Category Archives: Gracepoint

Gracepoint: And Danny Solano’s Killer Is….

Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/FOX
Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Creepytown,” got a whole lot creepier as the final episode of the FOX “Ten-Part Event Series,” “Gracepoint” concluded Thursday night and we finally found out who killed ten-year-old Danny Solano, sending the village into an uproar. The short answer to that question is, it’s complicated, a series of events led to the young boy’s death and in the end, it destroyed two families. I have to admit to feeling misled by the miniseries show-runners, as well as the star of the series David Tennant, who proclaimed that the American version of the British show “Broadchurch,” wouldn’t duplicate the ending of the original.

Technically, they didn’t which keeps me from saying they outright lied. However if those statements weren’t released, I would have refrained from exploring how the British series concluded. Unfortunately, that exploration cost me the shock most viewers likely felt when the hour ended. And in the end, it sullied the one person who was the most empathetic character on the show.

The episode opens with Gracepoint Detective Emmett Carver, getting an examination for his faulty ticker. We move to the Chief’s office, as the head of the department sits there with a binder labeled examination finding. As we’ve known for weeks, Carver flunks the exam and gets ruled as unfit for duty. The Chief tells Carver he’s got no choice, the detective asks for the rest of the day before he hands inn his badge. The Chief tells him, he’s assigning the case to Ellie Miller and Carver responds that’s a bad choice, but he’ll be out by 6:00 pm.

We find Detective Miller interrogating the case’s prime suspect, Mark Solano’s assistant Vince Novik, and she tells him a new witness stepped forward, saying they saw Vince putting a body into the Solano van, which he uses as his regular car. Novik says his mother needs her meds and probably hasn’t eaten since breakfast the day before, unless Ellie sends someone to check on her, he’ll remain silent.

Carver tells Ellie to get someone to check on Mrs. Novik and asks if she brought in her son Tom’s computer. She replies her son claims it got stolen, and Carver informs her that he’s got her son and husband waiting in a room for questioning. She asks why she wasn’t told and he responds he’s telling her now.

Tom and Joe are waiting for Carver when he arrives, he sets up a video camera to record the interview, but it quickly runs out of tape so he records it on his cell-phone. He says to Tom that his mother says someone took his computer and the boy replies someone from school stole it, Carver then pulls out Tom’s laptop in a plastic bag. Carver says he got it from Reverend Paul Coates, who claims that Tommy said he would tell the police that the priest hit Danny. He asks him if he saw Coates hit his friend, has heard that Paul struck Danny, or knows of anyone that hit Danny and the boy responds no to all the questions.

Carver then asks Tommy why he destroyed his laptop and he says to get rid of e-mails from Danny, then realizes his efforts were in vain as they recovered them from the hard drive. He then tells him that Danny used a different e-mail address than his normal account, that Tom and only one other person got messages from. Carver starts reading the e-mails from Danny and we see that Solano had been dissing his friend for a while. The last message from Danny told Tom to stay away from him, that he’s a follower, even his own father’s bored with him but Tommy’s yet to realize it.

Carver then asks the boy if that last remark hurt his feelings and Tom responded it did hurt a little bit, then the detective asked if it made him feel like physically hurting Danny? Joe steps in at that point, announcing the interrogation’s over and if Carver wants to talk with his son again, they’re getting an attorney. The detective says he finished his questions but then asks Tom and Joe their shoe sizes, which are six and ten, respectively.

The next scene open with Ellie and Emmett on the beach and he tells her that a kids camp used to stand at the edge of one of the cliffs, he looked for it when he took the job. He then reveals he vacationed there with his mom and dad during his childhood. Carver asks Miller what Novik’s explanation and she says he claims he’d carried a small deer, he’d hunted at night and cut through a farmer’s fence. She then says that Joe called and said everything went fine and he took Tommy out for ice-cream and asks her superior, if that’s true. He doesn’t respond, answering his cell phone instead, one of the officer’s discovered Danny’s smart-phone on and they’ve got a fix on where the signal emanates, Carver asks for it to be forwarded to his phone. He tells Miller to get back to the station and he’ll meet her there later.

We follow Carver’s journey, past the church where Reverend Coates prays, then we see a man from the back looking like he’s texting. He pulls into the driveway of a home, starts to go to the door then realizes the person with the phone’s in the separate garage. Out walks Joe Miller who tells Carver he’ll tell him everything.

As Miller talks to the detective in the interrogation room, we see what took place the night of Danny’s murder. Danny rides his skateboard to the Harvey Ridge Hut, meeting Joe there. Miller tells Carver that’s the first time they met at night, Danny used to come to the Miller home afternoons, with Tom at soccer practice and Dylan taking his afternoon nap. They’d met together for about three months, Danny originally showed up looking for Tom, upset that Mark had hit him in front of the soccer team and they talked things through and things escalated from there. He said that he never molested the boy but developed deep feelings for him.

The Millers returned from their vacation in Spain that day and they made plans before the trip to meet at the hut that night. Joe kept telling Danny how great it was to see him and he really missed him, then gives the boy a Maraca, as a present. He starts to rub Danny’s face and the boy said no. Miller told Carver he backed right off, but we see that he tries to convince the boy that it’s okay, Danny pushes him away and runs out the door.

Joe says Danny threatened to jump off the cliff, but he talked him out of it. Danny tells Joe he’s sick and Miller admits he is, but Danny’s fine and nobody needs to know about anything, he can pretend that they barely know each other. Danny then gets more upset at that solution and says he’s going to tell his parents and starts to run away. Miller then tells Carver that he grabbed Danny’s sweatshirt and the boy fell banging his head on the rocks and dying instantly. We then watch Miller clean the hut, put Danny’s body in the boat, cut the lock and chain off it and takes the body to the other shore where he dumped it along with the skate board. He heads back to the hut for a once-over and sees Mark and Gemma Fisher get together for their one-night affair.

Miller also admits that he gave Danny the five hundred dollars to pay his cellphone bill in cash and he got the phone for the boy, telling Ellie he needed it for household expenses. The only thing that doesn’t ring true is the autopsy showed that Danny died by getting hit with one blow by a blunt object. If he’s running and tripped, it’s unlikely that would have caused that injury.

A quick aside; at this point I’m madder than a wet hen, as except for the method of death, this is exactly the scenario that played out on “Broadchurch,” as the British Joe Miller strangled the boy to death. Carver walks into Ellie’s interrogation of Novik with a uniform, announces into the tape recorder interrogation ends at 12:43 pm and tells the officer to get Novik out of there, Miller looking shocked at the turn of events.

She asks him what’s going on and he asks her where she was when Danny Solano got killed and she asks if Carver thinks she killed him? The detective says they’re going to play by simple rules, he’ll ask her questions and she’ll provide him answers and once again asks about her whereabouts that night. She tells Carver they just returned from their vacation and she felt wiped, she bathed Dylan put him in his crib then took a sleeping pill and went to bed at 9:00 pm. Emmett asks if she knows what time Joe went to bed and he says the sleeping pill makes her incoherent.

Carver then tells Miller that Novik didn’t kill Danny, they’ve got a suspect in custody, that’s admitted to being responsible. Emmett starts to come sit next to Ellie and she asks him why he’s coming closer to her? Carver then tells her that Joe killed Danny and the news doesn’t register right away. She says he’s lying and he denies it, says it can’t be true and he says it is. We watch her face as the news sinks in and she runs to the waste basket and vomits. She then starts crying not Joe, as she accepts the news as reality.

She tells Carver she needs to see him, needs to hear him admit it. Carver walks her to the room, telling her not to touch him or do anything to jeopardize the case. She enters her face a mask of rage as Joe apologizes to her, she says he was just 12-years old, he says he realizes that and he doesn’t understand how this happened and she repeats herself. He then says he loves her and wants her to know he’s a good man, that pushes her over her limit. She screams he’s not a good man, then starts pummeling him and kicking him repeatedly as he falls to the floor. Carver and the uniform come in and pull Miller off her husband and out of the room.

She tells Carver that she doesn’t understand any of this and he replies that Joe says the same thing, he claims it’s some part of him that came to the surface he’d been unaware of. She rhetorically asks if he’s always had this sickness and Carver just looks down. He then tells her this isn’t her fault and he’s arranged a room with double beds in a nearby motel, draw the blinds and shut out the world. He then tells her only answer the phone if the call’s from him.

The mother and children arrive at the motel and Miller tries to make the best of the situation asking Tom if he likes the room, he asks her if she’s going to tell him what’s going on? She tells him yes, but first she needs to get his brother settled, Tommy goes into the bathroom and sits on the floor, looking fearful. She enters a bit later sits on the floor next to her son and tells him they caught Danny’s killer and Joe confessed to everything. Tommy screams no, that his father couldn’t do that and she tells him that it’s true.

She tells her son that it’s not any of their faults that Joe did this, then asks her son if Joe ever touched him or Dylan inappropriately and Tommy denies it and shows the disgust on his face. She apologizes and he asks her how she could even ask that question. She apologizes again and she says she just doesn’t get it and he tells her she’s correct, in a way that indicates Ellie’s unaware of the whole truth. She then flashes back to the CSI investigation of Harvey Ridge Hut and the investigator telling her there’s size six footprints all around the place and she asks Tommy if he knows something he’s yet to tell her?

We once again return to the night Danny died and we see that Tom followed Joe out the door, saw his father hug Danny outside the hut then listened to the conversation. When Danny runs out Joe chases him, but Tom steps out with a canoe paddle asking his father what he’s doing and attempting to whack Joe with it. Danny stops running and tells Tommy no, when the backswing of the paddle smacks him in the head killing him instantly. Joe and Tommy look at each other and Miller tells his son to go home, go to bed and don’t say anything, this is Joe’s fault. Ellie then hugs Tommy.

Carver informs the department personnel and then heads over to the Solanos to inform them. When they find out, Chloe cries, Beth asks about Ellie and Carver says she was clueless. Mark gets up and walks out the door, we assume to confront Miller at the jail. That’s confirmed as an officer tells Mark he’s got five minutes and a slot opens the door putting the men face to face. Mark’s incredulous, he’s Joe’s friend they’ve been at each other’s houses, how could he do this. Miller apologizes but says it started after Mark hit Danny at soccer practice and Solano admits that’s a pain he’ll live with forever. He then tells Joe that he knows he molested Danny and he’d better hope he’s locked up for a long time.

There’s a knock at the motel room door and it’s Owen, whose going to watch the boys as Ellie goes out for a while. She first heads to the Solano home, Beth sees her in the bedroom, closes the drapes and comes out the front door, her eyes brimming with tears and looking like she’s going to hit Ellie. She asks Miller how she didn’t know then storms away and goes back in the house. She then goes to the jail and talks with Joe, telling him what Tommy told her. She asks if that’s what he meant that he’s a good man and he asks his wife what she wants him to do? She asks if she now knows every detail and he confirms she does, she looks him in the eye and says that he’s never to tell anybody about Tommy’s involvement.

Although I totally understand Miller’s motivation as a mother to keep her son out of any further involvement, I can’t say I agree with it. Tommy attempted to save his friend, not hurt him and certainly any District Attorney or Judge would clearly see that and the boy could get publicly exonerated, making things far easier to live with. I also lost respect for Ellie Miller for that decision as she’s truly been the one empathetic soul in this village.

The funeral takes place the following day, with Reverend Paul Coates trying to heal the community, Carver’s in attendance but Ellie’s not. They meet later that evening sitting on the beach, she tells him she’s going to take the kids to a new town and get a fresh start. She jokes they now comprise the ex-detectives club. A procession of mourners arrive at the spot Danny’s body ended up, Mark and Beth light a funeral pyre in their son’s honor, soon we see other fires springing up all around the shore for miles. Mark asks Paul if this is his doing and Coates said he might have spread the word and the word’s good.

Carver’s walking back to the inn, when his phone rings and it’s his daughter Julianne, he called her earlier to ask the date of her graduation and tell her he’s going to undergo the corrective heart surgery and would she take care of him while he recovers. She tells him her graduation’s June 11, and she’ll gladly be his Florence Nightingale. He says he shouldn’t have asked but she tells him of course she’ll be at his side when they slice him open. They end the conversation and he accidentally clicks onto the footage of the interview with Tom and he notices before the boy answered if he saw anybody hit Danny, he looked to Joe first before answering. Carver knows something’s a miss and calls Ellie but she doesn’t pick up, the look in his eyes grows in intensity, will Carver put all the pieces together? We’ll never know that answer as the series ends there.

Although the first three episodes dragged, the miniseries picked up momentum in number four and finished strongly. My only complaint’s to the show-runners and Mr. Tennant for releasing their respective statements, that way I would’ve gotten shocked at the conclusion.

Gracepoint: With One Week Left, Who Killed Danny?

Photo Courtesy Of Fox
Photo Courtesy Of Fox

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Clear your calendars for next Thursday night at 9:00 pm EST, as the answer to perhaps the greatest television mystery since who shot J.R. Ewing, gets revealed, as the Fox miniseries “Gracepoint,” concludes and tells the shows viewers, whose responsible for the death of 12-year-old Danny Solano. This episode answered a bunch of long-standing questions and concluded with a seemingly guilty suspect in custody, for the murder of the boy, the only question remaining, did they capture the right guy?

The story opens at Fairport Hospital, as Detective Emmett Carver recovers from the angina attack he had, when he and Detective Ellie Miller attempted chasing down a suspect, hiding in the Harvey Ridge Hut. Carver fell to the ground clutching his chest, telling Miller he thinks he’s dying, so Ellie gives up the chase to save Emmett’s life. When he regains consciousness, the first thing that confronts him is Miller’s voice telling him he almost died on her last night and he needs an operation.

Carver tells her it’s nothing and won’t affect the case, but she replies it had, as they lost the suspect in the chase. The taciturn detective told Ellie, she should have pursued the suspect rather than attending to him. She tells him she’s heading to the station to update all police personnel, he says he’s getting dressed and joining her and she just smirks at him and says right. Carver tells her not to leave, then loses consciousness once again.

CSI inspects the Harvey Ridge Hut, while Ellie briefs her staff on what took place, giving the best description she could of the man who knocked her down and ran into the dark woods. She then informs her people about Carver and that she doesn’t know when he’ll be fit for duty, as he’s in the hospital, unhooking himself from all the machines, gets dressed then tells hospital staff he’s heading home. Instead he heads straight to the station.

Miller’s shocked to see her boss back at the station and tells him he’s certifiably insane, trying to get back on the case. He says he’ll take care of his health once they solve the case and she replies he’ll drop dead in the field. He responds, that’s the case then she can get his job which she’s always wanted and she truly looks shocked, tells him that’s horrible and she doesn’t want his job. He says that’s good as she’s underqualified, when the Chief calls them both into his office.

The Chief tells Carver he needs to step down from the case, but the detective refuses, the Chief says he’s sending his medical records to County and he’ll be placed on restricted duty the next day. Emmett responds, then he needs to catch the killer in the next 24-hours, but he gets another piece of bad news when the Chief tells him he needs to surrender his firearm, since he’s passed out on the job. Carver begrudgingly hands it over.

Beth Solano heads to Reverend Paul Coates apartment, as she’s having second thoughts on keeping her baby, she wants to have it, but she’s terrified she can’t protect her new child, after losing Danny. She says the world’s a sick and nasty place filled with people who let you down, especially the ones you trust the most. She then tells Paul that Mark slept with Gemma, which Coates had determined on his own. She starts to cry and he hugs her, but gets perhaps a bit too touchy-feely with her.

Ellie brings Susan Wright back into the interrogation room, as she’s still in custody. She produces two cigarette butts, they found in the sand next to Danny’s body. Susan says she’s not talking until the police recover her German Shepherd Archie, but Ellie counters unless Susan talks, she’s putting her dog at risk, he could be recovered by canine patrol in a nearby town and get put down. Susan then says she and Archie took a walk between two and three am and she saw Danny’s body on the beach from the cliff they were on. She says she went down to see the body and smoked two cigarettes, then tells Miller that he was beautiful.

In the town newspaper’s office, Owen’s attempting to fix the copier when he hears a female voice saying hello, he looks up and sees San Francisco Globe reporter Renee Clemons, whose leaving town as the papers stopping coverage of the story. She tells Owen that she’s got some info that he can take or leave and the paper’s editor Kathy Eaton, says that Owen will leave it. He however says with Clemons leaving they should hear her out, she then tells the pair that Carver’s got a heart condition.

Mark Solano and Vince Novik are on the way to a service  call, when Mark tells Novik to slow down. He sees Beth leaving Coates apartment, he looks like he wants to confront her, but tells his assistant to keep driving.

Miller briefly speaks with Carver and she tells him she doesn’t think Wright killed Danny, but she knows far more than she admits to. Carver tells her to get back in there and keep on digging. Ellie tells Susan that she’s lived in Gracepoint her entire life and that Susan couldn’t have scene Danny’s body from the cliffs, so it’s time she tells the truth. Over the next few minutes, Wright reveals a tragic tale of how her family fell apart. She starts off with the phrase, You people destroyed my family.

She tells Ellie her husband was a plumber and they had two girls and her husband had sex with the older one. (Notice, she uses the phrase had sex rather than molesting, could that mean anything?) Then her husband decided it was time to have his way with their younger daughter, but the older sister tried protecting her and her husband killed her. He told Susan she’d run away with her boyfriend, but soon after “Ellie’s people,” in other words, police officers and soon they found her daughter’s body and charged Wright’s husband with murder. She says he tried to implicate Susan as well, saying that his wife was in on the whole sordid affair, though Wright claims ignorance. They put her younger daughter in a foster-home and took the baby she was carrying, as soon as she gave birth.

Beth comes home, surprised to see Mark working out on his punching bag in the middle of the day and asks him why he’s not at work, but he ignores her and keeps slamming the heavy bag. She asks if they can talk, he takes off his gloves and says if she wants to talk, perhaps they should start why she’d been at Paul Coates apartment that morning. She says she got scared and needed advice, the ultra-sound she’s having later that day freaked her out. She wants to keep the baby, but wants it to grow up happy and that she and Mark, aren’t happy currently. She suggests counseling and he assumes it’s with Coates and says no way. However she gives him a card from a psychiatrist, which doesn’t make him any more amenable to counseling. She tells him she loves him, she doesn’t care she just wants them happy again and they hug as she tears up.

Speaking of the Reverend, Paul’s watering flowers on the church grounds when Tom Miller comes around and asks Coates for his computer back. Coates caught the boy destroying the laptop on the Miller’s driveway and confiscated it, telling Tom to tell his mother, or he would. Paul asks Tommy if he told his mother and the boy asks why won’t Coates give it back to him. Paul tells the boy if he reveals to him what he tried to destroy he’d give him back the laptop, if he doesn’t he’ll go to Ellie or Carver. Tom says if he does that he’ll tell them he hit Danny on their overnight trip, the Reverend tells the boy to think about what he just said. With a hard edge to his voice the boy replies, No, You think about it.

Ellie’s at her desk and goes through newspaper archives verifying Susan’s story. She then heads back into the room and says she needs to know what else Susan saw the night of Danny’s murder. She tells Miller, she was down on the beach, not on the cliffs and saw a boat pull into shore and a guy got out, laid Danny’s body on the beach, got back in her boat and took off. She told Ellie she recognized the person in the boat, Vince Novik. She then said she stayed with Danny’s body so long, because he looked so peaceful and she wondered if her oldest daughter looked that peaceful when the police discovered her corpse.

Carver, Miller and a group of uniformed officers raid the Novik home and arrest Vince, who yells to his mother that he’s find and he’ll return home soon. Vince’s mother’s talking with Ellie and Emmett hears a dog barking, he gets a pair of bolt-cutters snapping the padlock on the workshop and sees Archie sitting there, chained to a stake in the ground. As Carver and Miller enter the station she tells her boss, that Novik’s mother said something strange, she said Vince loves Danny and he has him on his arm. Ellie tried to ask her if her son used to pick Danny up, or hug him, but she kept repeating the one phrase. Miller said her Alzheimer’s disease’s progressing quickly.

Ellie goes back to interrogate Susan, while Carver heads into the room Vince’s held in, he pushes a picture of Susan Wright at him and asks Novik if he knows that woman and Vince responds he doesn’t. Carver then asks him if he’s got a dog and Novik says not really, then Emmett says they found a dog in his work shop chained up that belongs to the woman he claims is a stranger. Ellie starts asking Wright about Vince and shortly there after, she tells her that Novik’s the infant that Social Services took away from her. She says that for most of Vince’s life she had no clue where he was, but then they changed the laws so that parents and children could establish contact. She tells Ellie it took her 18-months but she finally tracked him down.

Vince finally realizes his deny-defense won’t fly, so he tells Carver that Wright approached him a few months back saying she’s his mother, he says she lies about everything. Then he says he hadn’t a clue he’d been adopted until Wright arrived. However, he still emphasizes to Carver that the woman’s a pathological liar.

Back with Ellie and Susan, Wright tells the detective she wrote Vince for months before she came to Gracepoint, but his mother hid all the letters from him and in her current state, believes she gave birth to Vince. Back with Carver and Novik, Emmett asks to see Vince’s arms, wants to check out his tattoos and Novik shows the detective one arm, Carver says he wants to see the other one and there’s a tattoo of Danny’s name on his arm, he says he got it after Danny got killed. Carver says you have a tattoo of your boss’ son name on your arm and Vince asks him what’s wrong with that.

Back at the Solano, Mark and Beth are sitting around the dinner table with their daughter and her boyfriend Dean and Beth asks if there’s an update on Vince. Chloe says, to her father that he knows Novik didn’t kill Danny and Dean, says they’d been very close. He went out hunting with the two of them and Vince and Danny acted like brothers. Beth then says what camping trip and looks to her husband whose as clueless as she is. Mark asks when this happened and Dean said a long while back like October or November, they’d said that Mark knew about it and they told them they did it a lot. Solano calls the station to inform the detectives.

Carver’s about to finish his session with Novik when he asks him how come he didn’t ask Mark’s permission to take his son hunting and Vince remains silent. He leaves the room and talks with Miller and they decide to release Susan, he also tells her they traced the call that reported the light on at Harvey Ridge Hut and it emanated from Danny’s missing cellphone, the killer’s toying with them. Carver’s cellphone rings and he leaves the station, driving to Paul Coates church, the Reverend hand over Tom Millers laptop, he tells the detective he walked by the Miller house on his way home and saw Tom destroying it. He believes there’s information about Danny on there that Tom was trying to get rid of.

He then says that Tom and Danny had been best-friends, but drifted apart, they started having arguments and Tom made fun of the Solano boy after Danny quit Mark’s soccer-team. He then tells Carver that Tom threatened to tell him he hit Danny, then says to the detective he never struck the boy. Carver leaves making a call to an associate about recovering hard drives.

Miller tells Susan they’re releasing her and she asks if she can visit Vince before she leaves. When they arrive, he tells Ellie to get her out of his sight, but Susan tells him how lonely she is and just wants to get to know him. He tells her  to tell Ellie she’s lying, but she says she didn’t and puts her face up against the cell door. He puts his hands on her cheeks and says if she doesn’t say she’s lying and then leave town he’ll slit Archie’s throat then take care of her. She tells him he’s his father’s son, he’s got his father’s sickness and the two women leave.

Carver heads down to the newspaper office and goes through an interview with Owen and Kathy Eaton, as he finishes giving background on the Solano case. Owen then asks him about Rosemont and how he blew the case; they had the suspect dead to rights when they recovered the little girls pendant among his possessions. The female detective who was to bring it to the evidence room at the station, stopped at a hotel for a celebratory drink with another detective on the case, her car got broken into and they stole all her possessions including the pendant. The female detective was Carver’s wife who was having an affair with the other detective and so his daughter wouldn’t find out he took the blame. He said they can print the story as long as they leave out his ex-wife’s name.

Back at the station Carver and Miller are about to call it a day, when he asks if she noticed Tom and Danny drifting apart the last year or so and she said she hadn’t. He then asks if they can borrow Tom’s laptop the next day and she says, sure thing. She heads home goes into her son’s room and starts panicking when she can’t find her laptop. Her cellphone rings and it’s her deadbeat sister needing a check in order to avoid getting evicted.

Ellie heads to the apartment, gives her sister the check and her sister finally reveals what she saw the night of Danny’s murder. She saw a man carrying something heavy wrapped in a rug and put it into the Solano plumbing van, she didn’t see his face but it must’ve been Mark. Miller shakes her head and tells her sister it wasn’t Solano, it was Novik.

The Story Concludes Next Thursday Night at 9:00 pm on FOX.  

Gracepoint: With Tom Missing, One Suspect Rises to the Forefront

Courtesy of Fox
Courtesy of Fox

Warning: Spoiler Alert

This week we begin with a large portion of Gracepoint looking for Tom Miller by flashlight. The introduction of the Tom Miller goes missing story line further plays into my theory that there is something much larger happening. It can’t just be that some person killed Danny Solano and it’s an isolated incident in an otherwise safe and good intentioned small town.

Ellie (mother of the recently missing and second detective) has responded exactly the way you’d expect the mother of the child in question to react. Every step of the way thus far. However, this is exactly why the families of victims are taken off of cases or removed from direct involvement. Carver wants her to get rest and circle back in the morning. Ellie wants no part of that. Nice little side detail, Emmett Carver finally called detective Miller “Ellie”.

Renee has come back to Gracepoint. Owen won’t return her calls. And now she’s trying to get a room at Gemma’s Inn. Also not going so well for Renee. This might be the first time I’ve written off an attractive female character as quickly as I have. Renee is a typical blindly idealistic journalist. She twists the factors in front of to rationalize what she does. She may think she has good intentions, but that’s all it is. As a viewer, I actually hope the town’s people make life for her difficult, as Gemma is doing right now.

AND…Just like that Reverend Paul Coates finds Tom Miller amidst the brush of the forest they have been scouring. Not to be too critical, I know they’ve got a job to do. But I would have strung out the “we found him” moment. It may be a small thing in the scheme of the story, but in that moment, the show runners could have tugged at the heart-strings a little.

Carver comes to Tom’s hospital room to ask some questions. Generally standard stuff. Don’t discredit the value of the viewer having more information than the characters. In episode one or two, Tom Miller was seen deleting text messages and other suspicious behavior. Despite what he is telling Det. Carver, I don’t believe for a second that Tom Miller is completely innocent of some wrong doing. The idea that he googled this backpacker and was headed to his house to make him feel guilty, seems off as well.

Carver departs the hospital to find Mark Solano just waiting. Normally I’d think that Mark should just go home. But in this instance, whether the information is credible or not, Mark just gave us more to think about in 30 seconds than any one character to this point has done in three minutes of screen time. The beauty of this series is that anything is plausible at this point. Mark finds it curious that Rev. Coates found Tom’s bicycle, found Tom, gets in front of the camera any time he can, he’s been in love with Beth Solano for twenty years, and finally Coates may or may not be going to meetings for Narcotics Anonymous. Not saying one way or the other, but something to consider.

Mark very well could be exonerated of any wrong doing when this is all over. I’m skeptical, but it could happen. What clouds my judgment is just how terrible of a person he seems to be. Every time he seems to be in a position to redeem himself, he puts his foot in his mouth. Just now, in their kitchen, Mark and Beth have a relatively cordial conversation. Then when Beth begins to unravel because “they get him back”, Mark begins to do admirably. Then he brings up the unborn baby. In this situation, any reference to that baby is going to force Beth to slam on the brakes. Which she did.

We finally get to a place where Det. Carver begins to show a sliver of humanity by calling Det. Miller, Ellie and then the whole thing falls apart. Ellie thanks Emmett for his dedication and support during their efforts to find Tom. He immediately asks her to not call him Emmett because its inappropriate. Yet I seem to remember him making some reference to the forensics guy in a dirty sexual connotation to Det. Miller. So where exactly does his sense of what is appropriate or not lie?

A short and virtually silent montage of Chloe Solano on her first day back at school, does a nice job articulating just how far the victim’s family is from normalcy. The same is true for Mark trying to get back to business as usual is difficult when he finds old newspapers with a picture of his son and the word “murder” on the front page in the home of a client.

At the precinct, Carver and Miller are getting a brief on what their guy found out when he did a little digging on Rev. Paul Coates. Violence, substance abuse, etc. Off to question Paul Coates. He is extremely defensive. Even for his character, extremely defensive and short with his responses. Borderline flippant.

Beth, by way of Renee, has met with the mother of the deceased daughter in the previous case that Emmett Carver has been trying to get passed. For the first time in this series, I am leaving the door open to potentially consider a ‘serial killer’ hypothesis. I still think it’s too convenient at this point. Beth went to meet this woman hoping for some advice, tips on how to handle things. What she got was anything but.

Mark walked by Chloe’s school. Just to find her getting on the back of Dean’s dirt bike and speeding away. Mark got Beth and they chased down where Dean stays. They broke in to find Chloe dancing. In a room that looks like it was designed for just that, next to a bait shop. Middle of the day, feeling rejected or ignored by her peers, Chloe needed to get away. And that was something Dean could provide. Then Chloe brings up the baby. Stop bringing up the baby. I don’t know anything about the alternative to keeping the baby. And I would certainly never breach that discussion here. But I have to think, Beth’s world could and should give her some breathing room on whether or not she’s going to keep the baby. This poor woman is re-living the worst nightmare a person can experience. Give her some time.

Carver has Coates at the precinct to get a DNA sample and to further the dialogue of questions incited by Mark Solano’s questions the night before. Most of Coates’ initial responses are his way of pushing back. The answer to “why did you attempt to insert yourself into that family’s grief” is absolutely his way of pushing back. They came to him because Carver has nothing to go on besides suspicion.

Carver has a dream sequence in which he cannot save the kids whose disappearance he has been charged with solving. He reaches for his ‘medicine’ and is unable. He then passes out again. Meanwhile the Solanos go do a thing as a family. I’d call it bowling, but it’s not like any bowling I’ve ever seen. Five pins instead of 10 and a ball the size of a grapefruit. Or maybe I’m just disconnected from what the kids are doing in their free time these days. That said, Chloe is very good at this strange game. She gets to the final frame with an opportunity to break Danny’s old record. She in encouraged by her parents to go for it. She buries all five pins and what follows is the most normal, affectionate, family like moment we’ve witnessed from this show to date. Very nice warm moment. A moment that ends with Beth at least hinting at the idea that she is considering keeping the baby.

At the Miller’s home, Tom lies on the couch attempting to read something in the relative dark. Then the crazy lady shows up with her dog. She’s holding the manila envelope that Kathy Eaton (newspaper editor) left at her trailer with her “Susan Wright” written on it. One has to believe it is evidence of who Susan Wright really is. If that is true, what happens next would make more sense. She knocks on the door and Tom answers. She pulls out Danny’s skateboard and gives it to him. He’s so busy looking it over, he doesn’t notice her slip away. Tom’s dad walks in from the back yard. Once he realizes what has happened he loudly tells his son to drop the skateboard. If that envelope has background on the crazy lady, she very well could be shedding the evidence in her possession.

We are welcomed back from the break to multiple cop cruisers racing to the crazy lady’s trailer. Ellie gets a call and the next thing we see is Kathy Eaton telling the crazy lady that they have done some digging and since the crazy lady threatened Kathy earlier, it was important she knows it was Kathy who tipped off the police. Conveniently, Vince walks by to find the crazy lady’s dog. He then unties the dog and slips away. Which is something that completely unhinged the crazy lady.

Tom calls Owen to ask if a deleted file is really gone forever. Earlier in the series we found Tom aggressively deleting a number of digital files. From his phone and his computer. Tom knows something. I’m not willing to claim he was directly involved by he knows something.

Carver and Miller attempt to question the crazy lady who will under no circumstances say anything of consequence until she sees her dog.

Coates walks by the Miller home (seems innocent enough) to find Tom doing something suspicious. Based on Tom’s previous scene destroying his hard drive would not be beyond the realm of possibility. Coates advances slowly. Asking where Tom’s parents are and being very shady. I actually said out loud to no one, “Don’t let it be the priest”. He asks if that is Tom’s computer and he says yes. The camera reveals the entire keyboard panel missing and a reasonably centered direct blow to the monitor.

During heightened concern to find the crazy lady’s dog, someone calls in a tip that they saw flashlight from within the murder scene which is supposed to be sealed off. Once there, Carver and Miller attempt to see inside the small building. Just as she attempts to open the door, the door flies open and a man in a hoodie runs out. They give chase. The unidentified man gets close enough behind Miller to shove her and run off. Carver pursues and just before you think they might have a chance to get this guy, Carver falls to the ground.

Miller: Sir? Sir? What’s happening?
Carver: I think I’m dying.

Gracepoint: Broadchurch Reveals Who DIDN’T Kill Danny

Photo Courtesy Of ITV and The London Daily Mail
Photo Courtesy Of ITV and The London Daily Mail


The FOX miniseries “Gracepoint,” while not performing particularly well in the ratings, has intrigued our readers at “Not Just Another TV Site,” so much, we could make a strong argument, that we’re the show’s unofficial website. The tale of the Northern California seaside village, searching for the killer of 12-year-old Danny Solano, has proven that it attracts the most readers for us. We’re very pleased that we’ve become the “Go-To Website,” for the series that’s heated up dramatically over the last few episodes, with only three episodes remaining, before Danny’s killer’s revealed.

It’s possible you’re unaware, that Gracepoint’s based on a British TV series that ran on the ITV Network, entitled “Broadchurch,” that also starred David Tennant, who portrays Detective Emmett Carver, in the American version. He played Detective Inspector Alec Hardy and the 12-year-old boy’s named Danny Latimer, but many of the other characters retain the same names in both series, chief among them Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller.

The show-runners and Tennant, stated that they’re using a different character as the murderer in Gracepoint, than they did in Broadchurch, probably to keep viewers of the original intrigued, as well as giving themselves the challenge of telling the story a different way, besides the vast difference in locales. Danny Latimer got strangled and was found on the beach, but hadn’t been in the water. There was no blood, or boat involved.

Although I’ve yet to watch Broadchurch, in the interest of our readers, I went to the “Daily Mail” website, to find out who killed Danny Latimer, to rule the character out of murdering Danny Solano. Having only viewed the American version, I got quite shocked, whom the killer in the UK version is; it’s Joe Miller, father of two boys and the husband of Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller.

The finale revealed that Miller fell in love with the boy and they had met for several months giving each other hugs, but there was no sexual contact, a fact confirmed by the forensic team. Apparently, Miller bought Danny another phone and gave the boy 500 dollars, hoping the gifts would win Latimer’s love. However, Danny threatened to reveal their relationship and Miller panicked and strangled the boy, then left his dead body on the beach. When Ellie found out she physically attacked her husband, throwing him to the ground and kicking him.

Photo Courtesy Of ITV and The London Daily Mail
Photo Courtesy Of ITV and The London Daily Mail

So, knowing that Gracepoint’s Joe Miller didn’t kill Danny Solano, with three episodes remaining, who actually did kill the 12-year-old boy? After viewing the miniseries’ seventh episode on Thursday, although the focus centered on Ellie and Joe Miller’s son Tommy’s disappearance, possible clues got revealed, though this series isn’t adverse to planting things to throw viewers off the trail, as we witnessed with “Captain Jack” Reinhold. Lets take a look at possible suspects, that might have taken the young boy’s life. I’m ruling out San Francisco Globe reporter Renee Clemons, even though she’s the only other person than Carver involved in Rosemont and Gracepoint. Although I think she’s out to get Carver, it’s pretty far-fetched to think she’s the killer. Our list will go from least suspicious,to most suspicious:

Photo Courtesy Of FOX
Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Raymond Connelly: “Mr. Telephone Man’s” certainly strange, even if he never told you about the voices he hears from some-sort of Spirit Master. But unless, he’s completely psychotic, he’s drawn too much attention to himself, in my book he’s the least likely suspect.

Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/FOX
Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/FOX

Lars Pierson: The backpacker returned from his hike in the past episode and he definitely runs on a different wave length than the rest of us. He also happened to return, the day Tommy went missing, but I don’t look at him as a suspect in either incident. He recalled his conversation with Danny, for Detective Emmett Carver and seemed to sound true. Although Pierson’s got mental demons that he refuses to medicate away, he seems too gentle a soul in his present state to take another life.

Photo Courtesy Of FOX
Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Susan Wright: She puts the Creepy in “Creepy Town,” along with others in the village. Susan Wright, might actually be Ruth Ehrlich, a name that came up when Gemma Fisher ran her Social Security number, when Wright applied at the Inn for part-time work. She threatened the village paper’s editor Kathy Eaton, that she knew men who would rape her and the only person she’s connected with is Tommy Miller. She’s playing some sort of game of cat and mouse game with Vince Novik, seemingly she was smoking where Danny’s body washed up on the shore. There’s possibly at least a degree of involvement in the boy’s death.

Photo Courtesy Of FOX
Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Reverend Paul Coates: Creepy’s also an excellent adjective to describe the village’s Spiritual Counselor, as Coates behavior’s extremely off-putting. While hesitant to bring up molesting young boys by Catholic Priests, the fact’s are that we’ve found out it went on mainly unchecked for far too long. Carver seems to think that Coates is the guilty party and next episode may center around the Reverend.

Photo Courtesy Of FOX
Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Vince Novik: If forced to make a guess at this point, Mark Solano’s assistant would end up as my choice. Although he’s got an alibi for the night of Danny’s murder, it’s based on the memory of his mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease, making her statement unreliable. He’s done something that Susan Wright’s threatening about, although it could be a separate incident. In the past episode he had blood on his hands and face after Tommy went missing and his mother asked, why he was in trouble again? He’s got a habit of looking around suspiciously, every time he enters or exits his workshop and keeps the gate closed with a padlock. He also was the main instigator, in the village turning on Jack Reinhold.

The Story Continues Next Thursday on FOX at 10:00 pm.

Gracepoint: Another Missing Boy Rocks The Village

Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/FOX
Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

After setting their stovetop on simmer, through the first four episodes of the FOX mini-series “Gracepoint,” the show runner’s turned up the heat during the next three-episodes, resulting in the show coming to a boil in episode seven. While trying to come to grips with the suicide, of a friend and neighbor, they mercilessly hounded, the seaside village suffered another blow, with a second missing child, this week. Although Danny Solano’s death hit close to home for the Gracepoint Police Department, this time it involves one of their own, Detective Ellie Miller.

Our visit to the Northern California Community, begins in the office of Detective Emmett Carver, reading the Sacramento Post, with a headline asking “Is This The Worst Cop In California?” with Carver’s picture below the blurb. Miller walks into his office with a black tie, that she suggest he wear if he’s attending Jack Reinhold’s funeral. He tells her that he’s going, as Danny’s killer will attend, feeling guilty about another death on their hands. He asks Miller if she agrees with the headline and she replies, maybe top ten.

Every person from the town seems that they’re jammed into the church for the funeral and the Reverend Paul Coates, doesn’t waste the larger than normal  audience in attendance. He berates those in the pews for smearing Reinhold’s name and intimidating him to the point that he took his own life. He says they let Reinhold and Danny Solano down and infers they should do more to find the boy’s killer.

The wake’s at Gemma Fisher’s Inn and once again, it seems all are in attendance. Beth and Mark walk up to Gemma at the bar and Beth politely, but coldly, asks for a white wine for her and a beer for her husband. Ellie and Carver are scouting the wake for any guilty looking people at the wake, when Carver sees Coates put his hand on Tommy Miller’s knee. He starts heading that way, but his illness hits him and he almost hits the ground, but someone grabs him and asks if he’s had one too many. Trying to regroup he sits next to Tommy, while he’s catching his breath and looking quite pale. Carver asks Miller’s son how he’s doing, then asks if he gets along with Coates, the boy responds kind of. Then Carver starts asking about Danny and the Priest and Joe Miller comes to breakup the conversation.

He tells the detective if he wants to question his son, ask him first, then calls him a sick individual. He says he’d feel sorry for Carver if he wasn’t making the town miserable, especially his wife. Tommy comes over to Ellie and she asks him if he’s alright and her son asks why everybody keeps asking that question? She replies there are many in the room who love him, then she asks her son if he’s sad and does he miss Danny? Tommy gets quite upset and says of course he misses, him why wouldn’t he. He then says Ellie doesn’t even know him any longer. He’s feeling defensive and guilty since his best friend’s death and we realize, he knows more than he’s told.

The next scene opens with a whale breaching the ocean and the return of the backpacker, Lars Pierson, who Reinhold told Carver and Miller they saw him talking to Danny a few weeks before he got killed. Joe Miller and his toddler son in his stroller, are accompanying Tommy to school, who’s riding his bike. The little guy dropped his stuffed animal about 500-yards behind and Joe looks at his watch and says it’s 7:58 am, he tells Tommy to stay with his brother and he’ll get the toy. Tommy says it’s only three-blocks and he can make it without his father, even though Joe and Ellie have a pact not to allow their son to be unaccompanied while outside, Joe says okay. Not a great move.

Back at the station, Carver says he’s done some digging and that Paul Coates, Mark and Beth Solano all attended Gracepoint High School together, with Mark graduating in 1999 and Paul and Beth graduating in 2000. Ellie says that sounds about right and Carver asks why she didn’t tell him earlier? Ellie says she told him that Coates grew up in Gracepoint, where did Emmett imagine he went to school. A female uniform, interrupts their conversation and tells Miller she’s got a call and Ellie asks if they can transfer it to her desk.

It’s Tommy’s school and the boy never arrived. She hangs up and calls Joe, who says he walked Tommy until they were three blocks from the school, then he rode his bike the rest of the way. She hangs up and starts to head to Tommy’s school, but Carver tells her he’s joining her. They arrive and talk to the principal, Mr. Conroy’s wife called in the morning and said he wouldn’t be in, but hung up without a reason. Carver asks to talk with Tommy’s friends and each one looks sullen and disaffected.

Susan Wright shows up in line at a local grocery, with a box of brownie-mix, the cashier says how good their new mix is and Wright asks if she said something.  The cashier says that Wright will enjoy the brownies, she responds they’re not for her. We quickly switch to Vince Novik washing his hands and arms, covered in blood. Wright’s told Novick she knows he’s in trouble, could the two incidents be related?

Emmett heads to the Solano’s to inform them about Tommy, then ask about Fred Conroy, Danny and Tommy’s teacher, who they listed as a suspect. Beth says he’s quiet and Danny got unnerved at first as he always had female teachers. Carver tells them he’s tried reaching Conroy and his wife Heather all morning, without any luck.

Chief Morgan and Carver hold a press conference to announce Tommy’s disappearance and stresses, they are handling this as a separate case than the Danny Solano murder. After a few questions from reporters, that Morgan dances around, he says that’s it for now, when they receive any updates or any more information, they’ll inform the media members. While the press conference takes place, a teenage girl arrives at the station and asks to speak with Emmett Carver and the officer asks her name and if the detective knows her. The young lady responds her name’s Julianne and she hopes he does as Detective Carver’s her father.

The next scene opens with Vince Novick locking the padlock to the gate of his workshop, scoping out to make sure nobody sees him. He enters his house and sees his mother standing in the kitchen with a plastic tray, filled with brownies. He asks his mother if she’s okay and where did she get the brownies and his mother asks him why he’s in trouble again. Novick dodges the question and once again asks where the brownies came from, and his mother replies they’re from his friend at the park. After getting stumped for a few seconds, he asks his mother if she was the women from the trailer park? She says yes, and that Wright told her that Vince’s in trouble. He throws the brownies in the garbage, tells his mother to stay away from them and says Wright’s the one in trouble. His mother asks if there’s blood on his face and he responds he went hunting earlier.

Morgan meets with Carver and tells the Detective he should step down from the case, he came to Gracepoint to put Rosewater behind him, instead it followed him to the village. Carver refuses, saying he’s the only one equipped to handle things, that Ellie certainly, can’t handle it, being her own son. There’s a persistent knock on the door, that Morgan ignores, Carver throws a pen at the door and says come in. Morgan reminds him it’s the Chief’s office and Emmett asks why didn’t he respond. The female uniform, says someone’s here to see him and in steps his daughter, who he looks less than enthused to see.

He tells her that another boy turned up missing that morning and he’s involved in hundreds of projects, when Miller walks in and tells Carver he’s needed elsewhere and asks if the girl’s his daughter. With his usual lack of social skills they wind up introducing themselves as Carver leaves. Julianne, said her father said another boy’s missing and Miller’s eyes well up.

Ellie heads home and Joe perhaps says the stupidest thing he could choose to say, don’t blame yourself for this. Miller truly must adore Joe, as she should have jumped all over him, but lets it slide. She then says Mark Solano’s organizing a search party and he’s joining them, Owen’s coming over to watch their younger son. Joe finally blurts out that Ellie blames him and she just says we had a pact, that we’d always be there with him.

When Miller gets back to the station, Carver informs her that they found the backpacker, Lars Pierson and he’s in a cruiser near his house. When Ellie shows up she sees the guy with the bandanna in the back of a cruiser, gulping down a burger. She asks if they can talk to him and the officer says that Pierson waived his rights, just asked for something to eat. They found him with a service revolver, a rifle, two shotguns and an anti-psychotic drug, that he appears not to have taken him in months.

While Carver and Miller are getting the backpacker, Julianne searches through her father’s desk drawers and find a vial of medicine and a syringe, she looks it up on the internet and finds out it’s medication for a heart condition. This is the condition, that Emmett’s hiding from Morgan and the rest of the village, if they realized his condition, they’d remove him from the case.

Carver and Miller interview Pierson, whose on another planet, lacks a filter from his brain to his mouth, but also a clarity in instances, that’s sharp as a diamond. Carver asks why he’s stopped taking his medication and he responds that he hates the way it makes him feel. The detective asks him if he’s aware the drugs are an anti-psychotic drug and Lars responds he’s heard that. Emmett asks him if he’s aware, it’s also used for Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and Pierson asks if they want to borrow some? Carver asks why and Pierson responds, because he looks stressed and she looks traumatized.

Then he looks into Ellie’s eyes intensely and asks if she’s feeling traumatized, does she feel it throughout her body? It makes her feel bad and she doesn’t like it does she? He says he doesn’t either. Nobody likes that feeling. Carver tells him to look at the picture of Tommy and the backpacker says, he’s a good-looking boy and Carver asks if he knows him? He then says not that he can recall, followed by he’s a good-looking boy and a look of revelation as he looks at Miller and says he looks just like you, breaking Miller’s dam of restraint. She starts threatening Pierson, telling him that if he did something to her son, she’ll punish him so badly, he’ll never forget it. (Whether she didn’t want to blow the case by police harassment, or just got flustered, the threat was far from intimidating.) Carver restrains her and gets her out of the room.

Novik heads to Wright’s trailer and she says she thought he’d drop by, Novik tells her to stay away from his mother. She replies, he’s in trouble and they need to talk about it, he hands her an envelope filled with money and she asks what’s it for. He tells her to take it and move away, everything was fine until she arrived. She says she doesn’t want the money and Vince grabs her around the throat and slams her into her trailer. She says he’s hurting her and he says that’s nothing, then backs away, throws the envelope at her and drives off.

Mr. Telephone Man,” Raymond Connelly, the telephone repairman that hears voices, arrives at Beth Solano’s door as she’s leaving with a box of sandwiches for the volunteer search team and she’s startled. He says he realizes he’s not supposed to get near her but he’s got an important message about Tommy. He says the voices told him that Tommy’s hurt and bleeding.

Beth takes the sandwiches to Joe Miller, who says someone spotted Tommy on his bike that morning, so Mark and a group have gone on to explore. Beth then attempts to explain Raymond Connelly to Joe and that some of his information has proven accurate. She then tells Joe what Connelly said about Tommy.

Carver’s been interrogating Pierson and neglecting Julianne all day and she confronts him in the lunchroom. She asks why he’s taking heart medication and if that’s the reason her mother didn’t want him to take on this case? He says he’s fine, he just gets dizzy sometimes and the medication prevents that from happening, but she’s not buying it. He says he needs to finish interrogating the suspect and it should take 20-minutes, is that okay? She agrees if he gives her money for the snack machine.

Emmett goes back in to question Lars and this time pulls out the picture of Danny and Pierson says, that’s a different kid. Carver affirms that it’s a different boy and asks if he’s ever seen this boy. The backpacker intensely looks at the picture and then says that’s messed up, Budapest. Carver asks him what he means and Pierson tells the detective, that a couple of months back, he walked early in the morning and came across Danny whale watching. He enjoys watching them, so he sat down and joined him, then Danny asked what’s the capital of Hungary? Lars tells Carver he’s usually unaware of things like that, but he served in Hungary, so he told him Budapest. Then Danny wrote it in his crossword puzzle.

He says Danny told him he wanted to travel the world, see the sights and leave his small town, so Pierson wrote down his cell number on a piece of the crossword puzzle and told Danny to call him if he ever wanted to talk. Then he looked Carver in the eye and asked if it’s bad, is Danny dead and Carver asked why he asked that question? Lars responded, that he’s been around people who know others are dead and they look like the detective.

Miller’s in the woods talking with the officer that captured Pierson, when a crowd led by Mark and including Joe head towards them and they’ve come up empty. Joe goes over to Ellie and this time does the right thing, takes responsibility for what he did and apologizes. Miller hugs him and says it’s not his fault, but she’s terrified.

Carver heads back to his office and can’t find Julianne, he asks another detective if he’s seen her and he tells her she took off 20-minutes ago. Carver asks if she left alone, but the detective tells him she told them she needed to catch a bus, so one of the other officers drove her to the bus station.

The search continues and somehow Paul Coates and Mark Solano wind up together in the woods. Solano made it abundantly clear he doesn’t like the Priest earlier in the series, when he told him to stay away from his family. But Coates’ tries to compliment Mark on his leadership of this search party and goes on how different people handle adversity. Solano asks him what he’s trying to say and Coates tells him he’s a good man. Solano nods and says he needs to check in with someone, but as soon as he turns away Paul yells for him to come back, Tommy’s bike’s on its side 20-yards away, with the boy nowhere around.

The Story Continues Next Thursday at 10:00 pm on FOX.

Gracepoint: Collateral Damage

Photo Credit:  Ed Araquel/FOX
Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

A very interesting beginning scene with Carver leading a caravan of people retracing Danny’s steps the night he died. An impressive visual, but it did nothing but raise more suspicion on suspects that probably didn’t do it. Television math.

Owen cannot stop himself from consorting with Renee. Maybe her intentions are good, maybe they’re not. She’s a reporter for a significant paper and she probably has to adhere to a certain tenacity for the story to have that job. Right, wrong or otherwise, it’s a bad idea on Owen’s part.

Watching Mark Solano trying to rationalize the motivation of his infidelity and that it was not a reflection on Beth but still somehow her fault might just be the most painfully awkward thing I’ve ever seen. It’s not you it’s me. We don’t have the time tonight for me to articulate how messed up I think that is, but come on. If he had said, “life got stale, I’m an idiot” maybe that would’ve gone over better.

Man Rule #73: Never dictate to a woman what she must or can’t do with her body.

I understand why Mark thinks they should keep the baby, but telling your wife you have to keep it not 30 seconds removed from a conversation about why you chose to cheat on her with another woman, probably not the best idea. Each week I keep repeating the same thing routinely. “This Mark is a real piece of work”.

Even Owen should not be surprised in the least that the big paper took some creative liberties with his article. That is day one stuff. The second he handed over the paper to Renee, this small story line was destined to end badly. “Admitted Pedophile” was all but a guarantee.

Owen’s mother and Miller’s sister is amazing, in a bad way. I don’t believe for a moment that she saw anything. And using the idea that she saw something as leverage to weasel a grand from her own sister is horrible. Hopefully I’m right. I wouldn’t put it past them to write in a delinquent of a character that actually ends up holding a large piece of the puzzle.

Well, that took longer than I expected. Beth finally decides to pay a visit to Gemma. The entirety of the scene is Beth throwing high ball glasses at Gemma’s feet while Gemma apologizes repeatedly. Then Beth threatens Gemma and leaves. The threats don’t end there. Jack Reinhold shows up at the station to defend himself against the allegations from the San Francisco paper article. And in his attempted defense suggests that Carver tell Miller to tell her nephew to watch his back. Yeah, that will endear you to the detectives on the case.

Dean finds Chloe walking alone and suggests she should listen to him because he has something about Jack. As it turns out Dean claims that Jack used to touch them. Nothing overtly sexual, but definitely (slightly) inappropriate. Naturally, Chloe calls Renee. Dean supplies them with a list of other former Wildlife kids to would attest to similar experiences. Owen wants no part of it. Finally. Renee it seems must be after the story that makes her career. Owen needs to stop caving. This may have been step one.

Side note. Again trying not to give you too much about my personal life (since I’m sure that’s not why you’re reading this now), I still have an issue with the realism of the situation. Virginia Kull (plays Beth) is the only actor on this entire show that is acting the way the respective people effected by this tragedy would act. Her performance carries the show. Everyone is playing their character admirably well. However, when it comes to how people act regarding the death of a child, the realism goes out the window. Except for Beth.

Jack finally opens up to the detectives but not until after he has a paparazzi problem. Real quick, tell me if you’ve heard this one before. A man of legal age gets involved with a girl of a slightly lesser age (let’s say a few weeks short of legal age). Their relationship is exposed and the guy does time for statutory rape despite his assertion that it was consensual. Then when he is asked if he ever made contact with that girl again, his reply is predictably, “seen her again, I married her”. Sound familiar? Its been done at least three other times that I can think just off the top of my head.

The creepy lady makes a return. In the post office, Tom is sent in by his father to avoid hearing the pitch on why Jack should be removed from the Wildlife program. Tom notices the crazy lady’s dog and she engages him in conversation. Until this point, I just assumed she was there to throw us off the scent. If Gracepoint had a weekly power rankings, I’d put everything on her. She’s creepy, she has a skateboard that looks very similar to Danny’s in her closet. She’s creepy. And now she is soliciting the Detective’s son. Oh, did I mention, she’s creepy.

And she appears to be a chain smoker. The CSI has only uncovered one piece of relevant evidence thus far. Three cigarette butts. Then we find Owen trying to pawn his father’s boat. Which is miraculously stolen. Which might answer the question of whose boat was burning at the close two episodes ago. Then looking over (looking like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas after creating his plan) at where Owen stands wondering who stole the boat, is the creepy lady smoking. Either they are laying this out nicely, or there are at least one or two red herrings along the way.

The petition to have Jack Reinhold removed from his duties in the Wildlife program have escalated to a lynch mob, lead by Vince (Mark’s apprentice). Mark does intervene the moment before Vince makes this meeting physical. Mark then lays out what information is out there about Jack and demands to know what they are supposed to think. Jack then tells an interesting story, the details not being literally important, but the conclusion is that for a number of reasons, Jack and Mark are very similar with their wives and children. Then, regardless of guilt or innocence, Mark suggests that Jack move far away from Gracepoint.

It’s looking like a very real possibility that Owen’s father’s boat was stolen by the real killer. Problem now is that Owen is destined to become a suspect. At least for a little while. That and Hugo (CSI tech) is a sleazy guy. Asking Ellie Miller out for drinks knowing full well that she’s married and then responding with, “so that’s a deal breaker for you?”

Miller gets Carver up to date on the missing identity of the boar owner. Which he is moderately blown away over. Then after he collects himself, asks Miller to makes sure her brother-in-law hasn’t been back in town and to ask Hugo if he can pull any additional prints of the pieces of burned boat.

Miller: Sir? Uh…would you mind asking Hugo for me?
Carver: Huh?
Miller: Yeah, he actually uh, just made a pass at me…
Carver: Why would he do that?
Miller: Thank you. Very much.
Carver: You’re married.
Miller: I know. He-he knows that.
Carver: A fling with a crime scene investigator could be interesting.
Miller: What? What does that mean?
Carver: Attention to detail. Used to having their hands everywhere.
Miller: Gross. That’s…
Carver: Dirty Hugo.
Miller: That is so gross. That is nasty. But thank you for that visual by the way.
Carver: You’re welcome.

Next we find Jack Reinhold playing the piano (a reference to how he and his wife met, teaching her piano). While that plays we see a short montage of varying characters. Including Mark and Beth Solano sitting down together going through baby pictures of Danny. And it concludes with someone throwing a brick through Jack’s shop. Jack walks out to see who it was and the camera pulls back to reveal they have spray painted the word “pedophile: on his deck.

Wow, this episode is not without a significant amount of awkwardness. Seriously, I feel like I need to rewind that whole scene just to figure out if I’m going crazy or was that actually what I thought I heard. Yep, exactly what I thought it was the first time. Ultimately both Carver and Gemma mislead each other over the intentions of their small talk. Eventually leading to Carver asking Gemma if she’d “like to relax in his bed tonight”. After a little reaction to that, her first thought is ‘what if you pass out on me’? Then the silly miscommunication becomes real concern for the likelihood that Carver could pass out or die before the investigation is concluded.

Jack ventures out to find tomorrow’s newspaper reads “Jack Reinhold’s Child Bride and Deceased Son: Photos Reveal a Dark Past”. Jack then walks slowly towards the ocean tightly gripping a family photo of him, his wife and his son. The next scene confirms the assumed. Jack killed himself.

Gracepoint: Did “Captain Jack” Reinhold Kill Danny?

Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/FOX
Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

They took the gloves off in the fifth episode, of the FOX mini-series “Gracepoint,” and blows landed on bodies and faces, all throughout the Northern California sea-side community as neighbor turned on neighbor and wives turned on husbands. The episode concluded, with the spotlight directed on “Captain Jack” Reinhold, as news from the old man of the sea’s past came to light in the village. However, there are two other prime-suspects in Detective Emmett Carver’s eyes, psychic/psycho telephone repairman Raymond Donnelly and Reverend Paul Coates, who grew up with Beth Solano, as neither can verify where they were the night Danny Solano got murdered.

The network’s pushing the “Captain Jack,” angle hard right now, (also the reason this recap’s got the title you read) but the first suspect’s rarely the culprit in most detective stories. It’s also likely that the show runners will throw some “red herrings” out there to keep viewers guessing and likely, that “Captain Jack,” winds up in that category. Although things looked bleak at the end of the episode, there are too many residents of “Creepy Town,” to believe it’s Reinhold.

Other bombshells exploded during the episode, Beth telling her husband Mark, she knows about his affair with Gemma Fisher, just before heading out to address the media as a family about the death of their son. Carver’s health’s so bad, if the department realized how sick he is, they’d take him off the case. Beth deciding to give San Francisco Globe reporter Renee Clemons an exclusive interview, asking for justice for her son. Connelly’s shady past gets exposed, including his bouts with mental illness and Susan Wright seems to have another name (and gets creepier with each appearance.) They also held a memorial service for Danny in the episode, with Reverend Coates chastising his parishioners for looking at each other with suspicion.

This episode begins with the scene that closed the previous one, a boat burning in the water off shore of the town and a uniform called for Carver to head to the beach. The detective, still a newcomer’s unaware of whom the department uses to assist in this situation, but he orders the uniform to contact the harbor master to get the boat brought to shore, rather than waiting for the tide to wash it in.

The man who heads the CSI team for Gracepoint, comes across as a friendly, likable guy, but we get to see little of him as Carver dispenses with social niceties. The CSI leader tells the pair, that a piece of the boat’s covered with hair fibers, which he’ll soon analyze, they believe the boat’s the place where Danny got murdered. Carver and Miller head to the Solano’s to inform Beth of the burning boat and Connelly’s in her living room and asks why the detectives didn’t use his vision of Danny dying in a boat as evidence. Carver, grabs him by the lapels, throws him out of the house and follows him to the street. He tells “Mr. Telephone Man,” that if he sees him again, he’ll arrest him, then has Pete the officer guarding the Solano’s house follow him until he drives far away from the house. When he finally pulls over, Connelly displays his frustration, smacking his dashboard and steering wheel.

Ellie stays with Beth and tells her, that Donnelly’s intentions aren’t necessarily altruistic, he could seek publicity and a possible book deal if Beth confides in him too much. Solano falls apart, breaks into tears and tells Ellie she feels all alone in this. Miller asks if she’s told Mark that she knows he slept with Gemma, but Beth says she can’t.

It’s the morning after for Renee Clemons and Owen Burke and he’s clearly unused to having a woman in his apartment. Burke’s done some digging on the Internet, finding out that Jack Reinhold’s an ex-con, having served a sentence for statutory rape of a minor, decades before. He contacts Carver and the detective calls “Captain Jack,” to the station for questioning. The man who owns the kayak shop and works each morning with youngsters, teaching them about the ocean, thinks he’s there to discuss the stranger in the bandanna he saw Danny talking with.

Reinhold’s less than pleased when Carver asks him about his crime and subsequent prison term, asking the detective if he’s getting a little desperate. Carver wonders how he’s gotten clearance from the state to work with children since he’s a convicted sex-offender and “Captain Jack,” says that he’s not a sex-offender. Carver counters with that Reinhold’s not on the list because he committed his crime before the list came to exist. He then says he hears “Captain Jack,” enjoys photography and inquires if he takes lots of pictures of the kids he teaches?

Reinhold’s face registers disgust and he asks if they’re going to charge him or accuse him of anything and Carver asks where the old man was the night Danny got killed. “Captain Jack,” replies he read a book but doubted Carver would enjoy it as it lacked pictures, the detective asked if anyone could verify that and Reinhold responded just the book, then left the office.

Burke asks Clemons’ if she wants to join him in interviewing Reinhold on his prison conviction and she turns him down, saying “Captain Jack,” made it quite clear he didn’t like her the first time she met. She also says she’s working on other leads, declining to tell her only ally in town, she’s got an exclusive interview with Beth Solano, that Chloe arranged.

Owen grew up as one of the kids in Reinhold’s oceanography group and he’s got mixed feelings about approaching the old man on ancient history, but if “Captain Jack’s,” a suspect, he’d blow a possible exclusive interview. Reinhold’s happy to see Burke at first, but he gets angry quickly when Burke asks about his conviction. I didn’t get the feeling from this scene, that Reinhold did anything to advance him as a suspect, it seemed that he felt betrayed, by a young man that had known “Captain Jack,” all of his life. He tells Burke he was a good kid, but he’s twisted and tells him to get lost.

Renee gets far more success with the Solano family, as Chloe tells how Clemons’ rescued Danny’s stuffed animal from the memorial site. After some talk back and forth, Beth consents to talk to Clemons’ for the interview. The interview’s the front page headline for her paper and is the first thing each resident wakes up to the next morning.

Detective Carver shows up at the Miller’s for dinner, wearing a suit, bearing a bottle of wine, a bouquet of flowers and a box of candy. Ellie says she’ll call her superior Emmett for the evening, but Carver hates his first name, then goes off on a tangent about first name’s only purpose is for making people seem more personal and friendly. We also find out Carver’s divorced with a 17-year-old daughter that lives with her mother.

There’s a bit of awkward silence and Ellie’s husband Joe asks Carver if they’ll solve this case and Carver looks him right in the eye without doubt and says yes. Ellie takes that as a cue to leave the room for a minute, but tells her husband that’s the end of police talk. When she leaves, Carver asks Joe if Ellie likes him, then says he thinks he irritates her. (you think?) Joe tries to cover by saying you’re here for dinner and Carver responds by telling Miller he’s a terrible liar. Miller smiles and says, yeah, but you’re an awful boss and the unthinkable occurs as Emmett Carver laughs. Ellie asks what’s so funny when she returns, but they decline to tell her.

As Carver’s heading back to the Inn he’s staying at, he gets woozy and light-headed and sits on a village bench, seeing the sign for the Inn just feet away, he got up and went to his room. Still sick when he gets there, he looks in a bureau drawer for something, then collapses face down on the floor. He wakes up in the emergency room, with Inn-Keeper Gemma, sitting in a chair by his bed, reading the day’s paper.

The detective freaks out when he awakens and asks Gemma to promise not to tell anyone, as they’ll take him off the case. She tries reasoning with him, saying he needs to get well, but he gets dressed and has her take him back to the Inn. By the time Detective Ellie Miller arrives at the station, Carver’s sitting at his desk and explains the bandage on his forehead, to a slip in the shower that morning.

She asks if she can get permission to share the drifter’s picture with the parks department and Carver says that’s a good idea. She then asks if she can attend Danny’s memorial service that afternoon and Carver thinks she’s going on duty, but she informs him she’s not. They then discuss the interview Beth gave to Clemons and that they’ll soon be inundated with reporters from across the country.

If you’re looking for nightmares, you might want to spend an afternoon with Susan Wright as her face might frighten Dracula and the personality to match. She heads over to Gemma’s Inn, attempting to get a job, saying that Chloe Solano’s not much help with what her family’s going through. Testifying to how nice Miss Fisher is, as she maintained civility and a friendly demeanor throughout the conversation. She thanks Wright for applying and says she’ll get back to her. However, when she runs Wright’s Social Security number it shows it belongs to a Ruth Ehrlich. She visits the editor of the Gracepoint newspaper Kathy Eaton and shares the info with her and Eaton says she’ll do some digging.

Eaton soon runs into Wright, as she’s putting a flyer advertising she’s looking for jobs cleaning houses, in the village square along with all the other public notices. Seeing Eaton watching her, she asks if she’s allowed to do that, as everybody else does and Eaton replies, of course Susan, or should I say Ruth? Wright fixes her with a glare that could crack a mirror, she and he dog then slink away.

Vince Novick stops at the Solano house on the way to Danny’s memorial service and drops off his venison dinner for all to eat after the ceremony. Mark’s the only family member not going and he puts the dinner in the oven to stay warm while all the others go to the church.

It seems that most of the village’s shown for the memorial and Coates thanks them all for attending, but then proceeds to berate his parishioners and the town in general for all the suspicion since Danny’s murder. He blames the suspicion on outsiders, but it’s clear that he’s blaming Carver for the community’s lack of unity. Carver tells Miller that he’s holding a press conference including the Solano family that evening and Ellie and family head back to the Solano’s home for the venison dinner.

We still see the pain on Beth’s face as she attempts to enjoy the dinner and all their friends, she catches Ellie’s son Tommy looking at a picture of Danny and looking sad and she relates to his pain. After the meal, she and Tommy talk and she asks her son’s best friend for a hug.

The front door rings and Mark lets  “Captain Jack,” into their house. Almost crying he tells Mark and Beth that he would never hurt Danny and despite the terrible things they’ll soon hear about him he didn’t kill their son. Ellie tries to get Reinhold out of the house by restraining him, when we notice through the picture window the front lawns covered with news photographers, one pressed up to the window, snapping away. Mark runs out to his yard, grabs the came and throws it on the sidewalk smashing it, Novick screams for the photographers to leave.

That night Kathy Eaton’s sitting in her office and she hears a noise and walks into the newsroom. After checking around and seeing nothing, she starts to head back to her office, when she’s startled to see Susan Wright in her path. Wright tells Eaton that she’s going to stop asking questions about her and Eaton asks why she would consent to that? Wright glares at the editor and says “I know men who would rape you.”

The press conference in which Carver and the Solano’s address the media’s about to begin but as they’re walking out to the table they’ll sit at, Beth tells Mark she knows about him and Gemma Fisher. He’s stunned and Carver has to push him to get going. As Carver heads to the table, Miller stops him. She tells him that Oregon police just contacted her, this case reminds them of one in their town 15-years earlier and Jack Reinhold used to live right near there. As Beth starts talking to reporters, we watch  “Captain Jack,” burning pictures of kids including Danny Solano in a barrel.

The Story Continues Next Thursday Night at 9:00 pm on FOX.

Gracepoint: Conflicts of Interest Reveal Themselves


Courtesy of FOX
Courtesy of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

This week we pick up the pieces of Mark Solano’s infidelity (and follow-up poor choice) and the reverse phone number search they left us on. The phone number belongs to Lars Pierson. A more direct and immediate problem is where did Chloe get the cocaine from? That answer has been obvious for a couple of weeks now. It’s the boyfriend and you should have picked that up a couple of weeks ago. I do love how the teenaged girl believes the almost adult guy is such a good guy because he’s getting his GED and has a plan. Everyone has a plan, whether everything goes according to that plan or not is a different story. And having a plan does not counter balance the fact that if she wants cocaine, he can get it for her.

The crazy lady living in the trailer has to play a role. If we get to the end and discover that the show runners of Gracepoint just wanted to throw us off the scent with a painfully creepy lady, I’m going to be disappointed. Further canvassing gets us back to Jack Reinhold (Nick Nolte). The only person who has been any sort of help. Earlier he mentioned a hiker. After seeing the photo of Lars Pierson, Jack is certain Lars is the hiker.

I want to give Anna Gunn the benefit of the doubt. No one liked her on Breaking Bad because she played a disliked character exceedingly well. However, Skylar White keeps showing up on Gracepoint. Some people are Tom Hanks and some are Denzel Washington. A topic for another day.

Smart move. Police arrive and you run. Dean, Chloe’s boyfriend and coke supplier, just ran from the Detectives. Has he never watched Cops? Carver is losing it. In the pursuit something happened that caused him to fall. He still has his gun on Dean long after it wasn’t necessary. Carver has some condition (that was referenced last episode) that we still don’t know about.

Follow the drugs. We go from Chloe to her boyfriend Dean to now this Micky guy. Micky tells the story he knows. And that story involves the cocaine, Dean AND Danny. This is the first sniff of anything resembling a lead. And with Dean in the cuffed in the car, this just got a little more interesting.

Vince, Mark Solano’s apprentice and the crazy lady apparently have a connection. A connection that Vince clearly wishes wasn’t there. She informs him that they will be having dinner tonight, and Vince doesn’t have a choice. Important to remember, the crazy lady has a skateboard remarkably similar if not the same as Danny’s. Vince has a connection to Mark. They have something “to work out together”. Could be nothing, but it could also be something.

Raymond Connolly (the electrician medium) is approached by the good Reverend. There seems to be a clear interest from Rev. Coates and Beth Solano. I don’t expect this scene to end well. It started off innocent enough. But than Raymond pushed back (verbally not physically) which then forced Coates to strong-arm (again figuratively) Raymond. I’m sure that’s not the last time these two will be a thorn in each others side.

Dean is in the interrogation room and while not excited about it, does cooperate. Or at least that’s what it sounds like. He has an alibi for the night Danny was killed. However, their relationship was not that of “I hardly knew him” as Dean said earlier. After leaving the room Det. Miller confronts Carver about his ‘episode’ on the docks. He ducks out before having to answer.

Earlier Beth stormed out when she returned from her run after Mark showed her the picture of Lars Pierson. Now we catch back up with that. The problem with murder investigations is that the police are governed by a compulsion to ignore emotion, while the victims only operate with emotion. They can’t tell Beth any more than they have to per protocol. Beth wants hourly updates. Beth believes she should be the fly on the wall. With all of that said, Beth has met Lars Pierson.

Beth is adamant that the man in the photo is a man who came to the visitor center where Beth works. She was incredibly detailed in her description of him. Even down to the detail that he pointed out a picture of Chloe and Danny from her desk.

Oh Mark you are a piece of work. Mark drove past Paul Coates’ church and saw the flier for Danny’s memorial. Because Beth and Paul have a history, Mark has never been alright with that. So, Mark charges in with the anti-Paul rhetoric. There’s one MAJOR problem. Mark cheated on Beth with Gemma. Very recently. And like a person who perpetrated the wrong doing, he is projecting that onto Beth. The problem is that Beth saw him getting fresh with Gemma. Clearly, Beth is holding onto that little nugget. Waiting to see where things go. She’ll use it I’m sure. I just don’t know what she’s waiting for.

Everything Dean told them has checked out. Up to but not limited to the fact that Danny was not the ‘angel’ everyone thinks he was.

The crazy lady purchases her chicken (for cooking) from an equally creepy lady. It was like a bad drug deal, but with live chickens.

We aren’t getting much headway on a court order to search Lars Pierson’s residence. A factor that seems to outright enrage Carver. While the military discharge is virtually impossible to crack through, the chief of police did connect a few dots that lead to Pierson was on anti-psychotic medication.

Tom, Miller’s son and Danny’s best friend show up to Vince’s place. They have a cryptic conversation about what Tom’s mother knows and doesn’t know. Vince walks towards the door of the shed that houses his ‘shop’, asks Tom if his mother knows he’s even there. Tom says no and Vince looks outside, then closes the door. The very next scene following the break has Tom at home playing a handheld video game or something and completely acting anti-social to his mother. If you didn’t think Tom has something to do with this on some level, then I don’t know what you’re watching. While his mother serves up ice cream and rejects her husband’s suggestion of killing Carver with kindness, Tom goes through her work stuff looking for something. He finds Lars Pierson’s phone number and memorizes it.

Carver and Miller pay the Solano’s a visit. They wanted updates. They wanted to be kept up to date. So Carver’s plan is to give them exactly what they asked for. Starting with the security tape of Danny stealing from a gas station. There is a reason why the family of murder victims don’t have rights pertaining to the case and definitely aren’t provided a figurative ride along.

And here’s where the fiber of the family truly begins to unravel. Beth can’t process any of this. Then she asks how Danny even knows the guy that took him to the gas station much less to buy cocaine. Mark knows. Mark was all too eager to mention that the guy in question is Chloe’s boyfriend. Then came the screaming. Chloe marches out. Let me just say as a point of reference, I couldn’t walk out on my parents if they were scolding me about my grades. Chloe marched out because she didn’t want to talk about it right then. I can’t even wrap my head around that. Moving on.

Mark follows Chloe and what follows is a 15-year-old girl talking to her father as if the roles were reversed. Is Mark a bit of a p.o.s.? Sure. You don’t get to keep secret details that could affect the death of your brother and hide behind your father’s infidelity. Or at least I can’t imagine that happening in real life. Another case of the lack of realism in this show so far. Beth has shown glimpses. But there is a realism, a believability issue that I keep coming back to.

Miller: I hope you’re happy.
Carver: Why does everyone keep saying that to me today? I’m never happy.
Miller: You deserve to be as miserable as you make everyone else.
Carver: I didn’t say I was miserable, I’m just…
Miller: Do you know what you just did? All that family had left was the memory of their son and you just shattered it.
Carver: Maybe it deserved to be shattered.
Miller: WHAT? Who says such a thing? How can you even justify…
Carver: Because they want to know everything. I have one goal. One goal. To find Danny’s killer. Maybe you don’t share that goal.

Renee shows up at Owen’s door. This is not good. Somehow it feels like they will have a nice night and Renee will come away with some sort of information she shouldn’t have.

Vince did not show for the forced dinner date with the crazy lady. I could use her character’s name, but until she proves to be anything else, I want to call her the crazy lady.

Mark walks into the dining room where Beth sits lost in the middle distance. He apologizes for not telling Beth about Chloe. Her body language suggests that is not the thing he should be apologizing for. She runs through a litany of things that would admittedly bother anyone in that situation. Danny, Chloe, and the sense that she doesn’t even know her own family. She looks at Mark and says, “promise me there is nothing else I don’t know about.” Alright Mark, don’t make that promise. We are headed into a point of no return territory.

The last scene of this memorable episode that began to string together details of the case and drama beyond it, reveals a boat on fire on the water. The presumption is that Danny indeed was on a boat. So far we’ve assumed maybe it was Mark’s boat. Now it looks like that may not be the case. Stay tuned for next week’s recap of Gracepoint as I imagine the snowball rolling down the hill should gain even more speed and momentum.

Gracepoint: Serving Penance

Photo Courtesy Of Fox
Photo Courtesy Of Fox

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Although Emmett Carver could prove that he’s a brilliant detective, there’s no room for doubt that he’s a sorry excuse for a human being. The detective heading up the murder investigation of young Danny Solano, in the new Fox series “Gracepoint,” lacks any compassion or social-skills. At one point in the third episode of the Network’s ten-part mini-series, his partner Detective Ellie Miller gives him a cup of hot coffee from her thermos, while on a stakeout, and Carver never thinks to thank her. She asks him if he’s got kids, and totally thrown off by the question, Emmett asks her why, and she responds because they must got lousy manners.

Before delving into this episode, some observations about the first three episodes of what Fox labeled a “Premiere-Event,” starting with suggesting a title change to “Creepy Town,” as the residents are some of the bizarrest characters to grace the small screen since “Twin Peaks” aired in the early nineties. Although our heart breaks for Danny’s mother Beth Solano, isn’t someone you’d describe as a “likeable character,” after going through the tragedy of losing her son. I can make a serious argument, that Ellie Miller’s the only truly good person in the seaside village, although her husband seems like a good guy, let’s see what episode four reveals.

Although the show’s held my interest through the three episodes, one thing that’s off-putting to me, telegraphing punches before they’re thrown, there were a few incidents of scenes that’d make viewers sit up and take notice, but the effect got blunted, because of tipping their pitch before it got thrown. I find it patronizing; as if the show-runners believe the viewers will get lost without obvious road signs.

A perfect example of that, played a prominent part in the third episode, that centered around where Danny’s father, Mark Solano was the night his son got murdered. Was there any doubt, that Solano stepped out on his wife that night and that’s why he didn’t cooperate with Carver and Miller? The only question that sprang up, how long would they keep that a secret and identify whose company he kept?

At the previous episode’s conclusion, we found out that Solano’s fingerprints got discovered at the hut where forensics believe Danny met his untimely fate, while he talked with Carver. The detective sent him home, and be at the station the next morning. When Mark gets home, he leaves a message for his apprentice Vince Novik, to tell the cops they got together on the night Danny got killed. He told Carver he couldn’t remember who he hung out with, at the time of Danny’s death.

When he arrives the next morning, he claims he got flustered and blanked, but he and Novik went out for food and drinks, but Carver knows he’s lying through his teeth. Miller and Carver head to Novik’s house and while he attempts to cover for his boss, while talking to Carver, Ellie finds out from Vince’s mom that they’d been home together that night, until she sent him to the drug store at 10:00 pm. One alibi flushed down the drain by a plumber’s apprentice.

Beth feels like she’s suffocating in her home and needs to go for a walk, her mother wants to join her but Beth says she wants a private walk to clear her head. As she leaves the house we see a man in a white jacket follow her, when she gets to the park, he asks if he can join her on the bench and we see yet another familiar and creepy face, “Mr. Telephone Man,” the psychic phone repairman, Raymond Connelly. He tells her he knows she’s Beth Solano and tells her he doesn’t know how she gets out of bed each morning, she smiles and replies her problem’s what to do once she leaves the bed. He then says he’s not trying to upset her but he’s got a message from Danny for her, she freaks out and runs away, but later slips a note under her front door with his contact info.

San Francisco Globe reporter Renee Clemons’ not winning any friends in Gracepoint, except for local reporter Owen Burke, whom she’s trying to arrange a you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours deal. She knows Carver from his time in Rosemont and neither like each other and he wants zero contact with her. When Vince Novik and Jack Reinhold, realize she’s a reporter they tell her to get lost, simply and plainly.

Ellie and Emmett head to Susan Wright’s, trailer at the local trailer park, a woman who resembles Fred Mertz in drag in the looks and personality departments. She’s got even less social skills than Carver and when she opens the door berates the detectives, for waking her dog. Mark Solano told Ellie and Emmett he’d fixed a busted pipe at the hut three weeks earlier and he got the keys and the work order from Wright, but she denies it. They ask her if she’ll submit to a voluntary fingerprint test to help catch Danny’s killer, she acknowledges she will by asking if they’re through talking.

Who else could be the spiritual adviser for “Creepy Town,” than a creepy preacher, otherwise known as the Reverend Paul Coates? He’s got a huge crush on Beth, although it’s tough to determine if she realizes it. He comes over for coffee and to offer her solace, when she shows him the note from Connelly and reveals what he told her. Coates strongly advises pursuing this thread, but there’s no doubt she’ll contact Connelly, she also gets a bit uneasy when Paul holds her hand a bit too long.

Carver and Miller arrive back at the station and tell Mark that Wright claims that no pipe burst or did she authorize a work-order, but Solano says she’s lying. Emmett, basically says he doesn’t care if Wright’s lying, unless Solano tells the truth where he’d been the night Danny died, he’s going to arrest him for obstruction. Solano asks Ellie if he can do that and Miller pleads not to make them take that step, but Mark remains silent.

Sure enough Connelly arrives at the Solano house in the next scene and he and Beth take a walk. He tells her Danny says he’s fine, he’s no longer in pain, then he tells her son says he died in a boat. The third message, Danny told his mother not to pursue his killer, it’s someone they know well and he doesn’t want her more upset.

Carver interviews Ellie’s son Tommy, whose best friend’s Danny. He didn’t offer up much information, but after Emmett tried his best at being comforting and telling the boy anything he says stays in that room, Tommy says that Danny told him his father beat him at least twice. After they leave, he digs into Solano’s record and finds he got arrested ten-years earlier in a bar brawl, but charges weren’t filed. This convinces Carver to place Mark under arrest.

Soon after Beth arrives home, Pete the officer that’s watching the house tells her and her daughter Chloe that Mark’s under arrest and held at the station and Chloe goes ballistic. She starts ripping Pete a new one, about the way the police is treating her family until Beth pulls her out of the room and into another room and locks the door. She says that she’s got to act older than her years, Pete’s not their friend he’s a police officer who constantly observes them. When Beth leaves the room, Chloe pulls out her cellphone and sends a text-message stating that if the recipient knows where Mark was on the night Danny got killed, they need to tell the police and nobody else needs to know. Once again, they tipped their hand as Gemma Fisher obviously was the recipient and was with Solano that night.

Gemma walks into the station and says she got instructed to talk to Carver and Ellie, then admits she and Solano got it on the night Danny got killed. She chastises herself for the lousy decision and Miller told her she had a far higher opinion of her before her admission. She then says she parted company with Mark at 1:00 am, but if that’s true where was he for the remaining 2.5 hours to reach the time he claimed to arrive back home.

Carver heads to the beach and meets with a man who seems like Emmett’s doctor, who tells the detective he needs to take a medical leave and avoid stress, or he’d soon drop dead. Carver tells him that he can’t quit until this case’s wrapped up and the doctor asks why he loves it enough to risk his life. Jeremy responds he despises everything about Gracepoint, the architecture, the weather and especially the people. When the doctor asks why he continues, Carver tells him he’s serving penance.

Solano arrives home a bit later, with charges dropped although Ellie and Carver still got suspicions. He hugs Beth and Chloe and when his daughter asks why he got arrested blamed it on a police mess up. That night Beth asks if he killed Danny and instead of saying, no he responds with questions; is that what you believe, do you think I’d do that. However he never denies it, gets up from the bed, gets dressed and leaves the house. Beth watches him leave through the bedroom and once again it’s obvious where he’s heading.

Solano told the detectives this was his first betrayal of his marital vows and he got punished by Danny dying. He heads to see Gemma, tells her the one-night stand lost him his son and asks her what to do, they start kissing passionately, but Fisher pushes him off and tells him to go home. What neither realize, is Beth watched them from above and saw everything.

Emmett’s heading home when the head of the CSI tells him they recovered a phone number minutes before in Danny’s vest, and though grousing about it, Carver goes back inside the station to attempt to trace the number.

The Story Continues Next Thursday at 9:00 pm on Fox.

Gracepoint: Eliminating Suspects, Or Not


Courtesy of FOX
Courtesy of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Last week we were introduced to the very surface of what this limited engagement mystery will eventually reveal. One thing that did stand out was Tom (Ellie’s son and best friend to the deceased) acting very odd. Not only acting odd but deleting text messages, erasing his hard drive, etc. It is entirely too early to start floating theories, but I’d keep Tom Miller tuck away in the back of your mind. At least for now. Not saying he’s directly involved, just that it seems fishy.

I know that it’s done intentionally, but I dislike the attempt to make each and every person look guilty. From Tom Miller to the priest and everyone in between. I also love the Carver character. I am biased by the fact that he was the tenth Doctor. There’s something delicious about a man trying to put his life back together following some career threatening mishap. On that note, the Ellie character deserves some credit too. Or more accurately, Anna Gunn’s portrayal of her. Anna Gunn gets entirely too much flack for playing disliked characters (namely Skylar White). And while this is decidedly different from Skylar White, she is playing it well. Down to the inexperience of handling these types of situations.

In the Solano’s home, Ellie attempts to lighten the mood and at the same time express some information that is important. Her inexperience is apparent when she explains that their liaison is a guy who just finished his training. You don’t tell the victim’s family that they get the wet behind the ears rookie. There is an awkwardness to trying to deal with this family that Ellie knows personally, which I’m sure is intentional.

The Solano’s made a list. A list of people they believe may have some motive, reason, or angle to be a suspect. The list is comprised entirely of friends of the family. This moment is interrupted by a man collecting evidence upstairs. One piece is 500 dollars in cash under Danny’s bed. The other is something they found in the floorboard of the sister’s room. A flat piece of paper? About an inch squared? About the size of a condom wrapper.

Carver heads out to meet with Jack Reinhold (Nick Nolte). Jack seems to have remembered something. 10 days to two weeks ago he remembers seeing Danny sitting on a bench on one of the cliffs observing nature with his notebook out when a young stranger showed up. In his twenties with the hiking backpack and all. The exchange seemed pretty harmless from that vantage point. All the same, noteworthy.

OK. The package found in the sister’s room was Cocaine. I love how we are in the middle of a murder investigation and the sister of the deceased’s first thought is, “you’re not going to tell my mom are you?”

The nosy reporter from the Globe (Renee) shows up in the hopes of grabbing a desk in the bullpen of the local paper. She is not welcomed warmly as she might have hoped. She was there long enough to employee the services of Owen to show her around.

I don’t like the kid installing the phones in the precinct. Just throwing that out there.

Carver while listening to Ellie and stirring his coffee falls into some sort of trans. Ellie thinks he’s just being rude but when she leaves, we see what he sees. Shaky hands and blurred vision. He then drops the coffee and sneaks into a bathroom stall. Where he injects himself with something. My first thought was diabetes or heroin. I hope it’s neither for a number of reasons.

Chloe Solano explains to Ellie that she got the cocaine from Gemma Fisher (who runs the B&B or hotel or whatever it is). So naturally this is the next step. They need to find the source of the cocaine and rule it out as a factor.

Ellie’s loyalty to the townspeople is borderline reckless. I was concerned when Carver promised to find the person responsible (a HUGE no-no for detectives), but ever since then, Ellie has owned all of the detective faux pas since.

Gemma Fisher: I understand this was really stupid. But is there any way we can do this quietly? I could lose my license over this.

Ellie: Make a time and come down to the station and make a formal statement. You’ll be charged, fingerprinted, and released. And we’ll try to keep it quiet.

Carver: Really…?

Outside, Carver ‘gives her the business’ after that little charade. And while Ellie is personally offended at the idea that someone should be telling her how to do her job, Carver’s right. Ellie is a great hall monitor. She’s ill-equipped to handle the pressures, peaks and valleys of a murder investigation.

The mother venturing out to the supermarket considerably accurate. During a process of this severity (referring to mourning) a person is most likely going to be moved to do something familiar. Something that brings routine and order back into their lives. For sometimes no other reason than to feel something normal. There’s also a reason why victims of significant loss are not advised to attempt to resume routine duties quickly. Too many things become reminders. I knew she was going to lose it the second she walked in. I was actually surprised to see that she made it all the way back out to the car before she did, lose it. The admission that she’s pregnant was an odd turn. I see how it will complicate her psyche, but it’s importance to this story line is as of yet undetermined.

Gemma Fisher redeems herself in a lovely scene with her tending the bar. Gemma, Rev. Paul Coates and a local business man. The business man is just spouting off. Diarrhea of the mouth about the recession, whale fest and now being a ‘murder town’. Gemma rips this guy a new one in a quiet, polite, and very British manner that for the moment has endeared her to me. For the moment.

There is one really nice feature that this show keeps dropping in. Whether an accurate detail or a distracting one, they like to throw something at you visually but only for a second. The teddy bear that Chloe left on the beach sitting on a dresser after the fact. And now, Carver dropping his wallet to reveal a picture of a young girl followed by him popping pills.

Susan Wright is without a doubt the shadiest character we’ve encountered yet. And my experience in TV watching tells me we should cross her off the list then. Too easy and too soon. That said, she’s either hiding something or she’s just really sketchy. Then the moment I type that, sketchy Ms. Wright opens a closet door to reveal a skateboard. Danny was riding his skateboard which as of yet has not been found. Let not scratch her off the list just yet.

I should mention at this point that I have uttered a great many words of the profane variety. Not out of anger or even frustration. More of the ‘aww geez’ variety. Now the phone and internet guy is passing along a message he ‘received’ about water. Danny was put in water or in a boat, but something to do with water. And when asked who gave him this message, his response was “Danny”. So we’re talking to the dead now? I am the last person to make light of the subject matter, but comeon. We’re introducing a Medium into the story?

Not all is lost with the medium/psychic angle. If we suspend reality for a moment and accept that this is a legitimate angle something interesting does emerge. After an on the record interview (or interrogation depending on who is talking) the phone guy turns to Carver and says, “She says she forgives you. For the pendant.” Initially it didn’t garner any response from Carver. Then he lashes out to Ellie.

Things are turning to the worst for Mark Solano. First security video shows him waiting for someone the night of the incident which contradicts what he claimed he was doing then. Second on Danny’s hard drive was a journal. Mostly innocuous stuff but periodically cryptic language that paints Mark into a corner. What that corner is, is still up in the air. And now after watching Rev. Paul giving support to the family and the community, Mark charges out of the house as if he plans on assaulting Rev. Paul. Nothing too damaging. Some shaking and yelling. Stay away from my family, basic stuff like that.

Carver shows up at the Solano residence to follow up with Mark. Getting him to retell the story of his alibi. Which shouldn’t add up at this point. Just tell me he’s cheating on his wife. As horrible as that is to say, it’s better than being a suspect in the death of his own son.

At the ‘hut’ a house like structure towards the edge of a cliff, Ellie goes over the findings with CSI. She calls Carver in the middle of him ‘giving Mark another chance to tell him who he met that night’. The hut was wiped clean as one executing a premeditated crime would do. They have ‘elimination prints’ the finger prints taken before the investigation starts. This way when they find prints, they can cross reference them against the prints in the field.

Ellie: The prints belong to Mark Solano.