The relationship between Jessica (Krysten Ritter) and Kilgrave (David Tennant) is at the heart of Jessica Jones’ first season. Her fear of, and desire to get revenge on, Kilgrave make for compelling character motivations, propelling Jessica through her various crises without ever suggesting that he is the only noteworthy aspect of her life.
After frantically sprinting from the press to the general admission line and waiting in the queue hall for hours with the help of my Jewel (Jessica Jones’ old superhero identity) cosplaying friend Julia, I had the privilege of attending the Marvel Netflix panel about Daredevil Season 2 and Jessica Jones Season 1, which is set to premiere on November 20. The panel looked back at the first season of Daredevil while showing the first footage of the upcoming second season, and the lucky fans in the audience also had the chance to watch the first episode of Jessica Jones after a discussion with the cast and showrunner Melissa Rosenberg (Dexter).
While Gracepoint hasn’t packed the same emotional wallop of Broadchurch, its source material, it has maintained a consistent level of intrigue, melancholy, and family drama, all aided by strong performances from a number of its central actors. For the majority of its ten episode run, the show has been exciting but it has struggled towards the end of the season.
With just one episode left, Gracepoint has been a powerful examination of grief and paranoia in a small town. While not as consistently effective as its source material, Broadchurch, this adaptation has been clever and aided by exceptional performances from David Tennant, Michael Pena, and Virginia Kull.
While the jumping off point for Gracepoint has been the central mystery of who killed Danny Solano, much like its British predecessor Broadchurch has developed into a compelling, devastating look at the effects of loss on a family and an entire town. While most viewers would argue that Broadchurch did it better, the sharp plot turn in “Episode Seven” highlighted the fact that Gracepoint has developed a great mystery and compelling characters on its own.
The episode begins with the townspeople and police quietly reassessing their hasty judgment of Jack but terrifyingly a good number of the townspeople don’t seem to upset Jack is dead. Rather than looking at themselves, Paul (Kevin Rankin) and the rest of the town turn their attention to Carver. With a newspaper headline proclaiming he is the worst cop in California it is easier for them to blame Carver for Jack’s death than themselves.
As much as Gracepoint is about the mystery of who killed Danny Solano, it is also about the deadly paranoia that can infect a small town. “Episode Five” found Carver (David Tennant) and Ellie (Anna Gunn) stumbling upon more secrets and realizing that Jack (Nick Nolte) may very well be their most viable suspect.
While the central mystery of Gracepoint remains who killed Danny Solano, the show has evolved into much more. The town that looked perfect is full of countless devastating secrets and its characters are increasingly, deeply complex. Who Detective Carver (David Tennant) is and why he behaves the way he does has become just as fascinating as the search for Danny’s killer, and how the writers have woven these together has become the most exciting aspect of the show.