logic shown in that scene makes almost no sense, whether it be in the real world or in TV-land, as in the show, Tyler had been missing for some time. Why would you possibly assume that the killer you're looking for is someone who's been missing and randomly reappears dead near the location of another dead body? Seeing the mask of the killer near a reappeared dead person just seems like a loose lead. However, this could just be the writers trying to make the killer seem smart, which works if we use MTV and "Scream: The TV Series" logic.
Outside of the writing and it's flaws, we find out more about the Brandon James mystery and how it relates to the show's current events. Emma opens the yearbook that was sent to her to find that the pictures of Brandon James' victims were cut out, her dad's was scratched out and there was a hint stating "the truth lies where the mask was made." This leads to Emma meeting with Audrey, played by Bex Taylor-Klaus, and Noah at Noah's place of work. It's here that they discuss the yearbook and Noah tells them that the mask was created for Brandon at the now closed Lakewood General Hospital. Emma and Audrey decide to go without Noah, knowing he'd "be like a four year old at Disneyland" and that they'd "have to put a leash on him." Thanks to a big coincidence and impeccable timing, he ends up bumping into them at the hospital anyways, knowing they would be there.
It's here that John Karna deliver's another Randy-like speech, talking about the killer's lair and saying how all of the best killers have lairs, such as Hannibal and his kitchen and Kevin Spacey's apartment in "Seven." He also makes a comment about how the lair feels staged and how you only see lairs in TV shows such as Pretty Little Liars. While in the lair, the three main characters find a plethora of evidence that they decide to not tell the police about (this becomes irrelevant as the police show anyways thanks to an anonymous tip.) Among the evidence, they find Nina's laptop (how this was stolen from either the police station evidence locker or the crime scene and brought to a supposedly abandoned hospital is beyond me.) On the laptop, they find encrypted files. To make an already long story short, Noah and Audrey decrypt the files and accidentally upload a video of Emma having sex to the internet. That sex video plot device seems oddly familiar...
In the end, the acting stood out to me in this episode and I rather enjoyed the overall plot, but I found the writing to be absolutely horrid. I truly hope it improves as the series goes on, as I still see the smallest hint of potential.