American Gothic: (S01E02) “Jack-in-the-Pulpit”

Review

Cam is in a meeting and says he was doing good until last night when he called his dealer and they know the rest. His sobriety starts over today. His sponsor says you can’t keep sober with leaving your dealer’s number in your dialer. You need to delete it. He says he will do that but his phone is dead. His sponsor says I’ll watch and that he has a charger so they plug in his phone. Cam sees a bunch of messages on his phone.

Maddie is in the tub at home crying. Why is she crying? She is the one who pulled the plug. Alison is talking to Tessa. They hear the front door. Cam walks in. Alison talks about planning the funeral. Cam says without Mom? Alison says she is up taking a bath. Alison talks about calling the church and that they should limit the guest list. Alison wonders why Tessa is so calm. Tessa says she can’t bury her dead until they have some answers about the box they found.

Tessa’s husband Brady is at the police station and he is asked to give an update on the silver bells murders so he does. He goes over the MO of being killed with a belt and the bodies placed on display and a silver bell by each body. There were six murders and then he stopped. The victims were the city’s elite. He says they found the belt that matches the last victim David Morales but the blood does not belong to the victim so he wonders if the blood belongs to the killer. He asks about finding a list of all the workers on the bridge that time.

Cam goes to look for the box but it is gone. Maddie comes in and says if you are looking for the bells they are gone. What exactly is Maddie hiding?

Maddie sits the three kids down, Cam, Tessa, and Alison and says their father was always interested in true crime. She says that true crime hobby had taken a turn. He was slipping. Maddie says he had dementia but he was hiding it. She says mornings were fine but by the evenings he would deteriorate. She said the last few months were really bad. Maddie says she found him out in the shed and he called her Mary, his dead sister’s name. He had found the box of bells and he said he thought he was a bad person. He was starting to think he was the silver bells killer. Cam asks his mom if she is sure. She asks sure he wasn’t a serial killer? She says she won’t even give that question the dignity of a response. She says she is glad he died before all this nonsense came out. Alison asked where the box is now. Maddie says she had Gunther get rid of it. Alison says they can’t tell anyone about this. It is their responsibility to keep dad’s legacy intact.

Alison says she would like to speak at the service. Garrett comes in and says he would like to speak at the funeral and that he has something to say. Then the doorbell rings. Alison says she thinks it is better if she speak on behalf of the whole family. Garrett says he disagrees. The neighborhood cat lady has Caramel the cat and says she can tell he had his tail damaged and repaired but she suggests they know something.

Meanwhile the hospital calls and speaks to Maddie saying there are irregularities in the machine’s reports that were hooked up to her husband and that she needs to come in so they can talk about that.

Alison talks to Garrett. She asks what he wants to say at the service. He says he wants to share some special memories. She asks what his agenda is. He says he will leave after the service. She wants to know why he wasn’t in contact for 14 years. He says he knows he should have called. He says he is going to leave on one of his long weird walks now.

Alison finds a book that Garrett has underlined passages in and they blame the rich. Alison asks Maddie if Garrett has done something horrible. If that box in the shed…Maddie says no, that is impossible.

Brady is at the police station and his boss has the list of those employees who were on site that day. One of them is Mitch. His boss insists he get a DNA sample from Mitch. Brady doesn’t want to do it. His boss says he will do it. Brady says no, he will do it.

Jack is asking his dad where his grandpa’s body is right now and talks about how rigor mortis has probably already set in. Cam goes into Garrett’s room and asks if he has any dietary restrictions. Jack says right now it looks like Grandpa’s nails are getting longer because of dehydration. Jack asks Cam if Grandpa’s mouth is open or if it smells bad. Or if the casket is open. Cam says look, everyone is sad that they won’t see Grandpa alive again. They won’t be able to ask him for advice or give him a hug. Cam says it is very sad. Jack asks, couldn’t we still hug his corpse. Cam doesn’t really know what to say.

Alison is talking to her campaign manager and she is worried about what Garrett will say at the funeral. The manager jokes they can ask for IDs at the door as there is no way that Garrett has a current ID. She hugs Alison and says I can’t imagine how much you miss him.

Tessa is going through photos.  Gunther, a family employee, talks about coming in and playing games with her dad. She asks if he seemed confused. Gunther said no.

Maddie is at the hospital talking to the woman who called her about the irregularities. The woman wants an autopsy done to clear the hospital of any wrongdoing. She wants the body back at the hospital from the funeral home. Maddie says she will take care of it herself. Then Maddie is walking down the hallway talking to the funeral home saying there has been a change. Instead of an open casket she wants the body sent to the crematorium right away.

Brady is at the Hawthorne house looking for something with Mitch’s DNA on it. His closet is cleared out. There is no toothbrush or brush. Gunther is cleaning stuff out of the shed. Brady goes into his wife’s room and asks if she is OK. She is curling her hair. She asks Brady why she is curling her hair. If it really makes a difference. He says that all of Mitch’s stuff is already gone. Tessa says mom does that in grief. She did that when their dog died. Brady offers to go down to the church to see if he can help set up.

Jack is pretending he is choking on a belt. Cam is on the hunt for drugs. Brady is at the church and finds an empty casket. A funeral director comes up to him and says you just missed him. He says they shipped his body to the crematorium. Brady plays along and says yes, that is what she wanted. Then we see him out on the streets trying to get to the crematorium. Garrett is also driving out on the streets and a cop comes up behind him. Garrett says you’ve got to be kidding me. The police officer says his ID and tags expired about 12 years ago and asks him to get out of his car.

The family discovers that Maddie had their dad cremated. Cam has to explain cremation to his son Jack. Cam sees his wife there and goes to talk to her. He allows her to come to the funeral.

Brady races into the crematorium and finds out he just missed Mitch by three or four minutes. They just put him into the crematorium. The poor employee says “He was dead right?” Meanwhile Brady’s phone rings. It is the police department telling him his brother in law was just brought in. Brady says they need to release Garrett so he can go to his father’s funeral.

Tessa asks her mom what is going on. She tells her mom that she found out her dad was still playing Chess and bridge and that doesn’t track with what she has been saying. Maddie says the last time he played bridge was eight months ago. Maddie claims they don’t know what she went through the last eight months. He didn’t even remember who Maddie was. He wanted to hide it from his children. Maddie says he asked to die. Alison asks Maddie if Tessa is OK. Maddie says it is just all hitting her now. Garrett comes in and says to Alison, you look surprised to see me. Alison says no, you look great. He says to her nice try. Yes. I am sure Alison tried to prevent Garrett from coming to the funeral by having him picked up.

Tessa comes up to Garrett. She is crying. Garrett asks if she is all right. She says yeah. He hauls her out to a hallway and she says she is struggling. He says that is normal. Tessa says she stopped taking the meds as she and Brady are trying to get pregnant so now she is shaky and now dad is gone. She says she can’t take anything right now. Garrett tells her she will be OK. He promises. She asks if he remembers when she was five and started having nightmares. She says only Garrett could calm her down. Not even mom or dad.

Garrett heads up to the podium. Maddie says to Alison I thought you took care of that. Alison says I thought so too. Garrett starts by saying he hated his father and that is why he left his family behind 14 years ago. His father told him his anger would fade someday and he would come home and they could just pick up where they left off. He says his dad lied to him. Time ran out. Brady runs into the church to sit next to Tessa and apologizes.

Alison gets up to speak. She says she was afraid of monsters when she was a kid. Every night, her dad would come kiss her good night and close the closet and wind up the music boxes because then she thought the monsters couldn’t get her. Right now Cam tells Sophie to meet him in the bathroom. Cam shows the bag of drugs. Sophie says no, you need to feel the pain of your dad’s death. She had to feel the pain of her dad’s death. He says he needs to take the edge off. Sophie says there are other ways and she starts stripping. Alison is still speaking and says her dad protected her from the monsters and also challenged her.

Jack gets up to speak. This ought to be good. Meanwhile Cam and Sophie are having sex in the bathroom. Jack says he is very sad that he will never get to see his grandpa alive again, hug him, or ask his advice but he is mostly sad because his dad was cremated and he never got to see his decomposing body. Garrett giggles a little bit. Later Jack asks his mom if she liked his speech. She says it was really good. Cam says to Sophie, thank you. You made the right call. He asks if Sophie will throw that cookie away for him. Sophie says yes. Jack says why would you throw away a cookie? Cam says too much sugar.

Meanwhile at the house, the family is greeting a houseful of visitors. Alison’s husband takes her around a corner and hands her a gift. It is a music box. He says it is just a little gift from the girls and him. Alison kisses her husband as the music box plays. Jack is drawing. Maddie goes up to Cam. Cam says he is sorry about Jack. Maddie says he needs therapy. Maddie says she saw the neighbor’s cat. She says no one wants to think their child is troubled. Even Cam went to therapy as a teenager but Jason is only nine. Maddie says he needs help now.

Brady is somewhere at coat check and snags a jacket of Mitch’s. Brady’s boss is on the phone saying the belt did not belong to the victim and that it was an expensive belt. Brady says maybe the killer was part of the elite himself. His boss agrees.

Maddie goes up to Garrett and thanks him for keeping his mouth shut. He says he didn’t do it for her. Maddie says Tessa is trying to have a baby, Cam is sober, and Alison is running for mayor. She thinks Garrett should leave. Garrett asks why. Maddie says because you are a grenade. Garrett says then maybe you should handle me carefully. Hmmm…I don’t think Garrett wants to leave.

Brady is looking at the pictures and he sees a picture of Mitchell and Cam from 2002 and the belt Cam is wearing matches the belt found in the bridge. Oh my.