‘Gracepoint’: Family Drama [Review]

Gracepoint, the 10-part mystery series based on the popular British crime drama, Broadchurch, explores the impact of one boy’s murder on the lives of residents in a fictional small town. The U.S. remake version airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST on FOX.

In last week’s premiere, the death of Danny Solano (Nikolas Filipovic) shocked the Northern California seaside town of Gracepoint, as old secrets and new conflicts came to light in the bucolic village. In Episode 2 of Season 1, more suspicions were cast, family drama took center stage, and the Solano family has been placed firmly within the suspect pool.

The small town becomes divided during the police investigation, led by two detectives, an outsider and new arrival Emmett Carver, who is played by Doctor Who and Broadchurch‘s own David Tennant, and his partner, Ellie Miller, who is portrayed by two-time Emmy winner Anna Gunn of Breaking Bad fame, as a wife and mother who grew up in Gracepoint and was expected to be appointed to Carver’s job. The partners clash often and are polar opposites who challenge one another frequently.

The setting of the small, tight-knit community plays a pivotal role in the TV miniseries event. In small towns, lives are often intertwined. It is very difficult to escape the past and mistakes made when neighbors and townspeople are examining every move. Moreover, these people have been living so close to each other and yet have been keeping so many secrets from each other.

In this episode, more information was revealed about Carver, who is a former big-city cop battling his own personal and professional demons. Thanks to the presence of another outsider, San Francisco Globe reporter Renee Clemons, who is played by Jessica Lucas, who is determined to discover the truth and scoop the story, the audience learned that Clemons had covered the story on Carver’s last murder case and his inability to solve that case has essentially exiled him to Gracepoint.

As the second episode opens, the audience witnessed the impact Danny’s death has had on the Solano family. Danny’s dad, Mark (Michael Pena), is angry and left reeling from his “goodbye” to his son at the morgue where he viewed the body. Danny’s mother, Beth, who is portrayed by Virginia Kull, is dazed and confused in the aftermath of her son’s death. While Danny’s sister, Chloe, who is played by Madalyn Horcher, is lashing out and seeking solace from her boyfriend.

The family drama in Gracepoint and within the Solano Family itself is not only limited to Danny’s murder, but also Beth’s secret pregnancy, as well as Mark’s covert nighttime activities, which were in part what got him arrested by the end of the second episode. However, given that this was only Episode 2 of 10, it is very likely that Mark murdered his own son. A much more likely scenario is that Mark is having an affair or could be involved in some shady business dealings.

Added to the family drama in Gracepoint, there is Rev. Paul Coates, who may have several motives for killing Danny. There is obvious affection for Danny’s mother and the dwindling attendance at church. Could Beth and the clergyman be romantically involved? Could Rev. Coates be the father of Beth’s unborn baby? There is also much suspicion surrounding Jack Reinhold (Nick Nolte), especially after this week’s episode and the flashbacks involved. Could Danny’s mentor have done the deed? Was there more to the relationship than others knew? Only time will tell as Gracepoint, the 10-part mystery miniseries event based on the popular British crime drama, Broadchurch, continues to explore the impact of Danny Solano’s murder on the lives of residents in a fictional small town. Gracepoint airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST on FOX.

Opinion and Review By Leigh Haugh

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