Gracepoint Season 1 Episode 5 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 (Fox) Episode 5 (3)

Another week, another non-deviating episode of Gracepoint. We were promised deviation – it was the one selling point of the show – but five episodes in we’re still sifting through the same plot points, character revelations and lines of dialogue.

I understand the idea of a remake, and realize that there are plenty of people watching Gracepoint without having seen an episode of Broadchurch before but, seeing as I went into these reviews with the intention of comparing the two shows week to week, it’s disappointing.

There’s virtually nothing new here either thematically or practically, and the small, brief, fresh things sprinkled throughout don’t properly mesh with the rest of the show.

Paul Coates, for example, is far more cartoonishly sinister than he needs to be and, though that was also a problem that plagued his character in the original, the extra backstory for him just makes the whole thing feel even more heavy-handed and manipulative.

The good things are still good – Beth’s hug with Tom; Miller and Hardy’s dinner; Jack’s story – but it’s all a carbon copy, which will never be executed as well as the original. If Broadchurch had been a lesser show, then adapting it ‘for an American audience’ wouldn’t have been as troublesome.

The biggest problem is how flat things are between Miller and Hardy, around which the whole show revolves. If this version of the show had the same resolution, for example, would you care as much? We’re promised that it won’t pan out that way, but the scene at the dinner table this week just highlighted how wrong the casting was for this show. And yes, that includes David Tennant.

I actively dislike everyone on this show, and shouldn’t be the case at the half-way point. You can have unlikeable characters on a television show without turning the audience off completely, but somehow Gracepoint forgot to give their antiheroes warmth or redeeming qualities.

There are five more weeks before we find out the identity of Danny’s killer, but there’s still a question mark above whether we’ll really care. What did you think of the episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.