Broadchurch: A touching and turbulent antepenultimate episode

One thing I praised about this series of Broadchurch in the early days was its anti-sensationalist attitude and how nuanced I felt its drama had become since the over dramatic series 2. Since then the episodes have built, steadily, towards some bigger and altogether more crashing crescendos that have felt at times a little too on the nose but also restrained enough to be believable.

This week Broadchurch pulled out one of it’s most emotional and revelatory episodes yet and with it a solid, if slightly questionable, ending. Mark Latimer being unable to move past the death of his son, confronting his son’s killer and attempting suicide is a strong progression for a character whose purpose seemed only to head that way.

However, the drawn-out conversations between him and Joe Miller, as well as the pointed imagery of his sea-bound journey, felt slightly too much like it was designed purely to be a memorable image instead of anything resembling reality.

If he had jumped off the cliff, I would’ve got it and it would’ve given his story purpose, yet it took things one step too far by putting him in a boat and having him lie, Jesus-like, amongst the waves. We’ll have to wait till Monday to find out if he survives (I’m guessing he’s dead) but I do look forward to finding out what happens to the Latimers.

The rest of the episode was a great example of Broadchurch at its best as Hardy and Miller reprimand DC Harford and pull Ed Burnett into the investigation, uncovering his stalking and obsession with Trish. Henry is great as Burnett and though the evidence stacks highly against him, it would surely be too obvious at this stage to make him the perpetrator.

However, in the construction of this series, I tend to think that the central whodunnit ‘mystery’ is purely tangential and it’s really the social commentary that makes it compelling. There’s far more going on than the serial assaulter and I wouldn’t be surprised if more than one person were arrested for various sexual crimes by the end of the 8 episodes.

All in all, another fantastic episode of a truly impressive series of TV