Broadchurch: Series three, episode two

broadchurch twineHas Olivia Colman had botox, or is Miller just fixing everyone with angrier stares this series? To be fair she has a lot to be miffed about, from the junior copper who seems intent on victim-blaming, to uncooperative witnesses, to her even less cooperative boss.

Hardy’s determined to get victim Trish in for her formal interview as soon as possible, so leans on Miller to lean on Beth Latimer to encourage her down to the station. Beth admirably refuses to be swayed from her duty to Trish, and proves herself a pretty decent rape crisis worker … but then goes and spoils it all by openly phoning her police chums and allowing them to gatecrash the sensitively handled rendez-vous. Oh well.

Meanwhile, the evil media overlords who own the Broadchurch Echo want to remove its entire editorial team – Maggie – out of Broadchurch and put kittens on the front page instead of, say, rape investigations. It’s just as well Maggie has the royalties from that non-consensual misery memoir to keep her warm at night.

There’s something pretty jarring about this series’ combination of daft, every-man’s-a-suspect policing scenes and moving, naturalistic moments involving Trish. The scene in which she tells her daughter what happened is particularly strong, but swiftly undermined by a montage of potential bogeymen reading news about the crime.

You get the feeling the programme makers are seeking praise for handling a “sensitive subject” in an accurate and even-handed way … but making every man in the village cartoonishly dodgy surely risks making a complete mockery of the crime at its heart. Actress Julie Hesmondhalgh is doing a heroic job but she can’t overcome the cliched cheesiness of the shock-horror closing scene.

THE SUSPECTS SO FAR

  • Trish’s nerdy, shifty not-quite-ex-husband surely can’t be the culprit. If he is, he did a very good impression of someone who didn’t know Trish was the victim. But Miller’s eyebrow of doom was almost at her hairline when he referred to “drunk and cavorting with strange men” … then refused to give a DNA sample. He’s not keen on the “hoarding of bio-data”, he says, but then he watches them leave from the window in a guilty manner. Just once I’d like a character in a TV drama to turn around and catch someone looming in this manner.
  • The weird blue-steel fishing twine manufacturing boy offered way more information about his employment status than seemed necessary. And has pictures of scantily clad women in his office, which makes him a filthy deviant on a par with Miller’s scoundrel son.
  • The fighty swinger husband was also a bit too chatty when asked some apparently innocuous questions. Is it so odd to keep one’s redundant fishing equipment in a garage rather than a house?  Why was he so rubbish at fishing anyway? Was the hobby merely a ruse that would allow him to buy some rape-twine without attracting suspicion? Seems likely. Let’s investigate further by getting the name and address of everyone  who’s ever eaten a trout in Broadchurch.
  • The smirking cab driver knows Trish, describing her as a regular customer. His radio conveniently stopped working – OR DID IT? – when the party was in full swing. Pretty sure he was hanging around near Trish’s house in the last episode.
  • The petulant priest is boo-hooing about no-one coming to church when things are going well and there haven’t been, say, any serious crimes committed locally. I SPY A MOTIVE.
  • Lenny Henry’s moody shop owner turns out to be the dad of victim-blaming copper Katie. Not sure why she’s surprised to see his name on the party guest list given his link to Cath – and it no-one else in the station paying attention. Um, have they forgotten that Danny’s killer was a close relative of one of the investigating officers? Sheesh.
  • Mark Latimer is still understandably upset about his son being murdered and the killer roaming free. It doesn’t feel very relevant to this story. OR DOES IT?
  • The swinger husband’s silent colleague. We only saw him handing over a cup of tea but it’s the quiet ones you need to watch.

 

 

 

 

 

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