REVIEW: Gracepoint Episode 2 - Clues And Revelations

The second gripping episode of Gracepoint starring David Tennant and Anna Gunn has now aired in the USA, Canada and Australia. As the action starts to hot up and new clues emerge, the police seem to have their sights set on a major suspect. Read our review below: beware of spoilers!

Episode 2

After the slower paced establishing premiere episode of Gracepoint last week which served to introduce the plot and characters, episode 2 of the Fox TV ten-part murder mystery has picked up a pace.

With the investigation now in full swing, evidence is starting to come in thick and fast, and some of the residents of the small Californian town are coming under the police spotlight. The relationship between the two leading detectives, Emmett Carver (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Anna Gunn), is no less fraught. She has started to use the word 'Sir' as a weapon the same way that he uses the word 'No'. She still finds his manners appalling. He still thinks she is too tied up with her emotional links to the case. "You have to learn not to trust," he barks at her over their desk-based late night supper which she provided (and he still found fault with). "I can't be outside," she responds. She also finds it difficult to see her friends and neighbours as potential suspects and is horrified at the list that the Solanos provide: "These people are your friends!" she gasps. However an encounter with a family friend in the playground may have her realising that she is now being regarded through different and suspicious eyes by others. She isn't neighbour Ellie any more to them. She is Detective Miller.

Meanwhile, some of Carver's own secrets are starting to emerge. First up is the question of his health. A dizzy spell at the coffee table has him scuttling for the privacy of the men's room, because it's clear that he doesn't want to share with his colleagues the existence of the epipen that he uses to overcome the unexplained attack. Then there's the issue of Rosemont again, clarifed by journalist Renee Clemons (Jessica Lucas), who tracked Carver's performance on that case. Three missing children, she states, and then Carver ends up here, working on another case centring on a child. It's not clear whether she is questioning his abilities or implying something more sinister. A tantalising glimpse of a photo of a girl in Carver's wallet also remains an unanswered question, as does the mention of a pendant by the apparent 'psychic' Raymond Connelly (Adam Greydon Reid), which has him rattled. Meanwhile Carver still is no less impressed with Gracepoint and its laid-back non-city ways - he chews Ellie out for her gentle solution to Gemma's situation and is morally outraged that a Whalefest could be put before his murder investigation.

What sets Gracepoint apart from other police investigation shows is its focus on the aftermath of the terrible event that has hit the community. Alongside the police procedural, the drama examines how the locals are reacting - a condolence book, the response of the church, the concerns about the tourist industry and concerns about children's safety. Key to this is the examination of what the Solano family are going through. Beth (a powerful and emotional performance by Virginia Kull) is lost and trapped. "Stop smothering me!" she screams at her well meaning mother, before attempting an ill-fated shopping trip. Even in the market she is still acutely under scrutiny, and the pressure builds to a very public meltdown and the revelation of a huge secret to the town minister, Paul Coates (Kevin Rankin), a friend to Beth and Mark for over 20 years. Mark (Michael Peña) seems to be acting more strangely, he is evasive and angry. In fact we see the first signs of what could be a significant temper, and his attack on Paul hints that there might have been past tensions between the two of them over Beth, as he warns the priest away from his wife. 

The mysterious Susan is still lurking around, even evading Carver completely when she encounters him while walking her dog. And, it seems, with good reason, considering she seems to have Danny's missing skateboard stashed in her closet, something that must surely place her at either the scene of the murder or the location of the body. 

The journalists have joined forces - certainly Renee and Owen (Kevin Zegers) have, as local paper boss Cathy Eaton (Alisen Down) gives short shrift to the big city writer sniffing around in her town. Carver isn't too impressed to see Renee either - whatever she implied about him in the past has hurt him and he's not going to give her a moment of his time. It just makes Renee all the more determined to lean on local hack Owen and play on his emerging ambitions to hit the big time. 

However, concerns about Renee are put to the back of Carver's mind by the emergence of several key pieces of evidence. The discovery of drugs and money in the Solanos house may or may not be relevant to the murder, while Jack Reinhold mentions a sighting of Danny that nobody else can corroborate. Danny's journal has revealed that he had some concerns of his own, and CCTV footage reveals that Mark was lying about his whereabouts. Then the CSI team turn up something startling at the Harvey Ridge Lookout hut, the hut that Susan Wright cleans and has keys for. It appears that the investigation now has its murder site, complete with the fingerprints of someone who still cannot adequately explain their whereabouts on the night of the murder. 

Gracepoint continues on Fox in the USA and Global in Canada on Thursday 16th October at 9pm ET. It also airs at 8.30pm on Friday 17th Ocober on the Universal Channel in Australia.