SurrealEstate 1×3 Review: “For Sale by Owner”

For Sale by Owner SurrealEstate season 1 episode 3 review
Luke Roman in “For Sale by Owner” (Image: Screengrab)

While SurrealEstate continues to bring us haunted properties and creepy scenes, the show’s biggest strengths are clearly the emotional beats and an interesting cast of main characters. Episode 3, ‘For Sale by Owner’, gave me all of that.

One of the reasons I was looking forward to watching ‘For Sale by Owner’ was the reunion between Tim Rozon and Melanie Scrofano, with both actors being from the popular Wynonna Earp series. Personally, I wanted Scrofano to play Luke’s cousin so she could guest-star at least once per season. You just can’t deny the impressive chemistry between those two. But oh well. At least the writers decided to get the most out of their reunion by having Luke handle Harper North (Scrofano) on his own while the rest of his team dealt with other clients.

Apparently, Scrofano also directed two upcoming episodes. So, I’m looking forward to more of her involvement even if it will be from behind-the-scenes.

I enjoyed Harper’s characterization. You could tell something was off with her the moment the episode opened with Harper showing potential buyers around the lakeside house. I have to say, ‘For Sale by Owner’ had me confused about whether or not the North residence was actually haunted. Considering the line of business Luke’s in, he’s seen his fair share of fake haunted properties because the owners didn’t want to sell for some reason. I actually thought for a moment that Luke was handling a non-supernatural assignment and Harper just had some personal issues. However, I was wrong and the North residence was indeed haunted by a whole bunch of ghosts.  

Scrofano did an impressive job of showing us the difference between normal and possessed Harper. I felt for her. She’s well-educated and motivated but was unfortunately trapped due to a family curse. The fact that she couldn’t physically leave the premises, even when she tried, was heartbreaking.

If you take away the paranormal aspect, I think Harper’s story linked to how people in real life grow incredibly sentimental when it comes to property. Many people don’t sell even if a house continues to bleed money because they want to keep the family legacy alive or for some other emotional reason. Harper got stuck because the ghosts of her dead relatives were unable to move on.

While the Roman Agency deals with haunted properties, Luke can be considered a hero of sorts. He tries to change people’s lives for the better. And he did that for Harper even though things got bad for him more than once. Harper’s got a nice future in front of her. I’m happy about that but disappointed about the fact we will properly never see her again.

Family was a big thing in this week’s episode. While Harper’s family wanted everyone to stay together, Luke’s family was a bit different. I think the entire fandom thought the reunion between Luke and the ghost of his mother would be a nice one. But we were wrong. I was quite shocked to see Luke’s mother Victoria (Jennifer Dale) verbally abuse him. Turns out, Victoria never wanted Luke to be born. She was very clear about how she’s been always been disappointed in him. She also didn’t know why he wanted to save her. From what I could tell, she’s happy living as a ghost in Megan’s house.

Poor Luke. There are a lot of emotions inside of him and I hope he decides to open up to his colleagues. They want to help him, especially after Father Phil and August got to know about Victoria’s ghost from Megan. I was surprised Luke’s coworkers didn’t know about Victoria already. As I have already mentioned, he needs to talk to them about his mother and what’s up with the haunted house Megan’s living in.

As for the rest of the crew, with Luke busy with Harper, Sarah got tasked with handling a famous horror author named William Larson. He bought a house every time he planned to write a new book. Even though the assignment sounded easy, Sarah’s cockiness got the best of her. I couldn’t help but laugh at the mess Sarah created because she refused to accept Zooey’s help.

Even though Sarah made progress with her coworkers in the previous episode, she’s still got a lot to learn. I liked how the writers handled her character. People don’t change their behavior overnight. It’s a process that requires dedication. Sarah slipped up. The good news is that she realized her mistake and apologized to Zooey. Fingers crossed, we get to see more of those two working together.

With Sarah showing William haunted houses for sale, so he had the perfect creepy place to write his new book in, we got to see Luke’s childhood home. Apparently, it’s still haunted and that’s why William decided to buy it. After seeing how Victoria treated Luke, I’m interested in learning more about Luke’s childhood. He has the ability to see and talk to ghosts. So, did his childhood playtime include hanging out with actual ghosts and that freaked out Victoria?

If you remember, Luke did tell the boy in episode 2 about how he also didn’t have a lot of friends growing up. After knowing what I know now about Luke’s childhood, the previous scenes with that little boy offer another layer when it comes to why Luke was able to connect with that child.

Ever since watching the first episode of SurrealEstate, I could feel myself being invested in the main cast. The writers are doing an impressive job of slowly revealing more about each character as the series progresses. Luke’s childhood wasn’t the best. And I take it that’s why he decided to open the Roman Agency because even though he’s yet to face demons from his past, at least, he had it in him to help others face theirs and move on.

With what was revealed about Luke, I think the rest of the characters have their own issues that still need to be dealt with. And I’m ready to learn more about all of them and see how they overcome their personal obstacles.

Other thoughts and questions:

  • Director Danishka Esterhazy really made the North’s lakeside residence feel creepy yet beautiful. Also, the scene where Harper’s dead relatives walked out of the lake… chills!
  • I liked how Father Phil, August, Zooey, and Sarah talked about Luke. People tend to speculate about their boss’s love life, especially if their boss is also a friend. Having said that, I want Luke to bring everyone on the same page about Victoria and what’s happening with Megan’s house.
  • Yay to Megan’s engagement being called off. I have been shipping her and Luke.
  • I’m still waiting for Sarah to use her telekinesis. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if Zooey also has a supernatural talent.

What did you think of ‘For Sale by Owner’?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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