Created by Kevin Williamson, this horror drama is allegedly what he wanted ‘Scream 4’ to be.
This opens to the tune of ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’. Serial Killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) escapes from Death Row before his execution for killing 14 women. Ex-FBI Agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) is a drunk with a loft apartment. He is brought in as a consultant on the manhunt. He caught Carroll originally and still has the scars. He also chugs vodka from water bottles.
The sole survivor of Carroll’s rampage is Sarah Fuller (Maggie Grace of ‘Lost’). She testified against him and is shaken by his escape. She seeks comfort from her cuddly gay neighbours. Meanwhile Hardy puts up with FBI Agent Mason who has a huge mole and a severe case of tactlessness. Hardy has a thing for Carroll’s porno looking ex-wife Claire.
Joe Carroll wrote a book called ‘The Gothic Sea’ which flopped and after his arrest became a bestseller. Carroll worships Poe and likes to make ‘art’ from murder. Mike the rookie FBI Agent reveals Carroll got internet access and has been plotting with groupies and followers. One follower commits an attention seeking public suicide. It seems Carroll has made ‘friends’ with a lot of people who are becoming psychopaths by choice. This was creepy and good. Joe Carroll and co are like the Manson family on meth. Hardy seems taken by both Claire and Joe Carroll. There is a twist ending.
“Who are these idiots?”
“Carroll was teaching him how to become a serial killer.”
“I’m not interesting enough to not drink.”
“I’m not buying two men would pretend to be gay and shack up next to a woman because some nut job told them to.”
“The prison guard worships him. Ice pick lady is brainwashed to kill herself. These two guys have dedicated years of their lives to him.”
“What was it with that true-crime drivel?”
Carroll’s back in jail and smirking. Jordy the wannabe serial killer has hacked up a sorority house. Joey has been abducted by his nanny Emma who is hiding out with Sarah’s not so gay neighbours Jacob and Paul. Emma worked for Claire for two years. How does Claire afford a live in nanny and a McMansion with two staircases? Joey is kind of stupid. Jacob and Paul use ‘Jersey Shore’ levels of hair product. The bitchy Emma worships Carroll and flashbacks show how she killed her white trash mother (Kate Hodge of ‘She Wolf of London’). Emma and Jacob (Nico Tortonella) are a couple, Paul is disgusted and jealous.
Agent Mason has been kicked off the show and new Agent Debra Parker shows up. She’s a twit who runs the alternative religion unit. Joe demands to see his ex-wife and he and Claire have a slapfest. Hardy and co find Emma’s old home and it is a house of crazy. The Carroll cult used it as a clubhouse and it is freakish and awful and symptomatic of their mad, mad minds. This was good and Jordy for all his ickness is really crap at being a bad guy.
“I can’t be this blind, can I?”
“This is mind control at work.”
“Like a cult.”
“Let’s not use that word. People don’t hear it well.”
“You’re not gay anymore, remember.”
“A score for the village idiot.”
“You’re too pretty to work.”
The Poet’s Fire
A nutter in a Poe mask, Rick, killed a critic who dared to say Carroll’s book ‘The Gothic Sea’ was awful. The sick idiot Jordy has been captured. Emma is a bitch. More Carroll cultists come out of the woodwork. Paul wants Jacob. Flashbacks show the cult hanging out in Emma’s home acting like Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven except they talk about fire, knives and stalking poor Sarah Fuller.
Rick targets more of those he regards as shameless assassins of the decent Joe Carroll’s reputation. Hardy recalls how in 2003 he asked Joe (who used to be a literature professor) to help him with the serial murders. Joe befriended Hardy.
An angry Paul drags home a woman named Megan so he won’t be the third wheel anymore. Debra Parker shows off her bony clavicle and is fooled by a liar. A taskforce agent is killed. There is a ‘Scream’ homage to add to the 'Halloween H20' homage in 1x02. There is a suicide, the cultists groom Joey to emulate his daddy and flashbacks show how Jacob and Paul really got into their not so masquerade. This was good, this show is addictive.
“So Carroll wants his followers to exact revenge on his critics?”
“Yeah that could take a while.”
“Don’t try to turn Jacob against me, it won’t work.”
“Feel free to hate it. Everyone else has.”
“Joe fooled me. I should’ve known from the first time I met him that he was the man I was looking for.”