I’ve spent a decent amount of time in these Gracepoint reviews harping about nearly everything. If it’s annoying to me I’m sure it’s annoying to you, so I figured, hey, why not change the pace up a bit.
Here are some of the things I managed to like about this week’s episode.
Virginia Kull as Beth remains the best part of the show as well as the most consistently powerful. Beth, it would seem, is the only member of the Solano family who’s going through the motions of grief. Maybe the others are still in shock, maybe their grieving processes are stifled due to the murder case, but it’s Beth’s palpable and often debilitating pain over the loss of her son that remains the most poignant because it’s something that seems all too real. She would be distancing herself from her family, she would be holding onto any thread of hope, even if it’s from a psychic, she would be angry at everyone, and she would be crushed at the image of a little boy playing soccer with his friends.
She’s using her anger as her crutch, and it bubbles out unfiltered when she learns that she may not have known Danny as well as she’d have hoped. I hope the other actors on the show start raising their games to keep up with Kull soon; otherwise, she’s going to unquestionably be the one memorable part of the remake.
I enjoyed the glimmer of potential trust/friendship/what have you between Ellie and Carver. We’re beginning to see a bit more of Carver’s vulnerabilities and more of Ellie’s aptitude, and her inviting Carver to dinner was one of the few times I felt amused by the show. They’re from different worlds, so to speak, and he’s conditioned himself to a certain type of lifestyle, and here’s this harried woman, who’s had a rough day, and is still trying to offer a hand of kindness to him. I’ll continue to like Ellie and Carver more as they grow to become less like archetypes and more like humans dealing with a terrible situation.
The direction by James Strony was a wonderful addition to the mood of the episode, which was a lot of middling plot points and small, but likely crucial, plot developments. It’s the first episode to truly capture the nature that surrounds them and the rural, tourist-driven part of the town.
I wish I had enjoyed the entire episode, but sadly there were notable detractions. Certain characters seemed to get nothing new to do and were rather stationary; action followed them rather than them moving the action forward.
We get a greater introduction to Dean, Chloe’s boyfriend this week. They’ve been keeping their relationship because he’s nearly 18 while she’s 15, though Chloe points out to her father that that’s the same age difference between him and Beth, and at least she’s using protection during sex. Dean was closer to Danny than people realized, giving the boy a friend when he was lonely and trying to help him out when he was able to. Dean is one of the more interesting characters the show has introduced because he isn’t simply surface level. Sure, he bought coke for Chloe and he brought Danny with him, but he did the former because he likes Chloe and wanted to help out even if it put him in a precarious position, and he did the latter because he saw Danny on his own walking out of town and figured he’d be safer with him.
Dean isn’t angry at Chloe for telling Carver and Miller where she got the cocaine, completely understanding of her feelings despite being brought in for questioning. He’s a character I’d like to see more of.
The character who I currently can’t get behind is Kevin Rankin’s Paul Coates, which saddens me considering Rankin is an immensely talented character actor. The problem, though, lies with the absolute lack of subtlety around his character. There is a literal ominous storm cloud following him around, and while I don’t know how his character is going to turn out, there is something nefarious, or at the very least, creepy, about the way they’re writing him. There’s going to be some sort of confrontation with his character at some point this season; we’re just going to have to wait and see who it’s with and what it’s about.
Other than that, plenty stayed the same. There’s a new suspect, Jacki Weaver finally got more than a line of dialogue, and the reporters are still the weak links of the story.