As Elena continues to investigate and ask questions, it becomes less about Scott’s fabled ruby and more about whether it is safe for her to stay at the Greybourne.

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As Elena continues to investigate and ask questions, it becomes less about Scott’s fabled ruby and more about whether it is safe for her to stay at the Greybourne.

Aired (FreeForm) 1/30/2023
Director(s) Jeffrey Reiner
Writer(s) Emmylou Diaz
Noted Characters
Elena Mariel Molino
Scott Jon-Michael Ecker
Alex Baraka Rahmani
Ginny Aliyah Royale
Kim Clare Filipow
James Lachlan Quarmby
Matthew Warren Christie
Tory Amy Acker
Dick Christopher Redman
Candace Bronwen Smith
Cecil Dhirendra
Mrs. Ivey Kelly Bishop
Jocelyn Elyse Maloway


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You Have To Make Friends To Gain Information – Elena, Scott, Alex, Ginny, Kim, James

Jon-Michael Ecker as Scott
“Jon-Michael Ecker as Scott,” The Watchful Eye, “Hide and Seek,” directed by Jeffrey Reiner, 2023, (FreeForm)

Scott is growing impatient. He made a deal with Elena six months ago, when he was going to arrest her, so that she could use her con artist skills to get this ruby, and she hasn’t delivered. Granted, Scott reveals his lead may not be reliable, but he believes him so bad he wants Elena to make it true.

The problem is that Elena has to gather information while not coming off like a spy or mole. So while she has Alex, Ginny, Kim, and Ginny’s friend James, do you think all they want to talk about is work? Do you think James wants to gossip about Morgan, Elena’s predecessor, who disappeared before Allie committed suicide? Never mind, who may or may not have had an affair with Matthew? To a stranger?

Elena recognizes a long game has to be played, and it’ll take more than going out for drinks, or having Ginny pee in a cup for her, to gain the kind of trust she needs.

Not All Secrets Are Hidden – Matthew, Tory, Dick, Elena, Candace, Cecil

Now, why did Elena need Ginny’s pee? Because Tory decided to drug test her. Note, Matthew didn’t ask her to and isn’t happy about it, but lest we forget, Jasper is the closest thing to a kid she has, since Dick’s children aren’t necessarily calling her mommy. Plus, who knows, maybe Jasper is Tory’s kid? It isn’t like we haven’t seen that secret play out before.

Either way, as Elena learns about Matthew may be having an affair with the last nanny, it makes him gifting her an iPad, for work, suspicious. Granted, it is in plastic, so the likelihood of him putting spy devices on it to watch her isn’t likely. However, who is to say he isn’t aware of the tech and can put it on when she is out with Jasper? Never mind, alongside Matthew allegedly having an affair, it seems quite clear Dick wants to have one. Elena, of course, isn’t interested since Dick earns his name, and not in a positive manner, but that won’t stop him from trying or thinly veiled threats.

Dhirendra as Cecil and Bronwen Smith as Candace
“Dhirendra as Cecil and Bronwen Smith as Candace,” The Watchful Eye, “Hide and Seek,” directed by Jeffrey Reiner, 2023, (FreeForm)

But morality clearly isn’t something those who work or live at the Greybourne care about. I mean, even the support staff, Tory’s maid, Candace, and the doorman, Cecil, are having affairs. So it is truly part of the culture to have what are damn near open secrets.

This Place Has Never Been Good To Nannies – Mrs. Ivey, Elena, Jocelyn

Then, just to prove how far back it all goes, when Elena tries to follow up on some leads and chat with Mrs. Ivey, she sees a picture of Jocelyn. Jocelyn was a ghost she met a few days ago that was Mrs. Ivey’s nanny when she was a baby. And when Elena looks up the Greybourne, she learns Jocelyn died under mysterious circumstances too.

So now Elena has to worry about the history of nannies disappearing, where this key on Mr. Greybourne’s desk went, all the secrets the basement may hold, and the list goes on and on.

Things To Note

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Who gave Elena that blunt?
  2. Why does Matthew need a key to Elena’s private room?
  3. How old is Scott?
  4. Did Elena testify against her mother?
  5. Did Ginny catch Elena and Scott together?
  6. Beyond Cecil and now Elena, who else feeds Mrs. Ivey information to her ivory tower?
  7. Why are Dick and Tory together?
  8. Does Jasper like Tory for her to be this much in his upbringing?
  9. While Elliot has noted his parents’ occupations, what are they really like, and will we meet them?
  10. Something not mentioned in the recap is the whole Greybourne trust, which includes Mrs. Ivey, Tory, and, technically, Jasper. Who else is on the board for the trust?

What Could Happen Next

Lachlan Quarmby as James
“Lachlan Quarmby as James,” The Watchful Eye, “Hide and Seek,” directed by Jeffrey Reiner, 2023, (FreeForm)
  1. We learn about James’ relationship with Morgan, or lack thereof
  2. We meet Elena’s brother who comes for a visit, maybe catches the eye of a few at the Greybourne?
  3. Elena tries to help Elliot talk to one of Dick’s daughters
  4. Something comes up in Ginny’s urine that may not be drugs but could be notable



Elena Could Carry The Show

“The Watchful Eye” still lacks a quality mystery, whether it is why Allie killed herself, what happened to Morgan, what Allie and Tory’s last sibling fight about, etc. Also, a lot of the supporting characters come off stale. But, there is the possibility that Molino’s performance can give the show something. It may not elevate it to the heights of being one of FreeForm’s signature shows, but she can potentially help those involved have a job for a few seasons. Mainly in keeping the sarcasm and presenting some sort of energy or life to the scenes we see.

On The Fence

The New Developments Don’t Make The Mysteries More Intriguing

The introduction of Morgan and painting Matthew as someone who might not be as kind and innocent isn’t creating much of a pop. Revealing Scott is a creep who is exploiting Elena does make you feel for her, but it isn’t helping this whole ruby case much. Especially since Scott’s source sounds suspect since he doesn’t sound like he is sure the person gave him facts as much as he wants them to be factual.

Then add in all the personal drama from Dick looking for an affair, Candace and Cecil having an actual affair, and more? It’s like watching ideas being thrown at a wall to see what sticks, what gets the people going, and if it works, it’ll be developed on, and if not, it’ll be swept under the rug.

Which, don’t get me wrong, I get it is hard to write comedy, and it is hard to write a mystery since there are higher expectations for both genres. However, sometimes I think “The Watchful Eye” is leaning too heavily on “Cruel Summer” being a hit, and assuming that a simple mystery is all that is needed, while disregarding all that show brought to viewers.

Mariel Molino as Elena
The Watchful Eye: Season 1/ Episode 2 “Hide and Seek” – Recap/ Review
While “The Watchful Eye” gains some level of intrigue with its second episode, it remains a show that needs to break out of the formula made for mysteries series, to expand its character into far more complicated beings and hopefully do that sooner rather than later.
Elena Could Carry The Show
The New Developments Don’t Make The Mysteries More Intriguing

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