Suspicions swirl around the Solano family in the second episode of Gracepoint.

By Esther Zuckerman
Updated January 14, 2020 at 08:06 PM EST
Credit: Ed Araquel/Fox
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Naturally, a victim’s family is called into question in a case like the murder at the center of Gracepoint, and the Solanos have a lot of questions to answer after episode 2.

They aren’t necessarily helping their case, even though they made list of possible suspects to give to Ellie. Emmett thinks this could be a ploy: “They could be trying to direct where we look, taking the focus off their family.” By the end of the episode, it seems that Emmett might be right, despite Ellie’s optimism about the family.

At the conclusion of the second installment, our detectives actually have cornered Mark Solano, Danny’s father. His alibi is shot. Security footage shows that he wasn’t actually on a job the night of Danny’s murder—though it doesn’t reveal who he might have been meeting because of a power outage. He is hesitant to explain why he wasn’t on a job like he said he would be, finally saying he had drinks with a friend when pressed by Emmett. He says he “can’t remember” the name of his friend. Even worse? His fingerprints were found in the Harvey Ridge house, now thought to be the site of Danny’s murder.

I have to admit, this sounds an awful lot like a red herring. This is only the second episode of the show—if Emmett and Ellie find the murderer now, the show is going to have to twiddle its thumbs a lot. Still, Mark’s after-hours antics very well could be linked to Danny’s murder. If nothing else, he shows that he wasn’t being very perceptive when his son was killed.

The show also gave us reason to look at Mark askew in the first place. As I mentioned in last week’s recap, he lacked the emotional reaction of his other family members when Emmett and Ellie reveal Danny’s fate even though his breakdown upon seeing Danny’s body was very honestly portrayed by Michael Peña. He’s involved in something, sure, but maybe not killing his son.

And then there’s Chloe Solano, the other member of the Solano family who is involved in something nefarious that may or may not be related to her brother’s death. CSI found cocaine in Chloe’s room, along with $500 in cash taped under Danny’s bed. Chloe tries to brush it off when Ellie confronts her. “It was one tiny bag,” she said. One tiny bag of cocaine often signals bigger issues. Unlike Mark, however, Chloe seems to be more in the clear.

Innkeeper Gemma Fisher had actually asked Chloe, who was working at the inn, to get the cocaine for a couple from Seattle who had wanted it. (Now, that’s not to say there’s nothing wrong with that kind of request. What kind of people come to a quaint seaside town to get high on cocaine? But that’s sort of beside the point.) Chloe got the cocaine for Gemma, but the couple had already left, and Gemma gave it back to Chloe. Ellie angers Emmett because of her leniency toward Gemma, who is nervous about losing her license. “Stop reassuring people,” he tells her. She, however, says that he’s not there to train her: “So you can keep your brooding, ass-a-holic, big city cop act to yourself.” Both of them are right.

As one might have expected, Chloe got the coke one way or another from Dean Iverson, who is not quite as sympathetic to her family’s situation as he should be. She lashes out after he worries about the police coming to his house.

NEXT: The fine citizens of Gracepoint

There was another big revelation about the Solano family in this episode, but one that does not seem to be any evidence for Danny’s murder: Beth is pregnant and she hasn’t told anyone. Frustrated, Beth decides she’s going to the supermarket by herself, but when she’s there she’s scrutinized by other shoppers. Overwhelmed, she gets back in her car, but she hits a bunch of shopping carts. She screams, falling next to her car, and Paul Coates, the priest, comes to her aid. She reveals the news to him.

Paul and Beth have some sort of history. She asks Paul, “What do you think I should do?” Paul responds, “I can’t tell you what to do. I couldn’t tell you 20 years ago, I can’t tell you now.” Paul of course is one of the townspeople of Gracepoint the show flashed to during Emmett’s press conference at the end of the first episode. Let’s check back in with him and other Gracepoint townspeople.

Gemma Fisher

I mentioned Gemma’s odd behavior regarding Chloe’s cocaine, but Gemma also shows righteous anger regarding Danny’s killing throughout the episode. When signing the condolence book at the Gracepoint Journal office, she says that she votes “for a public lynching” of whomever killed Danny. When one of her bar patrons complains about how the murder investigation is killing tourism in the town, she shuts him down completely, even though it is affecting her business: “Get ahold of yourself and grieve respectfully.” Either that’s a really good cover or she’s genuinely pissed.

Owen Burke/Renee Clemons

I’m lumping the journalists together for now because their stories are dovetailing. Renee wants a desk at the Gracepoint Journal, but Kathy decides not to give her one, explaining that if she gives one to Renee, she will have to give one to every journalist that descends on Gracepoint as the story blows up. Renee, however, does convince Owen into showing her around, telling him about Emmett’s past in Rosemont—his troubles had to do with the disappearance of three girls—and offering him help with his career if he helps her out. The audience also gets to find out why Renee callously took Danny’s toy from the beach: She had plans to use it as ammo to get in with Chloe. Renee gives the monkey back to Chloe, explaining that it would get poached otherwise. She then asks to borrow Chloe’s phone, putting her number in it. She does so ostensibly as a friend, but Renee fits all the stereotypes of the morally bankrupt journalist, willing to do anything for a story. Chloe reaching out to her could backfire for Chloe and the Solanos.

Jack Reinhold

Jack tells Emmett he remembers seeing Danny talking to a backpacker—a “young fella” in Jack’s words—early one morning. “Seemed innocent at the time,” Jack says. Though Jack is ostensibly trying to be helpful, the show makes a point of making him seem eerie, showing him lingering in the background of a scene with Ellie and her children at a playground.

NEXT: So much suspicion

Tom Miller

The audience knows Tom is hiding something, but it’s not clear what it is. In the early moments of the episode, however, Ellie and Joe confront Tom about a nightmare in which he shouted “Danny.” He asks if he will have to talk to the police, and if it could be with his mother. When’s he is at the playground with his dad, he is despondent, refusing to play. “Nothing will ever be normal,” he says.

Joe Miller

Once again, we see him as a doting husband and father, asking Tom if he wants to talk about his feelings.

Raymond Connelly

Since we didn’t get much of Vince Novik this episode, I’m switching him out for Raymond Connelly, the guy working on the phone lines, who believes Danny is speaking to him. Now this is where things get really strange. The show is not about the supernatural, and yet here’s a guy who is saying that water and a boat were involved in Danny’s death, and he knows this because of messages he received from Danny. As he leaves, he tells Emmett, “she says she forgives you about the pendant.” Who is she? Does this have to do with Rosemont? The photo of the girl in Emmett’s wallet the camera panned to?

Paul Coates

Viewers didn’t learn much about the priest during the first episode, but now there’s some more information coming out. Paul’s behavior is odd, certainly. When Kathy Eaton puts out a condolence book for Danny in the newspaper offices, he says that the “church should be doing it,” frustrated that he didn’t come up with the idea. Then, of course, there’s that moment he shared with Beth, and the following one with Beth’s mother, who tells him to “reach out to her, would you? You’ve always been so good to her.” Beth’s mother tells him, “I’m praying that’s why God brought you back to Gracepoint to help my daughter.” So he was away? What for? And then there’s the anger Mark directs toward Paul, after Paul appears on TV talking about the case. “Your God left my son for dead and don’t you forget that,” Mark says, telling him to stay away from his family, specifically Beth.

Susan Wright

Susan continues to be the creepiest character. She cleans the Harvey Ridge house, so Emmett goes to her to get the keys. She inquires why, asking if it has to do with the boy, and makes Emmett sign for the keys before giving them to him. “I don’t want trouble if you don’t come back,” she says. When he leaves, she stares out the window. Yeah, creepy. She also has a skateboard in her closet. Danny’s skateboard? Probably.

Emmett Carver/Ellie Miller

Something is seriously wrong with Emmett. His vision goes blurry as he stirs his coffee, which he lets fall, and he rushes into the bathroom injecting himself with something from a syringe.

Ellie and Emmett are continuing their outsider-insider bickering, but also seemingly working better together. The case is also starting to wear on them. Just how much of an insider Ellie can continue to be is also called into question, when she is confronted by an angry man at the playground, asking whether or not people should be worried for their children.

To close, let’s look at what we know now: Focus is honing in on the Harvey Ridge house where Danny’s blood type was found, as were kids’ sneaker prints around the area. However, the house was “scrubbed” thoroughly. The killer is clearly being meticulous—if this is the fault of the killer’s. Danny was also keeping a journal, which was found on his hard drive. It starts out fairly routine, but then gets ominous. Entries include: “Enough of this, time to quit,” “Dad’s really going to kill me now,” “Got to get out of here, Budapest sounded good,” “I think I know what he’s doing; What am I doing?”

Until next time! Be sure to watch actress Madalyn Horcher talk about her role in the episode in this exclusive “Talking Point.”

Episode Recaps


Following the success of the British version (Broadchurch), David Tennant leads the American drama about a small town rocked by a child’s death and the investigation that follows.
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