In “Episode Six,” Gracepoint took a specific look at the how the fallout from Danny’s death has become a kind of mob rule, fueled by those only looking to profit from the tragedy. It has also managed to finally make some of its drama personally compelling beyond Beth (though she remains a highlight). “Episode Six” proved how easily public opinion can be swayed, revealing the ugly underbelly of a town who supposedly loved one another. Hit the jump for #JusticeForJack.
One of the few characters who has felt fully formed in Gracepoint is Jack, thanks in large part to Nick Nolte‘s surly but affable performance (also one of the main reasons I was sorry Luck never panned out). While many other characters (especially those without alibis) could easily have motivations pinned to them, something about Jack made the witch hunt against him particularly unlikely. As he finally reveals to the detectives, as well as to Mark, his statutory rape charge regarded a girl who was nearly legal (which doesn’t make it ok), and who he later married and had a child with. His desire to spend time with younger boys through the wildlife program also was a reflection on his sorrow over his deceased son (similar to how Beth asked Tom to give her a hug in last week’s episode).
Though Jack decides to stick things out, the tabloid damage inflicted first by Owen, and augmented by Renee (no thanks to Dean, who had seemed like a decent guy until he turned on Jack, making up a possible history of potentially questionable behavior) eventually causes him to end his life. Even the truth about his ex-wife didn’t matter, as now she and his son were on the front pages of the papers, being called “a dark past.” The dredging up of so many painful memories proved too much for him, and the investigation suffered its second loss.
Evidence continued to mount up elsewhere, though, with new clues regarding cigarettes smoked where Danny’s body had been found, as well as the fact that the boat used to transport the body belonged to Owen’s father — Ellie’s brother-in-law. It was a clue that, in particular, showed the interconnectedness of the crime with the town of Gracepoint.
Danny’s phone, which Jack brought in, turned out to be a dead end, and the mysterious hiker is nowhere to be found. But outside of what Ellie and Emmett are investigating, there are other interesting turns, particularly regarding Susan. Why did she threaten Kathy last week, and does her inviting Tom to come over and walk her dog have dark portends? She also happened to observe the moment Owen realized his father’s boat was missing. Is she somehow involved with Danny’s disappearance, is she just a walking dark omen?
Gracepoint‘s real strength in “Episode Six,” though, came (per usual) from Beth. Her confronting Mark about what would make him cheat was powerful, as was her threatening Gemma. Later, she apologizes to Paul for her display of emotion, but says she doesn’t want to let go of her grief or her anger, because it’s all she has. Beth, more than anyone else (including Emmett) seems truly alone in her pain, unable to do anything to help the investigation, and also unable to have the memorial service to help her move through that grief. But, her looking through photos with Mark of Danny as a baby ended her story here on a high note: though she resents her pregnancy and Mark for his betrayal, she’s realizing that there is a special strength to be found by uniting the family, despite those complicated emotions.
There were several moments of life and humor “Episode Six” exhibited that prior episode couldn’t seem to do: Ellie being hit on by Hugo and Emmett making light of it were fun, as was the awkward moment when Emmett thought Gemma was hitting on him (which she emphatically was not, apparently). Those scenes help gives Gracepoint a dimension it’s been lacking, and in these last few episodes, hopefully, the show will continue to come more into its own.
Episode Rating: A-
Musings and Miscellanea:
— One note about Broadchurch: I think some of the clues surrounding Danny’s death differ, which make me think there could very well be an alternate ending … (don’t post any spoilers though, please, about who the original killer or killers was/were, though!)
— Tom reenacting Danny’s final ride was so eerie.
— Renee is so soulless, but it looks like Owen is finally coming to his senses (and should even more so now that Jack has killed himself over the allegations Owen put into motion).
— I keep forgetting that Emmett has some kind of ailment, so far it really hasn’t come into play regarding the rest of the story.
— Vince seemed particularly keen to get a mob attack going against Jack, didn’t he?
— I’m glad they finally had Ellie interacting with her degenerate sister (who she looks nothing like).
— “I’ve been with you since I was 16. What don’t you get from me?” – Beth.
— Paul really does seem to like the limelight, but his persuit of it is fairly subtle.
— Emmett: “Do you … want to relax here … with me? Tonight?” Gemma: “Oh! God no!”