Episode 3 of The Watcher begins with Theodora and Dean discussing the possible suspects and who could be “The Watcher”. Mo and Mitch are of course off the list. The PI finds compelling evidence against Andrew when she digs deeper. He had previously accused the principal his son went to of being a pedophile. The incident was dismissed instantly as Caleb didn’t even go on the alleged trip. She also clears Mo and Mitch from the mess, speaking from her own experience of being a cancer patient. Wreaking havoc isn’t on this priority list, apparently. But why would someone choose to go like this? Why not just take pills? Theodora supposes that maybe, neither of them didn’t want to leave it to chance. They did not want one of them to be alive and live with regret.
Jasper has lived with his family his entire life. After school, he bagged groceries at the supermarket for almost 23 years. And then he stopped. This was in November 1995. His family starts making payments to the Avalon Behaviour Heath Centre, where they continue for almost 10 years. He stopped talking for a while. What happened to Jasper that month? Karen and Nora hang out at the club. The realtor mentions how her relationship ended with her ex-husband Rick when they stopped making love.
She warns Nora not to make the same mistake. That is what ends marriages. Nora mentions problems at home like Dean’s changing attitude toward Ellie and his growing short temper. Karen stipulates that he is having an affair but after she says this, we just know Karen will say anything on her mind without trying to make sense. She is still insistent that Nora and the family move out. So much so, that she takes her to see another house in the area, a newer one with no history. The renovation work is going on in full swing and Dean comes back home from work. He goes up to Ellie’s room. She hides Dakota in the closet and deals with Dean on the door itself. When he comes back down, Dean is introduced to John. At first, he seems strange but introduces himself as the building inspector.
He says everything is okay with the house and makes a sandwich for himself. When they sit down and talk more, everything gets weird. John starts talking about the “Fourth Turn”, or the Kaliyuga, as we say in India. It simply means a time when a crisis will throw the world into chaos and something big will happen in the shape of a revolt or war. He talks about Ellie and mentions that she is having relations with Dakota. John mentions how his own daughter was “the school whore” and how they dealt with her. But it was traumatic for the entire family. John says he will be back in a few days after the building is finished but later says that he will never see Dean again. It is confusing, for sure, and John leaves with the directions to a Lutheran Church nearby, where he says Dean should take his family.
Dean is creeped out and says to the contractor that he does not want to deal with John again. The contractor says there is no inspector named John, making Dean wonder whom he just talked to. Nora comes to the house and takes Karen’s advice about regular intercourse. She tries and Dean reciprocates but her mood is spoilt when Dean leaves in the middle for something. She takes the kids to the motel once again, until the renovation is finished.
While at the office, Dean gets a call from Theodora, who says she discovered something he would never believe. She has got her hands on a box of files that was never made public and is related to the history of the house. And thus begins the tale of John Graff, the same man that Dean met earlier in the day.
John was a fine chap. A retired military man; he was a devout Christian and then later took up accounting. He worked in the city when one day, he was mugged. His mother, Gladys, inherited some money and bought him a house in the suburbs – 657 Boulevard. His son, Dale, was a straight-A student and an athlete. He truly was his beacon of light. Patricia, though, was something of a promiscuous girl in his eyes, while his wife Helen was just too indifferent. One day, he got fired from his job. As he oversaw the family finances, he started to go to the bank every day and withdrew small amounts from his mother’s account. John never disclosed to his family that he had lost his job and kept up appearances.
When he got back from the bank one day, he saw a letter from “The Watcher” in the mail. It talked about him pretending to go to his job and his daughter’s affair with someone. A lot didn’t change but he kept getting more letters. On Halloween, he noticed Patricia’s teacher from school dancing close to her. It seems like she was having an affair with him. Dean desperately asks for reassurance from Theodora that John was not like this before they stayed in the house.
Is he turning into John himself? She gives him a practical answer and says that the man was living a lie. Not that the house was haunted. “Greed is your sin and impatience mine. What won’t you give the house young blood that it craves?” read another letter, firmly changing John’s mind. Long story short, John killed all members of his family and disappeared. He put on music – the same one that Dean hears in the house – and left the bodies to rot for fourteen days. That is the day that Jasper saw the bodies laying in the living room and went into shock.
The police discovered bottles previously filled up with the blood of the members in the basement. John was never seen again. Dean asks which church he went to and says he met him earlier in the day. Patricia’s teacher was also found dead but was shot with a different gun. The family moves back in and Nora is relieved that everything is behind them. In the mail, though, is another letter from The Watcher, sending her into a panic attack, as they watch from the window.
With another episode, we move further away from the truth. It is getting hard not to look at all the new entrants in the Brannock family’s lives as intruders in their own right. This episode, however, was defined by the tale of John Graff. If one would go back into the city’s crime history, a couple of examples like this would pop up. It is not unreasonable to think the human mind cannot think such things. The brutality and randomness of this wacko job really speaks out to you, though. Is he The Watcher? It would be too easy if it were him, surely?
But he might be involved, given his “history” with the house. This episode also played with the idea that Nora and Dean were becoming like Karen and John, respectively. It feels like they are drifting apart and the seeds of doubt have already been sown. Giving this much time and attention to the couple and the weird neighbors have somewhat dampened the family dynamics that were so intensely explored in the previous two episodes.
Is it the house that is changing them? They went out to seek peace and instead they have got this menace. Imagine spending your life’s savings and forsaking your future to live in your dream house. And then, for some weirdos to play around with your state of mind. Of course, it is! It is getting weirder. But the good kind that does not let you autoplay to the next episode