By Jena Keahon
In its fourth episode, “Gracepoint” is really starting to pick up the pace and become even darker.
We find out that the number found in Danny’s pocket belongs to a war veteran who has gone missing, Lars Pierson. He turns out to be the hitchhiker that the fisherman saw talking to Danny before his murder. When Beth confronts Ellie at the office for not keeping the family updated about the investigation, she reveals she remembered seeing him come into the visitor’s center where she works. She notes he was “perfectly civil, but odd,” and recalls his interest in her picture of Danny and Chloe. As of now, he is our detectives’ number one suspect.
Even with signs pointing to Lars Pierson as the murder, it is difficult to ignore the Priest’s suspicious behavior. He confronts the psychic, questioning him about his interaction with Beth. When the psychic refuses to take the priest’s number for a psychiatrist, things escalate. The priest actually shoves him against a wall, and warns him to leave the family.
As he leaves, the psychic tingles our creep radar again by eerily telling the priest that he’s glad Beth has someone like him, because knows how close he and Beth were. So even though the likelihood of him actually having psychic abilities is slim (who’s to say he didn’t just go to the same high school as them or something more reasonable?), and his screen time is waning, we definitely shouldn’t rule this psychic out as a suspect completely.
This interaction also raises suspicions about the Priest. Early in the episode, we see him eerily touching a picture of Danny’s face as he plans for Danny’s memorial. Did the Priest have some sort of relationship with Danny that we don’t know about? Or is he simply mourning the loss of the boy?
Mark Solano is not only dead set against having a religious ceremony for Danny, but he also just really has it out for the Priest in general, convinced that he’s trying to come between him and Beth. While Mark could just be overreacting, could there also be some truth in this idea? The priest is obviously still very attached to Beth still, as we see him thoughtfully looking at a picture of them together at their high school graduation.
Without giving any spoilers, those who have watched “Broadchurch” know the big reveal of who killed Danny was extremely dark. Knowing this, and that the murderer in “Gracepoint” will be different, will the writers decide to make the ending even darker? Knowing that this is American television, I’d be inclined to say no. However, if they decide to really surprise us, having the priest be the murder would be an effectual way to shock us and make the ending pack punch. Could the Priest have killed Danny in an attempt to cause friction between Beth and Mark so that Beth would come running back to him?
In this episode, we also find out what the deal is with the cocaine. Chloe’s boyfriend Dean confesses to the detectives that he bought the cocaine. In a pivotal moment of the episode, we also find out that Danny has a lot of personal trauma hiding under the surface. Dean describes how he would let Danny hang out with him, and how he would talk about what a disappointment he is to his dad and that no one truly understands him.
Dean also tells the detectives that Danny stole a book from a store. His story checks out when the detectives watch the security tape, and Carver notes, “Our angel wasn’t such an angel after all.” This realization really shakes things up and complicates things for everyone involved, allowing us to accept the idea that maybe Danny wasn’t such an innocent victim after all.
Jena Keahon is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.