The following post contains spoilers for The Observer‘s finale. Proceed with caution!
Since residing at 657 Boulevard, little else has mattered to the Brannock family — and to them viewers of The Observer, for that matter – than uncovering the Westfield resident’s identity by writing them creepy and threatening letters. They’ve circled answers and even thought they’d solved the puzzle a couple of times, but one concrete conclusion has eluded them so far.
If you’ve read about the real Watcher story, you know the author of the letters has yet to be found – and Netflix’s adaptation ultimately stays true to that ending, with the finale offering no clear answers as to who gave Nora and Dean those initials has sent mailings.
That’s not to say the finale doesn’t spawn a few more theories. Early in episode 7, private investigator Theodora Dean confesses this on her deathbed you was the keeper the whole time. She claims that she was the previous owner of 657 Boulevard before the Brannocks bought it; She had sold the house to afford her cancer treatments, and then became vengeful and upset when she realized her ex-husband had given away a sizeable nest egg, and her had not eventually had to give up the house.
Theodora has an explanation for everything – the story of John Graff (she says she made it up), the woman with the pigtails in bed with Dean (a hired performance artist), everything. But days later, Maureen (Margo Martindale) informs Dean that Theodora was neither a resident of 657 Boulevard nor a member of Westfield’s Country Club as she had claimed. When Dean and Nora later attend Theodora’s funeral after she succumbs to cancer, Theodora’s daughter confirms that her mother’s confession was false; She had dreamed up the story to give closure to the Brannocks, especially Dean, after noticing how the case still nagged her.
So if not Theodora, then who? Well, maybe realtor is Karen, who Nora learns is the new owner of 657 Boulevard after the Brannocks move back to town. Karen had always pushed the Brannocks to sell and The Watcher wanted the house to himself so she would be a logical choice. But during Karen’s first night alone in her new place, an intruder floods her bathroom, murders her dog (!) and sends her a threatening letter through the house’s dumbwaiter. When Karen discovers her poor killed puppy, she turns and sees a hooded figure standing on the stairs, but she runs down the street before we can even get a good look at the perpetrator.
Then there’s the matter of John Graff, who we know was in those tunnels under 657 Blvd and was in cahoots with the Winslows the entire time. But the Brannocks never find out who was in the tunnels, and John Graff’s continued residence in Westfield remains more or less a secret. The closest thing we can get to closing on this front is to hold a closing meeting of the conservation society, which has incorporated Maureen and English teacher Roger Kaplan as members. When John Graff introduces himself as William Webster, Roger points out that he recognizes John from somewhere. “How’s your family, Bill?” Roger asks, seeming to know that John has killed his loved ones – but John doesn’t answer and the meeting continues.
But the lack of a degree proves galling for Dean, who remains obsessed with 657 Boulevard and The Watcher’s identity. At the end of the episode, we find that a new family has moved into the house and is slowly picking up on the bad vibes of their neighbors. When one of the new residents, Ben, sees Dean standing on the street and looking at 657 Blvd, he introduces himself to Dean – and Dean calls himself John and claims to live just a few blocks away. “Cool. See you then?” Ben asks, to which Dean replies menacingly, “Absolutely.”
As Dean gets back into his car, he watches through the rearview mirror as Ben checks his mail and apparently receives a mysterious envelope in the stack – but at this point it’s hard to tell if that letter came from the original Guardian or from Dean, who had taken to writing his own strange letters to Westfield residents out of defiance. Dean gets a call from Nora and he lies that he’s stuck in traffic on the way home from an interview he clearly didn’t attend.
“I’m really happy. I just hope you are too,” Nora tells him. “I love you so much.” Dean replies that he loves her too and will be home soon… but shortly after Dean left the 657 Boulevard and around the corner, another car pulls up toward the house. The driver is Nora, and she has been tailing her husband, she looks back at the house one more time, and then drives off.
With that, I hand it over to you. How do you feel? The Observeris over? Cast your vote in our polls below, then click on the comments to explain your choices.
https://tvline.com/2022/10/15/the-watcher-recap-episode-7-finale-ending-explained/ The Watcher Recap: Episode 7 – Finale Explained