Bless the Beast and the Children
S1 episode 2 Aired on October 23, 2016

Warning: Recap Contains Spoilers

By Benjamin Lindsay

The second (and final) Eyewitness installment directed by Twilight helmer Catherine Hardwicke is just what this crime series needed to rope audiences in for the 10-episode long haul. Beginning with the nail-biting tension of last week’s final moments and going out with a jaw-dropping reveal, Eyewitness officially has us hooked. Here are the highlights and revelations to prep you for episode three.

We meet Mithat Milonkovic.

When we first meet Mithat Milonkovic (played by Alex Karzis), it’s clear he’s not a man to be messed with. FBI informant Chris Petronelli and his wife, Sita, were doing business with the heroin drug lord at the time of Chris’s death, and when he ends up dead and Sita can’t get Mithat his due money, he kidnaps her in the street. Their unexpected run-in causes Sita to miss her court hearing and lose custody of her child, who Child Services has had since episode one. Whether or not Mithat is in cahoots with the Vescovi family is still unclear.

Helen further entrenches herself in the FBI cover-up.

While they’re working against each other in most respects, Camilla and Helen end up cutting a deal. Not only is Camilla’s FBI informant dead, but we learn that Chris was actually her brother-in-law; Sita, who’s in danger with Mithat, is her sister. Camilla is convinced if Mithat knew Chris was an informant, then her sister and her baby niece would both end up dead, so she’s doing all she can to cover their tracks. But after finding a long black hair with red tips in the trunk of the car found outside the cabin, Helen is convinced there was a fourth party who got fled the crime scene.

Helen has a hunch that the hair could belong to a recent missing persons report of a 15-year-old girl named Bella, but the FBI has wiped all images and identifying information on her file. Camilla agrees to hand over the file in exchange for Helen’s help in getting Sita her baby back from Child Services. Helen is persuaded to lie and testify that Sita was with her, being questioned about a criminal case at the time of her court hearing, which is why she missed it. (At the episode’s end, Sita gets her baby back.) Bella’s file does indeed show a girl with dark hair and red tips, and she’s later identified as Mithat’s daughter. She’s now back in his totalitarian care against her will, locked away in her room.

So what was Bella’s hair doing in the trunk?

Turns out, the 15-year-old Bella was having an affair with the killer from the cabin, who was being held captive in the trunk by Milonkovic’s men. (Her hair must have been on his clothes somewhere.) So this kidnapping and killing gone wrong was possibly personal and not related to Milonkovic’s drug trade. So for now, that’s what we know of the killer’s motive. He was captured and meant to die under Milonkovic’s orders; he broke free and shot up the cabin; and now he’s after eyewitnesses Philip and Lukas to close loose ends.

But the killer is not after Philip.

Well, he is after Philip as the eyewitness from the cabin, but he only knows the teen by his brown leather jacket, which is why he didn’t recognize Philip on the bus. You’ll remember that Philip actually gave his leather jacket to a classmate named Tommy in episode one. What at first seemed like an inconsequential trade-off unravels here to be Tommy’s demise. The killer tracks Tommy down while he’s on a date with his girlfriend, Tracy, and -- in ways not shown onscreen -- makes their death look like a heroin overdose. Everyone but Philip and Lukas fall for the staging, and the two boys spend most of the episode in a mixture of fear, mourning, and guilt.

Lukas and Philip’s relationship progresses, further complicates.

Obviously, the fact that they have the death of a classmate on their hands throws a wrench into their budding romance, but Lukas’s continued refusal to acknowledge his sexuality is another point of conflict. We meet Lukas’s girlfriend, Rose, this episode. When she tries putting the moves on him, he gets a text from Philip and promptly leaves -- but he’s still keen on bragging to Philip that Rose wants to gratify him sexually. It’s a play at jealousy that doesn’t go unnoticed by Philip. Lukas at one point even insists, “I’m not supposed to like you this way.”

Not sure how to cope with their situation -- romantic or otherwise -- they pop a bottle of whiskey and get blasted while smashing up an abandoned car. When they’re caught by Helen and brought into the station, Lukas’s father seems utterly baffled by his son’s behavior and new friend, while Helen and her husband, Gabe, are equally confused and worried for their foster son. Is he at risk of succumbing to drug use like his friend, Tommy?

About that explosive ending.

We mean explosive in more ways than one. First is Sita: After her run-in with Milthat, she’s shown frantically searching for drugs in her late husband’s office only to instead find a bomb. She takes her unexpected find as sick inspiration and plants the bomb in Milthat’s apartment. Helen, now knowing Milthat’s ties to the girl in the trunk, goes to the drug dealer’s apartment and knocks on the door just as the bomb goes off. After being tended to by paramedics on the scene, she seems okay, but Bella (and possibly Milthat?) is presumably dead. Explosion number two comes with the episode’s big conclusive reveal.

Due to this small upstate town’s murders and heroin-related deaths, the FBI is cracking down on cleaning up. The episode wraps with a private FBI meeting to discuss next steps, and the agent who’s been coordinating surveillance on the Turkish heroin pipeline is introduced to the room. His name is Ryan Kane. And he’s the killer from the cabin.