Broadchurch Episode Two: Jodie Whittaker excels again in this (sometimes far fetched) mystery drama
It seems that, after last week’s opening episode, most of you seem to really enjoy Broadchurch describing it as fabulous and gripping. I personally love the realism of the piece and especially the characters’ reactions to the death of young Danny Latimer. However there was one incredibly far-fetched moment this week which took the realism away from Broadchurch for the first time.
As we return to the titular seaside community Detectives Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller are still desperately trying to find Danny’s killer. Upon walking Danny’s paper round, Alec notices the hut on the beach and wants to get in there as soon as possible. However the only person who holds the keys is Pauline Quirke’s Susan Wright who we’ve been incredibly suspicious of from the get-go. It transpires that Susan cleans the hut every so often but is more than reluctant to let Alec have the keys. We are then given more reason to distrust her when we find out that Danny’s skateboard is in one of her cupboards. Newsagent Jack Marshall also tells Alec about witnessing an argument between Danny and the local postman. While the postman does indeed admit to seeing Danny on his rounds he has an alibi for the night of Danny’s murder. It is also feasible that Danny was arguing with a man who was simply dressed as a postman and that is what Jack saw. Finally that aforementioned moment of disbelief came when a phone engineer claimed to have been receiving psychic messages from Danny. Steve Connelly, who has been installing new phone lines in the police station, tells the pair that Danny’s death has something to do with water. Predictably Alec dismisses Steve’s words however he’s later taken aback when he himself receives a message from beyond the grave. Amidst all the evidence it appears as if Alec and Ellie are struggling to get along mainly due to their differences in style. Ellie sees Alec as being incredibly broody while he feels that she should try to separate herself form the community.
Meanwhile the Latimers are still in shock as they aren’t able to even plan Danny’s funeral until his murderer has been found. Ellie is horrified to find that Beth and Mark have compiled a list of suspects that include most of their friends. She’s equally surprised when a search reveals £500 strapped to the inside of Danny’s bed and cocaine hidden in Chloe’s room. It was later revealed that Trader’s Hotel proprietor Becca wanted some cocaine for some guests who’d come from London. Chloe had got the drug from her boyfriend Dean but by the time she’d given it to Becca the guests had left. Beth later reveals her own surprise when we find out that she is pregnant however so far she only reveals this to Reverend Paul Coates. Beth may have more to worry about though after Alec spies Mark on CCTV which proves that he was lying about being on a job the night of Danny’s death. Though Mark claims to have been out with a friend he can’t remember who it was or what time he got back home. This vague alibi may not be enough to save Mark as his fingerprints were found in the beach hut alongside a small splatter of blood that is revealed to be Danny’s.
The media continues to be a presence in the story as Karen White immediately makes an impact in the town. Karen continues to manipulate Olly into giving her information about the town and the kind of people who live there. She later also weasels herself into getting close to the family by befriending Chloe and returning the stuffed toy she stole last week. Karen attempts to portray herself as Chloe’s friend by putting her number on Chloe’s phone and telling her to call her if things get too tough. Obviously Karen has betrayal in mind but Chloe, who has seemingly ditched Dean, will need a confidant and will most likely turn to the manipulative journalist for comfort.
Finally we see the town still struggling to cope with their first murder and how it is impacting on the tourist trade. As we saw last week Becca is keen for the police to get the tent off the beach as soon as possible as it is having an adverse effect on her business. Meanwhile local shop owner Laurie also wonders how many of the high street stores will survive now Broadchurch is ‘a murder town’. The police themselves are struggling to cope with the influx of calls and a lack of manpower. It is also clear that many of their number aren’t experienced enough to deal with a murder with the Latimer’s family liaison officer being presented as a bit of a buffoon. Beth’s mother Liz eventually tells Reverend Paul to let the town know that the church is here for them whether they’re religious or not. He does this by giving an interview with the local news but this riles up Mark who believes Paul is simply attempting to promote himself. But once again is Mark’s anger attributed to being involved in his own son’s death?
Despite the far-fetched storyline involving the psychic phone engineer there was still a lot to like about tonight’s episode of Broadchurch. Personally I found Jodie Whittaker to be standout once again as she brilliantly plays a mother who has lost her son in shocking circumstances. The scene in which she walks round the supermarket before pausing by Danny’s favourite cereal was utterly heartbreaking. This was followed by her breakdown in the car park which was equally traumatic especially after discovering she was pregnant. It was also great to see a little bit more from Arthur Darvill as the concerned man of God who feels powerless to help his community following the tragedy. Chris Chibnall’s script gave us a few more clues while at the same time making us feel we’re no closer to finding Danny’s murderer. At the moment it appears that Mark is the prime suspect due to his lack of an alibi and the discovery of his fingerprints in the hut. However Susan is also in the frame as she is the person who cleaned the hut and is also in possession of Danny’s skateboard. There of course is also a question over who Jack saw Danny arguing with after the postman’s name was cleared.
Two episodes in and I’m utterly compelled by Broadchurch even if this second instalment wasn’t as brilliant as the first. The cast were uniformly brilliant once again while Chibnall’s script continues to provide plenty of intriguing twists and turns. The fact that I’m emotionally invested in the majority of the characters is a testament to Chibnall’s writing which provided more questions than answers. I’m already looking forward to seeing what happens in episode three and I’m betting I’m not the only one.
What did you think to this week’s Broadchurch? Are you still enjoying it? Leave Your Comments Below.
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