REVIEW: Gracepoint Episode 3 - A Change In Perspective

The third episode of Gracepoint sees the police with their first real suspect. If he’s found guilty then the shock could tear the town apart. And right now he isn’t doing anything to help himself.

In the closing minutes of episode 2 of the ten-part event series Gracepoint a wealth of evidence placed Mark Solano (Michael Peña) right at the murder scene. At the same time Mark was struggling to convince Detective Emmett Carver (David Tennant) that he had a credible alibi for the night of the murder and it was inevitable that he would be invited in for questioning. This is Carver’s local colleague Ellie Miller’s (Anna Gunn) worst nightmare. In the interview room the reality of the conflict between her working life, personified by the irascible and remorseless Carver, and her beloved home town, in the form of the flailing and secretive Mark,  is laid starkly open to her. She must choose to be on either one side of the line or the other. And Mark’s obstinacy at coming clean is very quickly making her realise that her faith in the people that she relied on and trusted all her life may not have been justified.

Not only do the police rip Mark’s wispy alibi to shreds in minutes, young Tom Miller (Jack Irvine) also reveals that he used to hit Danny. He’s found to have a record of fighting. His friends Joe Miller (Josh Hamilton) and Vince Novik (Stephen Louis Grush) are both asked to consider Mark’s character. Both hesitate. Then the detectives also check out his boat. It seems, for all the condemnation of Raymond Connelly’s (Adam Greydon Reid) psychic message, the notion of a boat has stuck in Carver’s head and he can see how one might have been used. Unfortunately for Mark that means more potentially damning evidence. Meanwhile the testimony of the unpleasant Susan Wright (Jacki Weaver) suggests he is lying about any plumbing repair at the rental property where Danny was killed. By the time Mark’s whereabouts is explained the seeds of doubt have already been sown in the heads of many, including his own wife and daughter, and also Ellie, who can no longer state with conviction that Mark is innocent. Besides, what sort of a bereaved parent would actually put their own social embarrassment above finding their child’s killer?

For Beth (Virginia Kull) the news of Mark’s arrest and her subsequent discovery of where he really was make her start to look at what remains of her family in a new light. She turns to filling her spiritual needs, first through Paul Coates (Kevin Rankin) – and again we see signs of a former tenderness between them – and then via Raymond Connelly. The latter has managed to squirm into her life and has given her the message that the killer is someone close to her. However, nothing so far in what he has told her has been more than vague statements. At the moment we have no idea of Connelly’s real motivations.

Carver’s ill-temper has not improved in the slightest and he makes his feelings known about Gracepoint in a bitter outburst. He still seizes on every opportunity to put Ellie in her place too, but he’s in for a shock when she stands up to him and turns his own favourite ‘No’ back at him. She is growing in strength as the investigation proceeds. As each shock hits she toughens a little more. On the other hand, Carver is starting to show a few cracks in his shell-like facade. At the harbour he shows an aversion to being on the water. Significant, perhaps? Perhaps, but then many people are nervous of boats and Carver is, of course, a city boy. If anything it marks him out as an outsider. There’s also the question of his mysterious ailment. A clandestine meeting with his doctor reveals that Carver does indeed have a medical condition, and a potentially fatal one at that. He’s determined to ignore medical advice and push ahead with the investigation, despite the stress and the long hours. “Penance,” he declares. For Rosemont? Or is there something even bigger and darker in Carver’s past? Rosemont still hangs heavy over him, and journalist Renee Clemons (Jessica Lucas) is not going the let the subject drop easily.

Renee, meanwhile, is still making herself few friends around the town. Jack Reinhold (Nick Nolte) is the latest to send her packing. Her best bet is the cash-strapped local reporter Owen Burke (Kevin Zegers) whom she tempts with offers of cash and recognition and a way out of Gracepoint. Owen is having a wobble. He’s essentially being asked to betray his home town...but Renee is very, very manipulative.

With the release of Mark, Carver needs to find a new direction and quickly. He keeps his focus firmly on the Solano family, shifting it now to the drugs angle and to daughter Chloe (Madalyn Horcher). Is the deal anything to do with the slip of paper that the CSI team find in Danny’s sweatshirt with a phone number printed on it? What is the significance of the shotgun and reddish stains in he back of the van owned by Mark but driven by Vince? And there is still the question of that skateboard in the keeping of social misfit Susan. It’s too early to rule anyone out of the investigation yet. Episode four promises a whole lot of brand new leads in the hunt for Danny’s killer. However, this chapter has changed perspectives for some of the residents of Gracepoint who will never look and their town, neighbours and loved ones in the same way again. And the most significant of these people has to be Ellie Miller.

Gracepoint continues with episode 4 of Wednesday 22nd April at 10pm BST on ITV Encore.