Gracepoint – Season 1, Episode 3

From the opening it appeared viewers were being drawn into believing that Mark Solano (Michael Pena) killed his son, after revealing a memory of him finding Danny crying in a closet one night. His made up alibi seems sketchy to Detective Carver (David Tennant) from the get go as he cites shock for his spotty memory. Once his alibi crumbles, and Danny’s blood is found on the family boat, Mark looks even more likely to be the culprit. Especially as Mark’s record of a bar fight and his outburst at Reverend Paul are highlighted. It almost seemed too simple for everything to line up that perfectly. Which is exactly what happened. After spending the entire episode lying about his whereabouts, Mark is saved by Gemma (Sarah-Jane Potts). She only comes forward after receiving a text from Chloe (Madalyn Horcher), to tell the police where her dad was Thursday night: having a rendezvous with the local hotel owner herself.

Pena’s acting when Mark breaks down after Carver leaves him and Detective Miller (Anna Gunn) alone in the room is some of his best on Gracepoint yet. It portrays a broken man who really wasn’t trying to be sneaky and stall the investigation, but who is scarred by the fact that his moment of weakness cost him one of his most treasured possessions. It’s just too bad that no one else in the Solano family seems to care that he was arrested. While Mark is rotting in jail for the day, Beth (Virginia Kull) is off drinking wine with the reverend rather than fighting to find out why her husband was arrested. Then again, maybe that’s what you do when you realize you had been focused on the wrong things in life and lost the only years you had with your now dead son. The writing and acting hit grief straight on the head here. How do you forgive yourself for being too concerned about dirty clothes instead of your son’s laugh, or the little mannerisms that drove you insane but now you will never be able to experience again?

Staying true to Broadchurch’s theme and Fox’s Suspect Everyone promotion, this episode left viewers with a multitude of possible murders. First on the list is the odd hut caretaker, Susan (Jacki Weaver), who fails to volunteer her fingerprints when detectives ask for them. She conveniently happened to have a skateboard identical to that of Danny’s in her closet last week. Susan takes on an ominous tone when warning the police that they better find who killed Danny before another kid winds up dead.

Noting a quick mention is the unnamed backpacker that Jack (Nick Nolte) saw speaking to Danny. Even fingers seem to be pointed at Vince through ensuring viewers saw what appeared to be blood along with a gun in the back of the Solano van he drives. The psychic (Adam Greydon Reid), however, is someone that seems a bit sketchy. He was right about the boat and now has progressed to following Beth around to give her a message from Danny, warning that they need to stop searching for the killer. Even if he was vetted by the cops something is fishy, and no we’re not talking about the giant whale kind, although there are plenty of those to go around too. The most important suspect is unfortunately nameless. It would have to be whomever the number mysteriously found at the end of the episode belongs to. We’ll just have to wait until next week for that piece of information.

Speaking of suspicious behavior, Carver takes the cake. Calling Chloe in the middle of the night demanding to know who she got the cocaine from, creepily staring at Miller’s happy family through his office window, the disdain he has for being on water, and secret meetings on the dock. Yes, Detective Carver seems to have much to hide himself, plus a flare of anger which viewers were able to see a flash of this week. The first question is what is wrong with him? Certainly he is extremely angry and has an attitude, as exhibited when Renee (Jessica Lucas) confronts him on the street begging for him to work with her then throwing Rosemont in his face. He certainly didn’t like it when Renee compared the two, particularly when citing the mothers who still lack justice. It’s almost like he wants to be miserable, which is revealed later to be true when Carver meets with a mysterious doctor and claims he can’t stop working on the case despite the “bomb” within him ready to go off. He makes it clear that he has one priority: penance.

Thankfully Detective Miller is there to provide comic relief as she attempts to navigate her intense boss. Not only does Ellie refuse to take Carver’s brashness, but she stands up to him. When he refuses to thank her for being thoughtful and providing him with coffee she insults his children’s manners. It’s clear that she will not be pushed around. Specifically when Carver tries to make her call the Solano family in the middle of the night. Standoff at the station takes on a new meaning when Ellie tells Carver to get away from her and tells him that she is going home. This just reiterates her blow up at him earlier after the farce meeting he had her lead, after which he mocks her for. Ellie calls him on his retroactive punishments and unsuccessfully demands that he stop calling her Miller. Who knows – maybe she’ll have a better chance once he sees her brandish a gun?

How did you feel about episode 3? What secrets lie in the wait of Carver’s past? And will the mysterious phone number lead the way to Danny’s killer? Tell us your hypothesis in the comments below and don’t forget to tune into episode four this coming Thursday (October 23) at 9pm EST/PST. It guarantees to be a thrill ride, revealing more of Danny’s mysteries as well as some of Carver’s.