After the frenetic discovery last time out, episode 6 of The Watcher continues behind Dean and Nora as they chase the black shadow escaping from them. Nora is apprehensive and keeps pulling Dean back. The tunnel keeps on getting deeper as Dean finally feels the answers are near.
After a while, the tunnel opens up into a small room where they find a cot, a lamp, and some food even. This is where “the watcher” has been sleeping post his nightly sojourns in the house. Ultimately, the shadow is able to lose them and the Brannocks run into a dead end. Behind the dummy wall, we have a surprise waiting for us. It is John Graff – or at least someone posing as him – ringing the doorbell to another secret door. This one leads to Pearl’s house, to whom Johns says, “they’re on to us”.
Chamberland welcomes the Brannocks with sarcasm dipped in scathing anger. He is upset with the couple for their blow-up at the club and for putting her and Karen’s relationship under the scanner. Instead of helping them, he says he will ensure no police officer ever steps into the house again. He also threatens Dean with personal vengeance, saying he knows Dean wrote one of the letters.
The Brannocks are shocked. Who could it be? Is it Theodora, because no one else knows? It could be the handwriting expert, which is what Theodora says. But of course, she will say that. Or is Chamberland testifying to his involvement by saying that he has been hearing it? Questions, questions, and then some more of them.
The PI reinstalls the Brannocks’ confidence in her obsession with the case and innocence. She has new information. Roger Kaplan’s lead has worked out well. The ex-wife, Trish, has given her loads of information. She separated from Roger about 25 years ago, when he married one of his students, Miko. Trish is sure that the watcher is indeed Roger.
And then, we get a peek into the mysterious English teacher who could make a living with his strange and keen obsession with houses. Roger grew up poor but had rich friends. He used to fanboy over the houses in Westfield. But lack of money couldn’t further his dream to become an architect.
With Trish, he used to tour houses and dream of buying one he really loved. He makes an offer but the agent says theirs isn’t the highest. She suggests he write a letter to the sellers but eventually, he couldn’t get it. “Roger wasn’t as upset when his mother died”. I mean, call him the “house whisperer” already.
Inspired by these events, he makes a lesson for students at Westfield High. “Ode to a House”: the assignment is to write a love letter to a house you love. And so it begins. The lesson is a smashing hit and the kids loved the idea. But one of the houses, where a certain Carol Flanagan lives, got the strange letters too. She was a bit blasé about it, knowing that it was Roger who was writing them.
The trio visit Carol, who is a lovely, warm lady. Dean confirms that she also got the same letters and is convinced Roger is indeed the watcher. Nora and Dean now think of ways they could end this. The former suggests that confront him in a public place. That would be the best solution. The couple is certainly having fun running around solving the mystery and getting their affection back. They follow Miko and Roger into a supermarket and confront the teacher. Roger is sour about the confrontation and threatens that he will not leave this incident alone.
Sure as day, the next morning he finds Roger standing in front of the house and “watching” it. A “powerful enemy” they have made in him. Roger rants about their status and how they behave in such an entitled way. At Pearl’s house, a meeting of the “Preservation Society” is convened. Jasper is the secretary; John, whose real name is actually Bill, is introduced as its Vice President, and Pearl the President.
They discuss the new “renovations” of the old houses in various areas. It definitely seems like concrete evidence that this lot constitutes the watcher and tries to scare off new residents not for money, but for destroying the heritage of the old houses. The houses don’t need changing in their regard. They can’t just stand and watch it all change. The bell rings and it is Dean at the door. Pearl tries to deal with him from the door but he hears a third person in the house.
She then creates a show and tries to scare off Dean, but he does not care. He has a nightmare that night. He envisions Roger has breached the house and is holding Carter at gunpoint. He wanted their house and shoots Carter when Dean wakes up screaming “no”. Dean is gradually losing his mind. He has Scotch in the mornings, stops going to work, and looks visually depressed.
When he does go to work on Nora’s insistence, he sees Roger talking to Mo outside. Panicked, he confronts them but Mo acts hysterically and shoos him away. Nora and Dean elatedly inform the kids that they will finally be selling the house. $3.5 million in cash and a ten-day escrow. They have a new real estate agent, Bruce. Wonder how will Karen receive this?
Theodora has some good news too. She has been accepted into an experimental trial for a new drug. Unfortunately, Nora receives a call from Bruce who informs them that the family has taken back their offer. They read an article on Page 6 titled “House from Hell”. Karen, you devil! It was indeed her!
Karen was jealous because the Brannocks were actually making a profit selling the house. However, they sell it to the next bidder and move back into the one-bedroom in the city. Dean, though, hasn’t been able to let go of it and is still looking around himself with suspicion.
The Episode Review
Jennifer Coolidge is a comic treasure. The show had its funniest moment when Nora went to confront Karen in her office after the deal fell off. Her rant was hilarious and she just brings so many shades to the character.
The Watcher once again continued its relentless web of lies, deceit, and uncertainty to give us another episode where we are no closer to getting an answer. Although there does seem to be some inclination toward the identity of the watcher the makers think of, nothing is quite clear.
It is indeed remarkable how invested we have remained in the story until now. The many twists and turns episode 1 promised for the season have even surprised us on the brighter side.
Bobby Cannavale’s Dean is arguably the anti-hero we did not expect. It might be an aberration from the real-life story but it dampens the mood a little bit here. I do not see how the series would extend to episode 7 other than giving us straight answers and solving the “who does it” for us.
Episode 6 was incredible fun and heartbreak to see the reality of a family struggling with mischief from unknown, evil people.