“Gracepoint” recap (1.10): Forever Unclean

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Carver then tells the Solanos of Joe’s arrest, and they are shocked and distraught. Mark goes to the jail to talk to Joe, who is remorseful but defiant in his defense that he never assaulted Danny.

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Miller brings her boys to the motel, and sits down to tell Tommy about the true nature of his father. Tommy says he was never touched by Joe, and Ellie looks at him and starts putting together the mystery. Carver had always told her she was too close to the case to see things clearly, but the trauma of the day’s events throw everything into stark relief. Ellie questions her son about what really happened that night, and we see a flashback from Tom’s point of view.

Tom followed his dad out to the cabin and watched him try to seduce Danny through the window. When Danny runs towards the cliff, Tommy picks up an oar and swings it at his father to defend his friend. On the backswing, the oar collides with Danny’s head, killing him instantly. Tommy Miller killed Danny Solano. Joe tells him to run home and stay silent while he cleans up the scene.

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And there it is: the real, complete, awful truth of the crime. Ellie meets Joe at the jail and he confirms Tommy’s story. He is ready and willing to take the fall for the murder, and tells Ellie that he never touched anyone. But he wanted to. And all Ellie wants is to protect what’s left of her shattered family. They agree that Joe will take the fall, and Ellie becomes complicit in the cover-up of a murder.

Ellie stands outside the Solano house, and Beth walks out to ask her the same question Ellie asked Susan: how could you not know? It’s a devastating moment, marking Ellie’s connection to her family’s crime as a dark mark she will carry forever.

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Danny Solano’s funeral is finally held, and the community of Gracepoint convenes on the beach for a bonfire memorial. Matching bonfires are lit across the bay in a show of support, a literal circle of mourning and grieving, courtesy of Paul. Sitting outside the circle are Ellie and Carver, forever outsiders. Ellie tells Carver she’s going to take the boys and move somewhere else for a fresh start.

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Carver, meanwhile, has reconciled with his daughter and plans to get the life-saving surgery he needs. As Ellie walks away, he re-watches the interview with Joe and Tommy. He focuses in on Tommy’s phrasing that “no one ELSE hit Danny,” and realizes that Tommy was involved in the murder. He calls Ellie at the hotel, but she ignores his call.

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And that’s it folks. We knew the finale of this dark show wouldn’t be a barrel of laughs, but man was it rough. And I can’t even make a joke about Kathy’s mismatched bangs because she didn’t show up in the episode.

Ugh, I need a handi-wipe for my soul.

What did you think of the finale? Tweet me @chelseaprocrast

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