The Hawthorne family gathers to support one of their own in the series premiere of AMERICAN GOTHIC. Alison, one of the Hawthorne children (along with Garrett, Tessa and Cam), is in the running to be Boston’s next mayor and there’s less than two months to go until the election. Her new campaign manager, Naomi, is trying to prep the family for an interview (although a lot of their house is considered too ostentatious for the interview).
But there’s been a potential crisis: Hawthorne Concrete provided the building materials for a tunnel that just collapsed on and killed two people driving in a car. Strangely, buried inside the concrete is a belt — a belt that was used in an old murder by the Silver Bells Killer. As we soon learn, Silver Bells killed victims from 1999 to 2002 before the murders stopped and the trail went cold. Now Brady (the husband of Tessa) is a detective and is looking into the case.
Alison wants to use this discovery to her advantage, but her father, Mitchell, collapses with a heart attack during her press conference. We soon learn that Garrett, the black sheep of the family, abandoned the family many years before and isn’t with them now, so Tessa tracks him down after their father’s heart attack and asks him to return home. Meanwhile, Cam (a former drug user) has an ex-wife named Sophie who is also into drugs. When she shows up at the hospital after Mitchell’s collapse, he shows her the door. The pair also have a very odd young son who seems way too into autopsies and death.
The night after Mitchell’s heart attack, Tessa and Cam are searching for some old drugs that Cam stashed at the house when they come across a box that seemingly belongs to their father. Inside the box are the little silver bells used by the serial killer (see the second clip below). They don’t know what to believe. Is their father the killer? Or maybe the killer is Garrett, who returns home at Tessa’s urging. When visiting the hospital, he whispers something to Mitchell…right before the Hawthorne patriarch falls into a coma.
But Mitchell isn’t the only one who may be hiding a dark past and it soon becomes obvious that the Hawthorne family is just full of secrets.