By Lexie Schapitl
All eyes are on Jack Reinhold in this week’s episode of “Gracepoint,” after last week’s development that he did time for sex with a minor. A convicted pedophile who runs a youth wildlife club and mysteriously turned up with a dead boy’s phone? Even people who have grown up with Jack are now looking at him differently, suspicious of his motives. Some have already assumed the worst.
Owen and Renee, who are now both sleeping and working together, tag teamed to write a profile on Jack and this discovery. But Owen, who was in the wildlife club himself as a kid, is shocked and angered to find out the copy that went to print is far from the version they originally submitted. When the story runs in the San Francisco Globe with the headline “Admitted pedophile pleads to family,” Cathy scolds Owen for “pointing the finger at an innocent man,” and orders him out of her office. Later, Dean tells Owen and Renee that when he was in wildlife club, Jack used to touch them inappropriately. Nothing explicitly sexual, just uncomfortable hands on the back and stuff like that. Renee asks Owen to cover this with her, but he refuses. He tells Renee that the money isn’t worth it, and that if Dean is serious about his allegations, he should take them to the police.
The press swarms Reinhold’s house, and he goes to the police to ask for help. He says that he did his time, and that he never hurt a child in his life; he doesn’t deserve this. Carver and Ellie go to Jack to hear his side of the story. If he wants their help, they say, he needs to tell them the truth. Jack says that he was a piano teacher and fell in love with one of his students. It was a mutual relationship, but her father found out about their affair and turned them in. Ellie asks if he ever saw that girl again, to which he responds, “See her? I married her.” He was 40 and she was 18, and they had a child together.
Vince gathers a lynch mob and goes to Jack’s house. Vince has Jack by the collar when Mark arrives and breaks it up. Mark, who spent a day in jail because of something the police thought he did, wants to give Jack the benefit of the doubt, but he needs to hear the truth, too. Jack tells him his story, and that his son died at 9-years-old. It ripped him and his wife apart. In Gracepoint, he started the wildlife club because he missed his son, and wanted to spent time with boys his age again. Mark tells Jack he needs to get out of town because he isn’t safe here, but Jack says Gracepoint is his home.
Late one night, Jack is playing the piano in his home when someone shatters his windows. Jack goes outside to discover that the vandal has also spray-painted “pedophile” on his porch. This is all too much for Jack, so he prays to himself, holding a picture of him and his family, and jumps off a cliff by the beach. Jack’s suicide was, to me, heartbreaking, and well portrayed by both writers and Nick Nolte.
Other non-Jack related developments include:
Danny’s cell phone was irreversibly damaged by sea water, and is therefore of no use to the police. This angers Carver, but Ellie says she always thought Danny had a smartphone, since Tom was always complaining that Danny had a better phone than he did. There may be another phone out there, one that could provide evidence.
CSI Hugo also tells Carver and Miller that three cigarette butts with high tar content were found in the sand near the crime scene. These are a very distinct type of cigarette, and could lead them towards the killer. Later, Hugo makes a pass at Ellie. She rebukes him, saying that she is happily married, but Hugo claims “lots of people are happily married.”
Beth confronts Gemma about her affair with Mark. And by confronts, I mean she sort of loses it at the inn. Not that I blame her. Beth walks in and starts throwing glasses on the floor, running the beer taps, and yelling at Gemma. She orders Gemma to stay away from her family. “I swear to God, Gemma,” she says, right in front of Paul the Preacher, which I thought was a little funny.
Throughout the episode, Mark and Chloe pressure Beth to keep the baby while insisting they aren’t pressuring her to keep the baby.
Ellie visits her sister, Sarah, to see how she’s doing Answer: not well. Her furniture has been repossessed, she is stealing money from Owen’s account, and she appears to be using drugs or something. Owen tries to sell his dad’s boat to get his mom some extra cash, only to find that the boat is gone. Ellie concludes that this in fact was the burning boat from last week.
Tom approaches Susan to pet her dog. She immediately recognizes him as Ellie’s son, and offers to let him walk the dog for her. She asks him to come knock on her door sometime. Tom, if you know what’s good for you, you will not UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES knock on Susan’s door.
There is also an encounter between Gemma and Carver that was so awkward I can’t resist recapping it. Basically, after Gemma and Carver flirt in his hotel room, he invites her to stay the night, and she says she’s afraid his heart would give out while they were having sex. It was uncomfortable to watch.
- Jack’s suicide will widen the rift growing between Owen and Renee. Good. Renee is only looking out for herself and has caused the town nothing but trouble. Definitely some symbolism about outsiders and small town America here.
- Next week, Tom will run off to find the mysterious backpacker Danny was seen with. The three are all connected somehow, and this is Tom’s “disappearance” that was shown in the episode 7 promo.
- Beth and Paul’s past relationship will be rekindled in the coming weeks, because if it’s not, that is seriously anticlimactic.