After a somber evening attended by much of the town reconstructing Danny Latimer’s final path before his murder, Beth and Mark discuss his cheating. This is when she tells him about her pregnancy, which throws yet another wrench into their completely wrecked lives.
Everyone seems to be suspecting Jack Marshall after the revelation of his past conviction for sex with an underage girl. That he was the one to find Danny Latimer’s phone only served to make him look even more suspicious. Jack insists that what others hear is untrue and it’s clear he’s both sincere about this and very troubled by the turn of events. Things only get worse when the article about Jack that Karen and Olly submit to the London paper gets twisted and sensationalized.
Chloe’s boyfriend tells her that when he was in the Sea Brigade Jack Marshall made inappropriate advances toward him and several other boys. He makes a list of names and brings his allegations to Karen and Olly.
Tom Miller, Danny’s friend, comes across creepy loner Susan at the local arcade. He’s drawn to her dog and while he’s petting it she tells him he can come by her trailer to play with him any time, but she says it in her usual creepy tone.
Meanwhile, the media storm over Jack Marshall has him essentially barricaded in his shop. Inside with Hardy and Miller he finally tells the full tale of his underage encounter. He was a music teacher and she was his student. They fell in love, but the girl was 4 weeks shy of the age of consent so Marshall spent a year in prison. When he was released the girl was 17, he was 40, and they got married. Jack Marshall admits what he did was wrong, but it wasn’t a pattern nor was it ever with boys. He’s very frightened about what people think of him.
A mob descends upon Jack where the Sea Brigade normally meets. Mark talks them down and Jack tells him the story about his marriage to the girl and how they lost their son in a car accident. The loss of their son tore the marriage apart and the only reason Jack wanted to hug any of the boys in the Sea Brigade is because he misses his own son so much. It was purely paternal affection, never sexual. Mark understands because he’s in the same situation now. He screams for the crowd to disperse and tells Jack he should probably leave to stay safe.
Olly takes Karen to the shore to get his boat, but when they arrive they find the boat missing. The police aren’t sure if it’s his boat that was burned, but Olly’s boat had a motor on it and the burned boat did not.
That night, Jack Marshall’s property gets vandalized. His truck windows are smashed and graffiti is spray painted on his boat. Jack is understandably terrified.
As the episode comes to a close, we’re shown people healing and others being hurt even more. Mark and Beth find a sad sort of comfort in going through Danny’s things. Little mementos such as drawings, photo albums, and the like remind them of happier times. The besieged Jack Marshal arrives at his shop to find piles of newspapers with even more sensationalized stories about his “child bride” and their son. He collapses in tears over the twisting of the facts and how the media used his son’s death to sell papers.
The next morning, Jack Marshall’s body is found on the beach where Danny Latimer’s was found days before. The episode closes with this tragic scene and we’re left to assume Jack committed suicide. That’s not much of a stretch considering all the pressure he was under and the way his friends and neighbors were so quick to believe the sensationalized media stories over his word and the facts. It’s a sad end for a man who made one mistake and led a tragic life after paying for his error only to be branded a monster when all he wanted was simple, platonic affection. In short, love.
David Bradley was excellent in this episode. He convincingly played a man whose troubled past had come back in a perverted form to haunt him and it was easy to sympathize with his plight. Bradley is always great in whatever he does, but in tonight’s Broadchurch he really outdid himself. I’ll really miss his character.
Broadchurch airs Wednesdays at 10:00pm ET/PT (9 CT) as part of BBC America’s Dramaville.