For fans of Broadchurch, Gracepoint‘s “Episode Seven” is when this show completely distinguished itself as a separate crime story. There have been clues in these later episodes that suggested the two would have different outcomes, but “Episode Seven” made it clear the circumstances leading to that revelation are vastly different, and a gamechanger on all fronts. The story is now not only about Danny, but about a second mystery, with even more secrets yet to uncover. Hit the jump; “I have a rifle in the van. Don’t make me use it.”
Jack’s funeral was supposed to be a time for Ellie and Emmett to start seeing who might be carrying the weight of two deaths on them. After a dizzy spell, Emmett turns his eye to Paul, who he saw touching Tom’s knee. Simple gestures like this all have a darkness to them now, and Emmett tries to see if Tom will give him any information against Paul, or about a relationship Paul and Danny might have had. It’s Joe, oddly, who breaks up the mini-interrogation with uncharacteristic hostility, which Tom also mirrors when Ellie tries to find out if he’s alright.
All of this, so far, seems in line with what we knew — Tom has something to hide, because he erased his messages and wiped his computer, but what? He and Danny don’t seem to have been as close as Ellie seemed to think they were, so what happened?
The search for Tom ran parallel with several other suspicious stories, including that of Lars the hiker (who is off his meds), who met Danny once. Tom was spotted heading towards Lars’ cabin, and his bike was found in the woods nearby. Lars claims to have no recollection of him, which he sincerely did with Danny. Just as damning, though, is Vince being seen with blood on his hands in his shed, the same shed where he once met with Tom, and asked if anybody knew where he was (before closing them in). Susan Wright claims to know that he’s done something bad, and wants him to confide in her; his reaction is a violent one. But Susan, lest we forget, also has Danny’s skateboard in her possession, and asked Tom to come and see her sometime.
“Episode Seven” also excelled in some of its character moments aside from the case clues, like when Beth came to hug Ellie. Ellie turning on Joe, too, was a raw and difficult moment (because, as we saw, Tom seemed to have somewhere he wanted to go, and probably would have cut class even after Joe dropped him off), that was thankfully resolved later when Ellie let him know it wasn’t his fault.
Paul trying to bond with Mark was less successful, both for them and for us (given Mark’s robotic emotions). Emmett’s daughter Julianne showing up also didn’t play as it maybe should have. She calls him out for being selfish and caring more about other people’s children than his own, but then again, she didn’t exactly make plans to see him, and happened to show up and demand attention on a day when another boy has gone missing, and could potentially be dead. Chill, girl. Your Dad is legitimately busy.
At this point, the suspect pool remains wide open, and Tom missing refreshes the horror of the premiere episode, when Beth realizes Danny didn’t show up for school. Seeing the town come together after Jack’s death could be what makes a difference, though, since they had been so fractious after Danny’s body was found. Finding Tom (alive, let’s hope) will surely lead to important clues about Danny’s killer. In the meantime, “Episode Seven” was Gracepoint‘s watershed moment.
Episode Rating: A
Musings and Miscellanea:
— I liked seeing Emmett and Ellie finally working together, and him letting her take the lead.
— Another clue in this episode: Danny’s phone was forwarding calls to a smart phone that is still missing, and isn’t turned on.
— So Gemma is a Wiccan, apparently.
— Emmett throwing things at the door when one of the officers knocked on it was amazing.
— “And don’t call me Emmett!!”
— The psychic tells Beth that Tom has been hurt … are we supposed to take it that he has some real power? Or that he’s the one snatching these boys?
— Mark doesn’t like birds … seems suspicious!