Gracepoint Season 1 Episode 4 Review

Warning: If you haven’t seen Broadchurch, this review may spoil details from the UK version of the show. I will be referencing plot points when dicussing the mystery and characters of Gracepoint throughout the series and so, if you don’t want things to be ruined, go no further.

Gracepoint Episode 4 (2)

As pointed out by a commenter last week, this series of Gracepoint has two more episodes than it’s inspiration, Broadchurch. This episode, then, was the first complete instalment that wasn’t lifted entirely from the original, and was the most interesting episode yet as a result.

The two extra hours give Gracepoint a chance to spend some time with Beth and the family, wallowing in some of the peripheral characters before getting into some of the strongest stuff Broadchurch did in it’s first series. The postman/hiker, for example, was merely an ill-defined red herring in the original, and Dean the boyfriend wasn’t given nearly as much time to prove his case.

The hiker is Lars Pearson, who is currently suspect #1 due to his absence, creepy hut and apparent connection through Tommy. We’re already watching Tommy because of his suspicious computer cleanse in the first episode, and it’s obvious that he knows something more than the adults in his best friend’s life. Given than this is only episode four, however, it’s unlikely that he’s really the killer.

The Dean stuff was a good chance to flesh out a character that was left completely obscure in the original, and having him investigated helpfully rules him out early on. It was filler, but very well done filler that felt like it had a purpose. We learn that Danny was a lonely kid towards the end, for example, and sought companionship from Dean. If this is true, then maybe he also looked for affection from others in the town.

An absolutely huge deviation from the original is what the show is doing with Reverend Paul, who went full-on creep this week. We learn that he was romantically involved with Beth back in high school, hasn’t quite gotten over his affection and now feels extremely territorial over the family. There’s also the dropped hint that Danny really hated Sunday school, and that Mark has some resentment towards both Paul and the faith he represents.

The mind, as unfortunate as it is, immediately jumps to some molestation plot, but Broadchurch viewers know that this subject matter is going to be touched on next week with an entirely different character. I wondered whether Gracepoint would even go there at all, especially on primetime network television, but the promo for next week’s episode seems to confirm that they are.

This episode felt newer and fresher than anything the show has done before, and hopefully it marks the point where our mysteries and red herrings start to deviate. What did you think of the episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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