'American Gothic' Already Has Many S.B.K. Suspects

by Kaitlin Reilly

How would you deal if you found out that a member of your family could be a notorious serial killer who has evaded the police for over a decade? If you're anything like the Hawthorne family on CBS' new series American Gothic, the answer would be "not very well." After a tunnel collapse leaves evidence of the dormant but never-identified Silver Bells Killer in the hands of the Boston Police Department, the family whose construction company provided the cement for the tunnel soon realizes that one of their own has likely been hiding a huge secret. When literal silver bells are discovered in the Hawthorne home, it proves that one of the Hawthornes is definitely involved in these heinous crimes — but who is American Gothic 's Silver Bells Killer? After just one episode, the answer is hardly obvious, but that doesn't mean fans can't speculate.

If I was going off of sinister behavior alone, my money would be on Cam's son Jack being the Silver Bells Killer — cutting off poor Caramel's tail screams "deranged," even if Jack insisted it was an "experiment" and that the vet would sew back on the tail anyway. Of course, Jack is a kid, and therefore despite being the creepiest character ever, is totally out of the running for being the years-dormant S.B.K. (Though Cam really should get him some help and lock up those gardening shears ASAP.) Who else could realistically be on the S.B.K. list?

Right now, the suspects that American Gotchic wants us to look at are patriarch Mitch, who was killed by his wife Madeline after he insisted they "tell the truth" about... something, which could very possibly be the identity of the S.B.K. Then there's Garrett, the eldest son and hermit who went off the grid at the same time the Silver Bells Killer did, and who told Mitch that he was going to "tell everyone it was [Mitch]." Could Garrett be referring to telling everyone Mitch was the serial killer to save his own skin? It seems like each member of the Hawthorne family is shadier than the last.

After the pilot episode, it would seem that Mitch and Garrett are fairly obvious suspects, but I'm going to throw another name up on the suspect board — lovable cartoonist/recovering drug addict Cam. Unlike Mitch or Garrett, Cam gets the least suspicion tossed his way in the series premiere, but that doesn't mean his behavior isn't a tad suspect. After all, it was Cam who was looking for his drug stash in the very same place where he and Tess found a collection of silver bells. It would be perfectly logical for Cam to have been looking for his stash of silver bells, only to get caught and make up a lie about drugs.

This could also help to explain Jack's creepy behavior, which might be a wink to the audience that Cam is the person we should have our eye on. After all, Cam's ex tells him that Jack has issues because he's half Cam, half her. Perhaps Jack learned his violent tendencies from his father.

Only time will tell what's in store for the Hawthorne family, but for now, American Gothic viewers should keep their eyes on, well, just about everyone.

Image: Christos Kalohoridis/CBS