A politician and her campaign manager have a steamy affair on “American Gothic”

If you thought your family’s Thanksgiving dinner was the most awkward, you haven’t met the Hawthornes of CBS’s American Gothic yet. The Hawthornes are a rich and powerful family who have more skeletons in their closet than clothes. One of them is an infamous serial killer, but we don’t know who, and that’s the mystery that dominates this limited series.

One of the Hawthornes is also bisexual, but we definitely know who that is. Meet Alison Hawthorne-Price (Juliet Rylance). She’s the eldest daughter of the Hawthorne family and a married mother of young twins. She’s also a savvy politician who is running for Mayor of Boston, with the help of her brilliant and very attentive campaign manager, Naomi (Maureen Sebastian).


Sparks were flying between these two from the first episode, and by the third, the two women are engaged in a full-on affair.

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Their scarf-play sexytimes are interrupted by a call from Alison’s mother because the family’s groundskeeper was found hanging in the shed. That’s such a Hawthorne thing to happen. See, the Hawthorne family owns a lucrative concrete company which is under major scrutiny now that a bridge made with their concrete has collapsed. In the wreckage, a belt was found that is connected to an old murder, and the Silver Bells Killer. All signs are pointing to someone in the Hawthorne family being the killer, but when the groundskeeper killed himself, it opened up a whole new can of worms.

While things at first appeared to be chilly between Alison and her husband Tom, it turns out they have a special kind of understanding. When Tom finds out about Alison’s relationship with Naomi, he wants to know more. The couple has an open relationship. When Alison tells Naomi that Tom found her scarf in the bedroom, she doesn’t mention that Tom is totally fine with their unique approach to campaign strategy. The women kiss in Naomi’s office and are secretly spotted by a member of the campaign staff.


The next day, the staffer tries to blackmail Alison and Naomi into giving her a raise and promotion in exchange for keeping her mouth shut about the kiss. Alison leaves the situation in Naomi’s hands since she has to deal with mounting family drama which includes a long lost brother’s return and her baby brother’s drug addiction. Also, her mother killed her father. But that’s a story for another time. Anyhoo….


When Alison returns to the office, she’s surprised to find that Naomi has caved in to the staffer’s demands, including a brand new computer. Alison has no reason to fear, though, because this isn’t Naomi’s first rodeo, and she has some Good Wife level shit in store for the blackmailer. The new computer is linked to a hacking scandal involving Alison’s competitor, and the staffer goes down for it, just like Naomi planned. With her reputation ruined, the staffer’s accusations would just be thought of as bitter lies. Politics, amiright?

With only five episodes in, there’s much more to explore with Naomi and Alison. Will Naomi find out about Alison’s arrangement with Tom? It seems that Naomi is straight up falling for Alison, but will those feelings be returned? If so, it could cause major drama for all three people involved in this love triangle. American Gothic runs the risk of falling into some serious tropey waters, especially with Alison, but it very well may surprise us. We also don’t get to see much in the way of open polyamorous relationships on TV, but if Naomi is the only one without that knowledge, it won’t feel particularly progressive.

Have you been watching American Gothic? Would you be interested in recaps of the show? Let us know.

American Gothic airs Wednesday nights at 10/9c on CBS.