The Watcher season 1, episode 3 recap – “Götterdämmerung”

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: October 13, 2022 (Last updated: February 17, 2024)
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The Watcher season 1, episode 3 recap - "Götterdämmerung"


A satisfying puzzle box of an episode begins to put some pieces together as The Watcher begins to flirt with supernaturalism a little more overtly.

This recap of The Watcher season 1, episode 3, “Götterdämmerung”, contains spoilers.

Well, let’s recap, since that’s exactly what Dean and Theodora are doing at the start of “Götterdämmerung” anyway. (If you’re wondering, the title refers to the last in Richard Wagner’s cycle of four music dramas titled Der Ring des Nibelungen.) Mitch and Mo are dead, the former having killed the latter and himself with a shotgun. Since Mo was dying of cancer, Theodora, who is also dying of cancer, doesn’t suspect her in the crimes — after all, when you’re about to say goodbye to the world, the natural impulse is to make peace with it, not create a ruckus. Either way, though, if they were guilty, they’re now dead, so problem solved.

As for the blood cult thing, well, Andrew Pierce seems to be a bit of a demented fantastist who has accused all kinds of people and organizations of all kinds of things, so his testimony doesn’t hold much water, whether he received similar letters or not. Detective Chamberland (Chris McDonald) remains more interested in the construction work that Dean is doing. And that means the only other viable suspect, at least right now, is Jasper Winslow.

The Watcher season 1, episode 3 recap

Through some perhaps not entirely legal research, Theodora has found out a bit about Jasper — lived at home all his life, graduated high school, got a job at a grocery store, and then stopped working when his parents began making donations to the Avalon Behavioural Health Center, who diagnose Jasper with a schizoid disorder with elective mutism. Something happened to him in 1995 that rendered him silent, and then later his diagnosis was changed to PTSD. Curious!

Meanwhile, Karen continues to offer Nora shockingly bad advice. She’s still adamant about the Brannocks just selling up at a loss and moving into a much smaller property, with the idea being that the million-dollar savings on the new place would eradicate Nora’s money woes (she expressed to Karen earlier that they’d been struggling.) She also suggests Dean is probably having an affair; Nora is sexually put-off by how he treats Ellie, thinking he’s sexualizing her in his accusations of her sexualizing herself, which seems the last thing to tell someone like Karen, but who am I to judge?

The weirdness continues back at the house when Dean happens across a man who introduces himself as John, one of the city building inspectors, who is making a sandwich out of the contents of the fridge. John’s an odd one, asking Dean if his family is Christian, suggesting Ellie and that “African-American man” — he says this with obvious disdain — are in an intimate relationship, and explaining a concept called the Fourth Turning. In simple terms, here’s the idea: In a generational theory devised by William Strauss and Neil Howe, “turnings” are eras lasting 20-25 years in which significant social, political, and economic changes occur. The turnings are a part of a larger cyclical “saeculum” lasting around the length of a human life — at least if one takes care of oneself — and at the end of each of these, some kind of crisis occurs. In western human history, the crisis is always war, and apparently, we’re due another. This is obviously a cheery fellow.

When Dean asks his contractors about John, they tell him that none of the inspectors they know are called John and that in any case they don’t inspect anything until the work is finished. Yikes.

When Nora returns home, she tries to have sex with Dean, but he wants to activate the alarm first and she gets frustrated. Now, obviously, this is quite funny, and Cannavale really sells the awkwardness here, but I can’t help but feel like Nora is being a bit unreasonable. Like, this dude is stressed, and he has just had to deal with a mystery evangelical making sandwiches in his kitchen and loaded accusations about his teenage daughter. Speaking of which, Dean asks Ellie about that, relatively benignly, and Nora sees it as yet another version of him creepily sexualizing their kid. It’s a string of unfortunate assumptions, but Dean’s really not in the wrong here.

Anyway, Theodora has some news she has gleaned from police files about 657 Boulevard, supplied to her rather suspiciously happily by Detective Chamberland. The box had been interfered with already, but it contained files about a previous family named the Graffs who had lived at the house before. The patriarch, John, moved there from the city after getting violently mugged. Because his mother helped him with the purchase, she moved in too. John was normal, godfearing, but was worried about his 17-going-on-30 daughter, who was a little too interested in boys, and his potentially alcoholic wife, who liked to humiliate him in public. When he lost his job as an accountant, he pretended he was still at work and began stealing small amounts of money from his mother’s accounts to keep up the illusion. When the letters from the Watcher started arriving, he knew someone was privy to his secrets. The letters goaded him into offering the “young blood” to the house, so he shot his wife, mother, and daughter, had a sandwich, attended his son’s basketball game, took him home, and shot him too. He put music on the intercom — Götterdämmerung, predictably, the same music the Brannocks have been hearing — which attracted someone from outside: Jasper Winslow, who found the bodies all drained and desiccated.

Why drained? Well, some empty milk jugs in the basement suggest they were filled with blood and then emptied. John was nowhere to be found, but the teacher whom he had caught his daughter dancing with at a Halloween party was found shot dead, though the ballistics didn’t match the gun used to kill the Graff family. In all the time that the bodies were in 657 Boulevard, someone continued to watch it, picking up the paper and keeping the mailbox empty.

Nobody knows what happened to John Graff — except the audience, since this story is told in flashback, and we can see that this John is the same John that Dean met earlier. He eventually puts two and two together, matching up the details of the story with some of the things John said earlier. And this realization couldn’t have come at a worse time, really. With most of the construction work done, Nora and the kids are moving back in, and according to Pearl — Dean tries to speak to Jasper about John Graff and has no luck — the Preservation Society has apparently ordered an inspection into the removal of the dumbwaiter that will allow both Winslows into the house whenever they feel like it.

And then the episode ends with the receipt of another letter. Despite all the new cameras, the Watcher is… well, still watching.

You can stream The Watcher season 1, episode 3, “Götterdämmerung”, exclusively on Netflix.

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