By Jena Keahon
With only two episodes left, “Gracepoint” continues to diverge from “Broadchurch.” However, episode eight leaves much to be desired, with the only real highlight being Beth’s big scene with a fellow grieving mother.
Early in the episode, Priest Paul finds Tom in the woods, on his way back from the backpacker’s house, with a broken knee. When Carver questions him at the hospital, Tom admits that he wanted to find the person who killed Danny in order to “make him feel bad.” And in a rather touching moment, he admits that he wanted to solve the case so that he can have his mother back.
No matter how sweet Tom’s intentions seem to be, our suspicions about him only increase during this episode. Later on, he calls Owen in order to find out if information deleted from a hard drive is recoverable, and then Priest Paul finds him destroying his computer during the middle of the night. While it’s not probable that Tom was directly involved in the murder, I think that it’s probable that he knows more about what happened than he’s been letting on.
Mark Solano’s suspicions about the Priest are further raised, as he finds it hard to believe that Paul finding both Tom’s bike and then Tom is purely coincidental. He raises the same suspicions I’ve had since early on, citing Paul’s infatuation with Beth, and his readiness to use Danny’s death to bring attention to the church. When Carver and Ellie look into Paul, they find out that he also regularly attends Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and moved back to Gracepoint after getting into a bar fight. After some probing from the detectives, Priest Paul shuts them down and scolds them for “belittling” his faith.
While the majority of the episode dragged, the part that really stood out was Beth’s meeting with the mother of a girl who was murdered in Rosemont. Virginia Kull really shines in this scene, proving herself as one of the strongest actors on the show. It is truly heartbreaking to watch Beth try to hold back her tears as she watches this woman admit that she has essentially given up on life. When she leaves, we know that Beth makes the decision to not to end up like this woman, and to stay strong for her family, including the baby she decides to keep.
At the very end of the episode, the detectives receive a tip that there has been movement in the crime scene house. The scene escalates as they chase a man in a hoodie through the woods. The man gets away when Ellie stops to help Carver who collapses, telling her, “I’m dying.” Hopefully in the final two episodes, we’ll finally get some answers, rather than the show following the same formula it has been following in the last few episodes.
Jena Keahon is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.