The American Gothic premiere introduces us to the privileged Hawthorne family. But not all is as it seems. This family is full of secrets and one of them is likely the infamous Silver Bells serial killer! So who is it?

Meet The Family

American Gothic’s “Arrangement in Grey and Black” begins with Tessa Ross and her husband Brady Ross going to meet the rest of the Hawthorne family for a pre-interview because Tessa’s sister Alison Hawthorne-Price is running for mayor. The top of a tunnel falls down right as they leave it.

Back at the Hawthorne’s house, the matriarch Madeline takes down a photo despite her husband Mitchell saying the person in the photo is still a part of their family. Then the rest of their family shows up to the house. It’s all super uncomfortable. It’s clear how out of touch they are. Cam’s son Jack even says super morbid stuff about doing autopsies.

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Alison’s campaign manager decides they need to stick to campaign headquarters because the house is just way too extravagant. She also asks about Jack. Alison’s brother Cam and his wife Sophie met in art school and had Jack. They’re getting a divorce because Cam’s clean but Sophie’s not. Tessa and Brady, meanwhile, are hooking up in the pantry.

What Happened to Mitchell?

Alison gets a call and finds out about the tunnel that collapsed. Back at the crime scene, a police officer finds a belt in a piece of the fallen tunnel. Brady, who’s a cop, goes in to work on the tunnel case. He also calls Alison about the belt. They think it’s a Silver Bells murder weapon. The Silver Bells killer would strangle his victims and leave a silver dinner bell, but the case went cold.

This could be a real career maker and Alison immediately jumps on it. Unfortunately, while she’s giving her press conference, Mitchell collapses. The whole gamily gathers in the hospital. Alison thinks that her press conference caused the heart attack or that Mitchell was worried his concrete company caused the collapse.

The family discusses calling the other son Garrett, but he’s completely ditched the family for some reason. And they have more problems: Sophie shows up wanting to give her relationship with Cam another shot, but he says no. Meanwhile, Tessa takes matters into her own hands and leaves a message for Garrett. Just then, the family finds out Mitchell’s okay. Alison assures him that the collapse wasn’t his fault.

Cam And Tessa Do Some Investigative Work

Cam and Tessa go back to the house and Tessa sees Cam digging around the shed. She assumes he’s looking for drugs he’s hidden. He admits it, so Tessa says she’ll help Cam find them and throw them out. While they search, though, Tessa comes across a box of silver bells. Oh no! Someone in the family is the infamous Silver Bells killer!

Of course, they assume that the silver bells belonged to the house’s previous owner before they find one of Cam’s cartoons in the box. Next they assume that Mitchell was just really into trying to crack the case. So they decide to talk to their mom in the morning.

Soon, they’re seeing silver bells everywhere. Even the shower head looks like a silver bell! Meanwhile, Jack’s just getting creepier and creepier. He draws a picture of someone having a heart attack and someone getting strangled like the silver bells deaths. How did he know about the silver bells deaths? There was info on Mitchell’s iPad. Tessa also does some research of her own online.

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Garrett Comes Home

Suddenly the doorbell rings. It’s the neighbor looking for her cat Caramel. As the neighbor walks away, though, Tessa sees a strange man in the driveway. It’s her brother Garret, who she didn’t recognize. They all drive to the hospital together and Garrett’s super cagey. But he gets a surprisingly warm welcome from Madeline. Alison’s more suspicious, but he gets to meet Alison’s daughters Harper and Violet. Of course, Mitchell codes right when Garrett goes up to him.

Back at home, Alison asks Garrett what he whispered to their dad before the alarm went off and Mitchell went into a coma. He said he was glad to see him and he loved him. The cat lady comes back with flyers while the siblings discuss where Garrett should sleep. He wants to sleep in the shed, which Cam and Tessa are not happy about. Madeline comes back and says he can have his old room back.

So Garrett goes back and looks at all his old stuff. Jack comes up to him and calls him “weird” but it’s okay because he’s weird too. Madeline comes in and says, “You said you’d never come back.” “I did,” he replies. But why did he leave? Is it because he’s a notorious serial killer?

Brady’s also been busy working on the case. He tells Tessa that they found some DNA on the belt. If they find a match, they have a suspect. Tessa asks about serial killers. A lot are creepy and antisocial, but there are some that are real family men. So basically it could be anyone.

Meanwhile, Garrett acts creepier and creepier. He goes outside and sharpens a huge knife on a rock and then shaves his giant beard with it in the kitchen.

Cam and Tessa continue to do some research. The silver bells killings ended 14 years ago, right when Garrett left home. Very suspicious. Tessa remembers how sweet Garrett was back then, but he’s real creepy.

Alison Finds out About the Bells

Cam and Tessa ultimately show Alison the bells. She thinks it’s some prank or that her opponent planted them to ruin the campaign. They show her that their newspaper was in the box. Cam and Tessa think it was their dad or Garrett. Alison says they should just ignore it until after the election. This could ruin them all. While Alison’s talking cam notices his stash.

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Jack May Not Be The Killer But He Will Be One at Some Point

Cam’s about to take the drugs when he hears Caramel. And it’s not good. Jack was experimenting on the cat and cut its tail off. Okay. So Jack’s not old enough to be on the list of suspects. But come on, this kid has classic serial killer traits.

What Are Mitchell And Madeline Hiding?

Later, Cam tells Tessa he’s going to visit their parents, but he goes to see Sophie instead. After she checks on Jack, Tessa runs into Garrett. She finally asks why he left for so long. “I don’t know,” he says. “But if it weren’t for your I might never have come back here.” When Tessa asks, “We’re not so bad are we?” he says. “You’re not.” Alison also talks to her daughters. They tell her that Garrett was mean to Mitchell at the hospital. He didn’t say he missed and loved him. Instead he said, “I’m gonna tell them it was you.”

Back at the hospital, Mitchell tells Madeline they need to tell the truth. She tells him to just rest. Then she kills him!

American Gothic airs on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. on CBS

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Robin Lempel

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV