The BEST episodes of American Gothic

Every episode of American Gothic ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of American Gothic!

American Gothic is a horror/drama/thriller series set in the heart of South Carolina in a small town called Trinity. In this town not everyone are as they seem and everyone seems to follow their leader, Sheriff Lucas Buck... who might not be as human as he seems. His son, Caleb Temple, was brought up by another family and was lead to believe that a man called Gage was his father. The local doctor, Matt Crower, gets curious when suddenly the Sheriff wants everything to do with Caleb. Then Caleb's cousin, Gail Emory, comes to town to protect Caleb in every way she can, but that is extremely difficult when she fall in love with Lucas. Then Caleb's school teacher, Miss Selena Coombs, becomes jealous. But also on Caleb's side is his dead sister, Merlyn. She is an angel prepared to do ANYTHING to keep Lucas away...

Last Updated: 10/18/2023Network: CBSStatus: Ended
A Tree Grows in Trinity
136 votes

#1 - A Tree Grows in Trinity

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 9/29/1995

Fleeing deep into the woods from Sheriff Lucas Buck, young Caleb takes refuge in an eerie, abandoned hunting lodge and is terrified when he discovers a dying man who has been tortured and is being held prisoner there.

Directors: Michael Katleman
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167 votes

#2 - Pilot

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 9/22/1995

Caleb Temple's 10th birthday turns nightmarish when his sister, Merlyn Temple, is killed and his father, Gage Temple, is the prime suspect. Gage's guilt seems confirmed when he commits suicide in his jail cell, leaving Caleb an orphan... except for the ghost of Merlyn. Caleb seems to find a father figure in Dr. Matt Crower, but this won't last if Sheriff Lucas Buck has any say in the matter.

Directors: Peter O'Fallon
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Damned If You Don't
122 votes

#3 - Damned If You Don't

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired 10/10/1995

Carter Brown panics when Sheriff Buck wants his teen-age daughter to work for him as payback for an old favor. When he refuses, his life quickly begins to unravel.

Directors: Lou Antonio
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The Buck Stops Here
45 votes

#4 - The Buck Stops Here

Season 1 - Episode 21 - Aired 7/10/1996

Yancy can't find certain files and believes Lucas has them. Billy and Selena go to Lucas' house to look for the missing files and end up making love in Lucas' bed.

Directors: Lou Antonio
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44 votes

#5 - Requiem

Season 1 - Episode 22 - Aired 7/11/1996

Caleb is trying to find the full potential of his powers by attempting to kill Gail, leaving him sole heir of Lucas' will. But, when Lucas finds out what Caleb is up to, he attempts to save Gail. Lucas and Caleb have an evil face-off.

Directors: Lou Antonio
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81 votes

#6 - Rebirth

Season 1 - Episode 11 - Aired 1/3/1996

Merlyn borrows an unborn child's spirit and reappears as Halle. Both Lucas and Caleb realize what has happened, and while Lucas tries to keep Merlyn in his world, Caleb knows she must return the spirit to the baby before it's too late.

Directors: James Frawley
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Echo of Your Last Goodbye
75 votes

#7 - Echo of Your Last Goodbye

Season 1 - Episode 18 - Aired 2/6/1998

Candy leads Ben to a house which turns out to be the place that Judith Temple used to help abandoned children. With Gail they discover drawings from the young children as well as several drawings of Lucas done with a great amount of love by Judith.

Directors: Oz Scott
Writer: John Cork
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To Hell and Back
78 votes

#8 - To Hell and Back

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired 7/3/1996

Dr. Matt struggles with his alcoholism and the death of his family. Lucas tries to push him over the edge by offering him a drink and forcing the bizarre memories of his wife and daughter.

Directors: Oz Scott
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69 votes

#9 - Inhumanitas

Season 1 - Episode 14 - Aired 1/17/1996

Lucas may have corrupted the local priest, Father Tilden, and he may be able to take his revenge on townspeople who cross his path. But not even he can control the seemingly miraculous activities of the dead Merlyn, determined to make Lucas answer for his crimes.

Directors: Bruce Seth Green
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Strong Arm of the Law
84 votes

#10 - Strong Arm of the Law

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired 11/3/1995

Sheriff Lucas Buck gets revenge --in his own chilling fashion-- on four men who move to Trinity and set off a crime wave.

Directors: Mike Binder
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Eye of the Beholder
147 votes

#11 - Eye of the Beholder

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired 10/6/1995

Sheriff Buck calls in a favor from the local judge who is overseeing Caleb's custody hearing, hoping to ensure his favored status, but he doesn't stop there.

Directors: Jim Charleston
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Learning to Crawl
74 votes

#12 - Learning to Crawl

Season 1 - Episode 17 - Aired 7/4/1996

Lucas and Caleb forge a bond when facing matters of life and death. After Caleb is electrocuted and dies at the hospital, Lucas steps in and brings the boy back to life.

Writer: David Kemper
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71 votes

#13 - Triangle

Season 1 - Episode 20 - Aired 7/10/1996

Upon Gail's announcement, she faints in Lucas' office and is taken to the hospital where she is told that she is pregnant. Gail threatens to have an abortion and even attempts to kill herself because she knows that she is carrying the evil offspring of Lucas Buck.

Directors: James Frawley
Writer: Jeff F. King
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The Plague Sower
71 votes

#14 - The Plague Sower

Season 1 - Episode 15 - Aired 1/24/1996

A sudden, mysterious bleeding illness quickly spreads through Trinity, causing death and devastation, as well as the arrival of a new doctor, Dr. Peele. As the townspeople fall victim to the plague, Matt suffers a breakdown and Lucas turns to Dr. Peele for help.

Directors: Mel Damski
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Doctor Death Takes a Holiday
74 votes

#15 - Doctor Death Takes a Holiday

Season 1 - Episode 16 - Aired 1/31/1996

Dr. Matt decides to re-investigate the murder of Merlyn. He also is curious when a woman checks into his hospital as Mrs.Smith. She begins to tell Matt all about the evil of Lucas and how she wants to kill him.

Directors: Doug Lefler
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Dead to the World
114 votes

#16 - Dead to the World

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired 10/13/1995

Gail may have pushed Sheriff Buck too far when she accuses him of foul play in the death of his former girlfriend, who was with him just before her car mysteriously drove off a bridge.

Directors: James A. Contner
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Potato Boy
89 votes

#17 - Potato Boy

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired 2/6/1998

Selena reaches out to Caleb and tries to help him with his school work. She begins to spend extra time with him which bothers Lucas. Selena also tries to reconcile with her father.

Directors: Nick Marck
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Meet the Beetles
82 votes

#18 - Meet the Beetles

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired 10/20/1995

When Jack Drey, a South Carolina state police lieutenant, throws his weight around in the investigation of the disappearance of his adulterous brother-in-law, Hack Weller, Sheriff Buck becomes wary. Drey suspects that Weller's obsession with Selena might have driven a vicious Buck to kill him.

Directors: Michael Nankin
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Ring of Fire
76 votes

#19 - Ring of Fire

Season 1 - Episode 12 - Aired 2/6/1998

Through dreams and visions, Lucas allows Gail to learn bit by bit what happened to her parents. She learned that her father was abusing her and her mother was having an affair with Gage Temple, Caleb's father.

Directors: Lou Antonio
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The Beast Within
84 votes

#20 - The Beast Within

Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired 7/3/1996

Artie, Ben Healy's brother, holds-up a local store in Trinity for a cheap watch. Ben and Lucas respond to the robbery and Ben accidentally shoots Artie. Artie, injured but still conscious, takes Lucas hostage.

Directors: Michael Lange
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73 votes

#21 - Resurrector

Season 1 - Episode 13 - Aired 1/10/1996

Radio talk show host Mel Kirby approaches Lucas for help in bringing his show to television. When Lucas refuses Mel and his co-anchor wife, Gloria vow to ruin Lucas. Meanwhile, a depressed Caleb decides he wants to give Merlyn a second funeral.

Directors: Elodie Keene
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72 votes

#22 - Strangler

Season 1 - Episode 19 - Aired 2/6/1998

Lucas calls on the ghost of the Boston Strangler to come to Merlyn. Lucas leaves town to attend a convention and Albert De Salva -aka The Boston Strangler- decides to do more than just try to kill Merlyn.

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