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.