Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Gracepoint - Episode 7 - Review

If last week was a marked departure in terms of atmosphere, this week's plot has finally diverged significantly from the original. Not only does Tom Miller go missing, but we're introduced to the Creepy Backpacker, and Emmett Carver's daughter Julianne. All of this happening in one episode gives us a lot to chew on (not to mention the fact that it ends with a cliffhanger - AGH).

The last episode ended with the death of Jack Reinhold. We pick up as the town is coming together for a memorial service. Paul Coates gives the congregation a tongue-lashing (translation: mild rebuke, because the man has no charisma whatsoever) about failing Jack. Presumably, this is because they suspected him, because soon after this, Joe lets Carver have it about suspecting Paul Coates.

Seriously, people? "Don't suspect us, because, y'know, we're innocent. And it's not like it's your job to investigate, or anything. Cuz community."

The sudden emergency brings out the public spirit of Gracepoint, with an oddly-unconcerned search party scouring the woods around town. Paul Coates finds time to praise, and attempt to reconcile with, Mark, while also making a ridiculous comment about goldfinches. Who is this guy, Mary Poppins? It strikes me, once again, that this show doesn't know how Christians talk. Broadchurch captured perfectly the awkward sincerity with which Paul Coates tries to answer the big questions. As for Gracepoint: dropping a few references to God into a conversation does not a Christian make.

Ellie's panic results in a mixture of steely determination (finally!) and vindictiveness. She quickly lashes out at Joe for leaving Tom alone, and when, against his better judgment, Carver allows her to be in the room while he interviews Creepy Backpacker Lars, she completely loses her cool.

Now let's be fair. Lars is enough to make anyone lose their cool. He's just the sort of happy-sad-tuned-out sociopath who adds plenty of tension to a story. Cliched? Yes, very. But he makes for a nice detour among all the other stuff.

Chief "other stuff" development is Julianne. While Ellie is facing the loss of her child; Emmett is dreading that he might lose his own. She's turned up out of the blue, just in time to ask awkward questions about his illness. "Gee, Dad, are you sick? Why can't you spend enough time with me? You don't love me! Nobody understands me!" *sulks*

In other news, we see the brief return of Raymond, Beth is wonderfully sympathetic to Ellie, Vince is menacing, and Susan Wright is making brownies. Happily, our two reporters are nowhere in evidence (except Owen, briefly).

At this point, my theory is simply that Tom has run away. I've commented before that he spends a lot of time riding around town on his own - visiting Vince - talking to Susan.

Chief suspect? Julianne. Not really. I'm not entirely sure anymore, though Mark is still on my radar.

My review of next week's episode.

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

Hannah Long

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