'Scream' fans need answers about Brandon James in season 3

Scream fans received some bad news on Friday: The MTV horror series is reportedly going to "hit the reset button" for its third season. While most devoted followers of the show just want to see a season three, Deadline reported that the reset means a new storyline and a new cast. So, where does that leave things after the season two cliffhanger?

(Editor's note: This article contains spoilers for Scream season two and the Scream Halloween special.)

The Scream season two cliffhanger

The Scream season two finale kind of tied up everything nicely with Kieran identified as Piper's accomplice and the second killer. But it also set up the mystery for season three: Is Brandon James still alive? The finale ended on a cliffhanger, with Maggie finding a note she left for Brandon covered in blood and tacked onto a tree with a knife. Was it just some sort of prank? A phone call Kieran received in jail seemed to hint that the original Lakewood serial killer could still be alive.

"Hello, Kieran," the voice on the line said. "Who told you you could wear my mask?"

Unfortunately, the Halloween special did little to further the Brandon James storyline. The two-hour episode picked up eight months after Kieran's arrest with someone wearing a Brandon James mask killing him while he was in custody. That completely wrapped up Kieran's storyline while also introducing the possibility that the real Brandon James is back in town. However, the special completely ditched Lakewood for a place called Shallow Grove Island.

Stavo and Noah flew Emma, Brooke and Audrey out to the island for research on their next graphic novel about the Anna Hobbs murders. Most of the special focused on the mysterious case of Anna Hobbs as a new killer stalked the teens. But that killer wasn't Brandon James; it was a man named Tom who became obsessed with Emma and her story of survival.

Tom was cleared of murdering Kieran in his cell, and the final moments of the Halloween episode set up two suspects for Kieran's killer: Emma's father, Kevin, or Brandon James. The last scene featured a hooded figure checking into the Lakewood motel under the name "James."

What should happen in Scream season three

So, where does the series go from there? Season two didn't have nearly as many viewers as the first season, but it still delivered a strong storyline and twist ending. The introduction of Brandon James could certainly turn things around for the flailing show. For starters, it could further dive into the backstory of the Lakewood serial killer. All we know right now is that Brandon had deformities and was bullied. But what about his home life — and his mysterious older brother, Troy? Viewers learned bits and pieces about the town's past through Maggie, and a flashback-heavy third season could really expose what made Brandon snap and allegedly kill five people. 

But did he really murder all of those people? Maggie was hesitant to believe that Brandon could hurt anyone, and that's where Kevin could come into play. He knew that his girlfriend had a sexual history with Brandon. Did he frame him for the murders?

There is still a story to tell with the same Scream cast — plus the addition of a couple new faces. It would at least give fans the closure they deserve on the Brandon James storyline. After that, MTV is free to turn Scream into an American Horror Story-like anthology series with a new cast and new plot every year.

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