The Watcher – Season 1 Episode 5 “Occam’s Razor” Recap & Review

Occam’s Razor

It is a bright morning in Westfield at the start of The Watcher episode 5. Nora, who now has more time to deal with stuff, does some sniffing around. She goes through the call records of their home telephone. Remember the call she got in the motel when Dean was sleeping at the house? The man on the other end was just heavily breathing and not saying anything. Nora discovers that number and deduces the call came from the house; something we knew in the final scene of episode 2. She meets with Theodora to discuss the information. We have a sense of what she will land on as a conclusion.

The PI uses the word “pigtails” for the girl in the video and suddenly a light bulb goes off in Nora’s head. Karen said the same thing when suggesting Dean is having an affair with a “girl in pigtails”. Is this a coincidence or a conspiracy? “My husband is writing the letters” is what Nora seems to think. She still thinks Dean wants them to move out of the house for financial reasons. Next, we see Karen pull up to Mitch and Mo’s in her pristine Mercedes Benz. She says she has heard swirling rumors about the couple among people and it does not look good for them.

The real estate agent mentions their condo in Florida, an information privy just to the couple. Well, you should know what a shark looks like when you see one. She craftily tries to convince them to sell the house and just move there for the twilight of their lives. The “stigmatized property” will be taken care of by her and Darren, who have occasionally set up an anonymous LLC to buy cheap houses and then flip them for a profit. Big Mo is not taking any nonsense. It is like that clash between Phyllis and Dwight about big personalities.

Theodora has done some digging and has startling information for Mrs. Brannock. She suggests that it is highly probable, as confirmed by her contact at the bureau, that Dean wrote the third letter. Not the first two, but most likely the third. An un-stylized “k” in his Valentine’s card outed Dean. Wait, is Theodora involved too? I cannot decide. Can you? Theodora then reveals some more thrilling information. She met Steve and got him to talk. The savings being liquidated, a high-interest loan from risky personnel, and the fact that Nora signed off on that all come out of the rabbit hole. And, that he will not be making partners. Dean has messed up royally. It seems unlikely he and Nora will ever get back together again. Will the watcher win?

Dean waits for Andrew to come out. He confronts him to ask whether Andrew was lying about staying in the house. But Andrew shrugs him off and says he did. Everything he said was true but he didn’t appreciate Dean harassing him like this. Nora finally gets some good news from the curator of the gallery where her works are being exhibited. All of them have sold out. She commissions another show for Nora, and she is elated. Nora still isn’t talking with Dean and spots someone in her garden. When she goes closer, she discovers it is Pearl.

The weird sister invites her to a luncheon in Mo’s honor. This gathering is a revelation in its own right. All three actresses create palpable tension with effortless ease and it is quite integral to the story as well. Mo and Pearl talk about how they haven’t changed their house even a tiny bit since they acquired them. They steal glances at each other and try to deceive Nora about something. Every time someone says something, the other looks at Nora to see if she is really believing them or not. Mo talks about her mentally challenged son and how he got people from a homeless shelter and shot them to get the insurance money. She thinks Christopher is the one writing the letters when Pearl interjects saying she thinks Jasper is writing them.

Pearl says she herself got a message some years back. “An Ode to a House”, it read. It was like a love letter to the house. Something in the walls moves and Nora rushes out of there when they won’t be bothered by it. Ellie apologizes to Nora and says this quality of hers is a flaw in her personality. She tells about the poem to Ellie to see if she can make sense of it. Dean meets with Dakota who says he made a mistake not believing Dean. When he reviewed the footage again, no one came in or out of the house that day except Dean. So where did the girl come from then? Anyway, he surprises Nora at the house with Dakota who narrates the incident to her.

It was a setup indeed. Nora asks Dean about the third letter and he admits. Why would he even do that? It is a shocking revelation that sends her spiraling. The relationship is hanging by a tight thread right now. Nora takes Dean to Chamberland, whom she warned to give the DNA results. Chamberland apologizes and says that the DNA sample indicates the watcher is a woman. Dean is back in the house for now.

The couple once again begins with the investigation into the watcher. They doubt the DNA thing but still think a culprit is a man. When they think more, they look for someone with a motive for the Brannocks to sell the house; for money. That is not the “only” motivation for “some people to do “things”, FYI. They catch Karen and Chamberland together at the club, accusing them of plotting the conspiracy. It is a long shot but they fight back, threatening them with all sorts of things, especially Chamberland. The public humiliation will have grave consequences for the family. They now even think that Theodora might be involved, since Chamberland was the one who recommended her.

Ellie has information about a Facebook group called An Ode to the House. Nora scans through it and remembers a certain photo from the page: the man with the bowtie from episode 1, the open house. He was an English teacher, Robert Kaplan, who gave assignments to his students to write love letters to houses in the locality. The contractor calls them away with a discovery in the basement. A secret door that leads to a tunnel. As they move forward, they spot something lacking running away from them. Are they the watcher?

The Episode Review

And there comes a tunnel! There are ample WTF moments in this episode. Their frequency just keeps increasing as the Brannocks dive deeper into solving this impossible mystery. The tunnel is indeed a big reveal, although there was a slight disappointment seeing the Andrew thing go nowhere. Mitch and Mo’s sudden reappearance wasn’t as creepy either as we wished for it to be.

But these dolly points aside, The Watcher has delivered everything that Ryan Murphy would have wanted from the final product. True crime might have led viewers to believe that the dramatization would be too respectful or tentative to take big leaps. But those comments were made without knowing the true details.

It is incredible how we have dove head first into the show without knowing the details and it is so peaceful not to. Episode 5 also solidified Nora and Dean’s unison, which is a good turn in the scheme of things. Karen is finally pissed off and seeing an angry Jennifer Coolidge will be well worth the buck. Well, The Watcher ahs bucked the trend and has come up with a compelling story that is wild in the way it unfolds.

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You can check out our full season review for The Watcher Season 1 here!

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