These next two episodes deal with Riley's death, the aftermath of that and the continuation of the dissolution of Will and Emma. Everybody has secrets. Everyone has demons. You kind of see that as these two episodes transpire and conclude. Nina had orchestrated a lot of shit in her high school tenure that's for sure.
Will has been hiding a secret and Jake has kept it. But Jake is starting to reveal his very prevalent dark side as he feels slighted by Will when blackmail of Lakewood’s mayor (and Brooke’s father) leads to a bit of violence (nearly broken nose) leads to a breakup of the duo’s money-taking activities. Will doesn’t feel right about their blackmailing schemes while Jake seems to enjoy it too much. Jake gets carried away, skull mask and black hoodie, with a recording on his phone of Mayor Quinn’s (Bryan Batt) dark, dark secret and knife to his throat, demanding $100K. Will doesn’t take the first $10K provided and Jake sees the chance to earn brownie points with Brooke, a beauty he so badly wants to bed. Brooke’s vulnerable, seriously disturbed by a Twitter-type social media site which has her and Emma in a poll for who everyone wants dead more. Brooke wants to be considered not as some unlikable bitch. Jake sees her vulnerable and preys on that weakness. Yeah, he’s a really swell guy. So far, Jake has been presented as nothing more than a creep. Every since the first episode he has been eyeing Brooke. This could very well be the chance to achieve what might have seemed impossible prior to Nina and Riley’s death.
Aftermath and Exposed are the first two episodes to focus on the current state of those responding to the murders in their town, without added victims. I think Aftermath is my favorite of the first season thus far because of the well orchestrated investigation in a closed hospital which appears to be a staged “killer’s lair” (Noah excitedly posits that this looks too much like a fictional killer’s lair from the movies). How did Emma, Audrey, and Noah find themselves in this abandoned hospital? Well, an old high school album from 1994 shows up in the mail at Maggie’s and Emma notices the photos of the victims of Brandon James cut from it. A note written to Emma leads her to the hospital, and Audrey has her camera for recording purposes. Noah is still reeling like they are from Riley’s death. So now Noah and Audrey share a common loss, with Emma all too involved through the repeated calls she receives from the Scream killer.
Will’s decline is especially noteworthy in Aftermath and Exposed. Files on Nina’s computer are downloaded on a SIM card by Emma and provided to Audrey for her and Noah to investigate. Instead Noah inadvertently, while in the process of getting into encrypted folders, opens a file with a recording of Emma’s first time! With Will, but Emma didn’t know, until a guilt-stricken Brooke tells her in the coffee shop that this was orchestrated on a dare between him and Nina! And what Will doesn’t realize is that Jake has set in motion an implication that he was responsible for blackmailing her father! Jake is a sneaky, vindictive bastard for sure!
In Aftermath, there’s a discovered pig with its heart cut out (that very heart sent to Maggie) and a blood trail on the abandoned hall in the hospital that led to the double doors with the Brandon James’ mask face profiled in blood. The hospital is lit dark as Emma, Audrey, and eventually Noah peruse its halls and rooms looking for evidence of “Tyler”. Until this episode Tyler was still considered the killer. His vehicle found in flames, and the body inside without a head, it was only a matter of time before two and two would be made four and his consideration as the killer would be ruled out officially. And the Scream killer would continue to antagonize and torment Emma. This entire scene in the hospital is a thing of beauty. It is obviously unmistakably slasher in its truest form. It has its gore, dark corridors, unknown surprises, killer evidence (possibly left behind on purpose for discovery considering he or she encouraged Emma’s interest in finding the place), and connection to further mysteries revealed. It also further brings Emma and Audrey together as the gaggle of remaining cast members has been dwindled. Admittedly, I was expecting another minor character to be bumped off, but that didn’t happen in either Aftermath or Exposed. This was because Emma’s resolve going up against forces seemingly invoked to subvert her from any form of happiness is of great importance. And Jake further gets time as a too obvious red herring. He’s so loathsome, Jake as a candidate for the killer seems ideal. Will is getting too much comeuppance in these episodes, so his being the killer feels a bit doubtful. The show does that, though. Emphasis on particular characters considering their questionable behavior presents too much of a “Look at me, I’m the killer! Look at me, I’m the killer!” attention that works to almost release them as real suspects.
Piper Shaw is around looking into the murders for her blog and seems to have developed a bond with Emma who continues to endure hardship after hardship. Although Audrey is correct that there was a bit of cosmic justice in Emma facing giggles, humiliation, and stares in the high school halls and town. Her video with Will—the first time—is set off as a spread viral outbreak with it being distributed across social media, and the school produces all the whispers and eyes of judgment that comes with “indiscretions” produced for all to see. With Will having recorded his deflowering of Emma and it all being based off Nina daring him to do so the “Pollyanna could be brought down a notch” he has found himself in quite the pickle. Oh and even though Duke U shows interest in him, it wasn’t enough for a scholarship so he has to come up with the tuition. And during martial arts class Audrey flips him over her shoulder and to the mat, embarrassing him. So these two episodes sure shat on Will.
Then there’s the “Ohh, Nelly!” development of the sheriff and coroner romancing as his son and her daughter do so as well. That should be interesting once all of them realize this. Kieran is quite aggressive and Emma seems to like that about him. Well, with Will out of the picture, why shouldn’t he? Arriving in town a detective has a history with the sheriff. But the sheriff makes his move and the coroner tells him he is glad she did. This not long before Kieran and Emma are making out on the ground away from an onlooking town. Seeing Kieran move on Emma after she tells Will they are done is the icing on the cake. As Exposed concluded, Emma just embraces Kieran, as lips meet, clothes start coming off, and bodies come together as the screen fades to black. I hope no one was nearby recording….