From Mini-series

American Gothic – Episode 13: “Whistler’s Mother”

CBS’ American Gothic
Episode 13: “Whistler’s Mother”
Directed by Greg Beeman
Written by Corinne Brinkerhoff & Aaron Fullerton

* For a review of Episode 12, “Madame X” – click here
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The finale is here – “Whistler’s Mother” you may remember is the informal name given to Arrangements in Grey and Black, which is the first episode of this mini-series. Why that painting, you wonder? This last episode in particular and yet so much of these episode has consisted of a focus on who?
Mama Hawthorne.
Everybody’s out voting for Mayor of Boston. Madeline (Virginia Madsen) is worrying about the “crazed dollmaker” after her family. So she has private security watching the house, and her paranoia is high. Tess (Megan Ketch) and Cam (Justin Chatwin), along with Jack (Gabriel Bateman), are down at the Alison Hawthorne (Juliet Rylance) campaign HQ. Even Garrett (Antony Starr) turns up to support his sister.
But nobody’s seen Alison. Where could she be?
Over at the station, Detectives Linda Cutter (Deirdre Lovejoy) and Brady Ross (Elliot Knight) lay the whole case with the new evidence out for everybody. Then Brady gets a call from his wife, worrying about her sister. Now, they’re worried the accomplice is very, very close to the campaign.
We all know from last episode it’s Naomi.
Or is it? That secret she had was all about union workers, supposedly. A background check proves Naomi has always been Naomi. A dead end. Ahhh, tricky. Only problem is the cops are still at square one. And who could be the accomplice?
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Sophie (Stephanie Leonidas) ends up at the Hawthorne door. She wants a few pictures before heading off for good. At the campaign HQ, Jack is starting to feel the effects of not having his mother around; he reads too much. Simultaneously, Christina (Catalina Sandino Moreno) has turned up to reconcile with Garrett. She’s planning to move to San Francisco and hopes he’ll go. Although he doesn’t want to leave his family, not after everything.
The detectives go to the grave of SBK’s wife, to see if maybe someone comes to visit. He has an epiphany about the cherry blossoms on Sophie’s neck. Just like the ones at the graveyard. And all alone in the mansion with Madeline, we find Stephanie revealing herself a bit more. Most of all after she plants a needle in her former mother-in-law’s neck. Jesus. I honestly never saw any of this coming.
Where do we go from here? Well, Madeline gets tied up for the time being. Sophie talks more about her life, her mother, her father and his ‘art’ of sorts. Seems SBK got his kill list, for him and his daughter, from the donors at the hospital. She tells us that the bells were there to symbolise the one thing that could save their victim stays “just out of reach.” When Cam turns up things get tricky. She reveals their love stayed her want for revenge, but of course things went sour.
Everyone’s closing in now. Will they make it to the mansion in time? Or will Sophie enact the last breaths of her plan for revenge? Looks like she managed to at least strangle Madeline.
Cam manages to get a gun and point it at Sophie. But Garrett doesn’t want him to kill anyone, not like he did, and to have to live with those memories the rest of his life. He prevents Cam from making a terrible decision. Yet Sophie makes off into the night once more.
In other news, Alison wins her bid for Mayor of Boston. What good is that when your family’s being hunted? Small victories, I suppose.
The Hawthorne family is devastated. For all her faults, it’s still not nice to have your mother murdered. And to have been infiltrated so deeply by SBK’s daughter, his accomplice. Just, staggering. Brady kicks himself for not seeing it sooner, though Cutter tries to assure him he couldn’t have known, and at least now they DO know. They came around to becoming better friends and partners throughout the entire ordeal.

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Skip to a year later. Everyone is doing well, Tess and Brady have their child, Cam and his lady friend are getting closer finally. The family is okay after all. Somehow. There’s still creepy Jack. Who knows how they’ll eventually end up. Naomi and Alison are together, happy. Then Garrett and Christina show up with their own little family.
With his little bear still holding his mom’s recorded voice, Jack stands alone listening to it, wondering when she’ll come back to take him. Because a normal life is not what he wants. He’s got that nasty gene somewhere deep down.
We discover more of the secrets hiding amongst the Hawthornes. Alison knew a long while ago that Sophie was the accomplice. She revealed it to her former sister-in-law. Hmm. She even kept one of those bells instead of tossing them all. Thing is, Alison made a deal: don’t kill anybody else, just mom. Holy. Shit. Kills her mother, essentially, and creepily she’s JUST LIKE HER MOTHER. What a twisting, turning, strange little end.
With these last words, Alison ends her interview and the mini-series: “You can be a victim of your circumstances, or you can summon the strength to push through; no matter what. Today our family is thriving. I think my mother would be proud.”

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The end personally surprised me, from the opening of this episode to the finish. Far as I know this is only meant to be a mini-series. I dig it that way. Leaves you not with questions, but with a deeper idea of the corrupted roots of the Hawthorne family. What was done cannot be undone. It begets more of its own violence, the secrets of their family. Lots of fun, weird stuff that happened, too. Throughout the whole series. I had a blast, honestly. Didn’t expect to get so into it. Yet here I am. Hope some of you reading have enjoyed as much as I have. A stellar finish, way better than anticipated!

American Gothic – Episode 10: “The Veteran in a New Field”

CBS’ American Gothic
Episode 10: “The Veteran in a New Field”
Directed by David Barrett
Written by Aaron Fullerton

* For a review of Episode 9, “The Oxbow” – click here
* For a review of Episode 11, “Freedom from Fear” – click here
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Boston is now terrorised by The Silver Bells Killer, all over again.
Detectives Brady Ross (Elliot Knight) and Linda Cutter (Deirdre Lovejoy) are still working the case, as Madeline Hawthorne (Virginia Madsen) does her best to get her son Garrett (Antony Starr) out of legal trouble.
There’s a silver bell found at Jennifer Windham’s murder scene. One with the same indentation as the ones left in the original crimes. So, it couldn’t be a copycat. It has to be the accomplice himself.
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Alison (Juliet Rylance) and Madeline both have to cooperate with the detectives. However, we know for sure that Mama Hawthorne has big secrets to hide. Mostly Alison has a couple skeletons – sexual in nature – but her mother has festering, rotten things hiding in her past. We’re soon going to see them start spilling out. I can feel it.
Well, Garrett meets with his younger sister Tess (Megan Ketch). She wants to know why he wouldn’t answer her question last episode, about whether he actually killed anybody. Her trust and belief in him is broken. “Cryptic comments” and “evasiveness” have her less than impressed. Then he tells his sister about Al Jenkins, that old chestnut. A mercy killing, essentially. But Tess understands. She isn’t disgusted or scared of her brother. Now, they have a closer connection, as he’s never told anyone else about Al’s death. He further reveals Christina (Catalina Sandino Moreno) is pregnant, even if their relationship isn’t exactly stellar. Can the will to love a child overcome the genetics of the Hawthorne family? It’s like a gamble having a baby in that clan.
Meanwhile there’s Cam (Justin Chatwin), whose time in rehab is coming to a close. He’s done well, obviously. He wants to get to know April (Bethany Joy Lenz) more, although she sticks pretty closely to the whole concept of rehabilitation and not pursuing romantic relationships so soon out. We’ll see how well that sticks.
Cutter has Alison in for a chat, a.k.a interrogation. When Brady finds his partner giving his sister-in-law the third degree, he isn’t happy. Not that anybody needs to protect Alison; she’s a bad ass. Either way, she and Brady get to sit down for a conversation instead, which leads to her admitting she may know who murdered Jennifer – Mayor Conley (Enrico Colantoni). Reason being is that Alison asked Jennifer to dig into him, his past, et cetera. Then she ends up dead. Alison gives Brady the pictures of Cutter with the mayor, and now he’s becoming a lot more interested in this seemingly wild conspiracy theory. It’s a tall accusation. If it’s true there is no telling who’s to trust. Both Brady and Alison understand this already.
At home, Madeline finds a window open and several belts all laid out on a chair. Eerie. She thinks perhaps Jack (Gabriel Bateman) did it, and y’know, it isn’t exactly out of the realm of possibility. Yet she doesn’t think much more of it after the kid denies. Even eerier.
Then there’s Jack’s mother Sophie (Stephanie Leonidas). She encourages the weird behaviour of their child by doing a project with him that consists of plenty blood (fake stuff). She needs help, but doesn’t have the self-awareness of Cam. I’m not looking forward to how things play out with this little family simply because of the drugs involved; you know there’s bad business on its way.
Sneaky Madeline finds out that the accomplice was likely at Mitch’s funeral, from a new detective on the case. Then, she calls him (we assume it’s a man). Tess hears part of their conversation, not all. Enough to be suspicious.
So, who could it be? Someone we’ve already seen? Or someone brand new to the audience? All we know is, even more so now, that Madeline knows plenty more than she has ever let on. To anybody. And maybe Garrett holds some keys to that knowledge. For the time being, Tess is smart enough to do some Caller ID magic and get the last dialled number: somebody named Caleb O’Connor.

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Busy Garrett has things to do. His younger brother doesn’t want him to leave again. He worries for Jack and wants Garrett, admired by the boy, to stick around. “Its your call,” Cam tells Garrett. Before his brother heads out again, who knows where.
When the unlikely pair of Alison and Brady suss out a safe in a picture behind the wall at Jennifer’s place, they stumble upon a flash drive full of information on Conley.
Speaking of the Mayor of Boston, he and Cutter are being confronted by Brady and Alison. There’s recorded audio of Cutter and Conley talking about evidence being destroyed. But what evidence? When Morales was murdered, all those years ago, Conley was at his house. A cuff-link was lost, so Cutter was brought in, a young naive cop: $25K to lose some evidence. The Mayor has an alibi, unfortunately. There goes that theory.
At the Hawthorne mansion Madeline finds her purse filled with bells. In the background, a bell sounds. She’s distracted for the rest of the evening. Until Tess asks about Caleb – that’s the affair Madeline had back then. Yowzahs.
Anyway, you know that Jack’s presentation at History Night has got to be something special. He narrates while his mother helps with sound effects in the background. He tells of the big molasses spill. And suddenly, his weirdness is enjoyable, not creepy. Everybody laughs, his mother smiles. Jack is a happy, odd little boy.
Brady’s being put on leave for a conflict of interest, which surprisingly didn’t happen sooner. Strangely enough, he thinks that Garrett might actually have had something to do with the murders after all. Really? There’s so much mystery, it’s hard to tell.
An awkward moment comes when Jack and his father are out for a day together. Jack gets some gummies. When he pays $20 for it, Cam wonders why it costs so much. Mom’s been sending her boy to get candies with drugs strapped on the inside. Certainly not a happy situation. “He never knew,” she says hoping to excuse her behaviour. That’s the last straw. If not, Cam would be insane. He’ll get full custody of their boy and it’s no longer just a possibility. She doesn’t deserve to have that child. I’m just afraid she may do something awful.
Out in a public park, Tess and Alison meet with Caleb. He looks like any other regular dude. Nothing strange, immediately. What they get out of the meeting is that Mitch wasn’t dragging Caleb the night of their fight; so who did Papa Hawthorne pull down the stairs back in the day? What did Cam truly see?
All sorts of old secrets are bubbling under the surface. Madeline is constantly holding them back. When her children confront her, she’s backed into a corner.

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The homage to Winslow Homer’s painting, from which the title of the episode comes, happens as Garrett digs a hole out in a field. What exactly is he doing out there? He’s got the machinery to harvest corn and everything.
He hasn’t been digging a hole so much as he’s dug up a grave. Down there sits a skeleton. He starts to take it out, preparing to mulch it into dust. Oh, Garrett: what have you done? Things get much more intense when Brady shows up, having followed his brother-in-law to the field. Uh oh.
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What a great chapter! Really dig this one. Things get more twisty, then they take you back for a loop and make you see certain events and plots in a different lot. Fun writing. Next episode is “Freedom from Fear” and is based on a painting by Norman Rockwell from 1943 (the last of a series called Four Freedoms).

American Gothic – Episode 9: “The Oxbow”

CBS’ American Gothic
Episode 9: “The Oxbow”
Directed by Doug Aarniokoski
Written by Lawrence Broch

* For a review of Episode 8, “Kindred Spirits” – click here
* For a review of Episode 9, “The Veteran in a New Field” – click here
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The title for this episode comes from Thomas Cole’s View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm. Otherwise known as The Oxbow.
I wonder where the series will give homage to the 1836 oil painting?
Brad Ross (Elliot Knight) is having a rough go of things. But at least now he’s got Garrett Hawthorne (Antony Starr) in custody. He’s got the missing piece and Garrett’s knife matched. Flash to 2002, as Madeline (Virginia Madsen) finds her son, covered in blood, holding a knife. “What did you do?” she asks.
Well, we’re not given a straight answer. He looks incredibly guilty. But what more is there. Much more, I bet. Madeline visits him in jail and tries to start spinning things in her favour, to help her son. Or is it mostly to help herself? For now, Garrett has an attorney working for him, although he’s not particularly worried about what she’s doing. Instead he rattles off quotes from Horace Mann: “If evil is inevitable, how are the wicked held accountable? Why do we call men wicked at all? Evil if inevitable, but it is also remediable.”
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Back to 2003. A younger Garrett wakes up before his family arrives at the cabin, he takes off into the woods on his own again. While breaking into a cabin, he comes across Al Jenkins (M.C. Gainey) who isn’t exactly convinced with his story of just being out on his own, away from Boston. You can tell there’s more to that relationship.
In the current day, Garrett gets a call from Cam (Justin Chatwin) in rehab. Both brothers in their own respective cages. The older of the two apologises for getting his younger brother close to drugs the last time. Cam doesn’t think he needs to, but Garrett feels guilty generally for never being around. He confides in Cam: “You stayed true to yourselfIm so proud of you.” Cut back to the younger Garrett, out in those woods. He chases a rabbit with a knife until coming across Al once again. They have a bit of dinner together around the fire. They bond. This leads to Garrett getting his own cabin after Al leads him to the place of a now dead old man. And the life of the wandering Hawthorne begins. Al teaches him a thing or two about surviving on his own.
In present day Alison (Juliet Rylance) doesn’t believe her brother was an accomplice of any kind to the Silver Bells Killer, their dear ole dad. Who knows what’s left to be done for the elder Garrett brother at this point, though. In other news, Alison has Jennifer Windham (Sarah Power) started on a bit of dirty work trying to dig up dirt on the current mayor. Ah, the greasy Hawthorne ethic comes out strong in this one.


Slide back to 2008. Al tells Garrett about losing a niece, as they bond over family members to which they were close; Garrett talks about his sister Tess (Megan Ketch) and how they were the closest of all the family. Speaking of Tess, she is certainly not convinced about her brother, either. She keeps telling her husband there must be some other explanation. However, Brady does not get her “loyalty” to a guy like Garrett. He suggests confronting her brother, seeing if he’ll confess or deny it to her face.
It’s on!
The painting from which the episode gets its name is all about the confrontation between wilderness and civilisation. We see that represented totally through Garrett. As the years pass, he stays in the woods, away from civilisation. Away from his family. He peeks in occasionally. He buys a newspaper to read Cam’s cartoon Roger’s Cube. There’s part of him that doesn’t want to let go. He gets his number to Tess without being seen, so they can get in touch: “If you need it,” Garrett lets her know. Their bond is so obviously a deep one, a caring one. Great scenes between those two.
When Tess goes to see him in jail things have changed. At least a little. Garrett’s mostly only concerned with his possible niece or nephew coming along. He doesn’t want anybody worrying about him. Tess asks him point blank about the knife. Her brother won’t answer what she needs to hear, casually suggesting his guilt. The change in their relationship is becoming more of a divide. Everyone’s opinion of Garrett has gone 180 degrees.
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Jennifer’s been tracking the mayor. He meets with Detective Linda Cutter (Deirdre Lovejoy) in secret. What exactly are they doing?
We see more of creepy little Jack (Gabriel Bateman) visiting his uncle, being weird. Talking about the bubonic plague and other happy things. He mentions seeing Christina (Catalina Sandino Moreno) at the hospital near the ultrasound department; Garrett tries calling her, but no luck in talking much. Then he calls his lawyer, desperate to get out of jail: he’s going to be a dad.
There are big things happening in the Silver Bells case. Mainly the police department is getting their ass kicked by Garrett’s lawyer. She starts bringing up chain of custody, mishandling evidence. Might not be long before Garrett does see the light of day.
Switch back to ’08. Garrett finds Al in pain on the floor, his heart aching. He’s writhing in agony. “This is it,” he says. Death is coming for him. So Al begs his friend: “Help me die.” Of course Garrett refuses. The begging becomes desperate until finally he agrees to help Al along the way. He holds a pillow over the man’s face and eases him into the afterlife.
Seeing this, can we actually now say that Garrett was an accomplice to murder? Definitely not in the first hand sense. He could barely help a dying man go ahead and die. There’s reason to suspect he may not be a killer whatsoever.
Then 2016 rolls around, and Garrett heads back to the city when his father’s ready to die. Present day, he sits behind the walls of prison. On the television he watches Jennifer Windham reporting on the Silver Bells Killer. Someone holds her hostage, making her read a note claiming himself as the true accomplice.

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In 2002, after Madeline walked in on Garrett with the blood stains over him, the knife in his hand, she asks what he’s done. The young Garrett replies: “He tried to kill me.”
Everything gets deeper and deeper, with every turn.
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A solid entry into the first season. Great episode! Suspenseful, mysterious.
Next is “The Veteran in a New Field” and is titled so after an 1865 painting by Winslow Homer depicting a man using a scythe in an open, empty field. You can find that painting here.

American Gothic – Episode 8: “Kindred Spirits”

CBS’ American Gothic
Episode 8: “Kindred Spirits”
Directed by Lexi Alexander
Written by Deidre Shaw

* For a review of Episode 7, “The Gross Clinic” – click here
* For a review of Episode 9,”The Oxbow” – click here
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Who are the titular “Kindred Spirits” and where will we find the influence of Asher Brown Durand’s 1849 painting in this episode? You can find the painting here, so look out for where the painting might be recreated or referenced.
So is Madeline Hawthorne (Virginia Madsen) accomplice to her husband’s crimes?
Garrett (Antony starr) is trying to get a lump sum of money out of his mother. Says it’s “in the familys best interest” to be paid. At the Boston Eastside Clinic, he gives them a bunch of it. He gives it all away. Perhaps a way for him to assuage his guilt.
Cam (Justin Chatwin) is headed into rehab. All over the news, too. In fact, the Hawthornes are being targeted quite fierce in the media by a young reporter named Jennifer Windham (Sarah Power). Certainly doesn’t help things. And Cam, he’s trying his best to kick that habit; he winds up meeting a fan of his comic Roger’s Cube, a nurse  named April (Bethany Joy Lenz).
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Detectives Linda Cutter (Deirdre Lovejoy) and Brady Ross (Elliot Knight) continue trying to figure out who was the second hand in the Silver Bells murders. A hit and run accident may hold the key.
Aunt Tessa (Megan Ketch) is looking after crazy little Jack (Gabriel Bateman), as well as meeting with her doctor. I feel awful for her in a lot of ways. She’s been swept up in a whirlwind of different emotions, which are all crashing up against one another. Tess is at least trying to do something for the kid. She takes him to a camp for… strange kids. I don’t know. Regardless, Jack doesn’t seem totally adverse to the idea.
Ms. Windham gets a visit from mother-daughter team, Alison (Juliet Rylance) and Madeline. They might’ve pushed too hard in the wrong direction. Not only that, she has lots of information on the Hawthorne family. Even knowing that Jack’s out at the creepy kid camp meeting an equally creepy young lady named Sadie (Aviv Cohen); she might harbour some of the tendencies.
Well, Garrett and the rest of the clan are now determined to dig up the “source” of all their troubles.
Sophie (Stephanie Leonidas) goes to visit Cam. She seems on the outside of her little family, as her husband is in there cleaning up, trying hard, just like her son, too. Maybe there’s hope after all. If only she weren’t totally full of shit most of the time.
Out on their search, Dts. Cutter and Ross come across a house in the woods. There, they meet an old woman named Ramona Canby (Clare Coulter). They’re looking for her husband, James. Except he’s dead now nearly three decades. And the car the detectives were tracking got stolen twenty years back.
Problem for Tess now is that she’s scared of passing on the horrific Hawthorne gene to her child. Infecting it with the want for violence and murder, like her father. Most likely the same with young Jack. Speaking of the boy, he and Sadie are getting closer; he mentions Garrett having a cabin near the camp. Also that he was suspected of being a serial killer, which interests twisted Miss Sady.
Alison and Garrett sit on Jennifer’s place, waiting to follow her, figure out to whom she’s been talking. The brother and sister reconnect slightly, but then they find out it’s Tom (Dylan Bruce), her husband. He is the source. Yikes. Their marriage is rough.
When Brady suggests there’s something bigger at play, Cutter shuts him down. However, you can see that he’s not willing to let that go totally. Better than that his keen eye discovers that old widow Canby lied. She had a program from Mitchell’s funeral in her home.

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The 1849 Durand painting is given literal homage when the two kindred spirits in Jack and Sadie emulate the men in the picture, standing out in the woods above the forest, as if lords of the world. Dark lords, but still. They soon find Garrett’s cabin out there. Sadie fires a small crossbow nearly taking Jack’s head off. Then their bright idea is to play a bit of William Tell. Only Jack can’t bring himself to do it proving he may not be as sick as we thought. Definitely a tad too curious, though.
Sophie unsuccessfully tries getting April fired. This probably only drives Cam closer to the sweet nurse. She helps the guy, quite a bit. Further aiding him in realising that “Cam is to heroin as Cam is to Sophie” – a hate/love, burning bright and hanging low type of love. Nasty. Yet necessary.
When more personal Hawthorne details, including Tess’ pregnancy, make it out into the news, Garrett locates a bug transmitting from the dining room. That’s why Jennifer bumped into Tom at the house, where he had sex with her, after which she planted the device. Oh, man. Tom is one real dimwitted man. Nevertheless, Tess and Brady are at odds now because of the big pregnancy news, and she isn’t even too happy about bringing a child into a “horrific family legacy.” Their argument leads to him telling her Papa Hawthorne was working with an accomplice.
Meanwhile, the detectives go back to the Canby place at night. Front door wide open. Ramona lying dead on the floor. More victims of The Silver Bells Killer.
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Alison confronts Jennifer with the bug, plus the truth about her and Tom. She’s a pretty intimidating lady when she wants to be, just like mother. She does a good psychological job on the young reporter. This rolls into Jennifer being pressured to do positive spins for the Hawthorne family. Along with a little humiliation. What a scene, wow!
In rehab, Cam tells Sophie they’re finished. “This is not what I want anymore, you are not what I want anymore,” he confesses coldly. That’s what true rehabilitation often means for those with friends or loved ones who are also addicts, or enablers. Sad, yet true. I know all too well.
Things with Tess are smoothing out. She’s feeling more confident about the baby, the family and life with Brady. Calm before the storm, I imagine.
At home, Alison, Madeline, and Garrett toast their latest success. Everybody’s friends, everyone is happy. Only Alison doesn’t know everything about her mother, or her brother. Most interesting is when Jack gets sent home from camp to Tess – he’s found with the knife he lifted from Garrett’s cabin. Just so happens Brady sees the chip in it, the missing piece, literally, to his puzzle. At least partly. The chip is in evidence, photographed clearly. Once Jack tells Brady the knife is from the cabin, things changed. Quickly.
So is Garrett the true accomplice? Or are we being led astray once more?

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Great, great episode. One of my favourites. This was creepy, some new things came to light, and we’re consistently thrown off in regards to Garrett. Next up is “The Oxbow” and it’s named for the 1836 oil canvas by Thomas Cole – the actual name of the painting is View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm, but The Oxbow is the common name.

The Kettering Incident – Episode 7: “Madness”

Foxtel’s The Kettering Incident
Episode 7: “Madness”
Directed by Tony Krawitz
Written by Victoria Madden

* For a review of Episode 6, “Roy” – click here
* For a review of Episode 8, “The Homecoming” – click here
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Kettering, Tasmania has become a disaster area. The recent nasty shellfish has led to the discovery of toxic waste flooding into the water all over.
Simultaneously, Dr. Anna Macy (Elizabeth Debicki) is stuck in questioning with Constable Fergus McFadden (Henry Nixon) and Detective Brian Dutch (Matthew Le Nevez). Although she is not well. She slips into a daydream or a vision of sorts. They’re worried about her fingerprint up at Mother Sullivan’s Ridge, at the crime scene. Outside, Roy Macy (Anthony Phelan) tries to find out more information on what’s going on, as well as shows concern for his daughter for once. At the same time, Fergus is starting to see how Anna’s changed over the years: “She isnt the Anna I used to know,” he tells Dutch.
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Anna’s all mixed up. Her mother is dead, she’s been hauled into questioning, everyone is suspicious of her for what happened to Gillian and now Chloe. There is too much going on in her head. But she forges on. She also doesn’t know about Dr. McKenzie flying off the road, either.
Out at the quarantine area they’re taking peoples blood, checking the water, starting to shut down the supply for the town. This means they’ve got to get up past the ridge. Ahhh.
At the mill, Max Holloway (Damien Garvey) is giving his employees the harsh news over the place being sold. Everyone’s out of a job. Then when his son Adam (Brad Kannegiesser) arrives, they have a bit of a scuff. I’m worried about the young man. He is having serious troubles after his time in the woods.
Dutch and Fergus keep on piecing together the murder of Chloe, the events surrounding it. They whittle down a number of people that don’t have an alibi for the night of Chloe’s death. They come down to a fingerprint of a man that supposedly died in ’98; a fingerprint on Chloe. That can’t be any good, can it?
There’s something quite wrong with Adam. He goes home and starts weirding out his mother Barb (Sacha Horler). He doesn’t speak, he only lurches toward her silently. That’s fucking unsettling, even if it isn’t sinister. He’s full of strange marks, moss growing from cuts in his skin.
Fergus keeps trying to nail Dutch, although Dane Sullivan (Dylan Young) isn’t keen on giving information. He’s getting cold feet. And that’s going to throw a wrench into the whole mix.
Anna searches for Dr. McKenzie at her office and lab. All she finds are pictures, a few reports. Then a tape concerning her mother Wendy made by the doctor – the doctor speaks about a “pathogen of unknown origin” among other things. When Anna puts her own blood under the microscope, it looks odd and gives her more to go on.
Craig Grayson (Ben Oxenbould) gets a visit from the State Health Authority working on the quarantine. They’ve requested to go up on Mother Sullivan’s Ridge. Now what’ll happen?

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And what about Jens Jorgenssen (Damon Gameau) up in his high perch? He sees many things. Many people. I’d like to know what purpose he plays. It doesn’t frustrate me, the mystery. It intrigues me to no end. He knows there’s something different, or special about the forest out there. I’m eager to find out his secrets.
A confrontation between Fergus and Dutch occurs out in the woods after the former brings his accusations forward. Dutch plays it cool, but there’s no denying he has it in for the detective. So he should. The guy is out of control and a criminal. Worse than that they find themselves stranded on the road once their vehicle refuses to start. Overhead, a strange noise emanates from the sky and starts shaking everything underneath. Afterwards the engine starts fine. Strange, no? Oh, the things that go on in Kettering.
Jens chops a triangle into a tree. We’ve seen this before. Both in the visions of Anna, as well as the van Jens drives. The symbol is a curious one.
For whom or what is that symbol?
Renae Baxter (Suzi Dougherty) has the police come question her about the whereabouts of Travis (Kevin MacIsaac), still missing after being tied naked to a tree and left by himself. Dutch pockets a wallet from the shed before Fergus can have a look. Sneaky, sneaky.
That triangle turns up once more amongst the medical equipment and vials of blood at the quarantine. Curiouser and curiouser, Alice. That’s because Sandra (Katie Robertson) brings it all up to a clandestine meeting with Jens. Y’know, for his little experiments. Oh, my. The triangle is most likely a communication device for the drop offs. Been going on a long time, if so.
At the bar, Dutch questions a few of the old mill workers about Travis. They, of course, do not give up much. Only cocky statements about what they actually did.


The electrical anomalies are raging in Kettering. Lights are flickering everywhere. Some shut down. A tawny frogmouth perches looking into the darkness.
Dutch has weird dreams of night vision goggles before being woken up by Anna. Their relationship, tenuous as it may be, isn’t something I understand quite yet. Dutch maybe tries keeping her close to see what her deal is, but I still can’t tell for sure. She tells Dutch about being sick, possibly even “dying.” Again, they embrace. Dancing together, Roy and Renae listen to “Crimson and Clover” while Dutch and Anna get more physical.
Meanwhile, Barb takes a handful of pills in her daughter’s old bedroom before going to sleep. This is devastating. I hope she’s not doing herself in, even if that’s what it looks like. Max finds her and makes her throw the pills up, saving her. She blames herself for Chloe dying. It’s clear both Barb and Max need each other to keep surviving, despite all their own personal demons.
After sex, Dutch asks Anna about the night vision goggles. He can’t rid himself of those images. When Dutch gives up the info about a fingerprint from a scientist, the one who died in ’98, this seems to catch Anna’s attention intently.
Something we’ve seen before – Fergus out in kayak. This time, he sits above an aeroplane sunk to the ocean floor. A bit of an unnerving moment. I’m still waiting to figure out the connection, those broadcasts on the radio, and so on.
Anna tracks down Dominic Harrold (Neil Pigot) to find out about the scientist, David Owen. There’s “no chance” he is alive. What I enjoy most is that the infamously unsolved Dyatlov Pass Incident is brought into the plot (see here if you’ve not heard of it before). Dominic says that what happened to those people is the same fate which Owen met.
Grayson and Max are out near Mother Sullivan’s Ridge trying to determine how to deal with the State Health Authority. They find bubbling, nasty stuff seeping out of the ground. Craig thinks they should bury it further. However, I don’t think they appreciate the magnitude of whatever it is they’ve done all those years ago. When they stumble on the moss covered body of Travis, all bets are off.


Even though Dutch is a piece of shit, I still worry about him sometimes. Like when he decides going up on the ridge by himself is a good idea.
Out amongst the trees, Roy finds Jens. They struck a deal when toxic waste was piled into the ground out there. But I guess Jens wasn’t totally forthcoming about the effects. Still, the old man worries for his daughter, he doesn’t want her involved any further. He thinks about exposing Jens, what’s he doing up there making people ill and so forth. That would mean putting himself in the line of fire, as well.
Dutch discovers Max and Craig trying to deal with Travis’ body. They’ve uprooted him and haul his corpse off in a tarp, hoping to get it buried.
The new theory of Anna is that Jens is actually David Owen. She brings this to Fergus. Is it too crazy to be taken seriously? Anything’s possible after seeing this episode’s events. Well, Fergus comes back with Roy, who says he has something to show her.
In the farmhouse at Mother Sullivan’s Ridge, Dane and Liza (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) start hearing strange noises. They end up finding a room below the floor. Slipping down, Liza hears an echo of her voice come back when she calls out. An image in the dark looks similar to one of the visions from Anna’s daydream earlier.
Roy was, at one point, trying to help his daughter. At this point, he’s committing her to the psychiatric hospital where her mother was confined. Seems Dr. McKenzie is there, too. She’s a part of it.

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Whaaat? Poor Anna. Although I saw that coming a mile away. Dirty bastard, that Roy.
This was a weird and wild, awesome episode. I’m very curious what the final episode of this fantastic mini-series holds for us.
What surprises will see in “The Homecoming” I wonder?

American Gothic – Episode 7: “The Gross Clinic”

CBS’ American Gothic
Episode 7: “The Gross Clinic”
Directed by Steph Green
Written by Aaron Fullerton

* For a review of Episode 6, “The Chess Players” – click here
* For a review of Episode 8, “Kindred Spirits” – click here
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To start, this episode is named after the painting by Thomas Eakins from 1875.
Last we saw Garrett (Antony Starr), he was not doing so well. Christina Morales (Catalina Sandino Moreno) is telling her side of the story, given the news that Garrett’s father was a match for The Silver Bells Killer. Supposedly.
The Hawthorne matriarch, Madeline (Virginia Madsen), is dealing with the fallout of the revelation that her husband was Silver Bells. Did she know? Well, for now we’re not sure. But then Garrett reveals that 14 years ago he found rope, bells, in his father’s things. He didn’t know what to believe. The day after, Christina’s father was killed. This made for a confrontation between father and son. He promised to come back if ever there were another Silver Bells murder. While Tess (Megan Ketch) isn’t impressed he didn’t tell them their father was a murderer, Alison (Juliet Rylance) isn’t so much shocked as she is at least relieved to know her brother isn’t the killer. Doesn’t make it any better.
Oh, and Garrett tells Cam (Justin Chatwin) he needs a little favour. Hmm.
Brady (Elliot Knight) apologises to his wife for jumping the gun on Garrett. He tries his best to assure her, about their marriage and so on. At the same time, she’s struggling to cope with the fact her father was a serial killer. Hard to reconcile. Although she tries. By smashing an ornament he once gave her; it’s a start.
Something sparks in Brady, though. He feels something isn’t quite right. Not yet.
This is confirmed more once we know there’s more to Garrett and his revelation. “Its best to let your father take the fall for everything,” his mother comforts him. I always knew there was more to Madeline and her part in this than any of what we know already.
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Tess: “Was my dad real? Was Mitchell Hawthorne just a character that he played to seem normal so people wouldnt suspect he was a killer? Or was he just a normal guy with this desire?”


The comment about hot air ballooning from Tess, about her father taking her out for her birthday, leads Brady to believe maybe Mitchell could not have killed his victim and made it back in time to the Hawthorne mansion. It all doesn’t make sense. And Detective Linda Cutter (Deirdre Lovejoy) is on to his doubts, she knows there needs to be a “Scully” to his “Mulder” so he stays on the rails.
A growing rift is cracking open between Tom (Dylan Bruce) and Alison. He wonders if there’s any reason to hold onto their marriage if she and Naomi (Maureen Sebastian) are actually in love. Tom doesn’t like their former arrangement. Not that there’s major feelings involved at this point. Either she ends it, or he isn’t going to be able to stick around much longer.
Cam goes to see Christina, to let her know Garrett wants to explain what happened. That’s not so easy. She doesn’t want anything to do with their tainted family. Can’t say I blame her, either. Plus, Cam is still wrestling with his addiction, and being out in the streets away from his closed in family protection only tempts. Most troubling is Tess, who’s still dealing with mental issues. She looks on the verge of a panic attack. With everything happening, it’ll only get worse.
Falling off the wagon, Cam is found out by Tess right as he’s ready to get high. This prompts another round of rehab. Their boy Jack (Gabriel Bateman) was stranded at school while they were blasting to the moon. So this time Cam knows he fucked up. He even wants Tess to look after his boy instead of Sophie (Stephanie Leonidas). She is one absolute mess of a person.
Over at the first SBK murder house, Brady and Cutter are starting to work on their recreation of the scene, to see if there’s any reason they ought to be suspicious of Mitchell being named the killer. Meanwhile, Garrett tries explaining to Tess why he did what he did; only we know he’s lying. Every bit if made up. So what’s the real truth? Who killed those people? Was it Garrett, or was it dear ole mom? Let’s wait to see more of the mystery trickle down. Me, I’m starting to really, really worry about young Jack. He’s a twisted little bastard. Doesn’t help that he has a sick uncle.
Note: our interpretation of Eakins’ The Gross Clinic comes when Garrett takes Jack to see a corpse in the hospital; the picture is recreated with a doctor giving a lecture, as medical students look through the inside of a body.

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See the real painting here

Brady and Cutter figure out the timeline is close, but possible. Just too close. The new owner of the house gives them a bit of information about a security system installed in the house due to a “Feng Shui bandit” back during that era. What Cutter believes is that it could’ve been SBK’s first attempt before going full-on murderer.
When Alison decides to concede defeat in her campaign, mom slaps her face. However, I believe Madeline is more concerned with her image, the family, not Alison in particular. She wants her dead husband to take the fall, once and for all, and to put the SBK saga behind them. “You will not squander this, for either of us,” she tells her daughter sternly. So rather than give up, Alison fights her family’s newly uncovered history.
In the hospital, Garrett gets a visit from Christina. We can’t be so sure exactly why he’s been stalking her. Is it guilt? Seems to me like maybe part of it has to do with guilt, in some way, shape, or form. She wants to know more, but there’s no guaranteeing that even if he decides to say anything further that it will be the truth. Luckily, Christina gauges his pulse from the monitors, as he reels off lies. “Last chance,” she tells him. To this, no response. He isn’t ready to tell any truths.
And scary little Jack, he’s luring his cousins out onto a pool that’s covered. This is just great. Another sicko in the family. The way he watches one of the cousins flail in the pool is downright evil. He’s got that nasty family gene. When Tess asks why Jack didn’t call for help, he simply replies: “It was science. I wanted to see how oxygen deprivation affected her brain.” Holy flip. That’s seriously muffed up. This all makes Tess try to get her brother to consider getting Jack serious help. Like any sane, caring sister would do.
Later, Tess gets a little good news: she’s pregnant. No guarantee the child won’t come out a budding serial killer, by the looks of the current progeny. Rolling the dice on that one, and it’s exactly what she’s thinking, too.


Mommy and Garrett have another bedside chat. “Im done, mom,” he explains. “Cant keep starinpeople I love in the eye and lying to them.” Except Madeline doesn’t agree. There’s something breaking through in Garrett. He’s curious if maybe his father started wanting to get the truth out, and she killed him off. We know what she did. Now, her son knows, as well. And there’s no coming back from it. The secrets come out, then they’re never able to be crammed back in.
What will Madeline do to further ensure her own secrets are kept locked up tight?
When Brady and Cutter track down surveillance footage of a break-in across the street from SBK’s first murder scene, they discover there were two people in the car that night. Somebody else was driving for Mitchell.
…and then there were two.
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So excited to see the next episode. This was one of my personal favourites because of the switch up on how I thought things were going. Still some unexpected surprises. Next episode is titled “Kindred Spirits” after a painting by Asher Brown Duran from 1849, which depicts a painter and a poet together in the Catskill Mountains.

The Kettering Incident – Episode 6: “Roy”

Foxtel’s The Kettering Incident
Episode 6: “Roy”
Directed by Rowan Woods
Written by Victoria Madden

* For a review of Episode 5, “The Forest” – click here
* For a review of Episode 7, “Madness” – click here
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Dr. Anna Macy (Elizabeth Debicki) only continues having more visions of her childhood friend Gillian, that red jacket running through the woods. We see the yellow triangle carved into a tree. Gillian appears in a chair with the military night-vision goggles on.
But it’s only visions. Anna’s not really seeing it, her mind is simply fractured a bit. Has been a long time. Out at Mother Sullivan’s Ridge, she searches for more answers. Although she doesn’t notice there are terrible things lurking up there to this day.
In a nearby crater, she finds a red truck sitting abandoned in the wilderness. Inside it’s torn up a good deal.
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Constable Fergus McFadden (Henry Dixon) is bringing the charges against Detective Brian Dutch (Matthew Le Nevez) to his superiors. However, not everyone is exactly pleased. Even if the evidence against Dutch is pretty suggestive, suspicious. Speaking of suspicious, Max Holloway (Damien Garvey) is trying to juggle both his secrets and his business. The mill’s in danger of being sold to who knows what sort of outside business. In the meantime, that moss is growing all over Kettering, and not everybody’s paying attention.
Still out searching Anna makes her way to a barn where a red ribbon is tied on a door latch. There, she finds a long, thick streak of blood: “Chloe,” she whispers to herself.
Dutch is stuck on Mother Sullivan’s place, as Fergus wonders where Travis Kingston (Kevin MacIsaac) has been; nobody’s heard from him in a couple days. All the same, they both keep on discussing Chloe. And we’re left to wonder if Dutch knows yet what Fergus has been discussing with the bosses. I’m betting he does.
Out in the crater, Fergus meets Anna. She also shows him the barn, the blood. This certainly doesn’t bode well having her be the one to have found all this, but she forges on trying to help discover the mystery of Chloe and her death. Moreover, she tells Fergus about what Roy did those years ago, blaming Lofty (Nathan Spencer) and covering it all up. Only the poor constable has seen enough deviousness in his department, it’s likely almost too much for him to handle.
Suddenly, Anna sees someone in the woods. Then her mother Wendy (Sarah Wood) appears in the window. When Anna finds her she’s covered in blood, talking again: “And someone called me by my name. It had become a glimmering girl. With apple blossom in her hair. Who called me by my name and ran and faded through the brightening air.” Whoa. She talks and now she’s reciting Yeats’ “The Song of Wandering Aengus” to her daughter.
All this now makes Dutch suspicious, as well as leaves Fergus in the dark, too. While he does care about Anna, at least supporting her when nobody else wants to, he’s still a lawman. Through and through. He wants to know for sure what’s happening. Afterwards, Dutch does his best to search the truck and find the stash of drugs left behind. He does, and only deepens the deceit. To make it look good he also finds an e-mail suggesting Chloe was tipping people off about the logging plans at the mill. Hmm, curious.

 


Barb Holloway (Sacha Horler) argues with her sister Renae Baxter (Suzi Dougherty), distraught over the murder of her daughter. Both have lost plenty. Barb wants to talk with Travis, yet even Renae’s got no clue where he is, though we do. Not sure what sort of state he’s in at the moment. The situation with Barb and Renae is deteriorating, as the latter tries to tell her: “You just have to have faith.” Barb wants none of that bullshit.
Meanwhile, Dane Sullivan (Dylan Young) and Liza Grayson (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) walk together before he heads off to work. She clearly is lost completely without Chloe in her life. She reaches out to him, only wanting a hug: “So that I don’t disappear,” she almost weeps. He’s good enough of a man to give her one, to assure her she’s not going anywhere.
The craziest yet happens when Anna stops the doctors from giving her mother AB blood. Not the right type. But the hospital says she has a different type than she did previously; it’s AB now. Roy arrives to try and get more information out of Anna. We also find out that Roy reads his wife Yeats, so that’s something else.
Things get troublesome when Barb won’t back up Max’s alibi. Dutch and Fergus know he owns Mother Sullivan’s Ridge, they know about the radiation poisoning. Nonetheless, Max won’t give up any kind of information. What exactly is up there giving off radiation? A pile of waste? Or is it something more disturbing?
Everybody’s talking about Fergus and Anna, saying he’s “rooting” a murderer. They all want to judge her, and him, before any real evidence.
Over with Dr. Fiona McKenzie (Kris McQuade), Anna examines her mother’s ‘new’ blood. Fiona worries about something “happening again” that’s become clear with all the cancers, the personality changes, even blood now. But when Anna wants to know more, Dr. McKenzie won’t say much.

 


Furthermore, we discover a young girl is making calls to Renae. Those aren’t real transmissions coming through. Only a little bitch giving Renae false hope.
Again, Anna sees the van with a triangle on it. She sees Jens Jorgensson (Damon Gameau) getting in, a woman with red hair walking away. Before she can reach it, once more, it’s gone. She goes to see Dr. Dominic Harrold (Neil Pigot) giving a speech on magnetic force and other related subjects. All in regards to Kettering, things happening there for so long, and picking up recently: “Science doesnt have all the answers,” he tells them.
While Fergus is talking to Lofty, Dt. Dutch goes out to the man’s boat for an illegal search. It’s messy, filled with a bunch of crap. However, there are also a bunch of pictures of Chloe; alone and with Lofty. In the back of his truck, there’s blood streaks. But he helps with injured animals, nursing them back to health, so on. Fergus tries to make a case for him. You can be sure Dutch isn’t keen on that.
Once Fergus talks to Dane, he starts believing it’s possible the lying detective may have had a hand in Chloe’s death. We still cannot be sure, in the slightest, what happened to her, either way. Especially with Roy always seeming to be rushing around and hushing things up.
Sadly it’s clear Wendy is dying. Both Anna and Roy are by her side, as she drifts off into a permanent sleep. Simultaneously, Dr. McKenzie is out driving, heading for more answers. She ends up seeing lights behind her, chasing. This sends her out off the road in a vicious crash. Another knock in Anna’s hopes.

 


There’s also Barb discovering a bunch of drugs in one of her dead daughter’s stuffed animals. Up in his treetop hideout, Jens shoots something into his veins and spaces out. And Roy, he’s still a mystery, spending time with his birds instead of staying with his daughter.
Then, Fergus takes Anna in to be fingerprinted. She’s finally going into custody, to likely be formally charged with having some part in Chloe’s disappearance and death.
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Very exciting episode. Lots of dark intrigue, as usual. More mystery, and some opening up. Next episode is “Madness” and I hope to see, leading into the finale of this fine mini-series, a few creepy bits start to blossom.

The Kettering Incident – Episode 4: “The Mill”

Foxtel’s The Kettering Incident
Episode 4: “The Mill”
Directed by Tony Krawitz
Written by Louise Fox

* For a review of Episode 3, “The Search” – click here
* For a review of Episode 5, “The Forest” – click here.
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With the body of Chloe Holloway found right underneath her father Max’s (Damien Garvey) nose at the mill, things are looking bleak for Kettering. Most certainly for Dr. Anna Macy (Elizabeth Debicki). Constable Fergus McFadden (Henry Nixon) and Detective Brian Dutch (Matthew Le Nevez) are on the scene. They go to let Max and Barb (Sacha Horler) know, as well as inform everybody, anybody who was at the big party recently in the woods needs to come in, get themselves cleared, help out.
Now the investigation is on, and I feel we’re about to start seeing more of that ugly underbelly of Kettering, Tasmania. Just you wait.
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You can see that Dt. Dutch is reticent towards Fergus. He doesn’t, obviously, reveal his dealings with Chloe, nor Dane Sullivan (Dylan Young). So we’ll eventually begin to discover more about Dutch. Surely his secrets will also start to unravel. Liza (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) tips the cops off to Chloe and Anna having a physical fight of some sort up in the forest. Here, we further discover Dutch is continually harbouring ill will towards his fellow lawman for his willingness to defend Anna, or at the very least give her the benefit of the doubt. And speaking of Dane, he’s devastated at home when he hears about Chloe on the radio. Terrible to see him impacted so deeply. They were clearly close.
Finally, Fergus has to take Anna in. Bit of questioning. He does so reluctantly, though Dutch is much more happy to do so. Back at the station, Anna reveals the drug “packets” that Chloe had on her that night. The discussion is getting a bit too close for the detective’s own comfort, so he veers the conversation elsewhere. Smart man. Bad man, too. At the same time, Roy (Anthony Phelan) shows up. He’s much more concerned about her now than last we saw them together. He doesn’t like that Anna’s being questioned. Begging further questions: who is Roy, really, as in who is he to the town, and what sort of secrets is he hiding? Most interesting is the almost hook up between Dutch and Anna, as he’s more threatened with the knowledge she has, that necklace she found.
A bombshell some may have seen coming – Gillian Baxter is a half-sister to Anna. Well, remember: Roy and Renae Baxter (Suzi Dougherty) had an affair. One thing leads to another, you’ve got two girls very close, close as sisters, but never officially. “Guess it wasnt something he was very proud of,” Anna says of her father’s little secret. But is that the only thing Roy is masking?

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Then there’s Renae, whose life has all but been obliterated by the disappearance of Gillian. She continues on trying her best. You can just see that sadness sitting right below her skin. In other news, everyone in Kettering is out to the bar, drinking. In mourning collectively. Liza and her mother Sharon sit together, even her ex Craig (Ben Oxenbould) shows up for a moment. A really awkward one. At the bar, Renae worries for Barb; now we know this is her sister, that’s their connection. Wow. Two kids that went missing in the same family tree. Sad. Tragic. However, I feel that Renae has a much different perspective, as we’ve already seen her interest in… otherworldly ideas.
Fergus goes over to talk with Dane. He wants to figure out more about Chloe, the drugs, and obviously this is the young man with whom he needs a chat. Eventually, Dane lets a bit slip. Yet the big fish is still swimming around. That’ll be a tougher bit of information to figure out for Constable McFadden.
Chloe has broken bones, a burn, possibly poisoned or completely blitzed on drugs. She died just after the witching hour. Some blunt force. Then Fergus notices the strange marks on her arm. The same type Anna had seen on the little boy at the hospital. Hmm. Curiouser and curiouser, down the rabbit hole.
The Holloway family is a fractured one. “Do you want a hug?” Max asks his son Adam (Brad Kannegiesser) out of the blue, feeling inadequate as a father because of his own boy finding solace in Craig’s arms after the body of Chloe was discovered. There’s a lot more to the family. Hopefully we’ll see more about Max come out in the coming episodes, maybe it’ll unravel some much needed backstory.
When Liza goes to see her father, Craig is surprisingly tender. At first, anyway. She needs a place to stay after Chloe’s death. Unfortunately, she’s on her own. And sadly it’s as if Craig actually cares more about her than Sharon does. Afterwards, Liza tries to go to her mother’s and only gets driven away into the darkening, ready-to-rain sky. So she only has sleeping in a car to which she can look forward. Hers is one of the more sad character arcs in the series, as she literally has no one else except for Chloe, and now she’s gone.


Renae goes to help and be with her sister Barb. They talk of death, grief, the “vampires” who feed off that sort of thing. “Theres nothing, theres just shit,” Barb explains to her sister. Like the fact Chloe is dead, headed for the grave is worse than never knowing where she is really. Not sure if that’s true, but she does make a good case.
When Anna listens to an old tape of her and Gillian singing, she finds her mother yelling, kicking her friend out. At this point we all know exactly why. That’s a heartbreaking kind of thing.
Simultaneously, Anna finds out more information re: the boy with the strange marks on him at the hospital. This leads her out into the forest to a lot of land where she soon comes across a bit ofa shanty house and its inhabitants. When she meets the boy Anna asks if he ever loses time, if he wakes up in strange places, all those things. The boy even says he wakes up at the Sullivan place, where the lights are. Then he leans in and tells Anna: “Theyre looking for you, you know.” She’s got a blood sample to boot.
Dutch and Fergus try figuring out more with the Holloways, to find out if there were any enemies, any family fights, threats to Max, et cetera. Their son makes a point to mention the “Greenie” group always poised to try making life hell for the mill. Max goes on to reveal the letters he received. Are these really the letters, or did Max replace them with others to suggest the environmentalists have a part in it? I’m inclined to believe there’s a little foul play.
Over the radio, Anna hears strange broadcasts as she gets further to Mother Sullivan’s place. She hears about a “military aircraft” and then other strange readings come up on her odometer. Adam Holloway also sees lights in the sky while he drives someplace else along the road before slamming into a bunch of trees off the side. Anna then hears “Crimson and Clover” hum through the radio. And horror strikes Adam at the same moment – a piece of wood he chainsaws away from his vehicle hits him in the eye, prompting him to slice a part of his thigh open. While he lies there a hooded figure appears above him, obscured slightly. Anna hears Adam’s cries from the trees and soon gets to him, as he bleeds out more onto the road. She strips her shirt to make a tourniquet. The doctor is a great one, that’s for sure. She ties off the wound, washes his eye out, but Adam soon passes out. This will be great, won’t it? Another Holloway in a terrible predicament and here she is, as usual, right in the midst of trouble. Luckily, Jens Jorgensson (Damon Gameau) comes along to help cart them out of the wilderness.

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In the hospital, Anna gets thanks from Barb. The grieving mother wants to know more, too. She wonders why Anna was curious about Chloe having nosebleeds, and this begins to play on Barb’s imagination. Right now it’s grief. Pretty soon it may be more, as the secrets and lies of Kettering, of which she is a part don’t forget, slowly come out, piece by piece.
Why are we being punished like this?” Barb asks her husband, as they stand over their wounded but alive son. He has no answers. Or does he? I’m starting to believe, more and more, that he has some devious skeletons hiding in his closet. Bigger ones that Barb and her affair with Dutch.
Not long later Max goes to see Roy, saying that somebody “knows what happened,” about what “theyve done.” He believes it’s Craig, though Roy isn’t so sure. What are they hiding together?
And Anna, she goes to see her mother Wendy (Sarah Wood); she’s deaf and blind, hasn’t moved in years sitting in a psychiatric nursing home. Been quite a long time certainly. Even a Mother’s Day card there despite Anna’s insistence she did not make it. Intriguing. Regardless, she talks briefly with her mother, even if the woman can’t hear. A whisper of ANNA comes out; from her mother, or something else we don’t know. Strange noises emanate from the hallway, from out the window. More than that we see Wendy isn’t as catatonic as she lets on. So eerie.
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What a fabulous episode! One of my favourites yet, and it continues the deepening mystery with each step of the way. Next episode is titled “The Forest” and I hope we’ll start finding further clues to lead us down the path.