There is another dead body in Gracepoint, but not another mystery. Jack Reinhold, after being the target of media speculation and town ire, killed himself at the end of the episode, clutching a photo of his family. If the message of Gracepoint is simply we don’t truly know our neighbors, Jack is an example of how what we don’t know isn’t necessarily as nefarious as we might think.
Jack’s elusiveness about his past and the fact that he showed up at the Solanos in possession of Danny’s cell phone made him more of a target than he might have been otherwise. But some facts don’t add up for Ellie. For instance, the phone Jack had was an old one, but Ellie knew her son Tom had been complaining that Danny had a nicer phone, so Ellie thought Danny had a smart phone. Also, Jack’s age might have prevented him from transporting the body. Renee wants to jump on the story, encouraging Owen to co-byline, and ignore what his editor and mentor Kathy Eaton might say. What they write, however, gets twisted and tabloid-ized, the headline calling Jack an “admitted pedophile.” Suddenly, townspeople are ganging up on Jack. Vince Novik rages about Jack to Mark, and another man collects signatures petitioning to kick Jack off of the wildlife group. Dean and Chloe go to Owen and Renee, Dean saying that Jack would put his arm around the boys in the wildlife group and put his hand on his back. Owen, however, refuses to pursue the story.
Only after Emmett argues that Jack is asking for help, but remains silent, encouraging the suspicion, does Jack eventually tell his story to Emmett and Ellie. He was not preying on young boys. He was a piano teacher, who had an affair with his 16-nearly-17-year-old student. Her father caught them. He went to jail for two years and then they married. The story was nothing like it seemed, but Jack insists that he didn’t say anything because it’s his business only.
Mark Solano, who knows what it’s like to be a target, rushes to Jack’s aid when Joe Miller comes to him, telling him that Vince has gathered a mob to go after him. Mark pulls Vince off of Jack, who finally explains his history to Mark. “She was 16, same age as Beth when you got her pregnant,” Jack says. Only it gets sadder after Mark asks him why his wife and the child they had aren’t with him. It’s because their son died in a car accident at the age of 9. “Grief just ripped us apart,” Jack says. He works with young boys not because he wants to hurt them, but because he is suffering a loss, a loss not unlike the one Mark is suffering. “No parent should ever outlive their child,” Jack tells Mark. Mark tells him he needs to leave town.
At night Jack plays the piano as someone breaks his glass door and he finds “pedophile” scrawled outside of his place. A newspaper now bears a photo of his family. He decides to take his own life, becoming yet another body on the beach. Another victim of Danny’s killer.
NEXT: The baby on the way