The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week (5/17 – 5/24)

This week in television kicked off on Sunday with a fantastic season finale of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and quite possibly the most controversial episode yet of Game of Thrones. Monday and Tuesday featured a pair of ABC reality shows, as Dancing with the Stars crowned its champion (the very deserving Rumer Willis) and The Bachelorette aired a two-night season premiere. Wednesday night saw the end of David Letterman’s reign on The Late Show. And Saturday gave us one of the most emotional and shocking episodes of Orphan Black in the show’s three-year history.

While nothing on TV this week made me happier than Jake and Amy finally sharing a great kiss on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, there was nothing better than Paul’s final minutes on Orphan Black—even if they did break my heart in the process. After multiple seasons spent wondering where Paul’s allegiance lies and what’s behind his stoic facade, we learned the truth, and what a beautiful truth it was: Paul is a protector, and once he fell in love with Sarah she was always the one he tried the hardest to protect. He spent so long trying to help the Castor clones, but once he realized the truth of what was going on (and what a terrifying truth it was—planning to use their sexually-transmitted defect as a weapon and testing it on Sarah), he turned his fierce protective instinct toward the women who were harmed, especially Sarah. He was willing to die to destroy the science behind those experiments and protect Sarah and all the other women who could have been sterilized by the Castor clones.

Paul died a hero, and it was the most honorable death scene I’ve seen for a character in a long time. He died with love in his heart and a brave purpose filling his soul. All of his interactions with Sarah in this episode reminded me why I was once so captivated by their dynamic—because, in a world where Paul’s loyalties always seemed to be a mystery, his love for Sarah (which was never supposed to happen) became his primary motivating factor. It shouldn’t have surprised me to hear Paul tell Sarah that it wasn’t Beth he loved, but I was floored by his honesty in that moment. It was the most beautiful way imaginable for Paul to go out, and it was the perfect way for us to say goodbye to Dylan Bruce as an actor. His little smile after saying that line just about killed me.

This episode of Orphan Black showed us Paul’s heart, and it also showed us Mark’s. I loved the comparisons drawn between them in this episode. Mark’s honest confession that he loved Gracie perfectly paralleled Paul finally admitting to Sarah he loved her. And Mark’s desire to defy orders to avenge the pain he never meant to bring to Gracie humanized him in such a beautiful way. Both Mark and Paul were motivated by their love for women treated as pawns in Dr. Cody’s experiments, and I loved the way that connection was shown, especially in the final scene between them. Ari Millen absolutely destroyed me when Mark told Paul to make things right. The tears started then, and they didn’t stop until long after the final credits rolled. I was so sad to see Paul die, but his death scene honored his character and the actor who brought him to life with deep respect and understanding. But, of course, I wouldn’t expect anything less from Orphan Black.

What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?

Find Your Team and Get to Work: Let’s Write a Book Together!

After years of dreaming, months of planning, and days of anxiously trying to find the right words to articulate what I want to say, I have some big news to announce…

I’m writing a book!

I’ve known for a long time that one of the things I’ve wanted to accomplish more than anything else was to write a book about pop culture and fandom. But I struggled for a long time with the idea of what that book would look like. How could I take what I do here at NGN and turn it into something that would resonate with people enough to work as a book?

However, once I wrote my thank-you letter to Leslie Knope before the series finale of Parks and Recreation (which, in turn, made me think of the letter I wrote to Princess Leia back during NGN’s earliest days), I knew with total certainty what I was going to do: I was going to write thank-you letters to the fictional women who’ve inspired me through the years—from my childhood and teenage years through the present. I would write about the way Sydney Bristow helped me hold on to my sense of self during my challenging high school years; the way Kate Beckett helped me find the strength to accept my flaws as a young woman; and the way Emma Swan continues to teach me to believe in myself and in my ability to be happy.

But my letters would only tell one story, and doesn’t the beauty of what we experience here at NGN come from the way we all share our stories with one another when we talk about the characters who inspire and move us? NGN isn’t just a shout into the void; it’s become a place of lively, loving, and sincere conversation about the fictional characters and stories we love.

As my personal hero Leslie Knope once stated, “No one achieves anything alone.” So let’s do this together, friends. It’s my hope that this book won’t just be filled with my letters of love and thanks to the female characters who’ve shaped my life; it will be filled with letters from many fangirls (and fanboys if you want to get in on the fun, too, guys).

My goal with this book is to show the positive impact female representation in the media can have on the lives of real women and men around the world. I want to show people that it’s not “weird” or “unhealthy” to connect with the journeys of fictional characters; it’s a way for us to see reflections of our strengths and flaws in the media we consume and to grow as people by watching the growth of characters we relate to. I want to shine a light on the ways the media can change lives for the better through sharing my story and the stories of others who grew into stronger, better people because they were inspired by female characters of all kinds in all kinds of media. I want to show the world how important it is to respect the idea that loving a fictional character has helped so many of us learn to love ourselves for exactly who we are, and that’s why diverse female representation in the media matters.

Does this sound like something you might want to be a part of? Awesome! How can you contribute to this project? It’s easy! Write a thank-you note or letter to a female character who has inspired you, sharing why they’ve made such an impact on your life. The letter can be a paragraph or 5 pages or something in between; write whatever you feel comfortable sharing. And if there’s more than one character you want to write about, you can write as many letters as you’d like. The more letters I have when I’m putting this book together, the better it will be.

Letters can be sent to nerdygirlnotes@gmail.com, and I’ll start accepting them whenever you have them written. I won’t name a date when I’ll cut off submissions because I want to get as many letters as possible, but I’m thinking by this fall I’ll want to start getting everything together to send to independent publishers and agents. I’ll have a firmer date as the process unfolds.

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Grading the Season Finales 2015: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Source: spoilertv.com

Source: spoilertv.com

Title Johnny and Dora (2.23)

Written By Luke Del Tredici

Two-Sentence Summary When Jake and Amy have to pose as an engaged couple to track an identity thief, their ability to separate their personal feelings from their professional partnership is put to the test. Meanwhile, Terry and Gina try to help Captain Holt find a way out of his new position, and Boyle helps Marcus plan a surprise for Rosa’s birthday.

Game-Changing Moment Changes were happening all over the 99th precinct at the end of this episode. Captain Holt decided to take the job with NYPD Public Relations rather than letting his team fall into the hands of Madeline Wuntch, and that decision sent shockwaves through the precinct, even more so when Gina decided to leave with him. Having Holt and Gina work separately from the rest of the characters broadened the scope for Season Three and shook up some of the show’s best dynamics—Jake and Holt, Amy and Gina, Terry and Gina, Amy and Holt, etc. I’m sure the show will find a way to believably (or at least entertainingly) bring those two characters back to the precinct soon enough, but until that happens, Brooklyn Nine-Nine will certainly feel different.

Captain Holt’s departure and the sense of change it brought with it also seemed to inspire Jake and Amy to change the game in their own way—with a real kiss after a pair of undercover ones earlier in the episode. While the fallout from that kiss wasn’t addressed yet (thanks to the arrival of the new captain), it was clear from both of their expressions after pulling away that this isn’t going to be something they try to ignore or excuse away because they regret it. Instead, this has the potential to be a major turning point in their relationship, and, as such, a major turning point in the show.

“Johnny and Dora” ended with a sense of confidence in terms of where the show is going and how it’s getting there. It swung for the fences on not just one but two major changes, and I think both of those swings will lead to big hits. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a show that has yet to let me down thus far. That makes it easy for me to watch large-scale changes unfold, because I have every faith that those changes will be handled with care.

Finale M.V.P. How do we start a campaign to get Andre Braugher an Emmy for playing Captain Holt? Because I want to lead the charge. This finale started with a typical “Holt vs. Wuntch” plot, which always brings fun things out of Braugher as an actor. From his description of her as a succubus to his face as she checked to see if he was wearing a wire, I loved every moment. However, it was when Holt actually had to leave the precinct that Braugher really got a chance to stretch this character’s range and tug at all our heartstrings in the process. I loved that he started his farewell speech with his usual unemotional demeanor, but then the emotions he felt became so overwhelming that they started to peek through. And best part was that the dominant emotions were pride and love for the family he’s become the leader of. That scene could have been played for laughs and nothing else, with him finally showing emotion by breaking down and crying, but the show instead chose to have him genuinely smile, which was a thousand times more affecting (for the audience and for the other characters). “Warm” is not an adjective usually used to describe this character, but that’s exactly what he was in that last scene. And the fact that Braugher managed to make Holt’s rare display of genuine affection feel so grounded, earned, and believable speaks to his ability to make what could have been a robotic, one-dimensional character always feel human and complex. I love when unexpected characters make me cry, and that’s exactly what Braugher was able to achieve with his performance in this finale.

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The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week (5/10 – 5/17)

This was a truly fantastic week of television, which is usually what happens when May sweeps time is in full swing and finales are airing all over the place. On Sunday, Brooklyn Nine-Nine set up its season finale with a great cliffhanger, and Game of Thrones aired another strong hour. However, it was a pair of season finales which made Sunday truly memorable. On The Good Wife, Kalinda said her final farewell and a surprise visitor showed up at Alicia’s door in the closing seconds. Also on on Sunday, Once Upon a Time‘s season finale gave us a fun trip into an alternate reality, but it also gave us a heart-wrenching sacrifice made out of hope, love, and true bravery. Monday continued the trend of strong season finales, with an episode of Castle so good it could have served as the perfect ending to the whole series. And Wednesday’s season finale of Nashville was as emotional as it gets, with moments of pain and pride that moved me deeply. Finally, Saturday’s episode of Orphan Black was a breathless thrill ride, and Outlander aired an episode that shook all of its fans to their core (an episode I still can’t think about without my hands starting to shake). In a week filled with some episodes that might end up as all-time favorites of mine in their respective series, choosing the best moment felt like a nearly impossible task. Was it Emma’s incredible moment of bravery or the emotional sacrifices in the alternate reality which inspired her sacrifice on Once Upon a Time (or even the very sexy sword fighting lesson between Emma and Hook)? Was it Mrs. S. welcoming Gracie as her guest on Orphan Black? Or was it Will finally learning to love himself and love someone else openly and proudly on Nashville? All of those were great moments, but only one moment I saw on television this week has made me cry happy tears every time I’ve re-watched it, and that’s the ending of Monday’s Castle finale. There was such love in that scene—between the characters, the actors, and the writers. Every word of Castle’s speech was beautiful. And the sight of the entire cast together in one room for the first time was incredibly moving, highlighting the sense of family this show has built over the last seven years. Nothing I saw on television this week made me happier than those final minutes of this season of Castle. They were a true gift to fans of this show, and I will treasure them. Always. What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?

Grading the Season Finales 2015: Castle

As this season of Castle draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for coming here to talk about the show with us each week, and also to thank Heather for her wonderful posts about the show when I wasn’t able to write about it. It’s always a pleasure to get to talk about a show I love so much with others who love it like I do.

Source: ABC/Richard Cartwright

Source: ABC/Richard Cartwright

Title Hollander’s Woods (7.23)

Written By Andrew Marlowe and Terri Miller

Two-Sentence Summary When a murder victim is found with crosses carved into her face, Castle is reminded of the grim discovery he found in the woods as a boy, which led to his fascination with the stories behind murders. As Castle faces his past demons, Beckett is given a potential new path to follow in the future when it’s suggested she run for New York State Senate.

Game-Changing Moment Changes in Beckett’s career have been centerpieces in more than one Castle finale: Her resignation played a big role in the conclusion of Season Four’s finale, and her job offer from Washington was a focal point in the finale of Season Five. And now in Season Seven, we were given Kate Beckett at a career crossroads that has huge implications for the character and Castle as a show no matter which option she chooses. On one hand, she was offered a chance to run for New York State Senate. On the other hand, she was told she could be captain of her own precinct within a year. Both paths would lead to big things for a character who certainly deserves them, but both paths also would most likely take her away from the 12th precinct. Since this episode was written as a potential series finale (as both main actors’ contracts were still being negotiated at the time it was written), those two job offers made sense as new paths for Beckett to take in a future we wouldn’t be watching play out every week. However, it’s going to be interesting to see what the writers do now that both actors are back and the show has been renewed for another season, with the promise of many more coming from executives at ABC. Will Beckett choose one of these paths but still stay involved at the 12th precinct somehow? Will she forgo running for State Senate in order to focus on becoming a captain within the year (thus staying at the precinct and giving the show another season to figure things out)? Whatever she chooses, it has the potential to be a serious game-changer for a show that has such a strong focus on the family that’s been built within the precinct and the relationship between Castle and Beckett as partners in both life and work.

Finale M.V.P. “Hollander’s Woods” was a great showcase for the talents of both Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion. However, the real stars of this finale were another successful partnership: writers Andrew Marlowe and Terri Miller. As creators, producers, and writers, this dynamic duo has been the heart and soul of Castle from its earliest days. And with both them exiting the show after this season, this finale was their swan song. And what a lovely song it was.

Castle is a show about a writer. Therefore, it’s a show about words. And in Marlowe and Miller’s hands, the words in this finale simply felt right. The plot moved along well and revealed some fascinating stuff about Castle’s character, but the actual lines spoken by Castle and Beckett were the most memorable thing about this excellent finale. Beckett’s speech about taking pride in her work and her marriage could only have been written by a woman who loves this character the way Miller does. The scene in which Castle gave Alexis advice about finding her passion was written with a wonderful understanding of both characters and their relationship. Castle’s acceptance speech made me cry because of the simple beauty of the words he was saying. And every scene between Castle and Beckett was written with real care for capturing the essence of the partnership Marlowe and Miller have been devoted to since Day One. “Hollander’s Woods” was like returning home to Castle at its best after a year that’s had its ups and downs in terms of the show’s writing. It reminded me of the power of the right words spoken by the right characters. And it made me feel very grateful for everything Marlowe and Miller have given to me as a fan over the years. It’s sad to see them leave, but I’m so happy they left with such a graceful and beautiful farewell.

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Grading the Season Finales 2015: Once Upon a Time

Source: onceuponatime.wikia.com

Source: onceuponatime.wikia.com

I wanted to take this moment to thank all of you who’ve joined us here at NGN for our Once Upon a Time discussions every week. It’s a true joy to get to talk about this show with such a wonderful group of fellow fans!

Title Operation Mongoose Part 1/Operation Mongoose Part 2 (4.21/4.22)

Written By Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz

Two-Sentence Summary When Henry finds a way into Isaac’s new story and alternate reality, he has to help Regina find her happy ending before it’s too late. Meanwhile, the threat of the Dark One’s curse leaving Rumplestiltskin’s body grows stronger.

Game-Changing Moment There was more than one game-changing moment in this finale—from Henry becoming the Author (and then possibly eliminating the role of Author altogether by breaking the pen) to Rumplestiltskin ending the episode in a state of suspended animation as we wait to find out who he will be with a heart no longer held by dark forces. However, no moment changed the game like Emma sacrificing herself to the power of the Dark One. With her powerful light magic now existing in the same body as powerful dark magic, she will most likely be a version of the Dark One unlike any we’ve ever seen. Her new state of being will also change things for the characters who care about her, and the quest to destroy the darkness in her (and to destroy the Dark One curse altogether) will be a strong focus for Season Five. None of the main characters on this show can go back to normal after Emma’s sacrifice, and it will be wonderful to watch these people fight to save the savior after she fought so hard for all of them to be happy. I’ve never been this excited about a new season of Once Upon a Time before. That’s the power of a great, game-changing cliffhanger.

Finale M.V.P. It seems like Emma Swan goes through the emotional wringer in every Once Upon a Time season finale, and while that isn’t always easy to watch as a fan of the character (who just wants her to be happy for five minutes), it’s wonderful to watch as a fan of Jennifer Morrison as an actress. In “Operation Mongoose,” Morrison was asked to play so many different emotions, and she made each one ring true, painting perhaps the most well-rounded portrait of Emma Swan we’ve ever seen.

Emma has grown so much throughout this fourth season, and this finale was a chance for Morrison to show this character at her most emotionally open, while still keeping every display of emotion true to who we know Emma to be. More than any other actor in what was really an actor’s showcase of a finale, Morrison made me feel everything Emma was feeling—from her radiant joy at seeing both Henry and Hook again in the alternate universe to her deep sense of determination and love when she made her sacrifice. And when her two biggest emotional moments came—telling Regina how much she loves Hook and then telling Hook before the darkness took her—Morrison delivered with the trademark emotional honesty that has always made her work as Emma so compelling.

“Operation Mongoose” was a turning point for Emma Swan as a character in so many ways. It focused on her bravery not just in terms of wielding a sword but also in terms of opening her heart and believing in the power of hope and love with more intensity than she ever has before. In order for her sacrifice to resonate, this episode needed to make us care about Emma’s heart more than ever before, and Morrison did that through showing just how strong and open Emma’s heart has grown, which made its fate even more devastating.

Most Memorable Line “You taught me how to be a hero. You taught me how to believe in hope. And I do. And now I need you to believe in it, too.” (Emma, to Snow and Charming)

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The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week (5/3 – 5/10)

This was a week filled with penultimate episodes, as season finale time is right around the corner. On Sunday, motherhood was the central focus on Once Upon a Time, and that focus produced one of the strongest episodes of the season. Also on Sunday, The Good Wife took a big step toward big changes at the end of its season; Game of Thrones continued to deviate from the books in shocking ways; and Brooklyn Nine-Nine reminded us all why Jake and Amy would be perfect together (before putting another roadblock between them, of course). Monday’s Castle was a light pre-finale bit of fun with a healthy dose of Martha feelings, while Wednesday’s Nashville was one of its most emotionally devastating hours of the season. And Saturday featured an episode of Orphan Black that brought the Leda and Castor clones closer than ever, as well as an episode of Outlander that took Claire on a long quest to find Jamie.

With the stress of season finales looming on nearly every television show I watched this week, I appreciated the moments that showed the calm before the storm even more than usual. This was especially true on Once Upon a Time. With huge plot twists and major revelations paving the way for what looks to be a game-changing finale, it was nice to have a moment in the penultimate episode where Emma and Hook were allowed to breathe, share a drink and a view of the horizon, and talk through things like a real couple. I loved the scene between them at the docks because it felt like a moment of grounded realism in the middle of crazy fairytale action, which has always been one of my favorite things about them as a couple.

The strongest relationships are ones in which both parties feel secure enough in the stability of their love to be honest with one another, and it makes me so happy to see that Emma has found that in Hook. While he never pushes her or makes her feel bad for her emotions, he isn’t afraid to tell her when she’s not being her best self. That’s the sign of a great partnership—one in which both parties help the other to be better. Hook knew Emma was hurting herself by continuing to shut out her parents, and his gentle but pointed advice helped her make the decision to finally move beyond her anger and arrive at a place of healing with the family she loves. That kind of support is wonderful to watch, and it was a nice reminder—before the insanity I’m sure will come with this finale—that Hook and Emma’s relationship has helped both of them grow into the best versions of themselves, which is the basis of True Love on Once Upon a Time.

What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?

TV Time: Castle 7.22

I’d like to say a quick thank-you to the lovely and talented Heather for covering this week’s Castle post for me once again!

Source: abc.com

Source: abc.com

Title Dead From New York

Two Sentence Summary When the creator of a show very similar to Saturday Night Live is murdered, Castle and Beckett wind up on set and inadvertently upstage a parody of their partnership. Meanwhile, Martha worries about her new show debuting in a technological world that was very different than the one she last performed in.

Favorite Line “What have you always told me? No one will give you anything in this life. You must earn it. And look at you: almost 20 years later, and you’re back on Broadway. You have earned this.” (Castle)

My Thoughts “Dead From New York” felt like a midseason episode to me. That’s not to say it was a bad episode; it made me laugh at more than one point in time, and everything related to Martha was fantastic. But it didn’t feel like an episode that should be leading into a season finale. I often complain about penultimate episodes largely being used by shows as piece-moving episodes that only seem to exist to set things up for a season finale. Castle bucked that trend last year with the incredible “Veritas.” This episode, however, didn’t move any pieces around for the finale, nor did it have the emotional weight and sense of closure offered by last year’s penultimate episode.

I recognize that with Bracken and 3XK in jail and the mystery of Castle’s disappearance solved, there simply aren’t a lot of pieces to move into place for next week’s finale. The writers on this show had the unenviable task of writing a finale when the next season is not guaranteed and, at the time of writing, contracts had yet to be re-signed. They needed to craft something that could provide a serialized element for next season but could also function on its own if necessary. Because of that, maybe it’s best that they opted for a stand-alone episode leading into the finale, and it’s just my worries that always pop up during cancellation season that are getting to me. I think I just wanted more of an indication of what the finale and the show’s future might hold, but that’s about my personal preferences, not necessarily what works best for the show.

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TV Time: Once Upon a Time 4.20

Source: spoilertv.com

Source: spoilertv.com

Title Mother

Two-Sentence Summary When Emma and Regina return to Storybrooke with Lily and Zelena (and Robin and Roland), Regina makes a decision to team up with the Author to finally get him to write her a happy ending, but she first needs to get blood filled with the savior’s darkness to activate the magical ink. In flashbacks, we see another attempt by Regina to control how her story ends after Cora returns to the Enchanted Forest with plans to help her find love.

Favorite Lines
Zelena: Another woman defining her happiness relative to the love of a man—sad, really.
Regina: Robin isn’t my happy ending. My happy ending is finally feeling at home in the world. Robin’s just a part of that world.

My Thoughts One of my favorite things about Once Upon a Time is that it’s a story primarily about women. It’s a show where the women are heroes, villains, rulers, and saviors. And it’s also a show where almost all of these fierce, flawed, interesting women are also mothers. On so many shows, motherhood seems to render characters less interesting than they were before. On Once Upon a Time, the opposite is true. Motherhood adds even more layers, nuances, strengths, and weaknesses to these female characters. As such, it seems fitting that an episode entitled “Mother” would be one of the most satisfying episodes of the season (and perhaps the series) in terms of the growth and depth shown by Once Upon a Time’s impressive variety of female characters.

It’s also fitting that this episode was written by Jane Espenson, whose ability to weave a cohesive theme through multiple storylines has made her one of my personal favorite Once Upon a Time writers. “Mother” benefitted strongly from Espenson’s sense of thematic cohesion. Not only did each storyline (except Rumplestiltskin’s) deal with the relationships between mothers and daughters, they also all explored the idea that happy endings can be achieved by choosing to be happy with what you have and letting go of anger and resentment. As such, this episode gave me exactly what I’d been hoping to see since this “Operation Mongoose” storyline began: the realization that you don’t need an Author to write your happy ending for you; you have the power to create your own happiness. A “happy ending” isn’t a “perfect ending.” It’s simply a decision to let yourself be happy instead of focusing on emotions that make you feel miserable and dark. Emma, Regina, and Lily spent so long blocking their own paths to happiness by letting themselves believe they were destined to be unhappy. And in this episode, all three women took huge strides toward their own happy endings by letting love fill their hearts instead of hopelessness. It takes real maturity to move beyond wanting to hurt those who hurt you, and all three women grew up in a big way in “Mother.”

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Grading the Season Finales 2015: Broadchurch

Today, Leah is back with a review of the season finale of Broadchurch.

Title Episode 8

Written By Chris Chibnall

What Happens? The episode opens with the shocking revelation that the jury in Joe’s trial has returned with a “not guilty” verdict, sending everyone in the courtroom into despair. Beth storms out in tears, and the judge wraps the case up, dismissing the jury. As soon as the court adjourns, Alec arrests Claire in connection with the Sandbrook murders and hands her off to his ex-wife Tess, while he goes to tell Ellie to harness her anger towards another goal: “I need someone as angry as me right now because we are going to close the case on Claire and Lee Ashworth.” The game, as they say, is on.

Alec sets a trap for Lee that pays off when he catches him in the act of searching for the pendant, so Alec arrests him. As they question Claire and Lee, Ellie comes up big with the discovery of new evidence, which shows that Lee replaced the floorboards in one of the Ashworths’ rooms around the time Lisa and Pippa went missing. This is the final pressure point they needed, and Lee and Claire confess, shown to the audience as a series of flashbacks explaining what exactly happened that night. We learn that Ricky killed Lisa after discovering her having sex with Lee, and he then pressured Lee and Claire into not going to the police by saying he would blame Lee for it. Since Lee’s DNA was all over Lisa from having sex moments earlier, it was likely Ricky would be believed. Unfortunately, Pippa heard part of the conflict, and at Ricky’s urging, Claire gives Pippa some of the drugged whisky to calm her down and put her to sleep until they figure out what to do. Once Ricky is gone to get the van to transport Lisa’s body, Lee realizes that Pippa thinks he killed Lisa and sees no way out of the situation, so he smothers the sleeping Pippa with a pillow. They dispose of the bodies and Claire threatens Ricky with his flask, which she has buried somewhere, and all three have been in a stalemate of mutual wrongdoing ever since. After hearing Lee and Claire’s confessions, Alec and Ellie bring Ricky in for questioning and then arrest him, and Alec is finally able to close the case.

After Joe is released from custody at the courthouse, he goes to the church to ask Paul for help. Paul knows Joe can’t stay in town, so he comes up with a plan and sets it into motion. Mark and Nigel physically carry Joe out of the church into Nigel’s van and take Joe to the hut on the cliff where Danny was killed. Waiting for him in the hut is Beth and Ellie, and Nigel leaves the four of them to have their moment. After Beth and Ellie say what they need to say to Joe, the three of them walk Joe outside and—with many of the characters we know looking on—put him into a taxi to send him away from the town for good. The people of Broadchurch created their own justice by exiling him.

Ellie and Alec say their goodbyes and seal it with a handshake, as Alec will be going back to live closer to his daughter now that the cases are over. Ellie goes to get Tom and meet up with Beth, Mark, Chloe, and baby Lizzie for the beginning of the reclamation of the beach and to continue to mend hearts with the two families. In the final scene, Alec goes to get in his taxi but pauses and looks around as the driver asks “Where to then, sir?” Perhaps he’s not done with Broadchurch after all. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Game-Changing Moment This episode felt like it wrapped up pretty much everything this show has been focused on for the past two seasons, so while I feel like there were some impactful moments in this episode, I do not see one single moment as having a game-changing impact on Season Three, other than perhaps Joe’s “not guilty” verdict. However, I recently read an interview done with Chris Chibnall (writer and creator) who said there will be no Joe in Season Three, so unless something changes, I believe we will not be dealing with that storyline more than its potential continuing affects on Ellie’s personal life.

The moment I felt had the most impact in this episode was the meeting at the hut where Beth, Ellie, and Mark had a chance to confront Joe. That meeting allowed Beth and Ellie to be able to have that confrontation with Joe and get those emotions out directly at him instead of lashing out at others or bottling it up. It was so important because it likely gave them a little bit of closure knowing they’ve had that chance to face Joe. The subsequent exile of Joe by the town gave both the characters and the audience a small sense of justice that was denied from everyone with the trial’s verdict, and it brought a sense of resolution to the story we have followed from the show’s beginning.

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