Nora soon joins the local country club and starts hanging out with old friends. But for the Brannock family, their new home bliss is short-lived, as they receive strange letters from someone claiming to be a “watcher” who claims to be obsessed with their home. Adapted from a 2018 New York Magazine article like The Watcher, it follows a family who bought their dream home in the affluent suburb of Westfield, New Jersey.
I discovered that The Watcher is inspired by the events detailed in his New York Magazine/The Cut article by Reeves Wiedeman, first published in 2018. It’s the true story of Derek and Maria Broaddus, a couple who bought a sprawling house at 657 Boulevard in idyllic suburban Westfield, New Jersey, in 2014. The writer of the letter was very familiar with the Broaddus home and life and contained personal details revealing that he or she had been observing the home. Lines like “Do you know what lives inside the walls?”
The Watcher Ending- What Happened In The End
On September 21st, Ryan Murphy announced Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. This is a true crime thriller that has either become the biggest hit of his Netflix career or the exploitative low point, depending on which metric you choose. A little over three weeks later, he’s back with another true crime thriller as the show’s controversy rages on. Only time will tell if The Watcher hits subscribers (although I bet it will). But after watching all seven episodes, I’m convinced that this is the first really good drama series since Murphy left Fox for Netflix in 2018. And that’s in large part thanks to an intricate plot that sets the stage for an exciting and definitive finale.
Adapted from Reeves Wiedeman’s chilling 2018 New York Magazine article, The Watcher follows a family who buys their dream home in the affluent suburb of Westfield, New Jersey, but someone else has already bought it. In the real story, it was claimed that they eventually received a written note that too from an assistant who worked as a keeper, and he later claimed that he had kept watch over their property for almost twenty years like their father and grandfather used to do before them. The children of the family, or as the Watchers call them, “young blood,” added a vague threat, and the letter read, “I know what’s behind the walls of 657 Boulevard.”
These facts form the skeleton of Murphy and co-creator Ian Brennan’s series, but unlike many other docudramas, The Watcher breaks official records early and often. Not only is it renaming a family already suffering from an unauthorized lifetime movie called The Watchers, but it’s also changing the number and age of their children, with an all-star cast and a storyline that investigates each suspect in turn. Characters have been added, removed, assembled, and beautified to suit.
I needed that kind of creative freedom (my real family never moved home). And Murphy refrains from exploiting it with the kind of baroque madness that makes many of his recent shows so exhausting. The Watcher does what a good psychological thriller does. Take everyday fears to nightmarish extremes. The disturbing aspect of this article is that it reveals too many suspects, not too few, in a city that prides itself on being safe.
The show reinforces this sense of community dysfunction. The main characters, Nora and Dean Brannock, and their children, 16-year-old Ellie and her younger brother Carter are surrounded by madmen. The spiky couple next door, Mitch and Mo, wear ridiculously coordinated outfits, adjust their lawn chairs, stare straight at the Brannock house, and brazenly harvest arugula on the family property.
Elsewhere, historic conservation freak Pearl (Mia Farrow) makes decisions for Brannock’s facilities personally, while her emotionally troubled brother Jasper (Terry Kinney) It’s tucked away in a disused dumbwaiter. Then there’s Karen, an old classmate of Nora’s, a real estate agent. He seems eager to endorse some kind of crazy girl boss’ good luck gospel and resell the house to earn a second commission.
Private investigator Theodora Birch (Norma Dumezweni), hired by the Brannock family on the advice of the Denial Police, digs up more suspects. The cast will be excited. 657’s former owner, Andrew (Seth Gabel), is constantly spouting adrenochrome conspiracy theories. Nineteen-year-old home security contractor Dakota (Henry Hunter Hall) lets Ellie seduce her.
A local teacher, Roger (Michael Nouri), is known to have his students write anonymous letters to their favorite home in Westfield. Theodora brings news about a patriarch who slaughtered his wife and children at home in the 90s and then disappeared. It’s possible that Dean didn’t want to admit to Nora that he couldn’t afford the $3 million mansion, so he invented the Watcher. And so on, without noticing the buyer’s regret.