Broadchurch Final Episode: Closure is finally achieved as Danny’s killer is revealed

by Matt D

So, after eight weeks of clues and guess-work tonight’s episode of Broadchurch finally revealed who killed Danny Latimer. ITV have been promoting this final episode all week, telling us that closure will be achieved and making this finale seem incredibly important. Indeed I’m struggling to remember the last time that the final part of a TV drama really felt like a must-watch event especially a murder mystery drama such as Broadchurch. So it’s really a testament to ITV and writer Chris Chibnall that the nation were glued to their screens to find out who the killer was.

We start where we left off last week, as Hardy calls in Tom Miller to discuss what was written in the e-mails. At the same time Ellie goes to see her sister who tells her that she saw a man dressed in black throw clothes into a bin. Tom reveals that he and Danny fell out as Danny told Tom that he had a new best friend. Tom didn’t react well to this news and threatened to kill Danny adding that he’d know exactly how to do it. When Hardy asks Tom outright if he killed Danny, Joe jumps down Hardy’s throat however Tom denies murdering his former best friend. Just as Hardy is beginning to lose hope again, the killer turns Danny’s phone back on allowing him to track the signal. In what was one of the episode’s most brilliant scenes, Hardy makes his way across the green as the tracking signal offers up a number of suspects including Mark and Paul. Eventually Hardy ends up in the Miller household and goes to the shed where he finds Joe holding the phone. As Hardy finally comes face to face with the killer Joe’s admits that he’s tired of hiding.


The episode then flashes back to the night of the murder where we see Joe hugging Danny in the beach hut. Danny threatens to tell everybody what they’ve been doing but Joe tells him not to as the townsfolk wouldn’t understand. As Danny races off to the cliffs, Joe is able to talk him out of killing himself. As the pair make their way back to the hut, Danny continues to make demands which makes Joe angry and he starts throttling Danny. However Joe doesn’t realise his own strength and, much to his horror, kills Danny. Joe tries to cover his tracks by cleaning up the hut but is almost rumbled by Mark who is returning from his date with Becca. Then we see Joe riding across the shore on the boat with Susan spotting him in the distance and obviously believing it was Nige. Finally we see Ellie’s sister spotting Joe throwing his clothes away in the bin. As Hardy questions Joe, he reveals that he was in love with Danny and his infatuation started nine months ago when he helped patch up Danny’s lip after Mark had hit him. Joe said that his relationship with Danny was something that was just his and he felt jealous that Ellie had her job and he had nothing. It is revealed here that it was Joe that bought Danny the mobile phone and gave him the £500 thus wrapping up those various lose ends. But Hardy’s hardest job is to inform Ellie of the news and when she finds out she lashes out at her husband.


The Latimer family are informed of the news with Beth in shock and an angry Mark storming to the police cells to confront Joe. However when Mark finally gets to the cells he sees a fallen man and he simply tells Joe that he pities him. Meanwhile Ellie’s house has become a crime scene and she is forced to move her family into a grotty B&B. While Olly and his mother come to look after the kids, Ellie goes to stand outside the Latimer house. Beth comes to meet Ellie and, repeating Ellie’s line to Susan last week, asks her how she couldn’t know what was going on under her own roof. The only good news for the Latimers is that they can now have the funeral for Danny, an event which is topped off with the lighting of beacons along the beach. Meanwhile Hardy and Miller both realise that their career as police officers is over. The final twist in the tale is that this isn’t the end, with the message over the end credits telling us that Broadchurch will return.

The fact that there will be a second series is an interesting revelation as I personally don’t know where you’d go from here. I’m certainly struggling to see how both Hardy and Miller will be asked back to investigate another case in the town from which both have been ostracised. In terms of this final episode, I personally really enjoyed and thought the revelation of Joe’s guilt was perfectly executed. While Joe may have been some people’s top suspect since the first episode, his motive has certainly been kept under wraps until now. I loved the fact that the reveal came early on in this episode as it allowed the revelation to really sink in. The fact that Joe had feelings for Danny allowed Ellie to question if she really knew the man she married. As Broadchurch has been a programme that has relied on character as much as the mystery element, I felt that Joe being unmasked as the killer made total sense as it had an impact on the majority of Broadchurch’s residents.


As far as the acting goes, Olivia Colman stole this episode hands down as her emotional confrontation with her husband will surely be the clip that is shown when she receives her BAFTA nomination next year. Colman was utterly heartbreaking as she tried to rationalise her husband’s actions which she found to be an impossible endeavour. Matthew Gravelle also deserves some praise for completely changing the character of Joe Miller in this final episode. Gravelle turns Joe from family man into a twisted killer who believed he was in love with an eleven year old boy. I felt Gravelle was particularly impressive in that final scene in the police cell in which excellently portrayed a broken man. Though it was a little implausible, this scene was made all the more better thanks to Andrew Buchan who has been equally great all series. In fact the ensemble cast has been universally fantastic since the get-go and I feel that this second series won’t be as good unless it has a cast as good as the one on show here.

Overall this final episode of Broadchurch will go down as one of the biggest TV events of the year. Despite some people being a little annoyed that Danny’s killer turned out to be the obvious choice, there’s no denying that this was still a cracking finale. The episode was packed full of emotional twists, brilliant performances and some great camera work. My only fear is that this second series has been commissioned purely because of the high ratings that this first run has achieved for ITV. I’m just hoping that Chris Chibnall has written another gripping story with plenty of believable characters. If not I feel that Broadchurch’s reputation will be slightly tarnished by a second series that I personally don’t believe it needs.

What did you think of this final episode of Broadchurch? Do you think it needs a second series? Leave Your Comments Below.