Broadchurch frustrates and excites in penultimate episode

Alec Hardy puts our faith back in men

Seven episodes in and we are still no closer to working out who attacked Trish Winterman (Julie Hesmondhalgh) than we were at the start.

And while this means viewer frustration is at its peak ahead of the final episode next week, all is forgiven thanks to David Tennant as Alec Hardy, who delivered the best moment in the series so far.

Spewing vitriol over the boys he believes are responsible for the inappropriate images being passed around school of his daughter Daisy, he said: “If you even talk about my daughter again, I will find you and cut your tiny little c***s off.”

Powerful stuff which is a welcome contrast to the central storyline where the female characters are surrounded by abusive, cheating, leering, perverted men who treat women as objects (see suspect list below).

But are those boys responsible? They haven’t been properly outed as the perpetrators, which means, knowing Broadchurch, they probably aren’t.

(Our money’s on Ellie’s son Tom and his mate Michael Lucas, both of whom have been surprisingly absent from the show of late.)

Sarah Parish as Cath Atwood

Suspects, their motive and opportunity

Jim Atwood (Mark Bazeley) has absolutely no respect for his wife Cath (Sarah Parish) and is more than happy to admit to police he had sex with two different women (including Trish) on the day of her 50th birthday and the attack. He also admitted he “probably” asked Trish to sleep with him again at the party, and after being “too rough” with the waitress, he was walking around angry and frustrated at the same time Trish was raped. On top of that, he has the condoms bought on the same day and no alibi for when the other rapes took place - and was even called out to fix Laura Benson’s broken-down car.

Estranged husband Ian Winterman (Charlie Higson) thinks it’s perfectly normal to install spyware on his wife’s computer so he could still “see her” through the camera. “This is quite embarrassing,” he said to Hardy and Miller when he fessed up. Err, it’s more than that mate, it’s pretty sick and twisted.

Trish’s boss Ed Burnett (Lenny Henry) is a stalker who has been obsessing over her for years. He also has a history of violence and conveniently “found” the blue twine between some crates at his store. On top of that the self professed teetotaller has fallen off the waggon, and Trish’s rapist stunk of booze.

Clive Lucas (Sebastian Armesto) is perhaps the most creepy and terrifying because we don’t actually know what his deal is yet, apart from the fact he’s a liar, a cheat, has a penchant for hardcore porn and has locked away what looks like trophies of his conquests (or rapes?) in a draw in his garage.

Leo Humphries (Chris Mason) has finally admitted that he made his girlfriend lie about his whereabouts, and also that he was the one who installed the spyware on Ian’s computer. But to he also made heartfelt speech about how Ian was his teacher and was there for him when his parents split. Has he been let off the hook?

As it stands any of them could have done it, but it would feel rather unsatisfying for it to be a clean cut case of “he did it.”

We, like probably all other fans of the show, are waiting for a massive twist where it isn’t any of them… or a combination of all of them?

‘What the hell?’ moments

When DC Katie Harford (Georgina Campbell) handled the blue twine. Err did you skip the ‘tampering with evidence’ class at detective school? Or is this just a way to get it discredited if the case goes to court?

Mark Latimer (Andrew Buchan) coming back from the (pretty much) dead. It’s hard to believe that he’d be fine after being 10mins from death and on the verge of hypothermia. But maybe writer Chris Chibnall couldn’t cause poor Beth (Jodie Whittaker) any more heartache.

Special mention to… Maggie Radcliffe

It isn’t just the men who have a skewed outlook on women in this series. Newspaper editor Maggie’s new (female) boss doesn’t believe women are equal either (“I don’t call myself a feminist.”) And she is happy to play up the ‘sidebar of shame’ on the Broadchurch Echo’s website, proving she has no issue with the sexual objectification of women.

Her ultimatum to Maggie (Carolyn Pickles) that she must print that Mark Latimer tried take his life is indeed pushing journalist ethics to the very limit – but then she wouldn’t know about that would she?

And while we are yet to know what the link is (if any) between her character and the main story, well done to Maggie for sticking to her guns, and for her killer line: “As the Americans say: screw you, petal!” Before offering her a middle finger for extra effect.

Hardy quote from this week (aside the above)

“You know what I realised Miller? I’m too nice.”

The final episode of Broadchurch airs on Monday, April 17 at 9m on ITV.


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