[Both this post and the clip are slightly spoiler-y. Be wary.]
Last week's “Gracepoint” episode, the seventh in the mystery's 10-episode run, was a big one.
For viewers who are only watching “Gracepoint” and didn't catch “Broadchurch,” it introduced a couple characters and added a new layer of tension for Anna Gunn's Detective Miller.
But for fans of “Broadchurch” who have been watching “Gracepoint” either out of rekindled passion or general curiosity, the episode was absolutely crucial because, for the first time, “Broadchurch” devotees didn't know what was coming.
For the first six episodes, the climaxes to five of the episodes aligned directly to the cliffhangers to the first five “Broadchurch” episodes and with a very few exceptions, the plotpoints from the FOX drama could be directly matched to things that happened in the British original.
But in last week's episode? Suddenly all bets were off.
Detective Carver has a daughter? Tell me more!
That drifter guy? Mysterious…
Tom Miller went missing? Whoa. That's crazy.
It was the episode that more than a few of us had been waiting for, a chance to see what was happening in the heads of “Gracepoint” showrunners Anya Epstein and Dan Futterman, rather than seeing Chris Chibnall's original vision filtered through a slightly different setting and some different actors.
As I said when “Gracepoint” premiered, it took me a while to warm to this experiment. But after three or four episodes, I began to appreciate the differences between Gunn's performance and Olivia Colman's exceptional “Broadchurch” work, to see how Virginia Kull and Michael Peña were making this set of grieving parents their own. And in his two big episodes, Nick Nolte's performance blew me away. I'm not sure if FOX will be able to mount an Emmy campaign for what has been a ratings-starved series, but Nolte would be very much worthy of either supporting actor or guest actor consideration, depending on how he and “Gracepoint” might be categorized.
So I'm looking forward to Thursday night's eighth episode to see how things unfold with Tom's absence and with the progressing mystery as we move toward the revelation of the identity of what we assume will be an all-new killer.
And if you're a “Broadchurch” purist and you've skipped “Gracepoint” thus far, it's not too late to watch last week's episode and pretend that you're watching a four-episode mini-mystery.
To whet appetites, check out a HitFix Exclusive clip from Thursday's episode, a creepy sequence featuring Kevin Rankin showing an unexpectedly musical side.
The clip does seem to be a bit spoiler-y, but networks/studios don't give out exclusive clips that are too spoiler-y and I've been assured it's from very early in the episode. Still, if you want absolutely nothing spoiled, you may not want to click.
My series of interviews from the set will also continue tonight with my Q&A with Jacki Weaver.
“Gracepoint” airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on FOX.