Now that's what you call a curveball.
After seven gruesome murders on "Scream" -- there were two more on tonight's episode, including Sheriff Hudson's heave-worthy disembowelment -- the identify of the Lakewood killer was finally revealed. And while all eyes were on Mr. Branson and Kieran, the MTV series offered yet another shocking twist: The psycho behind the mask was -- drum roll, please -- Piper Shaw.
All together now: WHAT???
Turns out, the bespectacled podcaster was the offspring of Maggie and Brandon James; still bitter about being given up for adoption, she targeted Emma and her loved ones in a jealous fit of revenge. But in one of slasher TV's most jaw-dropping, WTF moments of all time, the episode's final scene may have revealed that a beloved Lakewood resident was just-maybe helping Ms. Shaw commit the murders all along.
Read on for the five reasons Piper was able to fool us all -- and brace yourself for #5, which reveals her possible partner-in-crime:
Her Gale Weathers vibe threw us off.
While producers of the show occasionally paid homage to the big-screen "Scream" flicks, they always maintained that the MTV reboot was an entirely new chapter (heck, they even changed the mask). But seriously, who couldn't compare Piper to the franchise's Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox)? As a news reporter for "Top Story," Gale arrived in Woodsboro to investigate the Ghostface muders; Piper, meanwhile, landed in Lakewood to cover the local killing spree as part of her podcast (hey, it's 2015), "Autopsy of a Murder." They both befriended the protagonist (Gale bonded with Sidney Prescott, while Piper buddied up to Emma). But alas, there was one big difference between the two: Gale actually helped catch the killer, like, four times, while Piper...well, you know.
Apparently, we're a little sexist.
When Piper lifted off her mask and called a startled Emma "sis," the Lakewood teen put all the pieces together. "So when we were bonding about your dad being murdered, you were talking about Brandon James," she gasped. Piper replied in the affirmative, adding, "You were so easily convinced that it had to be his son who was swinging the knife, but it's 2015, Emma. Sexist, much?" Well, yeah -- and truth is, we didn't expect a woman was behind the serial killings either.
Statistics back us up.
Research shows that only 15% of serial killers are women, compared to a whopping 85% male. Plus, when women do repeatedly kill, data indicates that they more often than not murder their victims with poison. Male serial killers, however, are the ones who usually use the Piper-like methods of strangulation/suffocation (RIP Rachel) and stabbing (RIP um, everyone else). No wonder we were fooled.
We didn't listen to Noah.
The H.S. brainiac eventually zeroed in on Mr. Branson as his top suspect but, along the way, he realized that anyone who'd been affected by the school's Peeping Tom malware could have had reason to kill. "So pretty much everyone's a suspect," he told Audrey. "Including us." That was a crucial point, yet we still didn't throw enough side-eye toward Piper. Oh, and that "including us" part? He was right about that, too...
She was attacked with Will.
One way Ms. Shaw threw us off her track was the fact that she, too, had been injured by the slasher. And in tonight's final scene, Noah brought up that very same point as he acted as "guest podcaster" for the final broadcast of the now-deceased Piper's show. "The thing that I can't figure out is, who attacked Piper and Will Belmont at the old car dealership? Who was wearing the mask that night?" he wondered in a voiceover as the surviving Lakewood residents were shown finally moving on with their lives: Emma and Kieran were getting lovey-dovey in her living room, Jake was clearly still thinking about Brooke, and fall guy Mr. Branson was being released from prison. Oh, and Audrey? She was busy gazing at a photo of her and Emma, then burning all the letters she'd exchanged with Piper -- plus the sheriff's department notes on the original Brandon James case they may have used to plan their crime spree. That's right: Piper's possible accomplice was none other than our
much-loved always-awesome stan-worthyholy-sh*t-she's-a-criminal Audrey. "Piper left behind a lot of nagging questions," Noah said as he wrapped up his podcasting stint. "So my question is simple: Is it finally over, or is there more to come?"
Note to Noah: There's lots more to come, because "Scream" will be returning to MTV for another sure-to-be-sensational season. But in the meantime, tell us: Were you shocked that Piper was the killer? And were you MORE shocked that Audrey may be her accomplice? Better yet, do you think Audrey will be further implicated in Season 2? Share your thoughts in the comments section, and get ready to "Scream" again soon!