Broadchurch – Series 2, Episode 2 – Review

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Broadchurch series 2 is going in a completely different direction to series 1 and yet it is as compelling as ever. The murder mystery of series 1 worked so well because quite literally any of the characters could have committed the crime. These were new characters whom we didn’t know and therefore we had no idea who we could or couldn’t trust. Hell, even now we don’t know who to trust!

But there’s still a murder mystery in series 2, albeit one that has (probably) already been solved. But Lee Ashworth being the murderer is too obvious. Claire Ripley would be a more convincing candidate, or even Alex Hardy himself. He’s hiding something, surely? I just don’t buy that Lee is the killer. It can’t be as straight-cut as that. Maybe it’s the older of the two girls, the one who is missing? Maybe it’s Pauline Quirke’s Susan? I think it could quite easily be anybody other than Lee.

Whatever the outcome on the Sandbrook case though, I’m invested for the long haul. I like these two new characters, and I like the expansion of Hardy’s past via this medium. I do still think there’s more of a connection between Sandbrook and Broadchurch than on first impression, otherwise why make the viewers invest so much? But Claire in particular is a great addition to the cast. Eve Myles is a brilliant actress who can give this part the justice it deserves. I look forward to seeing her character expanded. All I have to say on the matter, though, is: how the hell did Alec manage to keep her hidden all of series 1?

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As for Broadchurch, this episode saw the beginning of Joe Miller’s case (because, you know, it happens that quickly in real life) and most of the characters are called up to give evidence. But new evidence has been brought to light that puts Joe’s confession in doubt. Yes, Ellie kicking the shit out of Joe last series has come back to haunt her.

I can’t say I blame her for doing it – I probably would have done the same in her position – but in hindsight it was a reckless thing to do, as was Alec’s standing back and allowing her. It shows how incompetent both of them are, even if Ellie was personally affected by Joe’s reveal. It results in Joe’s admission being thrown aside, so Jocelyn is going to have to fight hard to get the sentencing the Lattimers deserve.

And speaking of Jocelyn – we didn’t get to see the person whom Sharon spoke to on the phone, the one who she said she loved. I have a distinct feeling that is Jocelyn herself, otherwise why give it such prominence within the episode? Forging a deeper connection between these two characters would put the whole court case into jeopardy, though perhaps I am reading too much into it?

The court scenes were hard to stomach, in particular Beth’s testimony. She just wants to see justice for her son’s murder, but she is forced to discuss matters which (to her, at least) aren’t connected. To the whole town she reveals Mark’s affair with Becca, and the fact that he once struck Danny. That, coupled with Mark’s continued friendship with Tom, doesn’t exactly throw Mark in the best of lights. I can’t wait to see him give evidence. I have a feeling Sharon will tear him a new one.

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The standout scene for me this week once more revolved around Ellie and Alec. Their friendship continues to expand and Alec cooks for her. It’s these small character moments which helps the viewers to empathise with these characters, and both Ellie and Alec are brilliant characters. Ellie, this week, was more happy. Well, maybe happy is the wrong word, but at least she wasn’t crying. Her scene with Claire, in which she discussed how she met Joe, was brilliantly tender too. Both of these woman are wronged women, and both of them have a connection with one another because of this fact. But as much as I like Ellie’s more positive outlook, I cannot wait to see her take the stand. Olivia Colman will be stunning, no doubt.

Colman gives a sensitive performance as she returns to her old house, and the simplicity of her looking around the domiciliary setting exemplifies how hurt Ellie is by all that has gone on. She had a long way to go before she’s back on top, but even this week she was prepared to move on, asking Brian out. I have a feeling Ellie and Alec may get together, though I sincerely hope not.

So episode 2 ends with two whopper cliffhangers. Lee and Claire has seemingly vanished (somehow) though I have a feeling it is Claire who made Lee flee and not the other way around. And Beth, after confronting Ellie, goes into labour. I’m prepared to bet the contents of my bank balance (which wouldn’t be much) that some complication arises during her labour – one which puts even more blame on Ellie.

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Give the woman a break!