By Lexie Schapitl
By the end of this recap, devoted readers, you will know who killed Danny Solano. This week’s “Gracpeoint” finale opens with Carver in the hospital having his heart tested. When he returns to the police station, he is suspended due to his health, but disregards this and continues to work as usual. After asking Ellie if she ever found Tom’s computer, knowing full well she didn’t, he tells her that he called Joe and Tom to come down to the station.
Carver asks Tom what happened to his computer, and Tom tells him that it was stolen out of his backpack at school. But surprise! Here it is. Carver has it. Carver tells Tom he knows that he threatened Paul, and asks Tom if Paul ever really hit Danny. Tom says no. While the interview is chugging along, Carver’s camera dies, so he tapes the interview on his phone.
Carver asks Tom if he ever saw anyone hit Danny, and Tom again says no. Then Carver asks Tom why he destroyed his own computer. Tom admits he was trying to hide emails he had with Danny, which Carver has of course recovered. In the emails, Danny and Tom had been arguing. Danny had called Tom a “follower” and a “conformist,” and said that Joe was disappointed in Tom. Carver asks if these things hurt Tom, maybe so much that they would make Tom want to hurt Danny. At this point, Joe ends the interview and says they won’t speak to him again without a lawyer. Joe and Tom leave, but not before Carver asks them their shoe sizes. Tom’s a six, Joe’s a 10.
A while later, Miller and Carver discuss the case on a Gracepoint beach. Miller says Vince claims he was carrying a dead deer to the van that night, not Danny’s body. Then Carver gets a call telling him that Danny’s smartphone is back on, and the police have its coordinates. He keeps this information to himself. Carver drives through town tracking the phone’s coordinates. To set the mood, it starts thundering and then begins to rain as Carver arrives at the Millers’ house. He walks around the house to the shed in the backyard, where Joe, holding Danny’s phone, tells Carver he’ll tell him everything.
Back at the police station, Joe tells Carver what happened the night Danny died. We flash back and see Joe and Danny together in the Harvey Ridge hut. Joe gives Danny a souvenir from the Millers’ trip to Mexico, and says how much he missed him. He asks how things have been at home, and starts stroking Danny’s hair.
This went from nice to creepy really fast. Actually, it was pretty creepy to begin with, but I tried to give Joe the BOTD. Joe says that he and Danny had been spending time together since after Danny came to the house one day looking for Tom, upset about quitting the team and his issues with Mark. Danny’s second phone was for secretly calling Joe. The money the cops found in Danny’s room was to pay the bill in cash.
Joe says nothing physical had happened, and in the hut, Danny became uncomfortable. He says he shouldn’t have come, and runs out the door to the edge of the cliff and threatens to jump, Joe says. Joe tells him that no one has to know about this, and he can just go home and go to bed and they’ll forget it ever happened. Danny starts to run away, Joe tries to stop him, and Danny trips and hit his head on a rock. It was an accident, Joe says. Carver says he is trying to understand what happened, and asks Joe if he was attracted to Danny sexually, to which Joe replies, “If I can’t understand it why should you.”
Carver terminates Ellie’s interview with Vince and asks her to sit down. She’s not happy about this. She becomes angrier when Carver starts questioning her about the night Danny died. Ellie says she was exhausted from the trip so she took a sleeping pill and went to bed around nine. She asks why he is asking her these things, and Carver tells her that it was Joe. He confessed, and is in custody. Miller, in disbelief, throws up and starts crying. She demands to see him. Joe tells her that he’s “not what she thinks he is,” and that he can’t explain it. When Joe tells her, “I just need you to know I’m a good man,” Ellie loses it and attacks her husband.
The police arrange for the Millers to stay in a local motel until things blow over. I’d like to point out that at this point, there were 22 minutes left in the episode. So obviously there was more to this story.
Carver tells the Solano family, and their worst fear is realized: It was someone they know. Meanwhile, Ellie tells Tom. Then she remembers that there were size-six footprints found all over the crime scene, and asks Tom if there’s something he isn’t telling her about the night Danny died. It turns out that Tom followed Joe to the hut that night, and when Danny ran away from Joe, Tom tried to protect his friend. He fends Joe off with an oar, but accidentally hits Danny in the head and kills him. Joe tells Tom to go home and not say anything about this. Back in the present day, Tom asks his mom what they’re going to do.
Mark goes to the police station to talk to Joe. That goes about as well expected. Ellie ventures back into town, and goes to see Beth, who has nothing to say to her except, “How could you not know?” The same exact words Ellie said to Susan only last week, and in my opinion the best moment of the episode. Then Ellie visits Joe in jail. Now that she knows the truth, everything about what happened, she says it will stay between them.
The Solanos finally hold a proper funeral for Danny. Paul gives the sermon, and the entire town comes together for a bonfire. Soon, we see fires lighting up all up and down the coast. Paul organized this, and Mark appreciates his kindness for the first time.
Carver and Ellie watch from afar, and Ellie tells him he was right: She was too close all along, and couldn’t see what was right in front of her. He asks what they are going to do next. She says she can’t stay here, and she needs to give her boys a fresh start somewhere else. “Look at us, former detectives club,” she says. Then she says goodnight, calling him Emmett and not Carver or Sir, and leaves.
Caver had previously called Julianne to tell her he was considering heart surgery and would like to come to her graduation first. She calls him back with a video call, which serves no purpose except that when Carver hangs up, he sees the video file of Tom and Joe’s interview. He plays it, and notices that Tom looks at Joe when Carver asked him if he had ever seen anyone hit Danny. After rewatching it several times, Carver realizes Tom was involved. He calls Ellie, and the episode ends before we see if she ever picks up the phone.
I can’t say I hated this ending, but it did feel pretty unsatisfying. Joe and Danny’s relationship was a twist I didn’t see coming, but involving Tom almost felt like a cop out. Maybe they didn’t want the answer to be so black and white, or they wanted to humanize Joe anyway they could. But this felt lame, for lack of a better word. And would Ellie Miller, the always good and righteous cop, really lie about Tom’s involvement? Maybe, but that felt off, too. Not to mention that Danny’s memorial service was as cheesy and terrible as it could possibly have been. The fires, really?
That said, “Gracepoint” was a nice little show, although I don’t think it lived up to the potential I saw in it week one.