GRACEPOINT Recap: “Episode Nine”

     December 5, 2014


In Gracepoint‘s penultimate episode, the show answered a few season-long questions (though not, in all likelihood, its central one).  Time is running out for the series, in parallel to that of Emmett Carver, whose health issues have put a very short clock on his involvement in finding Danny’s killer — one day, to be exact.  As such, things have escalated on all fronts.  Hit the jump for fewer vagaries.

gracepoint-episode-eight-david-tennant-anna-gunn-1In the Christmas spirit, let’s explore the ghosts of Gracepoint‘s past, present and future.

Two major questions were answered in very straight-forward ways in “Episode Nine.”  The first: what happened with Rosemont?  Renee returned, briefly, to use her muckraking for something not completely useless, though only because Owen parlayed it, smartly, into something more valuable.  Her intel on Emmett’s hospital visit gave Owen some leverage to get an exclusive from Emmett about the current case, which he pressed into it being about Rosemont.  The truth was that Emmett didn’t lose the crucial evidence, his (now ex-)wife did, on an evidence-run pit-stop to her affair.  The killer got the evidence back from her car, and now continues to roam free.  Emmett took the blame to protect his kinda spoiled daughter, whose mother has clearly not done anything to improve her opinion of Emmett after the divorce.  Sucks (and yet, he still wants to protect her idiocy).

Susan Wright, after a threat from Ellie regarding Archie, also fesses up to what she knows: that her husband was raping her older daughter, and she never knew, until he killed the older daughter while trying to get to the younger one.  Then he killed himself, and the police took Susan’s baby — who she claims is Vince — away from her, along with her younger daughter.  In simultaneous interviews, Susan explains how she also saw Vince carry Danny’s body to the beach the night he was killed, a fact she had used as leverage with Vince to get him to bring her into his life.

So, in the present, there are a lot of fucked-up things happening with Susan and Vince.  But it also puts her claim that Vince killed Danny into serious doubt.  Maybe she did see him that night on the beach, or maybe she just thought she did.  Regardless of whether it’s true to any degree or not, she kept it from police in order to first bring it to Vince, to bring them closer together.  It stands to reason, then (seeing as how that didn’t work), that she would try to gain further leverage by saying he is the killer, something she could easily recant if he was just “sweet” to her.  Instead, he threatens her (and Archie!) and she seems to take that as either proof that he is a killer, or a fine reason to not reverse her story so that he’s let out to go after her.

gracepoint-recap-episode-seven-michael-pena-virginia-kullA lot of things look bad for Vince, though.  He did have a close, semi-secret relationship with Danny, and has his name tattooed on his arm (something he told his mother, which makes it seem not quite as nefarious).  He has a few potential motives, and he could have easily been the man who was at the cabin the night Ellie and Emmett got the call about the flashlight there.  Further, Ellie’s sister says she saw Vince the night Danny was murdered, with the Solano plumbing van backed up into the woods.  Vince was apparently “carrying something heavy” in a bag.

On the other hand, no one who has seemed like an obvious suspect on Gracepoint has ever ended up having anything to do with the crime.  The show is famous for its false leads at this point.  Vince being so obviously pointed out as the killer makes it almost a guarantee that he isn’t.  And yet, with only one episode left, can a final reveal of it being someone else satisfyingly happen that quickly?

The remaining men of Gracepoint who have not been in custody yet include Owen, Paul, and Joe. I think we can reasonably eliminate Owen, but then again, who knows.  Paul had a lot of ominous music attached to him, and his “lingering” hug with Beth could signify something.  Also, did he hit Danny on that camping trip, or did Tom?  And why did Paul hold on to Tom’s computer for as long as he did before turning it over to police?  As for Joe, Ellie questioned Susan a lot about how she didn’t know that such a heinous thing was happening in her own home, and later, genuinely questions Joe about what he does all day (not any housework or DIY projects, apparently).  And then, of course, there’s Tom.  He didn’t kill Danny, I think we can be fairly certain of that, but what does he know about it?  Why did he want to destroy his laptop?  And who is in possession of Danny’s cell phone?

Next week, those questions should be answered.  “Episode Nine” didn’t feel like a penultimate episode, though.  And even though there were some brief updates about the Solanos’ baby (and Beth’s acceptance of him or her), Gracepoint still isn’t a show that has managed to connect on a much personal level regarding the town and its inhabitants.  So far, it seems just like a regular kind of crime drama (a very long-winded one) and not a piece of a larger piece of storytelling.  Nailing its finale will be crucial.

Episode Rating: A-

gracepoint-recap-episode-seven-anna-gunnMusings and Miscellanea:

— Despite my general disappointment with the show, and its failure to make us really care about this town (at least, I don’t really care about it — sorry if you do!  There’s no Season Two!), I still think that these last few episodes have been executed fairly well, even if they have just been info-dumps.

— Gemma just totally dropped out of the picture, didn’t she?


— How did Kathy, after learning Susan’s real name, not find out that ream of information about her family’s dark past?

—  “I want him to be happy. Not bring him into whatever we have turned into” – Beth.

— That was a nice gift, Dean.  Awkward, but nice.

— Beth says a trip to the bowling alley doesn’t solve everything, but it basically did.  Yes, she has concerns about the new baby regarding leaving Danny behind, or not being able to protect him, but she does at least want to have it at this point for sure.

— “If you’re going to lie to me, Vince, at least have the respect to lie well” – Emmett.

— The revelations in this episode were pretty dark.

— “What do you do every day?” – Ellie.

— Poor Emmett.