“Gracepoint” recap (1.5): Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

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Previously on Gracepoint, the townspeople acted extremely suspicious for no discernible reason. Apparently this town, like Gretchen Weiners’ hair, is FULL OF SECRETS and lies. To catch you up, here’s a list of everything everyone is lying about:

LIE LIST:

-Detective Carver is lying about his (as yet unnamed) life threatening illness.
-Mark Solano is lying about his affair with Gemma, the saucy British innkeeper.
-Beth is covering up her pregnancy.
-Tommy is deleting his hard drive/cell phone storage.
-Kathy is pretending that normal people have grey bangs and brown hair.

Obviously, these people have been busy. The episode opens with a burning boat in the ocean. Carver demands that someone hauls it in for evidence, despite people’s aversions to flaming boats.

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Beth is at home re-watching the video of Danny shoplifting. If I ever get murdered, I wonder what video my mom will re-watch. I really hope it’s not the karaoke DVD where I drunkenly take my top off while belting Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman.” She calls Ellie at 4am because she needs to know if she still has to suspect her husband. She knows about his affair with Gemma, and Ellie urges her to confront him.

The next morning, Carver and Ellie meet with the Solanos, who are concerned that there isn’t enough media coverage on the case. Carver assures them that intense media scrutiny is the worst thing for the family and the case, but they don’t seem convinced. Honestly Solanos, when has media coverage ever helped a murder case? Didn’t you guys see Gone Girl?

It’s the morning after for reporters Renee and Owen, but instead of breakfast and awkward small talk, they are chasing the story together. Owen has discovered something about Jack, aka Sea Captain Nolte. Speaking of creepy, Susan drops off her resume at the inn, hoping to get a job cleaning Carver’s room, destroying evidence, or just general lurking.

Carver and Ellie visit CSI: Boats and learn that the boat has hair samples…most likely from Danny Solano. Looks like psychic Connelly aka Jennifer Love Comcast is onto something!

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The cops then hold a town hall meeting/press conference that plays much like a Parks and Recreation town hall meeting, in that everyone is inappropriate and somewhat insane. The townspeople demand that the beach be re-opened because business is suffering. Carver tells them he has to angrily question every grain of sand, which is going to take a while.

The cops then bring in Sea Captain Jack and question him about a 20 year old statutory rape charge. Jack gets angry and tells them that he had nothing to do with the murder. Why is “suspiciously furious denial” the go-to emotion for everyone in Gracepoint? Have they never seen a police procedural before? Calm your tits townspeople, and act innocent already!

Owen and Renee show up to the Journal offices, where intrepid lesbian editor Kathy (welcome back Kathy!) immediately susses out that they are having sex. She wants Owen to do his job and report to her, and he promises her a story in an hour. As Owen dashes out, Gemma walks in. She tells Kathy that when she ran Susan’s social security, a different name came up: Ruth Erlich. DUN DUN DUN!
Meanwhile, Vince (Mark’s plumbing protégé) jams a sponge down his sink so that Mark can repair it and feel useful. He also offers to cook the family dinner. Mark offers him 60 bucks, but Vince is more interested in his long promised promotion. Vince seems like a really nice guy, so I immediately suspect him as Danny’s murderer.

The cops show up at the Solanos to find Beth with Jennifer Love Comcast, who says that Danny told him the killer was someone they knew. Carver tells Beth that JLC has prior arrests and therefore cannot be trusted. He (literally) kicks JLC out of the house, threatening to arrest him if he ever comes near the Solanos again.

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Meanwhile, Renee and Owen split up: Owen will talk to Sea Captain Jack, and Renee secretly meets with the Solanos. She explains to them that Danny’s death isn’t getting coverage because he’s not a little blonde girl, which is gross but true. She promises to give them a first look at her article, and the family agrees to give her an exclusive. I’m sure this will work out for everyone!

Carver and Ellie interview Paul the Priest, who suffers from insomnia and disconcerting late night strolls about town. Also, he seems generally shifty and has some sort of past with Beth, so he’s on the watchlist as well.

Kathy spots Susan putting up work flyers and needles her about her real name. She wants to get her story, but Susan is shifty and evasive, as per usual.

Renee interviews Beth, and we learn that Beth was a track star with a promising scholarshipuntil she got pregnant in high school. Renee seems nice and genuine, but there is definitely an ulterior motive there, right? I’m literally suspecting everyone at this point. I’m suspecting the whales, you guys.

Owen’s interview is not going as smoothly. Sea Captain Jack grabs him by the lapels and yells at Owen for suspecting him. Jack calls him out on selling out for the story, and Vince watches the entire fight from the docks.

And now, my favorite scene in the series so far: Carver’s awkard dinner with the Millers. I used to/still kind of think Carver is a total douche, but his social awkwardness was pretty endearing. He brings too many gifts, wears a suit, and actually laughs. Out loud. He’s trying so hard to be a human person, you guys!

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Over dinner, we find out that Joe and Ellie met on the job; he was a paramedic. He retired soon after to be a stay-at-home dad, and he makes a mean burrito. Carver tells them that he used to be married, and he has a teenage daughter who lives in a different town. Joe asks him point-blank if he’s going to solve the case, and Carver assures him that he will. Carver also asks if Ellie likes working with him, and Joe can’t lie: he’s a real pain in the ass boss. You guys, Carver cares what Ellie thinks!

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