American Gothic recap: The Artist in His Museum
Poor Brady just can't catch a break
Poor Brady. Another classic case of a guy married to a girl who’s in complete denial about her murderous family. This week’s American Gothic brought to light some interesting revelations about the Hawthorne clan’s past, plus lots of hallucinations and more Boston accents. Let’s dive in!
Cam is at the center of “The Artist in His Museum,” once again becoming a main suspect in the Silver Bells Killer (SBK) case. Brady barges in on Cam shooting up and ends up stealing the needle without Cam’s knowledge. Since Cam could be arrested, everyone agrees he should probably sober up ASAP, so much of the episode is spent with Cam going through withdrawal and experiencing several disturbing hallucinations. Most prominently, he sees his father Mitch, who repeatedly tells him he “wants to show [him] the body;” he “has to face the past;” and finally, “you know what you saw.”
Here are some other notable/terrifying things Cam hallucinates, in no particular order:
- A dark figure dragging a body down the Hawthorne mansion’s main staircase. The victim’s foot gets stuck on a spindle and breaks it from the railing.
- His sociopathic son (welcome to our world Cam; I’ve been having nightmares about Jack for weeks) reciting “Comin’ Thro’ the Rye” with that weird puppet, still clacking Phyllis’s teeth.
- Images of himself, Garrett, and Mitch dragging a body through the Hawthorne foyer.
- What was clearly dat boi, hanging from a noose in a hallway.
Detective Cutter is out for blood and she shows up everywhere, harassing everyone. Once it’s clear Cam is a prime suspect, she tries to hunt him down — first at the Hawthorne mansion, then at Alison’s campaign headquarters, and finally at Jack’s school, where she corners Jack on the schoolyard to ask if he’s seen his dad. (Let the record show that Jack showed actual concern here!) Tessa, Alison, and Garrett are focused on trying to help Cam detox at home while running in circles trying to ward off Cutter from various locations.
Once Cam is (presumably) through his withdrawal, he talks with Garrett about what he saw and confesses he’s seen these images since he was a teenager. Garrett tells him it’s a result of the drugs and stress making things up in his brain. However, the end of the episode sees Cam examining the spindles on the staircase, finding that one had, in fact, been broken in half and painted over.
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We also see Madeline pay a visit to her mother, who sent her the mysterious letter she opened in last week’s episode. It turns out Madeline’s mother is a scheming, alcoholic diner waitress who lives in a trailer, and to whom Madeline gives large sums of money on a monthly basis. Madeline’s mother says she’d like to finally meet her grandchildren, but we learn Madeline isn’t too keen on the idea of her kids learning about her true past or the unstable home she was (barely) raised in. In order to continue staying away from them, Madeline’s mother settles for twice the amount of money she was already receiving.
NEXT: “Let’s work on the definition of urgent…”
Alison gets in some hot water when one of her employees attempts to blackmail her. Millennial staffer Kimmy saw Alison and Naomi kissing late one night at the campaign headquarters and decides to use the information in an attempt to get a promotion with higher pay. I can’t quite figure out why one would want to blackmail the person you’ve chosen to campaign for — and whose candidacy you presumably support — but this was Millennial Kimmy’s call and we’ll have to live with it. Naomi initially gives her the promotion and new laptop she demanded, but we later learn it was a setup: The laptop was used in a hacking scandal and Kimmy is now at fault. Alison and Naomi fire her on those grounds, simultaneously creating another enemy of the campaign.
Aside from helping Cam with his withdrawal, Garrett picks up right where he left him — belt in hand. Thankfully, he proceeded to NOT strangle Christina, but instead spends some time dancing with her before abruptly leaving her apartment. She’s visibly angry with him for blowing her off like this, but somehow, she’s still not scared of him like the rest of us. Later, we see Garrett telling Christina (in a dark alley/street) he wants to take her “somewhere that will help her understand him better.”
And finally, we have Brady and Tessa. These two have a whirlwind romance for the ages, considering Tessa is in denial of her family’s involvement in the murder case Brady desperately wants to solve. Tessa eventually concedes in letting Brady test Cam’s DNA from the needle, only to find that Cam’s DNA is not a match for the blood found on the SBK belt. WHEW! Just kidding, though — even though Cam is off the hook, the blood is a familial match to Hawthorne DNA. We FINALLY have evidence proving what we’ve known all along: Someone in the Hawthorne family is SBK.
So will Kimmy be returning for revenge? What will come of Cam’s crazy hallucinations? And where the hell were Phyllis and Caramel this week?!
It seems like we can probably expect to see more of Madeline’s alcoholic mother, but who really knows with the Hawthornes — she could also end up dead next week. Stay tuned!
Ep. 5 Honorable Mentions
- You may have noticed (some of our readers have already commented!) that each episode is titled after a painting and contains some version of the painting’s imagery. Though we’ve seen a few great ones so far, this episode’s might be my favorite: Mitch serves as a perfect replica of the “Artist” in Cam’s hallucinations, right down to pulling back the large crimson curtain. Any ideas on what this means, or how the paintings might be connected?
- Alison and Garrett shared some suspicious, knowing glances during this episode. Based on her insistence to keep things quiet, it’s starting to seem like she might be in on this, too.
- Garrett’s masterful slicing of an avocado before proceeding to hog-tie his brother to a bathroom sink (in a loving, brotherly way — not a creepy, serial-killer one).
- Jack in Cam’s hallucinations, channeling every terrifying child/demon in every horror movie ever.
Who Actually Dun It?
Phyllis is still my no. 1 suspect, but I’m holding on to Garrett as SBK. I also feel like Alison might have more blood on her hands than previously thought.
What do you think? Let us know!