We've getting ever closer to the series finale of Broadchurch, it's been quite a journey from the discovery of poor Danny Latimer to the present day seasonal serial rapist attacking unchecked. Let's find out that Ellie Millie and Alec Hardy are going to do about it.
We open in a flashback, Mark Latimer (Andy Buchan) waking up next to Beth (Jodie Whittaker) and then heading down the hall to find Danny (Oskar McNamara) playing video games. Wow, we haven't seen Danny in several years, he looks much older than I remember. It might be a dream, because Mark plays video games with Danny, telling him not to worry about his exams too much, just do his best. He's got his whole life ahead of him.
But of course Danny did not.
Present day Mark wakes alone in the back of his work van, where he's been sleeping. It has his name written across the back and that's what he's using to stalk Joe Miller (Matthew Gravelle) who murdered Danny all the way back in season one.
Beth is woken up around the same time by Trish Winterman (Julie Hesmondhalgh), the first rape victim we met. Trish feels like she's sinking, she hates herself and she wants to know: when does it end? It does, right? It gets better in waves, but there are down days. Hang in there, Trish, you're so strong!
Detectives Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) and Alec Hardy (David Tennant) are reviewing their massive list of suspects; they've narrowed it down from 65 to 23 (yaaaaaay), leaving among others Ian Winterman (Charlie Higson) and Jim Atwood (Mark Bazeley) who had sex with Trish that morning. Alec doesn't understand how Ellie thinks that makes Jim more of a suspect.
Clive Lucas (Sebastian Armesto) is a prime suspect for sure; they are suspicious of his lying and prior association with Trish, they don't even KNOW about his secret trophy stash that we saw far too early to mean anything.
A call comes in; Jim Atwood has reported his beating by Ed Burnett (Lenny Henry) and hells yeah that's of interest to our intrepid duo! Jim doesn't have a clue what Ed was mad about, go ask HIM!
I love how Ellie mentions how typical it is for a woman to be attacked and all the men to "start batting horns and making it about them." I recently read a good book called "Things Nobody Will Tell Fat Girls" by Jes Baker and she explained the origin of the patriarchy. It started when civilization starting to keep in place and farm, instead of being fully nomadic. Guess who could produce wee farmer helpers and were therefor valuable and subsequently considered property themselves? NO, GUESS??!! So that's one reason for some men's horn-batting response to a woman being raped: his property has been damaged. There is probably more than one school of thought on that.
Ed doesn't think the police have any cause to be speaking to him, just two people deciding like gentlemen who their female friend and non-partner can have sexual relations with. Like you would.
Ed is led back to the station in handcuffs while DC Katie Harford (Georgina Chapman) watches from above and Ed looks confused. I would have giffed that because it was a visually arresting scene but I'm completely over Katie. Alec notes the look that passes between father and daughter and then we're back to Ed's place, where Ellie is searching the joint.
She finds a stack of cards just like the one that showed up with Trish's flowers, that makes sense as he's a little *cuckoo motion* about her. Ellie looks freaked out by that, they must associate the flowers with the rapist, but I didn't. There are also beets tied with blue twine.
Back at the station, formal police interviewing is underway and when Ellie gets back and asks Katie, who's watching the interview, to interrupt and drag Alec out. Katie refuses, which Ellie can barely believe, but it's about to get a whole lot worse...Ed finally coughs up a motive for the beating of Jim Atwood, he says "because he slept with Trish" the same way you would say "water is wet." Like, of COURSE.
Ellie barges in herself so she can show off what she found; as Alec is poring over the vegetables (his "uh..." then "oh!" as he sees the twine was beautiful in a way I can't explain. It's what would happen.) Katie picks that moment to 'fess up, Alec is FURIOUS because they have a suspect in custody that is related to an officer; Ed was on Katie's list, ffs! She mumbles something about asking Ed and he was totes not involved, nuh uh, Alec's had it and throws her out sans her cell phone.
The investigation is so very screwed if it turns out that Ed had anything to do with the attacks on Trish and the other women. He's totally a red herring, so I'm not worried about him but Ellie's memory of her personal connection to the perpetrator of a crime she was investigating is weighing heavily on her. She's fully aware of the possible consequences.
Joe arrives at work the next day, turning to see vengeance personified in the form of Mark Latimer, I'd hustle if I were you, Joe.
Back at the station, the Chief Superintendent Clark (Josette Simon) offers Ellie and Alec an hour to find out whatever they can from Katie before she has to announce it to all and sundry. I don't know what they'll get from Katie, though, no way she asked her dad hard hitting questions. She didn't even ask the owner of Axehampton House anything important and I'm pretty sure he's our perpetrator, arencha, Arthur (Richard Hope)?
Nira (Ellora Torchia) is confused and scared when she sees Sahana (Sunetra Sarker) and Beth Latimer outside her place of work; she's the woman that was raped in between Trish and Laura Benson. She does not want to talk to the police, if she reports, she'll have to tell her family. They'll tell everyone else and then she'll forever be the Girl Who Was Raped. She was attacked in a field late at night, that is as close as she will come to reliving it, she doesn't care if it could help other future victims. She will not take that responsibility on herself and hear, hear. There just might have been something she could have helped with is all, I totally respect her decision, as do Beth and Sahana.
An extremely stressed-out looking Joe Miller is driving home, guess who's following?
Ellie goes on the news and does the briefing; the montage of suspects and interested parties watching and listening is the best part about how Broadchurch is filmed. No show does that better.
Leah Winterman (Hannah Millward) confronts her dad after; she knows he took her mum's computer the night before and if he puts it into her locker before the end of the day, she won't say nuffing. She would really like him to not be weird right now! And perhaps he could do the parenting??
Cath (Sarah Parish) has packed Jim a bag with all his things; they have a surreal conversation where they discuss how they could fix what's happened. That's all Cath wants, for things to not be uncomfortable and he suggests they leave town. No mention of the multiple affairs or protestations of love, it's all handled very matter of factly and that is bizarre.
Joe can't take this pressure any more; he confronts Mark who asks for a talk. Joe susses right away that Mark is recording the conversation and asks for his phone; I spent the rest of the time hoping that Mark had a backup tape recorder strapped somewhere comfortable. Joe agrees to tell Mark about that last night, someone gently hit Play and Record!
Beth is waiting for Nira outside work, she's mad and not taking Nira's no for an answer. How can they stop this man if she pretends nothing has happened?
That's kind of what she's doing with Joe Miller, isn't she? He was acquitted of Danny's murder, even though everyone knew he did it and she's just moved right on in a way that Mark cannot.
Joe has also lost everything, but I find it harder to empathize with him as it was due to his actions that everybody lost, most of all Danny. Mark asks him to tell the police just that: give them justice. Do that.
Ellie is having an awful dinner at home; her dad has the very common view that rape and abuse are ubiquitous and yet: don't exist. She angrily runs through consent with Tom (Adam Wilson), who would absolutely rather be doing ANYTHING else. Thankfully his phone interrupts and there's that moment when Ellie realises she hasn't given him back his phone yet...and it's once again full of porn. I shouldn't say this as I'm reading Andrea Dworkin right now, but isn't that sort of normal for that age?
Ah thankfully the talk with Joe has helped Mark in one way: he always thought he could have stopped Joe that night, he was at the car park after messing with the blonde missus from the hotel. Joe tells him Danny was already dead by then and on the beach. Joe saw Mark through the window as he was cleaning.
So what does he do now? Mark can't bring himself to kill Joe, but he can't live with Danny gone: what does he do?
I was quite worried Mark was going to commit suicide then, I was glad to see him walk away even if I don't see a way for this to resolve for him.
It's gotten even more intense over Chez Ellie; she's taken a hammer to Tom's computer and phone, it's all library computers from here on out! Where did he get that porn from anyway? Michael's dad, Clive, you know him, drives a cab.
It's not going much better over at Alec's house; his daughter Daisy (Hannah Rae) has packed everything and is heading back to her mum's house. After her "picture" was distributed all over school, she doesn't see what else she can do. Alec tells Daisy to fight back, she can't keep running! The future is not determined or inevitable; it's up to her to make it happen.
He thinks he was meant to survive that illness so that he could spend this time with Daisy; he missed so much of her when she was growing up. He wants her to know she is loved, there he said it. That's why he's in this stupid town with it's stupid cliffs doing this stupid job.
Katie walks up then and spoils the moment; she ignores Alec shouting that she can't be anywhere near him: there's something she should have told him before. Jeebus wept.
Ed grudgingly admits (after fingerprint analysis) to sending the flowers anonymously to Trish, what's wrong with that? The problem is that sending flowers to a woman who's just been raped and had received threatening texts and it's not signed...you see, it looks odd, Ed. But he'd never threaten or hurt her.
Which is a revelation for some, I gather, not in the least for me, he's been telegraphing that since we saw them in the same frame.
After the interview, Ellie's sorting through the 5000 plus pictures on Ed's phone, they're all of Trish, going back ten years or so. I must call bullshit on this particular plot device; who has the same smart phone for ten years? And who copies over photographs when they switch phones? Besides nobody? But I do get the point, Ed isn't in love with Trish, he's obsessed.
In fact, he's been spending the last ten nights sleeping in his vehicle near her house, keeping an eye on her. Alec's had enough, he calls Ed "an obsessive loser with a short fuse" and we can actually see Ed's fuse get shorter and shorter with every word. He bites and jumps up at "'cause he got a taste of what you've never managed," Alec doesn't move a muscle. That was offensive, Hardy, button that up.
It's Round Two for Cath and Trish, Cath's come by to ask Trish to never contact her or Jim anymore, which makes Trish and I snort in disbelief. Trish mutters something about "if you'd have given him what he needs" and that's always the defense, innit? If his needs were met at home...but not women's needs, those are met exactly the way they should be and any extra is her fault for wanting more, isn't that right? Trish isn't playing, she takes down Cath with a well-served combination of backhand and plain speaking. Sure, Cath and Jim are running away, but who will they be there? She implies Cath is living on her past laurels as the Queen Bee of Fifth Form and I don't know what that means but I do understand about early peakers. She throws Cath out, but no, not through Trish's house.
Holy shite. That was COLD.
Leah pops out just as Cath is taking her leave; she's got to talk to her about something. We see Ian approaching young Leo Humphries (Chris Mason) at the same time, pulling the laptop out of his bag at the same time. Leo wants nothing to do with it, he's not touching that computer. The police have finally managed to spook him and he's not risking anything.
Ed has been brought back to his house (in handcuffs) to round up the clothes he was wearing the night of the party when Beth calls Ellie. The only thing that Nira said that stuck out to me was that she wasn't coming home from a bar, but rather her car broke down and a tow truck never came so she decided to walk. That made me think two things: 1) Jim out busy with a different woman? and 2) do cab drivers sometimes do those calls?
Beth tells her daughter Chloe (Charlotte Beaumont) that she'll be asking Mark for a divorce. She can't reach him.
Ed was wearing a suit to the party, but besides the mud, etc, there is blue.twine.in.the.pockets. I mean
Back at the station, he explains that he was catching up on some work before heading to the party and must have stuck some blue twine in his pockets. I mean. Alec brings out the big guns, though, his inside information from Katie. Alec knows Ed hit his wife previously. It's Ellie who gently guides Ed through his marriage and what happened; ending at asking why there was mud and grass on his suit?
You could actually see Ed crumple into himself piece by piece; it seemed more like a therapy session than a formal police interview.
I can't buy Ed as a serious suspect for two reasons: 1) he is all about Trish and at least two other women were raped as well and 2) seasonal timing would have no special purpose for him. It's not as though he was in the business of leasing a large house in Axehampton in the summer.
Trish left our detectives a message about the computer, Alec and Ellie find Ian and the laptop in a computer lab, I fear he may have figured out a way to erase whatever it was he was doing after all because he seems not overly discomfited by their scrutiny. He even throws in a sweetener; that he had to talk to Ed about 18 months ago because Trish had complained that Ed was sexually harassing her. Hm
Mark calls Chloe and oh, oh no, Mark. You're saying goodbye and you're saying it forever. Don't, Mark, don't let the selfish, craven Joe Miller take you, he can't have two Latimers, he just can't. Oh but he will
And then Mark is out to sea with his boat, in the middle he stops and remembers Danny there with him. He climbs off into the water and he looks so peaceful, so content finally. And then he's gone. We're out.
I can see now that Mark was begging Joe to do the right thing, but not for justice, to save him. Mark couldn't forgive himself for not saving his son and he couldn't move past it. He couldn't let Danny go and in the end; he had to follow. Ah Mark. Ah Broadchurch, so much pain and sorrow next to your cliffs, how can we bear it?