The truth finally comes out on American Gothic’s “Freedom From Fear.” Through a series of flashbacks, it’s finally revealed why Garrett left home, whose body was dragged down the stairs, and who really killed David Morales.

The Truth Finally Comes Out

American Gothic’s “Freedom From Fear” begins where the last one left off. Garrett’s grinding up a skeleton while Brady watches. So he confronts Garrett. Brady tells Garrett he’s arresting him, but Garrett says he’s not going back to prison. Apparently, they’re going to kill each other, but Brady finally convinces Garrett to stand down.

Cam, Tessa and Alison tell Madeline they know she’s been lying and they want answers.”You need to know the whole story because I think we’re in danger,” Madeline says showing the others the silver bells that were placed in her purse. (What was her first clue?)

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American Gothic flashes back to Alison hanging out with Madeline, Garrett, Tessa and Tom during Christmas while still in college. Tom’s running for a position at school and Alison’s trying to help him win. Mitch shows up and says Alison sent payroll files instead of tax returns to an accountant, which isn’t good. Cam, meanwhile, is off buying drugs from some guy named Toby.

Madeline and Mitch put a sick Tessa to bed and discuss the payroll files. The accountant realized something bad they did and he won’t be bought. So they need to call the lawyer and find a way out of the mess they’re apparently in. Mitch is on the phone with his lawyer when someone sneaks into their house. But Tessa had woken up and heard him and she pushes him down the stairs.

In the present, Tessa doesn’t remember any of this. So Madeline has to tell her she killed someone and that “it gets more complicated than that.” In the past, they searched the dead man’s body and found a silver bell. He was the real Silver Bells Killer!

At the same time, Garrett also tells Brady that Tessa killed the Silver Bells Killer, but that’s just the beginning. American Gothic flashes back to Garrett with a girl, but is interrupted when a distraught Tessa calls him and begs him to come home. He goes home and sees the body with the bag, rope, and bells. Nobody calls the police because the press would come and haunt them. Instead, Mitch and Madeline want to get rid of the body. They want Garrett to tell Tessa that she’s just sick and had a bad dream, so he does.

In the present, Tessa says that she remembers Garrett comforting her. It’s all becoming clear. The Silver Bells Killer was coming to kill one of them, Tessa stopped him and a high Cam saw the body being dragged away.

Garrett dragged the body away and took it to the woods where he and Brady are having their conversation. “It wasn’t meant to be complicated,” he tells Brady, but while he was digging, the body just disappeared.

Garrett Gets His Knife

So where did the body go? Garrett continues his story saying that while he searched, the killer attacks and stabs Garrett. Garret runs into the woods, but the guy finds him again and attacks. Garrett stabs him with the killer’s own knife and kills him. That’s where he gets that knife. It’s all coming together. Garrett keeps the knife as a reminder that he could have died. He then went home and told his mom what happened.

Why Mitch Killed David Morales?

In the present, Madeline tells the kids that Garrett was traumatized. Cam says it doesn’t add up, though. Why was Mitch’s DNA on David Morales’ belt? Madeline says Mitch was trying to get the payroll files back. (The payroll files are important, apparently.) In the past, Mitch goes to David Morales to try to get the files back, but he committed fraud and hurt so many people, so David Morales is going to the Attorney General.

The next day, news breaks that David Morales was killed by the Silver Bells Killer. Still in the flashback, Garrett is in shock. He couldn’t have killed Morales. Mitch killed him and used Garrett as cover. Getting rid of the body had nothing to do with helping Tessa. Instead, Mitch could have killed Morales but made it look like the Silver Bells Killer did it.

In the present, the kids ask Madeline if she knew Mitch would kill David Morales. She says no, but she protected him instead of turning him in. Now their family is secure. She, Mitch and Garrett would have gone to prison, Cam was an addict, Tessa was a child and Alison would never be mayor. They needed to keep the family intact.

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Why Garrett Left Home

Back in the past, Alison tells Tessa Tom lost his election. Alison should have run instead. Madeline, meanwhile, finds Cam’s drugs and flushes them down the toilet. They hear a fight downstairs, though. Mitch admits he killed David Morales and Garrett is furious. He goes to Madeline and tells her what Mitch did, but she denies it. He wants to call the police, but she refuses and says Mitch was protecting the family. Then she says if he turns Mitch in, he’ll go to jail too. He paved the way for a copycat murder by driving the body to Maine. It looks like he and Mitch were actually working together. Garrett’s disgusted with them, so he leaves for the woods.

Before he leaves, Garrett notices that Cam’s gone. He’s off buying more drugs. Mitch, meanwhile, worries he lost Garrett forever or that Garrett will decide he can’t live with their secret anymore. Madeline just wants to put it all behind them, though, by pretending it never happened and promising not to speak of it again.

The Accomplice Is On The Loose

The problem? They weren’t the only ones who knew the secret. The accomplice is still out there and put bells in Madeline’s purse. Tessa and Alison don’t believe her, but Cam notices that dolls looking like each of them are all murdered in their dollhouse.

So who set that up? The accomplice is taunting them. Cam wants to call the police, which they should have done 14 years ago. Tessa says Garrett will go to jail after everything he’s been through if they call the police.

Back in Maine, Brady asks Garrett why he took the risk to get rid of the bones after all this time. He wanted to get rid of the evidence and have a chance at a life because Christina’s pregnant. Brady says they could work out a deal. He’ll try to keep him out of jail if Garrett helps him find the accomplice. He’s the biggest lead they’ve ever had because he’s seen the Silver Bells Killer’s face.

Back at home, they decide to wait for Garrett to come home in the morning. If he doesn’t come home, then they’ll call the police.

Back in the past, we learn that it was actually Madeline’s idea for Mitch to do the copycat murder. If they didn’t kill David Morales, they would lose everything and their kids would lose their future. That’s when Garrett came home and saw the body. That’s when Madeline put the whole thing into motion. Later, Mitch and Madeline go to David Morales together and Mitch tries but fails to kill him. So, Madeline does it instead.

“We’re all victims of your father’s decisions,” Madeline says in the present. Alison agrees they need to stick together and figure out who’s hunting them.

American Gothic airs on Wednesday nights at 10pm on CBS.

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Robin Lempel

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV