Josh Hamilton

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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.

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.

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.

Photo Courtesy Of Fox

Photo Courtesy Of Fox

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The Fox Network introduced their new Limited-Run Series “Gracepoint,” with a rather foreboding image, a young dark-haired boy stands on a cliff high above the water at night with tears streaming down his face. Then the camera goes black.

Gracepoint, California’s a lovely seaside village, located halfway between San Francisco and the Oregon border, a town that attracts tourists, but the regulars are a small tight-knit community, who’ve known each other all their lives. Well aside from the new Gracepoint Police Department Lead Detective Emmett Carver, (David Tennant) who just joined the force the previous week, with a long resume and lots of experience. Carver expected quiet times in his new post, but funny how life works out sometimes.

Carver got the position promised to longtime Gracepoint Detective Ellie Miller (Anna Gunn) before going on vacation by the department’s Chief Morgan, (Tom Butler) but gets called into his office and told the disappointing news as she enters the station. Morgan, said the situation changed while she was away and Carver’s very experienced. Miller reminds the Chief, of their conversation in which he told her the department was looking to promote women.

We leave the station and enter the home of one of the village’s family’s, plumber Mark Solano, (Michael Pena) his wife Beth (Victoria Kull) and their daughter Chloe (Madalyn Horcher) are eating blueberry pancakes made by Beth’s mother, who came over from her home nearby to cook breakfast. Beth asks if anyone’s seen their son Danny (Nikolas Filipovic) because he forgot his lunch, but Mark says he’s probably on his regular morning nature watch, then kisses his wife and leaves for work.

The next scene illustrates just how small and close a community Gracepoint is, as we watch Solano walk through the village interacting with everyone in his path, a routine he’s clearly used to. He stops by the town’s newspaper and pays the editor Kathy Eaton (Alisen Down)  for the ad he runs in it for his company, then haves a brief conversation with the paper’s reporter Owen Burke (Kevin Zegers) whose heading to cover the local track meet at the village’s school. He asks Gemma Fisher (Sarah-Jane Potts) who runs the local inn and restaurant when he’s getting his free meal for fixing her boiler, then finally meets his assistant Vince Novik (Stephen Louis Grush) driving Mark’s van and showing up late for work.

Beth meanwhile heads to her son’s school and finds out he didn’t join the nature group and has yet to show up at school. She starts to panic, finds Danny’s best friend and Ellie Miller’s son Tom, (Jack Irvine) who tells her he hadn’t seen or heard from her son all day. She thanks the boy and asks him if he sees him to call her. She then calls her son’s and husband’s phones reaching voice mail on both.

Miller’s really steamed at getting passed over for the promotion, so she heads into the rest-room locks the door and presumably calls her husband Joe, (Josh Hamilton) to vent. In the midst of her conversation there’s pounding on the door and another female officer informs Ellie that a case just came in and she needs to head to the beach.

Carver’s just arriving at the beach when we join him and when he sees the body’s a young boy’s, he whispers please not again.  A uniformed officer’s already on the scene and then Miller pulls up in her car. She realizes the body’s Danny’s and starts screaming and running toward the corpse. Carver attempts to restrain her and she tells him that he’s got her job and she’s Detective Ellie Miller. He asks her if she knows the boy and tells him he’s her son’s best friend.

Beth’s driving around town trying to find her son when she runs into a traffic jam, an unusual occurrence in their town. The line of cars stretch near a quarter-mile and she gets out of her car and starts walking forward. A couple of minutes into her journey, she asks a woman in a car if she has any idea what’s going on and the woman replies, the police shut down the beach after finding a body. Beth’s positive the body’s Danny’s and starts running as fast as she can towards the beach. She gets to the area cordoned off by Police Tape, lifts it up, walks past an officer talking to someone else and heads to the crime scene. Another officer tries to stop her, but she gets close enough to recognize her son’s sneakers and breaks down, trying to reach her son while several officers restrain her.

Shortly later a forensics expert shows up and says Danny did not fall, jump or get pushed off the cliff, who ever murdered the boy planted the rocks to make it appear that was the cause of death. He believes the killer transported Danny to the beach and dumped his already dead body. They meet with the town’s medical examiner and he’s positive it’s a homicide caused by blunt trauma to the front of the boy’s head. When asked if he was the victim of a sexual assault, the medical examiner responds, no thank heavens. He then tells Carver that though the detective’s a veteran of these investigations, this doesn’t happen in Gracepoint and tells Carver to catch the killer and put him a way for a long time.

Carver and Miller head to the Solanos and Miller tells the other detective she wants to break the news to the family. He says no immediately, she replies that he doesn’t know them and he asks her how many murder investigations she’s worked. When she admits this is her first he tells her she can’t help them or make things any better.

They enter the home, and everyone sits down. Carver says they found a body on the beach and believe it’s their son’s, Beth asks Ellie if it’s Danny and she nods her head as Chloe and Beth dissolve into tears. Carver tries dispassionately asking questions and Mark finally says he wants to see the body, they might be mistaken.

Miller takes him to the morgue and now Mark dissolves into tears, he asks Ellie if he can touch  him and the detective says no. He apologizes to Danny for not being there to protect him and says he’ll blame himself for the rest of his life. Then he tells his son that he’ll find whose ever responsible and they’ll get punished.

When Mark and Ellie return from the morgue, Carver promises the family that he’ll find the killer. Right after he says that Chloe grabs her coat and handbag and leaves the house. A short while later she and her boyfriend arrive at the beach and put down one of Danny’s toys, a stuffed monkey on the beach, then falls into her boyfriend’s arms and starts to weep. They fail to notice reporter Owen Burke sitting nearby, there to investigate the case for his paper. He calls Miller and asks if it’s Danny Solano and she freezes up and gets tongue-tied, telling him his call’s inappropriate and she won’t confirm anything. He realizes that she did confirm by not denying it and hangs up, she calls him right back but gets his voice mail. He sends out a press release from his cell-phone, starting a huge storm in the village.

Carver and the rest of the department are unaware that Burke filed the story and tells all the officers, that until he gives the official press conference later that afternoon, they’re not to discuss the case with anybody. Chief Morgan nods to Carver to take a walk with him outside, then suggests he hand the case over to Ellie because of what happened in Rosemont. Carver gets agitated, says he got completely exonerated and because of Rosemont, he’s the perfect man to lead the investigation. Morgan says that Carver came to Gracepoint to “lay low,” but Carver counters that he came to do a job.

Chloe finds out first getting an alert on her cellphone and the Solanos go ballistic screaming at the forensics expert whose now at their home. He’s truly clueless about the leak and suggests they contact Carver or Miller, but Beth says that they’d rather speak to him. She then berates him and asks what gives the department the right to release her son’s name without informing them first.

Renee Clemons, (Jessica Lucas) a reporter for the San Francisco Globe, watches Carver’s press conference from Gracepoint announcing the slaying of Danny Solano. She knows Carver, she tells a colleague from her days working in Rosemont and says she’s surprised he got hired by another department. She pitches the story to her editor, but he declines her request, however she defies him and travels up the coast on her own.

Nearly forty-years-ago, one of the first Mini-Series to capture the public’s attention and become a hit, was “Rich Man, Poor Man” and one of the stars, Nick Nolte’s career got launched by his performance. I’m happy to announce that Nolte’s a character in Gracepoint, but he’s far from the handsome leading man of his salad days. Nolte plays Jack Reinhold, an old codger who resembles a cross between a mean Santa Claus and a sailor. He rents kayaks and canoes to tourists but his main passion’s keeping track of the local sea life which he reports to the observatory down the coast.

For years he’s taken local children out with him in the early mornings to help him record dolphin and whale sightings. Danny was there every morning the week he got killed except for the morning he died. Carver asked if Reinhold had called Danny’s house when he didn’t show up and Jack looked at the detective as if he were insane, asking if he thought Danny was the first kid not to show for a morning session?

Beth and Mark start talking and she asks why he didn’t check on Danny when he got home from a plumbing emergency at 3:00am and he asked her why didn’t she check on him after she saw him at 9:00pm? She asks her husband where he was and he says I told you I was working.

Ellie still has yet to let her son know that his best friend got killed the night before, so she stops home to tell him in person. Tom seems oddly calm about the information, asking very few questions other than if his parents knew and his mom tells him they do. She then tells her son that losing one’s best friend in such an awful way can make people react differently. He may get very sad, or angry or just want to cry, but what ever way he reacts is fine.  He then asks his mother if he could have some time alone and she says sure, gives him a kiss and leaves the room. Tom grabs his cellphone and deletes all the messages on it from Danny. He then goes to his laptop and erases the hard drive.

That night at the station, Miller calls Carver into her office to show him her latest find, surveillance footage from the village square from the night before and lo and behold Danny Solano’s riding his skate board down the white line in the middle of the street at midnight. That proves he wasn’t abducted from his home, but now gives them two more questions, where’s his skateboard as well as his cellphone, which he never left his house without?

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