American Gothic

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Friday 10:00 PM Sep 22, 1995 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
43 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Sheriff Lucas Buck rules his town with no conscience. After a young girl is murdered, Sheriff Buck seeks custody of the son of a murder suspect.

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  • Gripping pilot.

    Thanks to an incredible pilot, this show had me from the very beginning. Take a small southern town, throw in a dose of the supernatural, add a menacing performance from the great Gary Cole, and you have a recipe for something special.

    American Gothic is more layered than the average television program and invites viewer analysis. For example, within the very first hour (the pilot), one can spot Arthurian undertones in Caleb's story.

    While some of the scares may be somewhat cheesy in light of today's more accomplished visual effects, I feel that this episode was still able to maintain a suspenseful and frightening atmosphere. Overall, a great start to the series.moreless
  • Episode list in Shaun Cassidy's preferred viewing order (not the order on the dvds).....

    Episode list in Shaun Cassidy's preferred viewing order (not the order on the discs)

    01. Pilot

    02. A Tree Grows in Trinity

    03. Eye of the Beholder

    04. Damned If You Don't

    05. Dead to the World

    06. Potato Boy

    07. Meet the Beetles

    08. Strong Arm of the Law

    09. To Hell and Back

    10. The Beast Within

    11. Rebirth

    12. Ring of Fire

    13. Ressurector

    14. Inhumanitas

    15. Plague Sower

    16. Dr. Death Takes a Holiday

    17. Learning to Crawl

    18. Echo of Your Last Goodbye

    19. Triangle

    20. Strangler

    21. The Buck Stops Here

    22. Requiem

  • Great, creepy, twisting and turning pilot to an awesome tv series.

    The pilot episode pulls you in right from the get-go, starting out on a dark and stormy night in a rural South Carolina town called Trinity. We get introduced to most of the major characters, but it really focuses on Caleb and Sheriff Buck for the most part. Through several plot twists, we partly learn the origin of Caleb Temple and his relationship to Lucas Buck (or do we?). This was a very well-written and acted pilot, and had a wide range of emotional effects on the audience. It could at times be surprising, creepy, and tense, and yet touching poignant in others. As would be the case throughout the series, the pilot has knockout performance from Lucas Black as Caleb Temple, and Gary Cole as Sheriff Lucas Buck. The special effects and lighting were quite effective too.

    The really great thing about the pilot is that despite the fact that it gives away quite a bit about the characters of Lucas and Caleb, it only gives away just enough to keep us hooked. We know obviously the Sheriff is a bad guy with some very loose "perceptions" about guilt and conscience, and that he seems to have supernatural abilities, but we don't really know the nature of those abilities or just how evil he really is until later in the series. And some of the other characters, especially Gail, are left as more mysterious by disclosing the bare minimum about their backgrounds. We know that Lucas was the person who found Gail's parents dead, but we don't know the circumstances - did he kill them or not, or was he the sheriff or not all the way back then? We know that Lucas and Gail both know who each other are, and that Lucas seems to almost be afraid of Gail, but we have know clue how they know of each other or why he is upset when he hears she's in Trinity. When Lucas sees Gail, he appears to be shocked and angered and possibly fearful, and he obviously recognizes her, and she him. Gail even sceams "I know who you are!", but we as the audience are left wondering what this all means. This is excellent for tension and suspense, and it works very well.

Sonny Shroyer

Sonny Shroyer

Gage Temple

Guest Star

Margo Moorer

Margo Moorer

Danielle Davenport

Guest Star

Lucius Houghton

Lucius Houghton

Deputy Cammalous

Guest Star

Lynda Clark

Lynda Clark

Rita Barber

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Lucas: Look here boy, only two roads in this world and if you're listening to anyone but me, you're on the wrong one.

    • Merlyn: Happy Birthday.
      Caleb: Are you a ghost?
      Merlyn: No.
      Caleb: An Angel?
      Merlyn: I'm your family.

    • Selena: Caleb's cousins in town.
      Lucas: What?
      Selena: Little bird told me she popped into the hospital this morning, very concerned about her... kin.
      Lucas: Oh hell.
      Selena: Looks like you left some food on your plate darling. Want me to clean it up for you?

    • Dr. Matt: Family stays with you Caleb. You think about them, dream about them, it keeps them alive.

    • Lucas: (indicating gun) That's right Ben, it's grey. But isn't it possible that my idea of grey and your idea of grey might differ?

    • Dr. Matt: What do you know about me?
      Lucas: Yankee blue-blood, Harvard Med. Came to town last fall been causing trouble ever since. "Let's build a new hospital", "Let's clean up Goat Town", "Let's drown the poor in biscuits and gravy". You ain't exactly been shy, doctor.
      Dr. Matt: And I thought the Southern Sheriff was just a cliché.

    • Caleb: That my sister down there?
      Dr. Matt: Yes it is.
      Caleb: I want to see her.
      Dr. Matt: That's not a good idea.
      Caleb: Why not?
      Dr. Matt: 'Cause it won't help.
      Caleb: Do you know it's my birthday?
      Dr. Matt: No I didn't.
      Caleb: Well it is, and I think I've got a right to see my sister on my birthday.

    • Lucas: Merlyn? Merlyn honey can you hear me?
      Merlyn: Someone's at the door.
      Lucas: Yes darling. But we won't have to worry about that no more.
      (breaks her neck)

    • Lucas: I've heard it said that the American Dream is a thing of the past. That the basic tenants of home, job and family are slipping away. Not in my town. Where I come from that dream is still a reality. Course you have to know who's boss. For those who follow me lead life can be a paradise. But for those who don't, it can be a mighty rough road.

    • Ben: Why are you doing this to me?
      Lucas: Just another lesson in perception, Ben. All guilt is relative, loyalty counts, and never let your conscience be your guide.

    • Ben: You got no conscience about anything, do you?
      Lucas: Conscience is just the fear of getting caught, Ben.

    • Merlyn: (repeatedly) Someone's at the door.

  • NOTES (0)