Gracepoint Season 1 Episode 6 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 6 (1)

Over the weeks watching Gracepoint, I’ve become more and more disillusioned with the very idea of the show. I was sold an adaptation that took the original series and tweaked it to mean something else, but what we’re getting is exactly the same story with a different ending. That’s might be good enough for new viewers (though, judging by the ratings, maybe not), but it’s not going to please the old ones tuning in for the same reason as me.

This episode, based around episode five of Broadchurch, was always going to be a dealbreaker. The finale has its fans, but this was probably my favourite episode of the original show, and was where my interest peaked outside of my need to solve the central mystery. It’s good then that, though there was again no massive changes that would justify doing it over again, the dramatic impact and nastier elements remained the same.

This was about Jack’s story, and how that story was manipulated by the press to tragic consequences. Underage sex is a thorny issue wherever you are, but there was some part of me that assumed this would have been watered down for FOX. Aside from changing the ages slightly (his wife was 15 years and 9 months in Broadchurch, and Beth 15 rather than 16), I’m glad they didn’t, as it would have seriously impacted the emotional thread of the episode.

But one of the most successful themes of both shows is how it depicts the press, and how the media responds to tragedies like Danny’s death on a regular basis. We have the young journalists, one with more of a conscience than the other, the general news presence destroying Gracepoint’s identity as a sweet tourist town, and the way in which the family must keep Danny in public consciousness while also grieving privately. The sensationalised, rewritten story on Jack’s previous conviction – and what it eventually brings about – is the best example of this.

There are still so many issues elsewhere, though, as both David Tennant and Anna Gunn are still both failing to inject any sort of life into their characters, and so the show just feels unbearably flat. Tennant, probably going for grumpy and detached with Carver, just comes off bored, and that does nothing to sell the show to new viewers.

The scene in which a co-worker hits on Ellie, too, just shows the difference between how it plays with a different actress, and the levity and charm of that throwaway moment is completely lost. Why have it in there at all? Why not have an orignal thought that flows better with Gunn’s take on the character?

Jack is one of the background victims of Gracepoint and, while I felt as if the performance in Broadchurch conveyed the character’s innate tragedy a little better, it’s totally possible that the reason for this is just that I saw it first. This was, with any accent, a fabulous episode of television and, the more people who see it, the better.

What did you think of the episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.