GRACEPOINT: “Episode Four”

No one in Gracepoint is exactly what they once seemed on the surface – and that includes the murdered Danny Solano.

Nobody knows me. Nobody has any idea what I really think.

-Danny Solano

Maybe Danny Solano wasn’t the little angel that everyone believed him to be. The dead boy’s own past creeps into the investigation this week, and the results aren’t what everyone expected. What was a young boy doing out at 3 in the morning anyways? Let’s get into it.

The Suspects:

Dean Iverson – Boyfriend of Chloe Solano

The case for your innocence doesn’t start well when the police approach you and you run for the docks, and try to speed away in your boat.

Last week’s episode ended with Carver calling Chloe in the middle of the night, asking her about the cocaine she bought for Crestview Inn owner Gemma Fisher. This week the police finally get clued in on something the audience has known for weeks: the cocaine came from Dean. As such, Miller and Carver head out to the docks where the aforementioned police chase occurs. Dean quickly gives up when he realizes Miller and Carver are deadly serious in their pursuit, and chasing him down with guns drawn. Did he get Chloe the cocaine? Yes – “but only that one time,” which is becoming a standard Gracepoint answer.

The two detectives continue the search up the cocaine river with Dean in tow, still chasing the movement of the drugs back to their original source. The search ends at the dilapidated house of Mickey Felton, who informs the detectives that he sold cocaine to Dean “only that one time.” But things take an interesting twist when Mickey admits he expected the investigation to come to his door since Danny Solano was with Dean when he came to purchase the cocaine. Furthermore, the two were having a verbal altercation. This, in spite of Dean telling the detectives that he “barely knew” Danny Solano.

Dean claims he found Danny wandering along the side of the road and offered to give him a ride, and the argument was over a magazine that Danny stole from a convenience store when Dean stopped to gas up his motorcycle. “Teaching him the eighth commandment while you were buying cocaine,” Carver spouts sarcastically. But the store’s closed-circuit TV backs him up. Danny clearly stole the magazine, despite his mother’s refusal to believe it. Dean relates that Danny once cryptically told him “Nobody knows me. Nobody has any idea what I really think.”

With the store tapes backing him up, and his foot chase explained as just a general mistrust of police, Dean is released.

Lars Pierson – The Backpacker

Uniting two pieces of evidence, the number found in Danny Solano’s jacket at the end of “Episode 3,” belongs to Lars Pierson. Who is Lars Pierson? Jack Reinhold recognizes his photo as the backpacker who he had seen with Danny a few weeks before Danny’s murder. Danny’s mom, Beth, also recognizes Pierson. He randomly walked into her office one day and commented on the pictures of her children that sat on her desk. Whether he’s the murderer or not, that’s just creepy.

The police haven’t built a strong enough case against Pierson to get a search warrant for his property, but Carver remains fixated. Pierson is a veteran, and his missions remain highly classified by the government, and he’s known to take heavy anti-psychotic medication. Regardless of his guilt, Pierson sounds like one messed-up guy, and I doubt the police will go unarmed when they get around to visiting his home.

Paul Coats – The Priest

There’s just something a little weird about the local parish priest. Paul Coats seems determined to ingratiate himself to Beth Solano. He goes to the media to offer solace for the family and the town, despite not being asked. He offers to hold a memorial service for Danny’s life until the family can have a proper funeral. Now, that may not sound like much, but coupled with his awkward attempts to caress Beth’s hand when she comes looking for someone to talk to – it’s inappropriate behavior for a supposedly chaste man of God.

He also threatens local psychic weirdo Raymond Connelly, telling him to keep away from Beth. She seems to think that anyone who can offer her spiritual solace could be helpful, but Paul obviously doesn’t agree. Is that the behavior of a man who believes that the church is the only path to comfort and healing? Or is it the mark of a man who aims to be the only shoulder Beth can come to cry on?

We’ve seen tension between Paul and Beth’s husband Mark before. He roughed up the priest after Coats took it upon himself to represent the family on a TV broadcast, and in “Episode 4” he reiterates that he wants nothing to do with Paul. “Not on Christmas. Not on Easter even,” he says while raging about a picture of Danny hanging outside the church. His anger seems to go beyond simple religious differences, and now we might know why. Mark mentions Beth and Paul’s past “involvement,” and we see a picture of the two together in high school. Were Paul and Beth once romantically involved? It’s hard to say. Their relationship has always seemed romantically one-sided. Was rejection by Beth what caused Paul to enter the priesthood? We’ll have to wait and see. The police haven’t begun investigating Paul Coats yet, but viewers have reasons to mistrust him.

Elsewhere around town:

-The Solano family is dissolving in grief, and it’s hitting Beth worst of all. Viriginia Kull does the episode’s emotional heavy lifting, portraying a mother completely lost in her pain. Her daughter’s secret boyfriend, Danny’s covert shoplifting, and her feelings of abandonment by her friend Ellie Miller lead to a complete emotional breakdown in her living room. Ellie is horrified at Carver’s lack of reaction to the scene, but Carver asserts that his responsibility isn’t to people’s feelings – it’s to solving Danny’s murder. “You deserve to be as miserable as you make everybody else,” Miller warns him.

-Cub reporter Owen Burke’s empty bank account seems to be the work of his mother, who has a history of financial insolvency. Visiting reporter Rene swings by his place with a bottle of wine, offering to help him take his mind off things. Something tells me they’ll find something to do. Wink.

-Creepy cleaning lady Susan and Mark’s apprentice Vince have some sort of connection. Susan ambushes Vince at work, telling him that they’re connected whether he likes it or not and inviting him to dinner. We know she’s the one hiding Danny’s missing skateboard. Is that their connection? And how does that lead to Danny?

-Next week’s dinner date between Emmett Carver and the Millers ought to be a disaster. He continues to hide some sort of health problem, and she continues to loathe his methods. I doubt sitting down over a pot roast is really the solution.

The episode’s final scene is of a burning boat floating in the waves. Is it the boat Danny’s body was placed on the shore in? At least Miller and Carver will have something to discuss at that awkward dinner.

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