The fourth episode of Broadchurch is all about how inadequate Alec Hardy is. And boy is he inadequate.
But he is plagued by nightmares from the Sandbrook case. When the episode opened with a shot of someone thrashing about in water, I thought, bingo! I’ve long suspected Hardy of being involved in the Sandbrook case so I thought this nightmare was a flashback of him drowning one of the missing girls. But by the close of the episode it seems as though Hardy may not be involved at all. Probably that is just my own mind running ahead of me.
The prime suspect is, of course, Claire, due to her wavering story and her connection to the father of the missing girls. He’s a shady person too, right? A picture of bluebells … why did the episode have to end just as the picture flashed back to that field? I suspect we’ll be revisiting it again in the coming weeks.
This episode also marked a turning point for Mark Lattimer as he bonded with his new daughter and told Tom that he couldn’t see him anymore. I always knew their secret meetings were innocent – it was simply a way for Mark to try and make amends with his dead son.
But Tom wasn’t happy. I wish he’d return to his mother. Ellie really needs a boost. The Lattimer’s have had a reduced amount of screen time this series, as have Paul, Maggie and Olly and that’s the main problem with Broadchurch series 2. They are no longer suspects, and so they don’t feature as much. After all, this is a show about the whodunnits, and not so much the townspeople, unfortunately.
Continuing to be brilliant, though, is Lee Ashworth. James D’Arcy is playing this role very well indeed, as I still don’t know whether to like him or not. He’s still trying to win over Claire, though, who in turn asks Lee to tie her up as they have sex, once again showing the pathology of Claire’s character. She likes dominance and power, it seems. And experts always say killers like power …
Hardy and Miller continued to be brilliant as they travelled to Sandbrook and shared a bed together (no, not like that!). I did have a chuckle though when Ellie said, ‘Well, this is strange.’ It’s these small character moments which make me so invested in this show. Even if all of the other characters diminish, so long as Alec and Ellie are on screen together, Broadchurch will continue to thrill. I’ve said it countless times, but David Tennant and Olivia Colman are simply gorgeous together.
I have to admit the trial of Joe Miller is beginning to grow stale now, as they’re really dragging it out. If it culminates in him getting off I’ll be sincerely annoyed. But one good thing came from it this week: the return of Pauline Quirke’s Susan Wright. She’s always brilliant, right?
She attempted to make up (once more) with her son Nige (I cannot stand Joe Sims who plays Nige – he overacts so much!) and once more it doesn’t go well. Nige despises her. But Susan is dying of cancer, and she wants to make amends.
Nige doesn’t, though, so when Susan takes to the dock she names him once more as the killer, owing to his similarities in appearance to Joe. This is how I see Broadchurch playing out:
Despite a drop in viewers, I think a third series is pretty much a given. Chris Chibnall has always said that he envisaged Broadchurch as a trilogy. I think series 2 will end with Nige going down for Danny’s murder, and Joe getting off with the crime. Series 3 will see him return to life in Broadchurch, before going after another child (maybe his own son, Tom?) and thus showing that Alec was adequate all along. It’s probably a bit of a stretch, but just how else can they carry the story on for a third series?
As grating as the trial scenes are becoming, I am simply loving the animosity between Sharon and Jocelyn. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they both have chess piece surnames: Sharon Bishop and Jocelyn Knight. It’s always a wonder who’ll make their next move. Sharon is brutal and I honestly think she’ll be able to outdo her former tutor.
So whilst Broadchurch does have some underlying problems, it does continue to thrill exhaustibly. I, and a million others like me, do continue to turn up every week, and are still entirely hooked. It was never going to match the heights of series 1, but so long as they don’t drag it out past a third series I think it’ll go down as a classic.