Sunday, October 12, 2014

Gracepoint - Episode 2 - Review

My review of last week's episode.

Okay, the priest did it. My dad fingered the killer in the first episode of Broadchurch, and he has already cast judgment on Gracepoint.

If this is true, I will be very, very unable to express my feelings politely on this family blog.

It’s not really a spoiler to say that the priest was not the killer in Broadchurch. Instead, he provided the “moral compass” when everyone else’s had broken. Yes, he had a token motive, but just as an excuse to, in a key scene, bring him into conflict with the cynical, disillusioned Alec Hardy—now Emmett Carver. He was central to the hope that stood against the fragmentation of distrust and suspicion that threatened to destroy his community.

In this story, I predict that Reverend Paul Coates at least has a history with Beth Solano, which means his kindness to her has an ulterior motive. This annoys me to no end. I can’t complain too much about flawed priests (after all, I just finished The Power and the Glory), but this shift in dynamic could fatally undermine any efforts to refresh the foundational themes of Broadchurch. And that’s an issue.

But perhaps my annoyance is unwarranted—perhaps Preacher Coates will quickly get his motive out of the way and return to spiritual mentoring. Let’s hope so.

In other curmudgeonly news, the music is not as good, and Olivia Colman needn’t worry about being replaced. Anna Gunn as Ellie Miller is adequate, but nothing more. She’s more defensive than Colman, without the corresponding humility. All this makes me like Emmett Carver more.

Speaking of which, while still sulking behind his neck-beard, Tennant actually feels a little more realistically professional in this. Rude he may be, but he’s following procedure in a situation in which he obviously has real experience. Unless, of course, he’s the killer. Because he’s having kind of sinister black-outs right now, and even more sinister methods of dealing with them.

Sinisterness is spread around, from the Creepy Woman With Dog who’s hiding a skateboard in her trailer to Danny Solano’s father, who as hinted last week, definitely wasn’t “on a job” the night his son was killed. Nick Nolte’s Jack Reinhold is hanging around playgrounds and Ellie Miller’s son is hiding something. The media are being the media, complete with scary lesbian character.

On the good side, Mark's mounting level of frustration against paparazzi and Paul Coates - who he thinks is using Danny's death to steal the spotlight - feels genuine, and I suspect will only grow as the media interest increases. This adds more tension as the family deals with a horrific situation. Carver's mysterious past works well to increase his mystique, and I'm curious as to whether the explanation will be the same. The non-chemistry between Carver and Miller is quickly showing itself, and how it develops will define the show.

My review of next week's episode.

Want something good to watch? Check out my full list of good detective shows.

Hannah Long

1 comment:

  1. Broadchurch was chock full of red herrings. I suspect Gracepoint will operate the same way. Anyone looking like the killer now is sure to be innocent. If they really want to twist the knife into the priest, they would have mentioned that the victim was an altar boy to ride the meme for all it's worth. You'd have more cause to suspect Ellie Miller's son right now anyway--last seen deleting all those texts. If Gracepoint does decide to go their own way, they wouldn't deviate too far, knowing that Broadchurch 2 is in production. The UK remake of the Bridge-- (The Tunnel)-- [original Danish version Bron/Broen] promised surprises as well and ended up being almost word for word.


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