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SurrealEstate Recap: The Roman Agency goes full Sherlock Holmes to solve a quintuple homicide
A "For Sale" sign in the yard. Knitting needles on the couch. An errant arcing arrow in a parking lot.
Aside from sounding like game pieces in an updated, slightly more millennial redux of the Clue board game, what do these three items have in common? They were all the weapons of choice in a string of freak accidents on or around a property that just so happens to be the Roman Agency's latest listing.
To ensure it goes from listing to escrow, Luke and the team are going to have to put on their deerstalker hats, while also wearing their real estate agent hats, and solve the mystery of the homicidal house.
**SPOILER WARNING! Spoilers ahead for SurrealEstate Season 1, Episode 6, "Roman's Six."**
By the time Rita Weiss brings Luke and the Roman Agency on board to exorcise her latest listing, three people connected to the property in some way have died in freak accidents: Rita's assistant got the "For Sale" sign through his eye; another woman landed face-first on her knitting needles; and another woman walking to her car was stopped short by an arcing arrow that terminated in her eye socket.
It's actually four if you count the death of the house's former tenant, for which the erstwhile owner Catherine Owens is currently serving a prison sentence. Catherine may proclaim her innocence, but either way, she won't have a lot of say in the asking price.
After the Agency gets its hands on the open house guest book, "Father" Phil and Zooey come to a staggering conclusion: Who or whatever is killing these people, it's going down the guest list. Even more puzzling is that it's not just killing willy-nilly but committing each murder exactly three days apart.
Recognizing just how powerful the house is, Luke decides to talk to the incarcerated Catherine, as he has a hunch that she might be innocent. During their meeting, Catherine, a little too calm and a little too collected, divulges the details that landed her in the big house: While she was riding her bike by the river, her tenant was impaled through the eye with her cello bow — which, of course, was covered with her fingerprints.
The story seems true enough, but something about Catherine's comportment is not sitting right with Luke. She's too arrogant, too stolid, and she keeps tapping her middle finger with metronomic precision all through their meeting.
Meanwhile, "Father" Phil has reached out to the next lookie-loo on the guest book and is trying his best to persuade him to take every precaution not to get anything pointy and long lodged in his eye. At the very least, he wants him to slap on some protective eyewear. But the man is incorrigible; and sure enough, three days after the last accident, our victim gets the stick of a plastic balloon right through his eye.
The Roman Agency members are coming around to the idea that they are dealing with a very specific kind of demon known in paranormal circles as a "watchmaker." As Phil explains, a watchmaker is "a very methodical demon who does very bad things in the same way in a very precise order." Sure sounds like an accurate description of the rash of murders connected to this property.
But is Catherine a bona fide watchmaker? Luke makes a return trip to the prison to find out, though en route he gets a call from Phil, who's just dug up some interesting information: In 1969, a 16-year-old Margaret Hayward died in a freak accident on a school trip. Three days earlier, she had just been named first chair cello in her school orchestra; second chair went to her best friend: Catherine Owens.
When Luke confronts Margaret on this grisly episode from her past, her eyes flash with an otherworldly flicker. Yup, she's definitely a watchmaker, and she's exacting methodical vengeance from afar on innocent victims who just so happened to be interested in purchasing her house. The next target on her hit list? Megan Donovan.
That's right. Megan visited the Owens property, but left a nearly illegible signature that took the Roman Agency nearly three days to decipher. Not ready to be the Demi Moore to Megan's Patrick Swayze just yet, Luke brings Megan back to the office after it's been thoroughly childproofed.
If Luke succeeds in keeping Megan safe from Catherine's killing spree, it just might be the monkey wrench needed to disrupt her flow, and send her into a potentially fatal psychic tailspin. They're banking on it.
Only Megan has a life to live and med school classes to sign up for. She escapes from the office and starts booking it past a nearby construction site; it looks like the coast is clear, when Megan trips and faceplants into a whole mess of rebar — and gets one right through her sunglasses and into her skull. So much for breaking Catherine's groove.
Grieving and livid, Luke barges in on Catherine at the prison, pleading for answers. The only one she gives is unsatisfying: She has no intention of stopping with her remote mass murdering, and there's nothing Luke can do about it. Or is there? For just then, Luke brings into the meeting area none other than Megan, a little in the dark but alive and well, and 100 percent rebar-through-the-eye free. When Catherine sees this, her internal mechanism goes kablooey and she throws a stroke.
But how exactly is Megan still alive?
It turns out that the grisly danse macabre was nothing but an elaborate ruse, a charade to superficially satisfy Catherine's wrath, while at the same time keeping Megan safe from any real danger. The team cooked up the whole scheme — from sourcing rubber rebar, to jerry-rigging stunt costumes, to even playing construction workers on the site.
This must mean one of two things: Either the Roman Agency is considering opening up their own Escape Room business, or Megan's a keeper. Our money's on the latter.