American Gothic recap: The Veteran in a New Field
As Alison and Brady team up, we finally learn more about Caleb
The twists and turns just won’t stop for the Hawthornes. In tonight’s episode, we see one drug-induced meltdown, one exhumed grave, and one big lie finally come to a head. Let’s recap this week’s American Gothic!
To start, it seems Brady thinks the SBK-style murder we saw last week could have been a copycat killer. He still has his sights set on Garrett Hawthorne and just won’t let it go. And as it turns out, those of us who thought Mayor Connelly was SBK or the accomplice could be just a tad off-base.
Alison and Brady teamed up to investigate Cutter and Connelly’s suspicious meetings, a tip Alison received from the late, great Jennifer Windham (RIP). It turns out Jennifer had bugged Connelly’s car, too (has anyone so tall ever been so stealthy? Jennifer was just a bugging machine), and she had recordings of conversations mentioning Garrett’s arrest and destroying evidence.
They ambush Cutter and Connelly to present them with these recordings, after which Connelly was quick to soften his demeanor and plead innocence. Apparently, he’d been at David Morale’s house the night David was murdered and lost a cuff link there. Cutter was new on the force at the time, and Connelly paid her to destroy any evidence of his presence that may have been found during the investigation. This was the conversation Cutter and Connelly were having in his car, because Connelly was getting nervous about the case being in the public eye again.
No matter which way you slice this, it’s VERY shady. Cutter keeps telling Brady that working this case is a conflict of interest for him, but it kind of seems like working this case could be a conflict of interest for her, too. And if she has no problem destroying evidence and can apparently be bought with little effort, what else could she be hiding here? All I can say is Scully wouldn’t hide something like this from Mulder.
(Speaking of conflict of interest, tonight’s hour sees Brady reviewing new evidence and recent findings with one of the FBI agents, who notes that Brady’s married to a Hawthorne. Finally, it’s the FBI agent who tells Brady to take a leave of absence, removing him from the case in light of his relation to the Hawthorne family.)
Moving right along, Tessa and Garrett spent some time this episode rehabbing their relationship. Tessa was mad Garrett would say he killed someone if he wasn’t SBK, so Garrett explained his relationship with Al Jenkins and everything that happened during their time living in the woods. Tessa feels remorse for her previous reaction to this information, and she asks Garrett to talk to her and tell her the truth more often. Garrett fulfills her wishes by telling her Christina is pregnant and he very much wants to be a father.
Tessa tries to get ahold of Christina for Garrett, but isn’t able to. Christina’s phone has been shut off and she’s taken a leave from work. She’s either disappeared or is hiding from Garrett, but at this point we aren’t sure which.
When the FBI arrives at Casa de Hawthorne, they ask Madeline for photos from Mitch’s funeral. As she looks through the snapshots (was there a funeral photographer?), the agent tells her the FBI believes the SBK accomplice was at the funeral.
Garrett is released from jail, and Tessa and Garrett get to the Hawthorne home just in time for Tessa to eavesdrop on Madeline’s secret phone call. She hears Madeline say “Why the hell were you at Mitchell’s funeral? With everything that went on between you two, you never should have been there.”
NEXT: Sorting grains + human remains = the mother of all cliff-hangers
Tessa does some sleuthing of her own (“Hey! Who’s the detective around here?!” says Brady, in the sitcom version of American Gothic) and learns Madeline was on the phone with “Caleb.” All we know about Caleb so far is Madeline’s mother mentioned him when she visited her in episode 5. But if you’ve long suspected “Caleb” was Madeline’s former lover, you may be correct.
Tessa and Alison meet with Caleb O’Conner from Smokehill, Pennsylvania (Keystone State in the house!) and learn a few big details about him:
- He and Madeline were high-school sweethearts and had a difficult time ending things.
- He was the man with whom Madeline had an affair.
- Mitch did not “drag him down the stairs” after they had an argument one night. In fact, he says, the fight that resulted in Mitchell’s arrest happened entirely outside; no punches were thrown in the house at all.
So, Madeline’s a liar, but didn’t we know that all along?
Then we have Cam, who’s getting out of rehab and acting less-than-chill about his interest in nurse Amy (especially since he’s done with Sophie, apparently for good). Amy stresses that dating too soon after rehab will increase his risk of relapse, but she does give him an iPod full of positive affirmations she recorded just for him.
Cam plans on sending Sophie divorce papers — and at his mother’s behest, he considers asking for full custody of Jack. Sophie pulls herself together long enough to help Jack with a school presentation that everyone loves. Cam is pleased, and for a second, he thinks they can be civil and finally get serious about raising their kid together.
Shortly thereafter, Cam realizes Sophie had used Jack to buy drugs for her. Said drugs were hidden in children’s candy and purchased from a random sidewalk cart managed by a man in a funny hat and candy-striper outfit (this alone might have tipped off any sane person, but I digress).
Cam goes to Sophie’s apartment and (from his now-sober high horse) says he’ll use this against her in court and she’ll never see Jack again. Sophie, to her credit, unleashes the most wretched breakdown I’ve seen on TV in quite some time. It’s clear she’s not thrilled by this threat.
In the final scenes of “The Veteran in a New Field,” we learn Garrett has purchased a large machine for sorting grains (because why not?). Out in a field, we see him digging a large hole, which eventually leads him to human remains. Garrett starts grabbing the bones, with the clothes still on them, and throwing them in the machine. Then like a bat out of hell, Brady comes running down a hill, gun drawn, and demands Garrett stay where he is and not move.
Talk about cliff-hangers! This episode had about 100. Will Garrett, in fact, not move, or will he run off with his human bones and grain machine? Will Madeline explain why the hell she’s lying about everything all the time? And did Sophie ever stop screaming for Cam to forgive her? Tune in next week, when we’ll only have three episodes left to crack this case!
Ep. 10 Honorable Mentions
- “You’re so bad at being specific.” —Cam, when asking Garrett what he was doing.
- “I’ll be damned if I let you run out on us again…without going to BOSTON HISTORY NIGHT!” —Cam, again, trying to stop Garrett from going anywhere.
- “I’m not in a really great place at the moment, so maybe we can talk about Mom’s affair at another time.” —Cam, after yelling at Sophie and as his sisters follow him around the kitchen demanding his attention.
- Brady and Alison’s entire banter was a delight, but “The pig could really dance!” definitely deserves a mention, as well as when they were trying to guess Jennifer Windham’s safe combination, “36 — 24 — 36?”
- “As sins go, it’s not quite murder.” —Mayor Connelly, admitting he was coordinating with his super PAC the night Jennifer was killed.
Who Actually Dun It?
One thing to note about this episode was the implication someone is messing with Madeline. First the closet, then the bells in her purse? This was an odd turn of events, especially since no one cared enough to bother her before. Were these hallucinations? Or is the person planting these pranks the real SBK? My money is forever on Phyllis. And I’m still suspicious of Cutter and Connelly… I don’t care what shady excuses they have.
Who do you think SBK is after this episode? Let us know in the comments!