Scream first introduced its main tritagonist back in 1996, where Courteney Cox stole the show as the overbearing, fame-seeking news reporter, Gale Weathers. She played an important role in stopping the original Ghostface killing sprees and unmasking the culprits. As a dedicated TV personality, she is an opportunistic, glory-hound by nature; she always ensures that she gets the story whenever a news-worthy event occurs. However, as the franchise progresses, surviving the murders humbles her. She has never truly lost that sensationalist side to her, but she does grow to become a formidable survivor.
Throughout Scream‘s quadrilogy thus far, Gale Weathers has been an ever-present force of nature. Here is a rundown of her most iconic character moments.
“I’ll Send You A Copy”
Gale Weathers establishes herself early on as a comedic relief character. Looking for some insight into Sidney Prescott’s complicated but intriguing life, Gale pesters her for some answers regarding her accusation of Cotton Weary. According to Sidney, Cotton Weary murdered her mother, but Gale denies that claim and even wrote a book on Weary’s innocence. Enraged by Gale’s false beliefs and intrusive behavior, Sidney lands a mean right hook that knocks Gale off her feet.
Not her finest moment, but certainly one for the history books. Despite Sidney’s painfully clear refusal to cooperate, Gale persists in hopes of obtaining that all-important news story. Not only did audiences gain respect for Sidney, but they discovered that Gale can take a hit and keep on swinging.
“Guess I Remembered The Safety That Time, B*st*rd”
In the final act of Scream, Sidney confronts Billy Loomis, who injures both Dewey and Gale. When Gale attempts to shoot Billy, he renders her indisposed. When Sidney and Billy tussle for the butcher knife and Billy prepares to stab her, Gale appears and shoots Billy. It takes some courage to face off against Billy Loomis, the local high-school murderer, even if he is fifteen years younger and laughably scrawny. Gale puts the unwavering determination of a greedy reporter to better use when saving Sidney’s life.
Most notably in Scream‘s dramatic climax, Courteney Cox truly embodies the spirit of the final girl to portray her relentless, scream queen persona, Gale Weathers.
In Scream 2, Gale is heavily pursued by Ghostface but narrowly escapes into a soundproof booth. After Dewey is finally able to communicate with her through a sound-prevention window, she witnesses him getting stabbed multiple times. Believing him to be dead, Gale is distraught. Ghostface continues to pursue Gale but mysteriously disappears after discovering that the booth is reinforced.
Not only does Gale persevere despite losing Dewey (or so she believes), but her out-the-box thinking ultimately saves her from meeting a gory demise. Using the sound booth for protection was an intelligent move. Gale Weathers seemed to quickly discover that escaping Ghostface is like playing chess — always think about eight moves ahead.
“It Bounced Off My Ribs”
In the Scream 2 climax, Mrs. Loomis brings Gale to the school theater, where Sidney and Mickey have a stand-off. In the commotion that ensues, Mickey shoots Gale. However, the bullet bounces off Gale’s ribs, allowing her to survive. Once the whole ordeal is over, Mickey is shot to death by Sidney and Gale.
It can be argued that Gale Weathers surviving Mickey’s gunshot was pure luck. Fortune smiles upon Gale throughout Scream, but she endures some unthinkable torment at the hands of Ghostface — just as Sidney does. Luck or not, Gale surviving multiple wounds is still admirable and downright badass.
“Not As Much As I Did”
Enacting her revenge for Sidney Prescott’s right hook, Gale delivers that justice by socking her Stab look-a-like, Jennifer Jolie, right in the jaw. Jolie accuses Dewey of failing to protect her, then proceeds to hit him. In retaliation, Gale returns the favor. Jolie threatens Gale with a physical assault lawsuit by saying, “My lawyer liked that”, to which Gale counters, “Not as much as I did.”
Courteney Cox must have enjoyed rehearsing that scene, especially if she had some pent-up frustration to vent.
“You’re A Brave Man, Dewey Riley”
A pleasantly surprising, heartwarming scene follows the macabre series of murders in Scream 3. Gale and Dewey, living together and in an established relationship, overlook the secluded countryside from their porch. Dewey procures Gale Weather’s best-selling book, The Woodsboro Murders, and meekly asks if she would sign it for him. Much to her immediate shock, when Gale flips the cover, she finds a diamond engagement ring embedded inside.
In a long-awaited exchange, Dewey pops the question and Gale is left utterly speechless. She remarks, “You are a brave man, Dewey Riley”, and Dewey replies, “I’m really scared right now.”
“Your Lemon Squares Taste Like A*s”
Deputy Hicks, a supporting character introduced in Scream 4, becomes an immediate enemy of Gale Weathers. At any given opportunity, Hicks flirts with her now-husband, Dewey. In an attempt to impress, Hicks bakes lemon squares and offers some to Dewey. Presumably, Dewey takes them home to share with Gale, given Gale and Hicks’ interaction later on.
When Gale demands to discuss the string of murders with Dewey and insists that he appoint her as an associate in the investigation, Dewey refuses. Hicks sides against Gale and supports Dewey’s argument. When Gale is finished with Dewey, she storms past Hicks, though not without bashing her cooking skills in a possessive rage. She remarks, “Your lemon squares taste like a*s.”
“I’m Going Rogue”
Local horror enthusiasts organize an annual overnight screening of all the Stab movies — known as “Stabathon” — and suspicion arises that Ghostface will gatecrash. Scream 4 sees its bravest Gale Weathers to date, much to Courteney Cox’s credit. When Dewey refuses to include Gale in the ongoing investigation, Gale takes it upon herself to — as she would eloquently put it — “go rogue” and unmask the Ghostface herself.
Gale goes undercover to infiltrate the Stabathon party, planting cameras inconspicuously to capture crucially incriminating footage. During her endeavor, she encounters Ghostface, who stabs her in the shoulder. She survives, albeit in critical condition, and informs Dewey of her discoveries as he rushes her to the hospital. Gale Weathers is as indestructible as she is formidable.
In Scream 4‘s tense conclusion, Sidney Prescott is admitted to the hospital following a brutal attack from her cousin, Jill Roberts. Self-inflicted injuries land Jill in the hospital as well, but when she learns of Sidney’s survival, she seeks to finish the job. Just when Jill has seemingly defeated Sidney, Gale Weathers comes to her rescue — as per usual. Gale distracts Jill long enough for Sidney to grab the defibrillator.
Gale asks Jill to allow her some parting words. Jill agrees, believing that she has the upper hand. Gale simply says “Clear” and Jill is visibly confused. When Gale repeats, “Clear”, it prompts Sidney to push the defibrillator pads against Jill’s temples and immobilize her. As is a common occurrence in the Scream franchise, Gale Weathers saves the day and looks good doing it.
Courteney Cox will return as Gale Weathers in the Scream reboot, scheduled for release in January 2022.