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American Gothic - Arrangement in Grey and Black - Advance Preview + Teasers

The series is reputedly not named after the painting by Grant Wood, though each episode’s title is also styled on a famous painting, this one being from Whistler’s 1871 portrait of his mother. As an image that has stood for family values and affection between parents and children since Victorian times, I can’t help feeling that it is being used rather ironically in this case.

On the surface, the Hawthorne’s are just like any other family with sibling rivalry, a matriarch mother who rules her roost, and a few long forgotten secrets lurking in their closets. Admittedly, they are far wealthier than your average Joe, which obviously provides them with certain privileges and securities. Yet despite their fortunate start in life, this hasn’t prevented them succumbing to a number of vices, including addiction, deceitfulness, manipulation, and, oh yeah, one of them was probably responsible for a string of grisly murders fourteen ago.

This fact may have continued to remain buried if it wasn’t for two unfortunate events in this opening episode. Firstly, a large chunk of concrete falls from the roof in a tunnel, exposing some evidence that traces back to one of the victims of “The Silver Bells Killer”, a criminal who escaped justice after strangling half a dozen of Boston’s wealthy elite, before quietly retiring. Secondly, while helping Cam through a period of weakness, Tess unearths a hidden box which firmly suggests that someone in their family is responsible for the slayings.

This naturally divides the family as their paranoia starts to rise, although one of them is unquestionably more decisive than the others on how to proceed now that they are in this predicament, swiftly acting in an unexpected manner. Perhaps in an attempt to divert suspicion away from them? Personally, I’m not sure this person is the killer at all, but the twist does at least make me want to tune back in after this somewhat average, at times soapy, first episode thriller to see if this person will get away with it. And, I have to admit that the pace and overall plotting of the second episode is an improvement on this outing, which takes its time to both introduce the characters and slightly simplistic plot.

Anyone who knows me will know that I’m watching, and indeed previewing, American Gothic as a Banshee fan that is following Antony Starr on to his next project, so it would feel strange not to mention him in my first write up. It’s a big change in direction for him format wise, at least from the two episodes I have watched so far, but there are a number of similarities between Hood and Garrett Hawthorne too. Like his former character, he’s been separated from his family group due to an incident that transpired nearly a decade and a half ago, and it is clear that he is not all he seems to be presenting to the world. There is surely a different, darker, side of this curious brother, which the rest of his family are reluctant to let back into their lives, and I can't wait to see more of his character revealed over the coming thirteen weeks.

Arrangement in Grey and Black airs on June 22 at 10:00pm ET/PT on the CBS Television Network. Below are a few dialogue teasers to see you through until then. Don't forget to come back to vote in our poll after you have seen the episode and let us know what you thought.

“My cat, Caramel, he’s missing. Have you seen him? He’s the colour of caramel”

“The prints on it match one of the victims of The Silver Bell’s Killer. They’re running it for DNA now”

“But look, this is our newspaper from 1999. Conley couldn’t have planted it”

“We have to tell mum what we found, I can’t get it out of my head”

“I don’t know. If it weren’t for you, I might never have come back here”

“Hey Allie, I know the world typically revolves around you, but I’m pretty sure your press conference didn’t cause dad’s heart attack”

“What did you say? Right before the alarms started beeping you whispered to him. What was it?”

“Why are you so mad, it was just an experiment? That’s what scientists do”

“Many of you remember the terror that gripped our city during that time. I certainly do. Though the murders stopped, the fear has never gone away”

The Hawthorne grandchildren are a bizarre trio; Jack has a very macabre obsession, whilst Harper and Violet have a strange way of passing the time when bored…though it does have its uses.

About the Author - Sandi
Sandi is part of the Senior Staff at SpoilerTV having been a contributor from back in the Lost days of DarkUFO, and who now writes previews for Banshee, The Musketeers, Poldark, and other UK shows. She also enjoys watching and commenting on other shows such as Vikings, Orphan Black, Game of Thrones and The Flash.
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