‘Gracepoint’ 1.09 or Cameo by Max Headroom or ‘What Do You Even Do All Day?’

Gracepoint Headroom

Last night’s episode of Gracepoint was brought to you by letter H. H stands for Headroom. Excessive headroom. I thought I would point this out in defense of Gracepoint, since one of my on-going pet peeves with this murder-mystery has been it’s sunny aesthetic disposition, and not in an non-ironic way.  I had previously mentioned lighting and set design as culprits, but never framing because it was pretty standard — all by-the-book mediums and wides. In last night’s Gracepoint, however, the amount of headroom (the space between the top of someone’s head and the top frame of he screen) was out of control, making the characters look and feel small, almost pushed down by the weight of their environment. The episode was darker as well, both in tone and lighting. So, props?

Meh. Too little too late, if you ask me. It’s too bad that we didn’t feel that anxiety or fear or weight sooner but, c’est la vie. All we can hope for now is that this all comes to a fantastic and very well thought out conclusion. My expectations are low but my fingers are crossed. This week was another decent episode of a decent show. It’s not easy to make a decent show so I definitely will look forward to next week’s finale, although I’ll be glad it’s all come to an end.

THE BASICS

All the bits and pieces are just too much to throw around anymore. Clearly, Vince, Paul, and Tom are intended to be our primary suspects at this time. Vince wears a size 10 shoe just like the shoe print found at the hut and in the mud outside the hut. Tom is willing to go to great lengths to destroy whatever is on that hard drive ever since Danny’s death, not before. Paul is just creepy and could have killed Danny to get Beth’s sympathy but come on… how ridiculous would that be? How evil would you have to be?

Meanwhile Ellie is finally starting to “suspect everyone”, right down to her own child, particularly after her conversation with Susan about her past. Ellie references herself as a mother to Susan twice. First claiming she would do anything to protect her own child, then by asking Susan how she couldn’t have seen what was happening in her own home all that time — thereby implying that Ellie can’t imagine not having seen it herself had she been in Susan’s shoes. When Carver asks about Tom’s laptop Ellie starts to lose it, and asks Joe a great question. One I’ve wondered over and over again:

“What do you even do all day?”

Seriously. At any point has the show mentioned what he does? He seems to just be a stay at home dad… Not that there’s anything wrong with that but it is a bit out of the norm so you’d think it would have at least been mentioned in some official mann the show has made this guy so background that even in the scene when Ellie is looking for the laptop in Tom’s room and then moves on to her own bedroom, you can’t get a clear shot of Joe’s face. He’s either in the shadows or blurry in the background.

WHAT WE LEARNED

  • Paul totally wants to get into Beth. Literally. Does this mean anything other than that? (If not its just plain annoying)
  • Susan has had a messed up life, and claims not to have been involved in her husbands sexual abuse of her daughters
  • Susan is Vince’s biological mother
  • Carver claims/confesses to have sacrificed himself in the Rosemont case so his daughter wouldn’t find out his mother was cheating and, also, really to blame*
  • Susan was the one smoking cigarettes over Danny’s dead body
  • Susan claims to have been watching Vince unload Danny’s body from a boat on to the beach, from the beach.
  • Vince went hunting with Danny several times and they never told Mark about it; they laughed and got along like brothers according to Dean
  • Vince built Danny and Tommy’s skateboards (not just fixed them)
  • Vince tattooed a black band around his right arm with Danny’s name on it after his death
  • Tom is willing to go to great lengths to never have what is on his computer uncovered and it certainly is related to Danny because he was not concerned about this until he heard that Danny died. Tom claims it has nothing to do with Pierson.
  • Tom has threatened Paul with revealing that Paul hit Danny on a camping trip; Paul denies that ever happened
  • Carver has the laptop in his possession and suspects something is up with Tom
  • Beth loves Mark and wants to stay with him
  • Danny had not been over to the Miller’s house in many months, Ellie reveals
  • Paul claims Danny and Tommy had drifted and that there was tension between them, particularly over Danny quitting Joe’s soccer team**
  • The tip that alerted the police to a light on at the hut the night prior, came from Danny’s missing mobile phone***
  • Vince is a size 10 shoe, matching the shoe print inside the hut and outside on the muddy hill from the break in
  • Susan leaves town with her dog
  • Sarah claims to have seen the Solano Plumming van on “Hill Road” as she was driving “through the woods” the night Danny was killed, and that man was pulling something large out covered in a tarp

*What are Owen and Kathy going to do with this information? Or was it simply a way to reveal Carver’s truth to the audience?

**Why wouldn’t Paul turn the laptop in sooner? If not to the actual police then to Joe or Ellie?

***There is more than one person that is playing the police: whoever was in the hut, and whoever called from Danny’s phone to alert the police about it.

THEORIES

It’s got to be Tom or Joe. Or both. Ellie’s character has been way too trusting up until this point for it not to blow up in her face.  After her conversation with Susan and Ellie’s reaction of fear shrouded in disbelief, its just too late in the series for it not to mean something big. The biggest clue in the episode for me was Paul mentioning the whole soccer team thing again and how Danny had dropped out. I’ve mentioned on several posts here before how I felt Danny dropping out of sports was going to be significant to his disappearance. What if he dropped out of the soccer team because of Joe? Would it be overkill if there was a sexual abuse situation going on there between Danny and Joe (or Tom and Joe) and made Danny uncomfortable? This would explain why Tommy is trying so hard to hide what is on his computer…

Hell, maybe it’s Carver, although that’s really illogical since we’ve seen him suffer not being able to solve the case when no one else is watching. All I know is it has to be someone that is going to freak Ellie the hell out, so who better than a family member. She’s not close enough to Owen or Sarah for that to have an impact.

Look, I’d say it could be equally as impactful if the killer was someone close to Carver but, really, who is close to Carver? His daughter? Wouldn’t that be crazy…

Also, whatever happened to that mention in Danny’s diary from episode 2 regarding Mark finding something out that Danny would get in big trouble for? That’s never been mentioned again. We also don’t know what the $500 under Danny’s bed were all about.

What did you think about this week’s Gracepoint? Are you buying that Vince killed Danny? What do you think was going on between them? Is it related to the shoplifting? The money? Was Vince at the hut? And do you agree the killer should hit very close to Ellie’s home?

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