By Lexie Schapitl
The town of Gracepoint comes together to hold Jack Reinhold’s funeral. A choir sings the hymn from the Titanic (which I recognized instantly), and Paul delivers the sermon, saying the community let an innocent man “be smeared and intimidated.” “We failed him, just as we failed and continue to fail Danny Solano,” he says. Later, at the repast, Carver confronts Paul about his veiled criticism of him and the rest of the police department. Paul says it wasn’t veiled at all: Paul told the police they should be protecting Jack, and they ignored him. This, the same day the papers have called Carver “the worst cop in California.”
Carver sees Paul and Tom talking alone, with Paul’s hand on Tom’s leg. He goes over to check on Tom, but first he has an episode and falls into a glass table. As Carver talks to Tom, Joe comes over and breaks up the party. He says that if Carver wants to talk to Tom, he should come to him first. He also seems a little defensive about Carver and Ellie’s relationship. Carver brings up his suspicions about Paul, but Joe won’t hear it. “You assume the worst in people at every single moment,” he says. Carver responds, “Sometimes I’m right.”
Later, Ellie asks Tom how he’s dealing with all of this: Jack’s funeral, missing Danny, still not having any answers. Tom, tired of being fussed over and worried about, lashes out at his mom, saying “you don’t even know anything about me anymore.”
Joe is walking Tom to school, pushing Dillon in his stroller while Tom bikes alongside, when he realizes Dillon dropped his toy. Tom insists that he can ride the last three blocks by himself. There are many other kids and parents around, so Joe agrees, and of course, Tom never makes it to school. Ellie and Carver rush to the school, while Joe begins to cross the town. The principal tells Ellie that Tom’s teacher, Fred Conroy, called out sick last minute, and now no one could reach Fred or his wife. The Solanos had included Conroy on their list of suspects, because Mark said Danny had found him weird, although Beth thought he just needed to get used to his first male teacher. Mark puts together a search team, and Ellie invites Owen to watch Dillon so Joe can go along. When Joe says he can take Dillon with him, Ellie insists, angry that Joe let Tom out of his sight. The two later apologize. Ellie says she knows it wasn’t Joe’s fault, and that she is just scared.
When the police discover that Fred Conroy’s mother had a stroke, and he’s been at the hospital with her all morning, they are left with no leads. The police chief suggests that Carver consider stepping down, because “it’s happening all over again.” Rosemont has followed him to Gracepoint. And the department may have their budget cut. Carver finally catches a break when they discover backpacker Lars Pierson has returned. They search his house to find several guns, and a tube of antipsychotic drugs used to treat PTSD that is suspiciously full: he probably hasn’t taken any in weeks or months.
Pierson is brought in for questioning, and Ellie insists on being in the room. That ends badly. When a spacey and confused Pierson calls Tom a “good looking boy” and says he looks just like Ellie, she responds with “I will hurt you. I will punish you in a way that you will never forget.” Later, Carver interrogates Pierson again, solo. Still spacey and confused, Pierson says he has never seen Tom, but recognizes Danny from their meeting several weeks ago. Danny was sitting near the cliff watching the wildlife when Pierson approached. Danny asked him what the capital of Hungary was so he could fill in his crossword. Pierson gave Danny his number and said he could give him a call if he ever wanted to talk. A little strange for a grown man to give his number to a 12-year-old, no? Pierson said Danny “wanted to see places. He wanted to get out of this little town.
Susan Wright brings brownies to Vince’s house and tells Vince’s mother that he’s in trouble. Vince throws the brownies in the trash and tells his mother not to touch them, because “god knows what she put in there.” Smart, Vince. He goes to Susan’s trailer and orders her to stay away from him and his mom. He gives her money to get out of Gracepoint, and when she refuses, he grabs her by the neck and pins her up against the trailer. She tells him he’s hurting her, and he says this is nothing. “I’ve got a rifle in my car. Don’t make me use it.”
While all of this is going on, Julianne arrives at the police station. She had off from school, and came to see her dad, but with Tom’s disappearance, Carver can’t take time out of his day to spend with her. Julianne finds Carver’s medications in his desk, and looks them up to find they’re used to treat a heart problem. When she confronts him about it, he insists he is fine and blows her off to interrogate Pearson. “It’s always the same,” she says. “All you care about is other people’s children.”
The search team receives a tip that someone had seen Tom earlier that day, and that he was fine, biking along the highway. But our resident medium Raymond says otherwise. He has somehow received a message that Tom is hurt, and bleeding. As the search team continues through the woods, Paul finds Tom’s bike, but no sign of Tom.
Predictions (Note: I kick myself every week for starting these predictions because I don’t have the slightest clue what’s going to happen next):
- Tom is alive and ran away from his justifiably overbearing parents.
- We haven’t seen the last of Renee, who “ran away as soon as they found Jack.”
- My money is still on Vince and Susan. Maybe Vince was tired of being under Mark’s thumb and wanted revenge. And Susan haunts my dreams at night.