Broadchurch Review: Episode Two

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After a somber start to the final season, Broadchurch dives into the gritty investigative details this week. With a suspect list a mile long and not much to go on from Trish, Hardy and Miller have to work efficiently to bring this attacker to justice. Given the fact that there were over 50 men at the party where Trish was attacked, they have a lot of questioning to do.

Stop number one is a young kid who I would love to see Hardy put in his place. Leo Humphries, he’s basically in charge of his fathers business, Humphries Nets, and he’s a bloody arrogant ass. Think’s he is a hot shot for getting put in charge, but doesn’t’ understand how his uncooperative attitude can bite him in the end. The twine found at the scene matches the twine produced by Humphries Nets, but of course that’s not enough to tie Leo to anything just yet. They only produced the twine, it doesn’t mean that it was purchased locally. Hardy isn’t playing around though in his demands for a sample of every single item they produce there including making a jab about phoning Leo’s dad if there is an issue. They’ll come back with a warrant if they have to but for now Leo is just slowing down the process and it puts both Miller and Hardy on edge with him.

Image Credit: BBC America

Jim, Cath’s husband is more than happy to hand over the guest list he created, with Hardy and Miller stopping by his work. Though he still seems like a shifty character to me, he at least right now seems to be helpful to the investigation. He hands over the party list, agrees to come in for a full statement about his own recollections of the evening and is willing to provide a DNA sample. He brings up, but doesn’t really seem too disturbed that someone who they know might be the attacker. While chatting with him Hardy notices some fishing gear, including the twine they suspect was used in Trish’s attack. He claims that he isn’t a fisher, but Cath didn’t want him to keep that stuff in their house when he has a perfectly good auto shop he can store it at.

We also get a look at Trish’s ex-husband to be, Ian Winterman. He isn’t quite sure what’s happened or why he is being questioned in regards to the party that night, so is brutally honest when he talks about the drunken argument he got into with Trish before she was attacked. He recalls that he and Trish got into an argument over her recent personal relationships and that he continued to drink after the argument because he was frustrated. Because he hasn’t been told the specifics behind the investigation he also refuses to give a DNA sample until he knows more, which let’s be honest, doesn’t look too great.

Image Credit: BBC America

We get another look at Lucas, the creepy taxi driver. Trish had hired him to take her to the party and pick her up later, but she never rung him for the return ride. Originally he tells Hardy and Miller that he took some other fares instead but the operator at the taxi company has a different story. His radio was shut off for a good few hours and she wasn’t able to get a hold of him to take other passengers. The problem with Lucas, is that he is just too perfect the suspect. He’s perfect right now for throwing off Hardy and Miller and making their actual work a hell of a lot harder, but he is just too obvious at this point.

One of the strangest portions of the episode is when the young DC Katie, mysteriously goes to her dad’s house and asks to talk. Though the entire presentation is suspicious, does she know something about her dad that she needs to worry about, does she know that he might have been up to something no good? It’s interesting that her dad is Ed Burnett, Trish’s and Cath’s boss at the shop. Cath and Ed see the press release about an on-going investigation into a serious sexual assault and immediately know that this is about Trish. What is Ed hiding?

Image Credit: BBC America

There’s also the issue of resources and the lack thereof. They hardly have enough manpower to fully staff and run this investigation so that makes the few people who are on the case even more stressed about getting things done but getting things done right. They need contact information for everyone on that party invite, they need to question every single person who attended the party and try for DNA from all of them. They expect speed and results but with a tiny team it means that everyone has to work even harder, while still not allowing for any type of mistakes. The suspect list is longer than just the 50 men who were at the party, it includes the caters, any entertainment provided that night, taxi drivers who were hired to take people to and from. And because the scene of the attack only has 1 CCV-TV at the front entrance but a back road accessible to the house, anyone could have gone there that night and attacked Trish without being spotted.

Image Credit: BBC America

Trish’s daughter is finally home from holiday and she discovers what has happened while she was away. There is another heartbreaking moment as Trish breaks down to her daughter for support. It really is an different viewpoint for Broadchurch, we’re used to seeing the victim’s family react and heal, but it’s entirely different when the victim is still alive and now processing this horrible trauma that has happened. Her heartbreaking and terrified confession to her child, “I’ve been raped” quickly jolts us back to the morose feeling from episode one. Once again Trish is just utterly heartbreaking to watch as she says the words aloud again, making it real.

Trish does finally meet with Beth Latimer, who has been assigned to help Trish work through it all. Unfortunately with the past that Beth has with Miller, there is some gentle pushing on helping to prepare Trish for her official interview with the police department. That isn’t something that Trish can just be pushed into, though it is a time sensitive issue and nobody wants this rapist to attack again, it’s difficult to push someone into a process that will be emotionally grueling. I think that tonight’s episode shows both sides of this very well without taking a side. We see it from Hardy’s viewpoint where time is everything and he wants to make sure others are safe. We see it from Miller’s viewpoint, that it isn’t Trish’s responsibility to stop her attacker from doing it again. And also from Beth’s viewpoint, that you cannot push something of such significance when in reality the victim is just not ready. Beth points out that Trish is doing so well, even though it might not seem like it. She reminds Trish that she got up, she got out of bed, she did her makeup, she met with Beth there, and that those are all massive victories right now. Trish admits to feeling no in her own skin, commenting, “I am so ashamed. I wish he had just killed me.” With Trish alive to tell her tale it’s absolutely gut wrenching to watch her process and continue on after the attack.

We see another familiar face make an appearance, Maggie Radcliffe, editor for The Broadchurch Echo, which is also suffering economically and will actually be closing altogether to save on resources. The scene between Maggie and her boss is absolutely brilliant, as Maggie isn’t a woman I would want to cross, but in this day and age with social media and the digital age, print newspapers are not only down, but real authentic journalism is being overrun by kitten videos and click bait. Losing The Broadchurch Echo at a time when Broadchurch really could use a good journalist looking at this investigation is a low blow, but money makes the world go round and Maggie is behind the times.

Beth and Mark also have a little get together after her day with Trish. She needed someone to talk to, to help support her while she supports Trish, but Mark asks her not to keep doing that. Her calling him up for coffee gives him hope when there isn’t hope there. Their marriage clearly took a toll after what happened in the first two seasons, though they still live in Broadchurch they are no longer together and have different views on how to move forward after Danny’s death. The compensation check for his death finally came, 11,000 total. Beth thinks that they might as well split the 5,500 left for them but Mark doesn’t want anything to do with it. He doesn’t think 1,000 for each year of Danny’s live is justice or fair, he wants the man responsible to pay for his crimes.

Broadchurch moved right along this week in digging deeper into the attack, true to it’s roots though, more has been added to the plate this week than just suspects. Trish’s sexual history is beginning to be examined which opens up a whole new element to the investigation. If she’s not willing to discuss her sexual history prior to the attack, what else might she be hiding from the detectives? The interview is including questions about her wardrobe, what she wore, what kind of underwear she had on. How many drinks she had that night, what she had to eat. Every single little detail that she doesn’t want to have to relive she’s having to recount on video, being prodded for details at every turn. Should her sexual history even be relevant to the case at all? Why is it that her consensual personal choices matter when it comes to her character as not only a victim but also a human being. In her case, it brings up the point that any recent sexual encounters with someone she hardly knows could mean that they also carried out the attack later, but it also brings up an interesting point in these types of cases overall. Just because someone consents one time, doesn’t mean that’s an open invitation. And just because someone consented with a friend or someone you know doesn’t mean that consent also applies to you. Basically, bringing up the topic of how/why the victim’s previous and consensual choices have to be hung to dry like dirty laundry for all to judge. With the press announcement about the attack going out, all of our potential suspects thus far now are aware of why they’ve been questioned and have a little better idea about what happened that Saturday night. The episode closes out as Trish gets a text message from an unknown number saying “Shut up. Shut up now. OR ELSE.”

It’s a sensitive topic overall but Broadchurch is tackling the issue of rape and the larger overall problem of rape culture insanely well so far in this final season. Though we might not be any closer to finding Trish’s attacker after this episode, it still leaves you thinking and uncomfortable with what has happened to Trish. And if Trish’s scenes don’t make you cringe or move you to feel horrible for her, you might wanna check that your heart is still there.

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Michelle Harvey