The Watcher season 1, episode 6 recap – “The Gloaming”

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: October 13, 2022 (Last updated: February 17, 2024)
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The Watcher season 1, episode 6 recap - "The Gloaming"


The penultimate episode takes a slower approach as the pieces just refuse to come together, and the Brannocks make a major decision.

This recap of The Watcher season 1, episode 6, “The Gloaming”, contains spoilers.

Following on directly from the end of the previous episode, as well it should, “The Gloaming” opens with Dean and Nora pursuing the mysterious figure through the tunnel beneath their house. In one of the side rooms, they discover a living space, but the end of the passage is sealed off by a door that can only be opened from the other side. We know that because we see John Graff be allowed entry by Pearl, with the words, “They’re onto us” as he slips inside and the door is closed behind him.

The Watcher season 1, episode 6 recap

Unfortunately, Chamberland isn’t willing to help with any of this since it wasn’t that long since Dean and Nora accused him of being in on it. Since Chamberland now knows — somehow — that Dean wrote at least one of the letters, he’s threatening to consider every police report the Brannocks have filed to be false, and therefore carry a prison sentence. He can also consider Dean conspiring to run his family out of 657 Boulevard a “terroristic threat”, which carries a sentence on its own. In other words, the Brannocks not only have to do without official help, but they also have to solve the case before Chamberland pins it on Dean.

So, they turn to Theodora, who has been pursuing a lead that Ellie, of all people, dug up in the previous episode. So, she researched that poem, Ode to a House, that Pearl suggested Jasper might have written, and turned up a school project organized by a teacher named Roger Kaplan in which several students wrote many similar poems about houses in the neighborhood. And Kaplan himself is a pretty good fit for the Watcher. Here’s why.

Roger grew up poor, was from a broken home, and he became obsessed with the giant houses his friends lived in. He wanted to be an architect but was too broke to pay for the education, so instead, he went to community college and became an English teacher at Westfield High. He met his wife. They tried to buy a house he loved and, despite writing an earnest letter to the owners explaining how much it meant to him, the sellers went with the higher offer. Roger was devastated and began implementing the Ode to a House assignment in his classes. He did it every year for three decades and even began writing letters himself to a house he loved on 55 Oak Terrace. That’s where one of his friends had once lived, but by then it was occupied by a woman named Carol Flanagan, whose son had attended Roger’s class, so she knew where the letters were coming from. Gradually, the letters got more angry and threatening, and then they started to be signed by “The Watcher.”

Carol fancies Roger as the Watcher, and so do Dean and Nora, but when they tail him and his wife — one of his former students — to a supermarket, they confront him and immediately have their minds changed. Their accusation that Roger tries to scare people out of expensive houses so he can buy them doesn’t hold much water — he’s a retired public school teacher. And despite Nora recognizing him from the open house, he claims to have gone simply because an old friend who used to live there had died recently, and he seems pretty convincing. In fact, he’s so offended about the accusation that he decides to stand right outside 657 Boulevard and annoy the Brannocks; if he’s being accused of being the Watcher anyway, he might as well act like it.

Anyway, we learn, finally, that the much-talked-about Westfield Preservation Society is comprised of just Pearl, Jasper, and John Graff, and once again that theme of resistance to change comes up again, very passionately and overtly. Dean calls by to ask if he can search the house to see if the bootlegging tunnels come out there, but Pearl, unsurprisingly, denies him entry.

The decision is finally made. The pressure is getting too much. Nora and Dean decide to sell, and they even get an offer that’d make them a profit — at least until Karen sabotages it. But either way, they’re out. After a dinner with Dakota, a final toast with Theodora, and one last look at the suspect board, they’re gone. But will they be willing to give up the finer things for an apartment where homeless people play with their feet outside? And perhaps more importantly, will the Watcher really let them leave for good?

You can stream The Watcher season 1, episode 6, “The Gloaming”, exclusively on Netflix.

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