‘Gracepoint’ 1.03 or Laying Down The Pipe(s)

Last night’s Gracepoint was brought to you by the letter G.  G stands for Guilt.

Courtesy of FOXBut first, congratulations to Gracepoint. I’m hooked in and very much looking forward to what will happen next week.  I think the final revelation of who killed Danny will (and should) bear significantly on what the audience takes away from the miniseries, so long as the writers are carefully constructing a town and a group of characters who hold up the story with equally balanced strength.  What I mean by that is that so often on television you get a cast of supporting characters that serve purely as filler, comic relief, or to facilitate the protagonists’ exposition, and this becomes tiresomely obvious.  The great thing about a miniseries is that it does not bear the kind of pressure that a seasonal drama (or comedy) has of constructing a sturdy formula based on tried and true tropes. As such, the miniseries tends to lend itself far better to the fluid ensemble drama in comparison, the difference here being that the miniseries needs a definitive purpose. Whether or not that purpose is revealed right away or gradually, it must exist.

So if we go back to Gracepoint, what can we say is its special purpose so far?  I’ve theorized that the series has a “you never know who your neighbors are” thing going on, but there’s nothing utterly new and exciting about its approach to that… yet.  In fact it’s pretty standard in the mystery crime genre.  Stoic guilt ridden cop: CHECK.  Illicit affairs, as uncovered in last nights episode: CHECK. Secret diary belonging to to victim: CHECK. And yet, these characters (and kudos to the fine actors) feel true.

Last night’s performances from Anna Gunn and Michael Pena were their best yet on the show, and I trust that as the tension rises we will see even more.  Pena’s reaction,as Mark, to his wife accusatory question that he could have killed their son was heartfelt, with equal amounts of shock, sadness, and anger coming through, and in that order.  Gunn’s comic timing as Ellie goes from a heartfelt and sexy phone conversation with her husband to the pain of simply exchanging a few words with the humorless Carver could have been just another scene but I had to chuckle at the subtly of her annoyance. To have it followed up with her lovely “I’m not doing it. And if you’ll excuse me I’m going home” really drove up the BOOYAH  factor.

The A-Story (Mark’s Alibi)

Did anyone else suspect for a moment that Mark was gay and that Danny had figured it out (i.e. the journal entries for the previous episode) and followed him.  I was way off last week with my suspicions that Danny had followed his dad to the hut where Danny’s blood and Mark’s fingerprints were found.  Or was I?  We still don’t know why he was riding his bike around town in the middle of the night or what he meant by those entries.

The temporary status of Mark’s alibi also put his wife, Beth, into a state of paranoia about Mark’s culpability.  The suspicion was initially fired up by Detective Pete’s questioning about Mark’s whereabouts, and ultimately fueled by Raymond The Ghost Whisperer’s message from Danny beyond the grave that the killer is “someone he was very close to” so it would be best if she never found out.  Are you guys believing this Raymond guy? I mean, within the context of the show, he sounds like he’s the real deal.  Unless of course he’s the killer but that would be way too obvious.

Ellie’s son, Tommy, was questioned about Danny and Mark’s relationship by Carver, revealing that Mark had hit Danny “once, maybe twice” which made Carver more suspicious.  (Aside: I always find it curious that on film and television having hit one’s child as disciplinary action without fail gets written in to bump a character up on a murder suspect list.  Do real life cops also use this as a guiding standard? Just curious.)

Nonetheless, Mark is arrested for lying about where he was the night of Danny’s death until Gemma (the adorable British Innkeeper) fesses up that she was with him that night. Like with him. Since every word from every mouth should be treated with equal skepticism on the show, I wondered if Gemma could also be covering for him but they were certainly together as revealed in their private conversation by the show’s conclusion.

Finally, what was up with his alibi for why his fingerprints at the hut not matching Trailer Park Kathy’s?  Who do we believe here?

The B-Stories (Owen and Renee’s Investigation, Chloe and the Cocaine, Carver’s Illness)

I must say, Renee is nosy and annoyingly persistent, to where I thought I would only grow to dislike her, but… love her.  She is both those things, and I’ll go one further and admit she is also self-interested.  She is a journalist and she wants to uncover a story and get a good piece written about it, and maybe even aid the investigation herself which would undoubtedly boost her career but, GOOD FOR YOU GIRL. That’s what the press is there to do, and no doubt she will end up uncovering something because lets not forget that journalist are not bound to the same restrictions as the police.  We also found out that she was in the courtroom in Rosemont when Carver did whatever he did to destroy the missing girls case he was a part of there. She clearly feels that the system somehow failed and by following this murder in Gracepoint, where Carver is the lead once again, it seems she is trying to keep a closer eye on the justice system, if not Carver himself.

Owen is surely bound to take her offer to share a byline with her on the story because press conferences on the renovations of a public library is not where anyone wants to be.

Chloe hasn’t had her moment to shine just yet but it would appear her time is coming soon.  Not only has Carver put the pressure on her to reveal the source of the cocaine under her floorboards (and link it to the $500 found under Danny’s bed), but she’s also sending cryptic messages to an unknown person regarding her dad’s whereabouts.  Could it be her boyfriend: the person who actually gave her the cocaine?

Finally, Carver’s disease is possibly escalating due to the stress of his job.  We still don’t know what it is but there was a mention of medical records and advise to take a leave of absence. Any theories?

What We Know

  • Mark was with Gemma on the night of Danny’s death
  • Chloe is in contact with someone outside of the house who has a close relationship with her father
  • Many sources point to Danny having been on a boat
  • Carver is quite ill and needs to rest, Doctor’s orders
  • Carver claims he is staying on the case for penance (for the Rosemont case)
  • The Gracepoint writers don’t think Anne Hathaway is very funny

What We Don’t Know

  • Why did Mark have a dream where Danny was crying and wet in his closet? Could this have to do with the theory that he was taken on a boat? And if so what does this reveal about Mark?
  • What is Beth going to do about her pregnancy?
  • Who was Chloe texting?
  • What was Tommy not saying or lying about when he spoke to the police?
  • What exactly did Carver do in that Rosemont courtroom that made it “all fall apart”
  • What kind of disease/condition does Carver have?
  • Whose phone number is on that piece of newspaper found in the lining of Danny’s jacket?
  • Why did Tommy say that Danny just stopped carrying about baseball? And is his wanting to quit the soccer team
  • Where does Carver’s fear of water stem from?  Looks pretty serious.
  • Will there be a gash on Danny’s body like Mark claims (from when he bled on the boat)?
  • Will Mark’s bar fight arrest be significant?
  • Why was Danny’s blood was found at the hut?
  • Who was the backpacker Reinhold claims to have seen Danny with?
  • Will Beth confront Mark about seeing him and Gemma together?

Theories: There are too many loose ends and red herrings at this point to start making any grand conclusions but by episode 5 we should have a much better sense of where things are headed. There is certainly a sense of guilt which was prevalent in this episode: Carver’s guilt about the Rosemont girls; Mark’s guilt about cheating on his wife; Chloe’s guilt about turning on her dad, and now possibly giving up her boyfriend to the police; Owen’s guilt about wanting to leave Gracepoint and possibly exploiting them to do so.

One thing I can presume is that this isn’t the last time that Mark will be a suspect.  What were your thoughts on this week’s Gracepoint? Did I miss anything that stood out to you as important? Theories and thoughts welcome below.

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One Comment

  1. Kathy T.
    Posted October 21, 2014 at 6:26 am | Permalink | Reply

    Although it would be stereotypical, I have to say I wouldn’t be surprised if the Priest turns out to have something to do with it. There are subtle innuendos that he has feelings for Mark’s wife Beth (notice the look on his face when he held her for a moment, or how even she sensed something other than “Fatherly Love” and retracted her hand when he held/caressed it….and here’s a moment to re-watch: while they are still sitting at the picnic table….Beth looks at an object and seems to be perplexed….as if the object (a toy stuffed animal?) is something that shouldn’t be where she sees it, but you see her almost dismiss the thought, because she is so genuinely wrought with grief, and has so many different emotions rolling around inside her, it is as if she doesn’t trust her own thoughts/logic……just me?

    Also: Why did Trailer-park Kathy say to Det.’s Miller & Carver, (not an exact quote, but close) “You better catch whoever did this….THEY’LL WANT ANOTHER BOY”…whoa!….what? “”They?” …I suspect some kind of boy molestation/$ for sex thing….(why $500 was taped under his bed?)..that is why Danny stopped caring about baseball…stressed or depressed children will cease to, “care” about anything…..I think boys (or at-least Danny were “sold” to people (stranger w/backpack that boat-shack old man saw meeting Danny)
    then taken to the shack up on the cliff…..except something went wrong for the molester or “John”….maybe Mark came to that little house/shack to meet Gemma for their affair, but stumbled upon his own son being molested/raped and there was a fight (hence Mark’s blood..?)…then Danny got accidentally killed….? Mark panics and puts both bodies in his boat, dumps the molesters’ body, but can’t bear to dump Danny’s, so he lays him on the beach…?

    I realize it is a horrible, dark theory….but some things point to it…and unfortunately, Tommy has also either been a victim at some point, or has seen something…because he is pained inside even more than his friend dying….

    And just to throw a “Monkey-wrench” into the whole thing….in the first few moments of the pilot, why was Mark’s plumbing employee (or co-worker?) late for work and late for picking Mark up the morning after Danny’s murder?

    Love the Series….great writing and acting…and despite the dark plot…I can’t wait for the “Justice” part!

    P.S: Carver likely has some illness much worse than diabetes, but when Elle Miller brought him coffee up on the bluff, she casually stated it had sugar in it….despite how crappy he is to her…..I think he wanted it…but couldn’t drink it because of the sugar..Just a random thought…. :)

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