This is it, the very last Broadchurch and while I love Olivia Colman as Ellie Miller and David Tennant as Alec Hardy, I'm ready to let it go. How about you?
Detectives Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) and Alec Hardy (David Tennant) are racing to arrest the suspect whose DNA was found on the sock used in the rape of Trish Winterman (Julie Hesmondhalgh) when former detective Katie Harford (Georgina Campbell) calls. She thinks she's found the twine used in Trish's attack, stop the car!
Lindsay Lucas (Becky Brunning) is squaring off against her cabbie husband Clive Lucas (Sebastian Armesto); why's he got Trish's keychain then? They're interrupted by Alec busting in to arrest him; it must have been his DNA on the sock that gagged Trish.
I thought that trophy drawer was too obvious, that's kind of surprising.
Stepson Michael (Deon Lee-Williams) runs outside to see what's happening; both parents shush him and assure him everything will be fine. Well. I guess that depends on your definition of fine.
Ed Burnett (Lenny Henry) is having a hard time explaining how his DNA and fingerprints are all over the bag of evidence; does anyone believe him? Not even his daughter Katie, but they did search the place two weeks ago and found nothing of the sort, so the CCTV footage of the shop might help.
Beth Latimer (Jodie Whittaker) wanders downstairs to check on her estranged hubby Mark (Andy Buchan); it feels weird with him on the couch like this. Huh. Them getting back together would mend a whole bunch of fences, but I don't think they are ready. She always was a terrible liar.
Speaking of terrible liars; Clive Lucas is even WORSE. His excuse for not returning all the keychains they found in the drawer in his garage? He didn't know where the people lived. Said the cabbie who drove them to/from home.
Alec calls it a trophy drawer!! It's like he read my MIND! Or recaps. It's about the power with Lucas, he liked knowing he could let himself into any of their houses whenever he wanted.
Lucas backs himself into a corner; he blurts out that they should be shaking down Jim Atwood (Mark Bazely) instead of him; wasn't Jim arguing with Trish at 10-ish that night? He knows that because he was there! That contradicts his alibi, so he weighs it out carefully and decides to abandon his alibi and confirm he saw the argument. Which means he's alone and unaccounted for at the time of the rape.
So, now that his alibi is out of the way, we're to the sock. It was Lucas's DNA that was on Trish's gag; huh. Well. Seasonally?
He can't explain that and neither can I.
Alec is enjoying some post interviewing rumination; he loves it when some cocky bastard wrecks his own alibi! They don't have the CCTV from Ed's shop yet, but let's go question him anyway!
See, while I like to THINK I'd be Ellie on this show, it turns out that I'm Alec
What's Ed been hiding?? Alec can tell it's something, what's he not telling them??? Ed heard the rape. He heard the noise and thought people were having a tumble in the woods, not thinking anything of it until the news broke. THAT'S why he's been sleeping near Trish's house, he's devastated that he didn't protect her and he's trying to help her now.
The detectives run the CCTV footage of Ed's yard; it was someone other than Ed that dropped that bag off as he was in custody. Even though the suspect is hooded; Ellie figures out his path back to his vehicle and is able to run the registration. It's that "swaggery little shit" Leo Humphries (Chris Mason).
Beth and Mark talk seriously, finally, although it's not as though they've just been brushing the surface. Mark finally asks: will they be together? We hold our breath until Beth says no, then I made a noise like a kicked puppy. It's what he needs, so much, but they were already over before Danny was murdered. They'd grown apart, as people do, but it's almost like the murder held them together a little longer than would have happened naturally. We all cried with Mark as he talked of leaving, of healing himself.
Who knows when marriages die exactly? When there isn't any communication about it, as with them, when can you say the line has been crossed? Theirs is a theoretically long-dead union that has more love than anger and spite, but you know how close hatred is to love. Twinsies! Perhaps the sifting through of ashes is impossible when human nature is involved. Who can say what makes sense to another?
Alec and Ellie brainstorm; is it Lucas or Leo? They've got rock solid evidence on both, do they know each other? They do, through football. Time to bring Leo in.
The interrogation of Lucas goes about as you'd expect; lots of "do you wanna make the deal first or not?" talk from Alec but Lucas does not crack. He asks to talk to his solicitor and that's it for now. Alec and Ellie clearly think Lucas is the weaker of the pair, but I don't know.
I'd forgotten there was a light shining during the assault until Ellie asked Lucas if he was holding a torch or a phone to see by.
The suspects cool their heels in cells, Lucas determined but devastated and Leo cool but resigned. The detectives start combing through all of the evidence they have; a phone call to Leo just as they picked up Lucas brings their heads up.
They're questioning Lucas again; last chance to tell the truth. They know what he's up to (WHAT?), last chance to dance and not go to jail. And then it's out; they've triangulated phones and they know whomever called Leo was at Axehampton that night and Lucas is protecting that person because
It's his son, Michael
Seeing Michael's teary and spotty face highlighted how young he is; what was he doing at Axehampton with Leo???
Michael's at the station being questioned now, why did he do it?
Well. It started with Lucas slapping Michael around during football (is that like soccer? *running away with hands over head*); none of the guys were going to put up with that any more. Leo saw a vulnerable young man; easy enough to win into his confidence and under his wing. It's so creepy how easily the much more mature Leo drags a very willing Michael along; this is a classic grooming/chickenhawk scenario, with inappropriate probing of Michael's sexuality while alone, exposure to pornography and alcohol.
Leo even offers his girlfriend to Michael to lose his virginity; Dani (Ines De Clercq), although she doesn't look happy about it, she does what she's told. Herk.
Would Michael like to come to the party on Saturday? It's a MILFs birthday and he has his party kit.
I mean this in the best way; I'm so glad we're finally finding out what really happened that night and I love reenactments
I don't want to watch anyone be raped. I am trusting you, British telly, don't let me down.
We see Trish alone after her fight with Ian (Charlie Higson) and then out of nowhere, Leo is rushing at her with a cricket bat while Michael watches in horror. Oh his face. His face.
He still doesn't understand; asking Leo what's going on when he's finished tying Trish up. She's for Michael, Leo explains, he's had a young one, now it's time for something different.
Michael balks, but Leo hits him: he's put himself out there for Michael and it's time to do what he's told. He does.
Why am I crying for MICHAEL and not TRISH right now?? Honestly.
The detectives are shaken. They go back to Lucas with Michael's confession, he wants to take the blame for it. Say it was him, not his son, he's just a boy. He should have been watching him better.
We want to do that as parents, don't we? I remember crying for a hard half hour after an early immunization for one of my sons; wishing I could take the pain for him but that's not how immunization works, does it?
They found Leo's secret phone that he used to record the assaults, the ones they know about and two more besides. It's solid evidence and they watch it, but we don't. Thank you.
They've got Leo in interrogation now but the case is so solid on him that there's no point in him denying it. We're examining him like a bug under a microscope and he is refreshingly honest and completely sociopathic.
He didn't see anything wrong with the rapes; it's just sex, isn't it? They'd all had sex before. Ellie blows
I can't tell if that or anything else matters to him, though. Those women didn't mean anything to him, just a puzzle piece to fit in as he liked. He tried to keep the rapes to once a year, when he was home from Uni, and that explains the timing.
I can't barely stand to look at Ellie, she's furious and absolutely miserable at hiding it. I do understand that Ellie is the global Us on this show, but she's far too emotional to be a detective. Alec takes over the questioning; why did he groom Michael? Leo thought he looked lonely and he knew how that felt.
None of us understand how rape leads to a feeling of harmony and peace in this world to Leo.
It's chilling, as it's meant to be, that he never considered any of the women at all. He gave almost no notice to any of the women, who were affected so strongly by the rapes.
Mark watches a video of Nige, Danny and him playing football while Beth is asleep under his arm; Chloe (Charlotte Beaumont) joins him and I guess they have sort of a family back. Except that they don't.
Alec finds Ellie crying on the steps of the police station; he reassures her that Leo is not what men are. He's an aberration. She sure hopes so.
Maggie Radcliffe (Carolyn Pickles) chats with Reverend Coates (Arthur Darvill) before his last sermon ever; guess what she's doing next? A YouTube channel! Reporting live and local, why not?
Alec tells Lindsay Lucas about her son while Ellie explains the arrests to Trish. The parts that boggle are Michael's age: 16 and the fact that Trish was randomly selected. Leo didn't have anything against Trish, or anything for her either. There was an opportunity and Leo took it. It could have been anyone. That's almost worse, you know? Because that takes away the slight illusion of control; if I had just done this, or done that, etc. But no, simply wrong place, wrong time but most importantly: wrong gender.
The disillusioned vicar is surprised to see so many people at his last sermon, go on helping and encouraging each other. "All any of us really want it love and good deeds." Amen.
Lots of wrap-up after mass (was that mass?); Daisy (Hannah Rae) is proud of her dad, awww. I can't imagine how rare it must be to hear that from a teenage girl. Ian and Trish even agree to have Chinese takeaway after, so magic Reverend Coates must be. Their daughter Leah (Hannah Millward) has allllls her hopes up.
The vicar notes Mark ghosting by the entrance, still so sad and anguished. He's gone, driving away while Beth and family entertain Ellie and her family. Ah, grown back together again. Poor bloody Mark. If Ellie is the heart of the show, he's the sorrow, steeped in it up to his ears.
We're with our detectives again for the very last time
What shall they do? They could go to the pub, suggest Ellie brightly, they've never done that before! Nope, and Alec doesn't want to talk about Daisy or the case, either, he'll see her in the morning. And with one more Mullah for the road, we're out.
I am conflicted about the outcome of the case because they've set this up so clearly as a Woke Scenario. I guess we could focus on how they've very clearly explained that none of the victims were any part of the reason anything happened, none were blamed which is bloody brilliant. It ends with rapers gonna rape, basically, just as long as that isn't generalized across gender lines. I do believe that it strains credulity to believe a young man can be abruptly groomed into sexually assaulting someone.
Well. I've been very vocal about Broadchurch, the first series was brilliant, complex and layered and beautifully nuanced without a lot of easy answers. The second one was a painful load of bollocks but this last series. It's also woven and complex and they haven't given us one easy answer yet, have they? Each show has been about family, about the dynamics of a small town and small families part of a town and how they shape that world.
We've seen Beth push through her grief but Mark unable to move on; Ellie finding her own way after the devastating betrayal of her husband's murder of Danny. She's smiling at the end, I'd forgotten how long it had been since we saw that. I can't say I always enjoyed how broadly her character is written; she is all teary eyes or fury personified; sometimes at the same time, but Olivia Colman gave humanity to the role that was a counterbalance to Alec's Just The Facts, Ma'am persona.
Alec is the same as ever; I've no idea why they gave him a life-threatening condition in series two and then just removed it with no explanation for this last bunch, but I'm glad. I don't need Alec to be more complex; I need him to be consistent and that's how he's ended, right back at the start. He's always been a combination of treading the line between character and caricature and hidden depths; I like how his arc finished.
Until the next series, you lot! I have lots of ideas; there's a new Siobhan Finneran show coming out called The Loch and I'm about 1000 years behind on starting The Replacement, I hope to see you around! Cheers!