‘Gracepoint’ Recap 1×5: We’re Halfway There

and Danny's killer is living on a prayer...but like really though.

We’re half way through Fox’s ten episode mini series Gracepoint and no closer to finding the killer. In the last five episodes we’ve been made to believe that everyone in the formerly quiet beach-front town is responsible for the murder of twelve year old Danny Solano but we have yet to find out who’s really to blame and let’s be real, waiting for Ellie and Carver to crack the case will likely take another 4.9995 episodes.The sluggish pace would be annoying except that I’m utterly sucked in to the bizarre small town tragedy and the extra time provides my inner arm chair detective an opportunity to totally speculate solve the case myself.


It’s Definitely Not:

  • The Telephone Man Who Hears Voices. This guy probably has a name but ever since Detective Carver dubbed him the “Telephone Man Who Hears Voices” in episode three, his real name is of little interest to me. Though he may have seemed guilty when he first warned the detectives about messages he was receiving from the “other side,” it now seems the writers are merely trying to throw us off. Though I’m not going to kid you, I thought it was him for a while. Especially after he told Beth that her dead son was giving him messages from beyond about his killer and for a second had Beth–and us–kindasorta believing he was Jennifer Love Hewitt the Ghost Whisperer. In fact, I was almost certain it was him when last night’s episode opened with a burning boat by the docks (He predicted the murder happened on a boat.) But all of that was quickly put to rest, when early in the episode his credibility was shot as he had been convicted of fraud and yada yada yada in the past. And so, when Detective Carver kicked him out of town for disrupting the investigation with his alleged messages, I kicked him off of my list of suspects.
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“My real name is Haley Joel Osment, thank you very much.”
  • Susan. Or should I say Ruth? The creepy lady in the trailer park with the obnoxious dog–No, I won’t let that go–has been creeping us out from the very beginning. She did initially seem suspicious when Danny’s skateboard was hidden in her closet–a red herring I pondered for a while and resolved that it is merely yet another one of the writers attempts to throw us off. Think about it, she lives in a trailer, it’s not unreasonable to assume that she collects random things that she finds on the road. (That may be an awful thing to say but it seems to be what the writers are hinting at, so be mad at them.) I crossed her off my list early on because creepy does not always translate to cold blooded killer, and though I raised an eyebrow when learning that her real name is Ruth in last night’s episode–I’ll get back to that later–I’m still not convinced that she the killer.
  • Jack. It’s also definitely not Danny’s marine wildlife teacher/owner of the kayak shop Jack because the writers are making it look way too obvious!! After all, we still have 5 episodes to go and it would be majorly disappointing if all the signs point to Jack–which, especially after last night, they do–and then it turns out he’s the killer. (It would be like letting the air out of a balloon slowly instead of giving us that delicious explosion of “OMG I CANT BELIEVE HE’S DANNYS KILLER!” at the end. Which is obviously what I’m hoping for since I’ve already invested weeks of my life into this real life investigation fictional show.) Others may disagree because Jack has been convicted of statutory rape in the past, but people change….right? I’m not arguing that he looks suspicious, but I am arguing that this is all coincidence and yet another way to throw us off the trail.
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“You guys are really crossing The Thin Red Line. I could have had this case solved in 48 Hours.”

Speaking of throwing us off, the investigation is becoming increasingly crowded with random story lines, which I presume is intended to keep us waiting even longer. They’re stringing us along with affairs and pseudonyms when they should be giving us the person responsible for the death of Danny Solano. Every time a side line narrative comes up, it’s just irritating. Let’s get back to the murder case, am I right? (OK, maybe I’m letting my inner David Caruso get a little carried away here. I mean, the show is damn near an exact replica of the original British version Broadchurch but for the sake of not spoiling the mystery, I’ve opted not to watch any more Broadchurch until the killer is revealed as to fairly judge the way the mystery unfolds–I’m also kind of enjoying the opportunity to play Whodunit every week–but enough about me, we must focus on the writers and their annoying attempts to through us off the case!)

Distracting Story Lines

  • Mark’s affair with Gemma Fisher. So he had an affair! So what? We already figured out that he is not Danny’s killer episodes ago. The affair was introduced in the third episode when we were still being made to believe that Mark was a suspect, but after we found out his sketchiness was more about concealing the affair and less about murder, it became an unnecessary story line. Now it’s just something Beth gets mad about from time to time and ultimately a total distraction.
  • Detective Carver’s medical condition. Which, annoyingly, is still unspecified. We know it makes him faint and that he shouldn’t be working on this case but as we found out in last night’s episode, this investigation is all he has going for him. While having a surprisingly human moment with Ellie,  we learned that the his wife left him and his teenage daughter doesn’t take his calls, so the case is all grumpy detective has. Which is why he injects himself with some something resembling an insulin shot and continues working on the investigation. Not terribly interesting, at least not just yet.
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The Tin Man has a heart…and a daughter…and possibly, diabetes.
  • Susan Ruth. Ok, so I still don’t think she is Danny’s killer but I am curious as to why the writers keep revealing how UNBELIEVING CREEPY she is. It has to be to add an eeriness to the show and buy a little time before they reveal the real killer. We found of that her name is actually Ruth when Gemma, the local hotel manager, uncovered old documents and reported the findings to friend and local news paper editor, Kathy. When she ran into Susan, I mean Ruth, or whatever her name is, she basically said “What’s up, Ruth?” Susan freaked out and said it as mistake but later snuck into the office and threatened to have the “guys” she knows RAPE her if she doesn’t stop snooping. Um. What? So obviously that’s not normal but I still don’t think it links her to the murder.
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“I murder poultry, not preteens.”

So, after careful consideration I have to say my money is on Reverend Paul.

Think about it, he’s in still in love with Danny’s mother Beth. That much has been evident from episode one, but we found out last night that all of their odd flirting is because they used to date when they were teenagers.

Also, he’s suddenly an insomniac? He told the detectives that he has insomnia which is why he was up watching Beth and Ellie on the beach at 4am. It is also his new alibi as he alleges the he was up very late killing Danny writing a sermon the night Danny was killed. I’m not buying it.

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“I was up all night listening to T-Swift’s 1989. She really gets me.”

Remember, the Reverend is not a saint. Think back to last week when he physically assaulted the Telephone Guy Who Hears Voices for consulting with Beth. “If she needs comfort, she has me” he said like a jealous teenage girl.

The best rationale I have for assuming Paul is the killer we’re looking for is because he is the only one with a real motive. My guess is A) he killed Danny because he wanted to break up the Salano family and get closer to Beth or B) he is Danny’s real father and couldn’t stand to see him raised by the man who stole his girlfriend’s heart!!!!

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That might be far fetched but I’m sticking with Reverend Paul. Though knowing the show we’ll likely have to wait another 5 episodes to know for sure.

Who do you think it is? Creepy Ruth? Pedophile Jack? The Telephone Man Who Hears Voices? Let me know in the comments. ‘Gracepoint’ Recap 1×5: We’re Halfway There