American Gothic Recaps Episodes 12 and 13 “Madame X” and “Whistler’s Mother”

Tonight we learn the truth. All the conjecture and guessing will be over and this wild and mysterious show will finally make sense. In the last two episodes, “Madame X” and “Whistler’s Mother” we come to grips with the facts.

American Gothic Recaps Episodes 12 and 13 "Madame X" and "Whistler's Mother"

Learning the Truth

Madame X starts off as the Hawthorne’s and Cam, Tessa, Alison, Garrett and detective Brady are handling Madeline’s shocking ‘confession’ from the week before. They are indeed reeling from Madeline, Mitch and Garrett’s heavy involvement in the double murders of the SBK and David Morales.

Brady tries to get a description of the SBK from both Madeline and Garrett, so he can get an ID, but it proves to be difficult. But, when Garrett remembers an Irish tattoo and Dana (the DNA expert-appropriate name choice!) learns the accomplice is female, things start to move along. From the skeleton bones they can also add the fact that the SBK had once broken his femur. Armed with all these little details, they set about narrowing down the suspects.

They finally hit on someone after Garrett identifies him from the large database after they match all the criteria. The person is John Martin.

Cut to the Hawthorne house and we have Alison finding a box of silver bells, etc. Didn’t Madeline give them to Gunther to throw out? Anyway she (Alison) confronts “mommy dearest” but it isn’t long before the wheels start turning and she gets that Madeline was responsible for Gunther, Mitch, and Jennifer’s deaths. Immediately Madeline tries the ‘same old’ explanation of how she was desperate to protect the family an keep them together, etc. Alison is totally disgusted and is not having any of it- telling her mom to “let her go”, and threatens to turn her in.

Then Naomi comes back on the scene, landing in Boston for a wedding. Alison and her meet and Naomi councils her when presented with the hypothetical problem of what to do when you’re running for mayor and something incriminating has just gone down that could ruin everything. Naomi tells her not to let this problem that she has end everything Alison has worked for. Alison takes her advice and not long after, we see Alison dumping the box of silver bells, etc. into the river. Now we know Alison will not call the police to have mom Madeline arrested.

Later, when Cam brings Jack to Sophie’s to get him away from the danger the Hawthorne’s are in- Sophie decides to take Jack out on her own. After Sophie has learned that the custody lawyer was going to keep her away from her son completely, she wanted a fun day with him for her memories. But Tessa, who does a little detective dabbling here, figures they’ve gone to the aquarium and Cam and her track both of them down. He tells Sophie she’s a “lost cause” and takes Jack away. At this point, we’re starting to get the vibe that something is ‘up’ with Sophie. She’s just taking up too much airtime.

American Gothic Continues: Episode 13 “Whistler’s Mother”

Episode 13 begins with Election Day and we see Madeline in line to vote for her daughter Alison as new mayor of Boston. Cleverly and for a last laugh, Phyllis, the annoying neighbour (remember Phyllis?) sees Madeline and we get to have some comic relief! Phyllis complains to Madeline that all the cops outside the Hawthorne house are ruining her prize flowers. Here Madeline delivers one of the best lines of the night, “I’m sorry your flowers are struggling- my family and I are receiving psychotic death threats from a killer.”

Meanwhile, we get that sinking feeling when we see Alison working alone the night before and Naomi comes stealthily into the room. Is she the accomplice? For a dark moment Naomi’s eyes narrow and she appears to be approaching Alison with an evil intent. This feeling continues when the next morning Alison is nowhere in sight and Tessa calls Brady.

Whew! They soon find out all is quite well and Alison and Naomi have just been working out a union deal transaction that pretty much has secured her election! Next we see Christina is at the elections office , and she and Garrett talk about the future. She doesn’t want to continue their relationship in Boston with all that has gone on. Will he come with her to San Francisco? Garrett tells her he doesn’t want to leave his family for a second time.

Police Finally Put One and Two Together

While Brady and the rest of the detectives begin to study John Martin as the SBK, they discover that he was losing a malpractice case where his wife died in hospital care. He believed the hospital took care of the rich donors and not the regular poorer patients and therefore did not look after her properly when she suffered from septic shock.

Suddenly a motive comes to light- the SBK murders began shortly after that time and he was targeting the wealthy donors of said hospital. The Hawthornes were on the donor list.

Next, Brady and Detective Cutter visit John Martin’s wife’s grave and, standing there in contemplation, Brady happens to look up and notice the tree above the grave. It is in gorgeous bloom- overflowing with cherry blossoms- but this reminds him of where he has seen cherry blossoms another time. (Luckily it was springtime in Boston!) Yes, Brady remembers that our dear little Sophie has cherry blossoms tattooed on her neck!

The Final Wrap

Meanwhile, Madeline has fired the police that was supposed to protect her from the threatening accomplice. She wasted no time telling him as he sat in his patrol car how inept he had been when guarding the Hawthorne mansion.(Oh, what a mistake this will be!)

She now has her own large bodyguard that will keep her completely safe. It isn’t long before the doorbell rings (Phyllis? Caramel the cat?). Then “oh no”, we think to ourselves, “it’s Sophie!” Because now we’re savvy viewers.

On some pretence Sophie says she must go up to Jack’s room, playing the wronged and poor mother. Reluctantly, Madeline allows her to (her second big mistake) as long as her large bodyguard goes too. (Madeline obviously has no idea about the case of the cherry blossom tattoo that we just learned about.)

Well, as we expected, Sophie descends the stairs not long afterward, somehow managing to kill the bodyguard- did some of us guess this would happen?
Now, Sophie, lays the whole story out to a dismayed and very nervous, Madeline.

Sophie was the Silver Bells Killer’s daughter. She lost her mom at a young age when the hospital so ineptly let her mom die. Her father vowed revenge on a system that would allow his wife to die, while giving their best care to all the rich patients and donors. He began killing everyone on the donor’s list. Sophie started assisting her father in and she is the sought after accomplice! Yep, she got really professional at doing things like breaking into houses. This was a clue from several past episodes when we see her so easily break into the Hawthorne’s mansion as well as helping Cam steal his incriminating tape from his old therapist’s office.

Sophie goes on to explain how her and her dad would borrow a friend’s car (the old blind lady) for some of their murderous escapades. Sophie admitted to killing the blind lady too. She said she made it as painless as possible because after all, she was a friend.Because unfortunately for the lady the police were coming around and Sophie just couldn’t have her spilling the beans or anything like that. Another of Sophie’s jobs was to leave the signature ‘silver bell’ for all to see, but “just out of reach”, as she said, to do the victims any good.
She reprimands Madeline for mistreating her as she gets things ready to bind Madeline to a chair- just like the other victims. Madeline pleads and promises to allow her full custody of Jack and $500,000 cash, but Sophie, after a short second-thought, will not be distracted from her mission.

“You used my father…his name…his legacy…to get rid of your own enemies.” she says to Madeline. Well, yes, we can’t argue with that statement.

Soon, Cam comes back to the Hawthorne house seeking Jack’s teddy bear and is totally unaware that Sophie is there and has his mom bound to a chair! Sophie meets him in his bedroom and they have a chat, standing over the dead bodyguard. She explains to Cam that she used him at first, to get into the family. When her own father was killed in the Hawthorne house and then it was covered up, she figured a way to get back at them. And that just happened to be through Cam. The only problem was she fell for Cam, and then Jack was born and she just wanted her family together, enjoy her recreational drugs and momentarily forgot about the revenge. However, Cam spoiled all that- he left her and is going to keep Jack from her.

Then, Sophie, who seems quite adept at attacking men and winning, wrestles and stabs Cam and handcuffs him to his bed! She then leaves to attend to mom Hawthorne downstairs! Cam struggles and manoeuvres desperately but can’t break free. Then, using a startlingly innovative idea he decides to roll the dead,heavy body onto a blanket and ride it down the staircase!!

Cam then grabs the bodyguard’s gun and points it at Sophie but alas, he is too late. He arrives on the scene after mom has been strangled and left in a pose that eerily looks like the painting of ‘Whistler’s Mother.’ Garrett comes in and talks Cam out of shooting Sophie and not to ruin his life like Garrett did. Then the police burst in on the scene and Sophie has vanished!


Time has passed and the Hawthorne’s are at the beach, and all is well. ‘Happy families prevail’- Garrett and Christina have their baby as does Meg and Brady; Alison is with Naomi and her twin daughters and Cam is with April, (remember the nurse from rehab), and Jack. Cam and April had to have a platonic relationship for certain months, as stipulated in rehab rules- who knew?). We are left with many warm and fuzzees and life seems great!

But for true closure we get another fun surprise. In an interview Alison reminisces about her year as mayor and her plans for the future. Along with her words we are treated to some flashbacks that paint a little picture we knew nothing about.

Apparently Alison found out about Sophie being SBK’s daughter a while before the police did. And Alison made a little deal. She admitted that her mom, Madeline was the one who killed Sophie’s dad and used the situation to her advantage. The deal was she’d let Sophie go, if Sophie would take her mother out. And Sophie as we know, lived up to that bargain. Hmm perhaps Alison is a little like her mom after all?

What do you think?

Although my main burning question is how can someone like Sophie really leave Jack and Cam alone? But this is the end of burning questions and American Gothic did finish satisfactorily, as promised. Except for the fact that I never did find out what happened to Caramel the cat. Any comments? I’d love to hear them in the space below!

Miss last week’s recap? Read about it here?
Want to know is there a Season 2? Find out about it here.
Like some fun facts you may be clueless about? Read them here.

Featured Image source from twitter: status/753541382078210048
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  1. Nancy Carol Brown Hardin

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