Episodes: 10 (hour)
TV show dates: October 2, 2014 — December 11, 2014
Series status: Cancelled
Performers include: David Tennant, Anna Gunn, Michael Peña, Virginia Kull, Madalyn Horcher, Kendrick Sampson, Nick Nolte, Jacki Weaver, Kevin Rankin, Sarah-Jane Potts, Stephen Louis Grush, Kevin Zegers, Jessica Lucas, and Nikolas Filipovic.
TV show description:
Based on the Broadchurch TV show from the UK, this mystery series begins when a young boy is found dead on an idyllic beach. A major police investigation gets underway in the small northern California seaside town of Gracepoint where the tragedy occurred.
It’s soon deemed a homicide and the case turns neighbor against neighbor. A media frenzy sparks which throws the boy’s family into further turmoil and upends the lives of the town’s residents.
Detective Emmett Carver (David Tennant) recently arrived in Gracepoint to fill a high position in the town’s police force. That job had previously been promised to Detective Ellie Miller (Anna Gunn). In light of the tragedy, she must put aside any resentment and work the case with her prickly new boss.
Ellie must break the news of the crime to her doting husband Joe (Josh Hamilton) and her son Tom (Jack Irvine), who was the best friend of the murder victim, Danny (Nikolas Filipovic).
Danny is survived by his grieving parents, Mark (Michael Peña) and Beth Solano (Virginia Kull), and his rebellious older sister, Chloe (Madalyn Horcher). Unbeknownst to her parents, Chloe has an older boyfriend named Dean Iverson (Kendrick Sampson).
Other Gracepoint residents are also pulled into the investigation. Jack Reinhold (Nick Nolte) is a private man who runs the kayak rental service on the beach, as well as the local wildlife observation program (for which Danny volunteered).
Mysterious Susan Wright (Jacki Weaver) lives in the RV park near the coast with her dog. The town’s minister is Paul Coates (Kevin Rankin) and he becomes the de facto spokesperson as the media descends on the community.
Danny’s death also negatively impacts tourism. The decline in visitors is felt most harshly by hotel owner Gemma Fisher (Sarah-Jane Potts), a vivacious Brit with secrets of her own. Vince Novik (Stephen Louis Grush), Mark’s apprentice at his plumbing company, is also touched by Danny’s death.
The investigation is followed closely by Owen Burke (Kevin Zegers), the town’s local newspaper reporter and Ellie’s nephew. Owen’s ambition is fueled by San Francisco Globe reporter Renee Clemons (Jessica Lucas), who has a history with Carver and sets up camp in Gracepoint to cover the case.
Carver questions Tom about his laptop and Joe is present. Carver records the interview with his cell phone. He tells Tom that he knows about the blackmailing and threatening of Paul.
Later, Carver learns that Danny’s phone is active again and, to protect Ellie from what he suspects, he asks her to question Vince in jail once again. He follows the cell signal and finds Joe in his home garage with the phone.
Joe comes clean to Carver and tells him that he and Danny had become friends months ago after the boy had been chewed out by his father. At the boat house, Joe made sexual advances on Danny. The boy resisted and Joe apologized and said that all could go back to the way it had been. Danny was freaked out however and fled. He then fell and hit his head on a rock, killing him. Joe used the boat to put his body on the beach.
Ellie learns of Joe’s arrest and takes her sons to a motel and tells Tom what’s happened. He starts acting strangely and she realizes that Tom actually killed Danny. She contronts Joe in jail and he tells her the truth: Tom had witnessed his father’s advances and tried to protect Danny with an oar but accidentally hit and killed the boy with it.
Joe says that he never actually molested Danny but Ellie seeths that he would have. She tells her husband that the truth stays between them. Joe will be going to jail for the murder. Ellie goes to Beth’s house to offer some apology but her former friend would only say, “You should have known.”
The town holds a beach campfire ceremony and other communities light bonfires as well, in an act of support. It seems to help the grieving parents and friends. The healing has begun?
Carver and Ellie watch from a distance and talk. She leaves to return to the motel. Carver receives a call back from his estranged daughter. She invites him to her graduation and tells him that she will be there for him during his heart surgery.
After the call, he watches part of the interview with Tom again and notices a shared look between father and son when Tom says “no one else struck Danny.” Carver knows the truth and calls Ellie. We see her watching over her sons in the motel room and she makes the concious decision not to answer Carver’s call.
First aired: December 11, 2014.
What do you think? Do you like the Gracepoint TV show? Do you think it should have been cancelled or renewed for a second season?