TV Review: Gracepoint (1×08) – “Episode Eight”


“They got him back.”

The Solano family was the heart of this week’s episode and, I’ll readily admit, they pulled on my heart strings. Maybe I’m just tired and vulnerable, but seeing Mark, Beth and Chloe try and work through their grief in a day of happiness was so pleasing in the sense of where the narrative had been only moments before. I had been mildly alarmed at how normal Chloe and Mark seemed at the beginning of the episode and was worried for Beth when she talked to another mother who had lost her child, but everything was made better when Mark and Beth found Chloe at Deans, dancing and smiling. They realized that they need to be watching over her more, as well as themselves, even if it means putting away their grief for a day to go bowl with their daughter and grab milk shakes. Beth even let slip something about taking care of the baby, and it was a small, nice moment of not exactly closure, but resolution to some of the problems that have been plaguing the family. They love Danny, they’re still devastated and blind to what could pop up next and remind them of that missing piece of their family, but they know now at least that their family support system is in place, even when the world seems to be closing in.

I wish I had enjoyed the rest of the episode as much. Nothing was bad, much was intriguing even if nothing has really jumped out and grabbed me yet. Again, a main source of the material’s problems comes from Carver and Ellie, but even when Carver seems to soften his resolve toward his partner when she’s worried for Tom, it still isn’t believable. Both Anna Gunn and David Tennant do the strongest work of the series tonight that they’ve done thus far. Gunn is excellent when she’s worried about Tom, especially how her whole body seems to slouch when Tom is in the hospital, a little bruised but safe, out of total relief. Tennant is equally good as a virtuous man who is trying his best to find Danny’s killer but whose past demons are beginning to catch up to him. However, I simply don’t buy the banter between them, and I don’t buy that they’ve grown closer. Shows such as Elementary and Sleepy Hollow know how to create believable partnerships, and Gracepoint is having a very difficult time generating any sort of warmth between the two.

The other residents of the town float in and out of focus for the remaining parts of the episode. Many more are seen in incriminating lights. Paul is relieved to have been a recovering alcoholic and narcotics addict and is also shown to have remaining feelings for Beth. Paul is asked to give a DNA sample, and Kevin Rankin gets to deliver a nice dressing down monologue to Carver, telling him to not belittle his faith just because he doesn’t have the capacity to understand it.

Tom is seen by Paul smashing his computer, making it abundantly clear he has something to hide. Susan is revealed to have been in possession of Danny’s skateboard, which lands her straight in an interrogation room. However, she won’t talk until her dog is found and she sees him. Her dog is with Vince, who is apparently trying to send a message.

There’s a lot to cover and there’s only two episodes left. With so many characters in limbo, have you gotten a sense of who’s done it yet? Are you avoiding speculation in order to be genuinely surprised? Who or what was your favorite part of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments.




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