Saturday, November 1, 2014

Gracepoint - Episode 5 - Review

My review of last week's episode

Apparently the only way Gracepoint's inhabitants have of dealing with their anger is to grab people by their jackets and shake them around. See Mark Solano vs. Paul Coates, and Paul Coates vs. Raymond Connolly.

But is there anybody out there that wasn't cheering when Owen Burke got knocked silly by the Wrath of Nick Nolte? And as for me, I think Emmett Carver ought to have been a bit harder on everybody's favorite psychic.

Speaking of Owen, our two beautiful journalists are starting to show their evil side. Now they have become a romantic duo (anyone not see that coming?), Renee is using everything she can to manipulate the ambitious Zac Efron look-alike. That includes putting him up to asking Jack Reinhold about his past conviction for sex with a minor. It does not go well.

Meanwhile, Renee is off getting an exclusive with the family. Beth is worried that the police aren't actually getting anything done - and this motivates her to take the risk and go public. Throughout this episode, Beth's fragile poise is dealt blow after blow. Over the last two episodes she realized that both Mark and Chloe are hiding things from her, and now even Raymond appears to be exploiting her desperation. At last, she's had enough, and vindictively chooses the worst moment to confront Mark about his affair. (Is it just me, or does Michael Peña have only one expression in this thing? Dude. It's not underacting, it's just lazy. You're no Andrew Buchan.)

Creepy Lady With Dog is now named Susan Wright - except she's really Ruth Erlick. Unfortunately, you can't arrest someone just because they're creepy. Paul Coates gets to deliver his first sermon, which is markedly different from the corresponding Broadchurch homily. This time, he advises people not to suspect others - because who cares about the truth, anyway, when he can bring "comfort and joy" to his parishioners. Related: he's way too smarmy about teaching Sunday School. Arthur Darvill wasn't anywhere near as pretentious, and was also much more charismatic. And good-looking. And interesting.

While all of this is going on, Ellie and Carver are investigating Jack (surly), Paul Coates (stalking the streets at night), and the burning boat from last week's finale scene. The boat - which signals that the killer's getting desperate - has brought out Carver's happy side, such as it is.

He shows some more of that happy side when he comes for dinner at the Millers'. This was the funniest scene in Broadchurch, and it's by far the funniest scene in Gracepoint as of yet. Tennant's social clumsiness is even more pronounced here, but just as believable (I've known people just like him).

I was glad that the line about false intimacy was still there. It's very important for defining both the character and the show. Besides the humor, and the sudden bond between Emmett and Joe, this scene also reveals a lot more about Carver's past - he's divorced, and Julianne is his daughter. He has more insecurities than he lets on.

Ellie and Carver's chemistry is growing (a bit). I think it helps a lot that she is simply approaching him with some humility - he recognizes and rewards professionalism. This, coupled with some fine scenery-chewing from Nolte's Jack, moves the episode along at a solid pace, and while it's slower than episode 4, it's enough to make me look forward to next Thursday.

Number one suspect: Still Paul Coates.

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. Arthur Darvill is, of course, better known as Rory (as in Amy and Rory) in Doctor Who. That's how we knew he couldn't have had anything to do with the murder. ;-)


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