Well, we were wrong about Jake’s death last week. Would you believe it if I said guessing everyone was safe for the next week was a very close second guess?
“Aftermath” picks up right after Riley’s (Brianne Tju) death, with all the students clearly upset. This death was unlike Nina’s (Bella Thorne) in the way that people were sensitive and saddened by the loss. But there’s no time to waste mourning because new questions start to pick up right away. Noah (John Karna) says to Emma (Willa Fitzgerald), “I need to know who would kill her,” after lashing out against Lakewood Police Department. But honestly, how does someone get murdered so close to police? How did they leave her out of sight? Perfect plan by the murderer to make Sheriff Hudson (Jason Wiles) a scapegoat… (But truly, he gave off some serious creep vibes in this episode).
“Tyler’s” (Max Lloyd-Jones) car was found with a decapitated body in it, assumed to be Tyler. Nearby, a Brandon James mask was found, leading Sheriff Hudson to declare that the “case is closed,” to the town (for now, anyway). Ah Sheriff, if you only knew. Everyone, Emma, Audrey (Bex Taylor-Klaus), and even reporter Piper Shaw (Amelia Rose Blaire) exchange knowing looks- what the Sheriff declared is far from the truth.
“You think the killer is still out there,” Audrey says to Emma after the town meeting. The two agree that Tyler’s motive wouldn’t make sense. Nina and Riley, sure. But why go after Rachel? And why bring up all the Brandon James family drama to Emma?
Riley’s death is not easy on anyone. Emma leans on her ex-boyfriend Will (Connor Weil) for a cry while she’s at work. Apparently for some reason, Emma decided to be friends with him. (Why people decide to be friends with ex’s is beyond me- but whatever). Noah is heartbroken, but Brooke (Carlson Young) seems to take the death the hardest. Not only does she feel it’s her fault for leaving Riley alone at the police department (for a booty call, nonetheless), but she quickly finds out she’s hated by everyone. Someone (aka most likely the killer) created a poll to see who everyone would like to see die next: Brooke or Emma. Brooke is in the lead- by well over 500 votes.
Piper makes her way to the coffee shop Emma works at, only to tell her “I think people need it to be Tyler. And I think the Sheriff isn’t going to be the only scapegoat here.” I have a feeling things aren’t going to end well for Piper. She’s going to find out too much and then… bye bye bye.
Back at home, Emma receives a weird package- a 1994 Lakewood yearbook with all of Brandon James’ victims cut out, except for of course her father’s since he got away. With big scribbles all over his photo, the page also read “The truth lies where the mask was made.” Cue to Emma going to the expert, Noah, to find out where said mask was made. He informs Emma and Audrey, who is almost always next to Noah, that the mask Brandon wore was actually a surgical mask to protect sutures on his face after surgeries. But of course the hospital where he had stayed, said surgeries have been closed for 6-7 years!
Audrey and Emma go to the hospital without Noah (rude), because they believe he would be like a kid at Disneyland. Yes, that’s probably true, but power in numbers people! Anyway, the girls find a bunch of creepy stuff at the hospital including Brandon James’ x rays for all sorts of body parts, papers that show Brandon’s mask was custom made, oh yeah and a dead bloody pig missing a heart and head. If that’s not a sign to GTFO, I don’t know what is.
Noah sneaks up on them causing a big scare, but he joins in digging around the lair. Speaking of digs, Noah takes a stab at “Pretty Little Liars,” saying how unbelievable and set up all of A’s lairs are. Clearly, this was another self aware dig, since you know, “Scream” kinda does the same thing. The trio find the missing yearbook pictures hanging from the ceiling, but right in the middle is a picture of Emma, “the star of the show,” as Audrey put it. But that’s not the weirdest part: Nina’s computer is also there.
Nina’s computer holds folders named after various people in town, including themselves. They try to move the files onto an SD card Audrey had, but were disturbed by the noise of someone coming to the room. As they run out they see Brandon’s mask. In an oh so clever move, Emma grabs the mask to take to the police- perhaps there will be DNA on it. Tyler’s head falls behind it.
Luckily, I guess, the person who surprises them is the Sheriff. At the station, the group gets questioned. Emma harshly tells him she didn’t bring the yearbook to him because the police hadn’t been doing a good job. (Withholding creepy threats? Sounds very PLL to me…) After realizing Tyler’s head had been moved before the car crash, the Sheriff realizes the murder cases are far from over.
Meanwhile, Jake (Tom Maden) comes up with a brilliant idea to make some fast cash after hearing Will got into Duke. “We can finish what Nina and Tyler started,” he tells Will. While still not getting any real answers about their blackmailing business, we learn that Nina had an incriminating video of some one that she kept secret in return for money. Although Jake and Will have no idea where Nina’s laptop is (because obviously it’s at the killer’s lair), Jake says he has a backup. Who is this guy they’re blackmailing? Brooke’s dad Mayor Maddox receives a text asking for $100k. Ding ding ding.
Emma later goes back to work, to find Piper again. Piper says she’s getting read to pack and leave. Emma easily convinces her to stay, saying there’s so much more to the murder cases. Piper knows this, of course. During their conversation Emma gets a text, as does everyone in the coffee shop. The message? A video of her and Will’s first time. (Um, child pornography much?) When Audrey and Noah tried to get the information off the SD card, they realized only one file had copied, Emma’s. As they tried to open the video file, the file was automatically sent to a list serve to the whole school.
With all this sneaky business Nina was up to before she was murdered, it’s hard to tell whether this was part of her plan, or is it the murderers? Also, if it’s someone related to Brandon James why are they only going after Emma? Why not go after her mom Maggie (Tracy Middendorf), too? Aside from the pig’s heart, why isn’t she being targeted? Where was Mr. Branson (Bobby Campo) this episode? Could he be related to Brandon James somehow??? Sidenote: Where was Kieran (Amadeus Serafini) this episode? (Asking for a friend who may or may not find him extremely attractive).
PLEASE CAN I JUST HAVE ONE OF THESE ANSWERED NEXT WEEK?
TOP SUSPECT: Still think it’s someone related to Brandon.
NEXT TO DIE: Jake, still Jake.