Gracepoint recap: Episode 8
A family coping with loss, the Solanos finally have a moment of joy.
This Gracepoint opens with a frantic search in the dark. It ends with a different one. Once again, everything is up in the air.
Tom Miller is found fairly early in the episode. During the hunt the hymn-singing Paul Coates finds him, and Tom emerges from the darkness frightened and with an injured knee. When Tom reaches the hospital, Emmett asks him about Lars Pierson, who the detectives eventually have to let go. But Tom has never actually had contact with Pierson. He was, however, actively pursuing the man, having gotten information on him out of Ellie’s work bag. He went missing because he got lost on the way. “I just wanted to help solve the case for Danny,” Tom says. He adds, “I wanted my mom back.”
But Tom is also still hiding something—and he may be at least found out by the end of the episode. Later in the episode Tom calls Owen and asks if something is gone forever if it has been deleted from a hard drive. Tom isn’t looking to save anything, though. Paul finds him one night ripping apart his computer.
That brings us to Paul, who suspiciously found both Tom and Tom’s bike, a fact Mark Solano points out when he approaches Emmett one night. Mark also tells Emmett that Paul is in love with his wife and has been spotted at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting out of town by one of Mark’s clients. Ellie and Emmett gather information on Paul, and then go to visit him at the church, where he explains that he is sober but had abused painkillers and alcohol due to a bad back. They bring up the fact that he got into a bar fight with a congregant in Washington State. When Emmett brings up the fact that he doesn’t have an alibi for the night of Danny’s death, Paul grows defensive saying, “why would I kill that boy?” But he does consent to coming in for a DNA sample.
At the police station he and Emmett clash about religion; Emmett tells Paul that it seemed like he wanted to claim Danny’s murder for the church to bring in more congregants. But Paul says that people came to him: “There was a fear that you couldn’t address.” Kevin Rankin plays Paul with an interesting remove, which makes the character unsettling, yet believable.
By the end of the episode, however, our focus is turned once again to another one of the most unnerving residents of Gracepoint, as Susan Wright is taken in by police.
Kathy Eaton has been continuing to research Susan (or, rather, Ruth) and goes to her trailer to deliver an envelope. Susan, meanwhile, goes to the Millers’ house. When Tom answers the door, she gives him Danny’s skateboard. Tom is excited, but when he shows it to Joe, Joe looks panicked and tells him to drop the skateboard. The police swarm the trailer park, but once again Susan isn’t there. She has gone to Kathy, who says she knows about Susan’s husband, children, and “what everyone said about you but could never prove.” Kathy has also called Ellie and Emmett on her. For once, Susan doesn’t have her trusty dog with her, she left him outside, where Vince steals him. Susan screams with anguish for the dog as she is put into a police car. She won’t talk to the police until they find her dog. Later, we see Vince pointing a gun at the dog’s head, but, for now, the pup’s life is safe.
But elsewhere the episode was more cathartic.
NEXT: A peaceful moment with the Solanos
Chloe and Mark attempt to go back to school and work, but for Beth the return of Renee Clemons is an opportunity. Beth finds Renee sleeping in her car. (Gemma won’t let Renee stay at the inn.) Beth asks if Renee can put her in touch with one of the mothers from Rosemont. Beth’s meeting with the mother is not satisfying. The mother warns her against trusting Emmett. She explains how she doesn’t have answers for Beth and that her “life got stolen from her that day.”
But Chloe and Mark don’t fare much better at work or school. Chloe is stared at and stifles tears in class when she sees boys playing outside with a skateboard; Mark is stopped in his tracks when he sees a newspaper at a home where he’s working that features Danny’s face. Mark leaves his job only to see Chloe drive off with Dean at school. Beth and Mark seek her out and find her dancing to Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness.” It is nothing nefarious, though. Dean wants to allow Chloe to let loose, and Chloe explains she needs “a break from being the dead kid’s sister.” She asks her mother if she’s keeping her baby.
And then there’s a truly joyful moment: The Solanos go bowling. There’s a moment of tension when Chloe sees Danny’s record flash on the alley’s screen as she’s about to break it, but her parents tell her to continue to bowl. She whispers to the ball, “please don’t hate me.” She gets a strike. On the way out, they laugh and tease Beth for drinking so many milkshakes. She says, “It’s calcium. It’s for the baby.” Again, it feels like a weight is lifted off the family.
The focus on the Solanos not as a hub for drama, but as a family coping and growing, was a welcome relief.
At the very end of the episode it’s not Susan who’s the main threat, but an obscured figure who goes into the cordoned off Harvey Ridge hut. Ellie and Emmett pursue the person in the rain. The figure knocks Ellie over while running out of the house and then again to the forest. Then, Emmett suffers another one of his attacks, and the shrouded figure gets away.
So where are we now? Well, still mired in mystery. The Tom Miller disappearance ultimately ended up feeling like an overly dramatic diversion. With two episodes left in the series, pretty much everything is up in the air, with the mysteries surrounding Susan and Tom, the most intriguing at this point.
Now watch an exclusive “Talking Point” video with Kevin Rankin and Jack Irvine.