“Gracepoint” recap (1.8): Found Kids and Lost Dogs

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Previously on Gracepoint, Tommy Miller goes missing, the entire town searches for him, and Paul the Priest finds an ominous bicycle.

We pick up right where we left off, searching in the dark woods for Tom. Carver calls Miller by her first name for the first time ever, but their connection quickly breaks up. Damn you, T-Mobile! An exhausted Miller realizes she’s needed at home with her younger son, so she reluctantly leaves.

Meanwhile, intrepid lesbian journalist Kathy (hey girl) is visited by Renee, who is back to cover Tom’s disappearance. She tries to buddy up to Kathy, but Kathy has no patience for her muckraking bullshit and kicks her out of her office. Renee then tries to get a room at Gemma’s inn, but they’re full up. It’s exactly like the birth of Christ, except without baby Jesus/immaculate conception/wise men/donkeys. Renee ends up sleeping in her car.

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Back in the woods, Paul is singing hymns and scaring all the woodland critters. He hears a noise and finds Tommy, injured but alive. Since Tommy was found near Lars Pierson’s (aka mentally unbalanced hitchhiker) cabin, Carver comes down hard on Pierson. Pierson has no answers; he is freaked out and confused.

Carver and Miller talk to Tom in the hospital. It turns out that Tom found Pierson’s address in his mom’s briefcase and tried to go arrest him himself like some sort of prepubescent Hardy boy. Apparently, Tom just wanted to solve the case and get his mom back. I call shenanigans: Only a few days ago this kid was hiding cell phones and wiping his hard drive. We’re eight episodes in and I’ve gone from suspecting a pack of migrant whales to suspecting a 10-year-old for murder.

Meanwhile, Mark tells Carver that he suspects/hates Paul the Priest because of his media grabbing antics and his unrequited love for Beth. He also tells Carver that Paul attends Narcotics Anonymous meetings out of town.

The Solanos are trying to get back into some semblance of a routine. Mark goes back to work, Chloe returns to school, and Beth doesn’t know what to do. She’s still on the fence about keeping the baby. While jogging, she finds Renee sleeping in her car, and asks her to put her in touch with the Rosemont victim’s mother. She has no idea what her life is supposed to look like post-tragedy. Mark and Chloe don’t fare much better; both get hit with painful reminders that Danny is gone.

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Since the police have basically ignored her, Kathy decides to take matters into her own hands and starts investigating Creepy Susan/Ruth’s background. This once again proves that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself/be a capable lesbian with an internet connection. Owen shows up and dives in to help her.

Carver and Miller interrogate Paul, who tells them he used to have a problem with booze and painkillers but he’s been sober for years. He’s pissed that he’s a suspect and calls the cops out for having no motive for him. They bring him in for a DNA sample, where Carver questions Paul’s faith. Paul doesn’t expect a hopeless heathen like Carver to understand, but the town is in desperate need of hope and a light at the end of the dark, sad tunnel.

Speaking of searching for hope in dark places, Beth meets with the bereaved mother from the Rosemont case. She tells Beth not to trust Carver; apparently, he lost evidence and botched the trial, leaving the case unsolved. Beth is hoping to learn from this woman, but what she meets is a shell who fills her days with drinking, pills, and remorse. It’s a hopeless and heartbreaking future that Beth is terrified she might be heading into.

Mark goes to the high school just in time to see Chloe ride off on a motorcycle with Dean. He and Beth go to Dean’s Crab Shack and I fully expected them to walk in on the teens having sex. Instead, they find Chloe dancing while Dean plays drums on a plastic bucket. I immediately assume they are stoned, as most people bucket-drumming in the middle of the day tend be, but they are not.

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Chloe tells them that the endless grief is exhausting, and that she desperately needed relief, if only for a few moments. This is a powerful scene and a welcome break from the unending bleakness of this show. The Solanos realize that, in their grief, they’ve failed to see the suffering of their daughter. They are at a crossroads as a family: they can try to pick themselves up and move forward, or they can succumb to the crushing grief, like the Rosemont mother.

This leads them to a family outing at the bowling alley, where we see them reminiscing about Danny and bonding as a family. It’s an important step for everyone, and seems to lead to Beth deciding to keep the baby. Slowly but surely, the Solanos are recovering.

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Back at the Millers, Creepy Susan shows up to give Tom Danny’s skateboard. She says she’s been holding onto it and wants Tom to have it. Joe walks in and freaks out to see Tommy holding the board, telling him to drop it before he contaminates the evidence. Susan is already gone.

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Susan shows up at the Journal office and Kathy confronts her about something nefarious regarding her husband and children. Did she kill them? Was she suspected? The police rush in to arrest her. Outside, Vince steals Susan’s dog for some reason. Susan freaks out about the missing dog and refuses to talk to Carver unless they find it. The great dog hunt commences. Meanwhile, Vince keeps the dog in his shed, thinks about shooting it, then thankfully doesn’t.

Paul goes out for a walk and sees Tom smashing up his laptop. The cops get a call that someone is inside the murder hut and go to investigate. They see someone in a black hoodie (is it A?!) and pursue them into the woods. Before they can catch them, Carver has an episode and collapses. Ellie calls an ambulance and the intruder gets away.

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We’re off next week, but stay tuned for the final two episodes of Gracepoint. If this show pulls a The Killing and doesn’t tell us who killed Danny Solano, I will throw my television out the window.

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