TV Review: Anyone Could Have Killed Danny as ‘Gracepoint’ Crawls Along

Caution: This review contains spoilers.

As the town reels from the death of Danny Solano, Detectives Emmett Carver (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Anna Gunn) are gathering more information on the case. Secrets are abound and slowly coming out about many of the characters. Why does the wildlife recorder (Nick Nolte) only now recall seeing Danny? Then there’s the housekeeper (Susan Wright) who tends the activity house on the beach: why does she have a skateboard in her RV?

It’s no surprise that the Solanos themselves have a lot of issues. Ellie discovers cocaine from Chloe’s (Madalyn Horcher) room. Beth (Virginia Kull) reveals she is pregnant to the local priest. And Carver and Ellie find out through security camera footage that Mark (Michael Pena) was lying about his whereabouts on the night of the murder. Mark looks to be a suspect for sure, as Ellie finds that the activity house on the beach has been scrubbed clean. Only Mark’s prints are in the building. Or is someone trying to frame him?

Ellie is still frustrated with Carver from his running list of questions (you can’t interrupt him), selfishness, and rude demeanor. There’s still a lot more to uncover about Carver. Why does he get sick in the police station? According to reporter Renee Clemons (Jessica Lucas), Carver dropped the ball on the case of three missing children in Rosemont. Could that fact jeopardize the outcome of the Solano investigation?

Thus far, I would say that Tennant and Gunn only had one moment of chemistry: their discussion about the burrito and moral codes. It’s the only time that I’ve laughed at the show.

“Are there beans in it?” Carver asks.

“Yes, it’s a burrito,” Ellie replies.

One wonders about Ellie’s inexperience and naiveté in trusting the townspeople too much, as Carver points out repeatedly in their exchanges. At least she isn’t pulled in by the claims of the “reluctant psychic,” Sam, who claims to be getting messages from Danny.

As with last week, the pace on “Gracepoint” feels painfully slow. The slow motion sequences feel awkward rather than adding to the gravity of the situation. Rather, the best cinematic trick comes with the POV (point of view) shot of Carver as he stares at the cliff painting in his hotel suite; subsequently, the painted cliffs shift into a shot of the real cliffs. Cinematic touches should add to the plot instead of dragging it down.

“Gracepoint” airs on Thursday evenings at 9|8c on FOX.

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