Gracepoint is winding down, and it looks like Detectives Carver and Miller may have finally honed in on Danny’s killer. Let’s start where the episode ends: a shot of Vince Novik, in a cell, the name Danny emblazoned in a tattoo on his arm. The person who put him there? His own mother. No, not that woman with whom he lives, but Susan Wright, whose past is even more horrifying than we could imagine.
The facts about who Susan really is come out slowly over the course of the episode as Ellie interrogates her, and they reveal a woman who isn’t simply “creepy,” even though it was easy to write her off in such a way. When Ellie first presents the cigarettes found around Danny’s body to her, she reveals that she and her dog were walking in the middle of the night and saw the body on the beach from the cliff. She went down to look and stood there for a while, smoking. “He was beautiful,” she says.
Ellie thinks Susan didn’t kill Danny but that she knows something. Susan claims that she didn’t do anything after seeing Danny’s body because she didn’t want to get involved because “you people” destroyed her family. How so? She tells Ellie, whose interrogation tactics have gotten more savvy, how her husband would have sex with her eldest daughter. When he tried to start with her younger daughter the older girl tried to protect her sister and “got herself” killed. Her younger daughter was put in foster care. Her husband was charged with murder and said that Susan was involved, though she wasn’t. Susan, meanwhile, was pregnant and social services took the child. Her husband, convicted, hanged himself in his cell. Susan told Ellie that as she was looking at Danny’s body on the beach, she wondered if her own daughter had looked that peaceful after her death.
But even after that story Ellie can’t put everything together. Susan can’t have been on the cliff or she wouldn’t have seen Danny’s body. Susan reveals she was on the beach and saw a boat come on shore. She recognized the person who took the body out of it: Vince, who Emmett goes to arrest. There’s a barking in the distance. It’s Susan’s dog, locked in Vince’s shed. Vince is reticent to talk initially. Emmett orders Vince to reveal the extent of the tattoos, knowing that the woman he thinks is his mother told Ellie that Vince put Danny “on his arm.” One of them says “Danny,” a fact made all the more strange given that back at the Solanos’ home, Dean, now being welcomed into the family, tells Mark and Beth that Vince used to take Danny hunting and they would act almost like brothers—Danny’s parents never knew about that.
But why would Susan turn her own son in? She thinks he’s protecting him from doing more harm. “It’s clear, just looking at him that boy is his father’s son,” she says, and tells Ellie not to tell Vince about her family. Vince, however, is totally in the dark about his past. That changes however when Emmett hands over the file on Susan to Vince. Susan, finally, is let go, but asks to see her son. She pleads with him, “Just be sweet to me. He grabs her face through the bars of his cell, telling her to confess to lying and leave the town, warning that if she doesn’t he will slit her dog’s throat and then go for her if she doesn’t get out of town. “You’re sick just like him,” she says. She packs up her things, and, reunited with her German Shepherd, sets off.
There’s one more thing, however, that seals the suspicion surrounding Vince: Owen’s mother finally speaks after Ellie gives her a check. The night of Danny’s murder she was driving home, drunk, and saw the Solano plumbing truck, the truck that Vince drives, off the side of the road in the woods. A man was carrying something covered with a tarp.
NEXT: Hearts giving out…