Leah is back with her thoughts on the latest episode of Broadchurch!
Title Episode 3
Two-Sentence Summary Lee continues to cause trouble for Alec, and Ellie gets Claire to tell her what really happened the night the Sandbrook girls disappeared. Meanwhile, Beth gives birth to new baby Lizzie, and the trial continues with Ellie’s testimony.
Favorite Lines “I am sick to the back teeth of taking flack for stuff I haven’t done.” (Ellie)
“Ellie, listen. The world is screwing you over right now. You owe you something.” (Claire)
My Thoughts This episode seemed like one in which not much actually happened, but I was glad to get a bit more information on how all the characters are doing mentally and emotionally. I probably enjoyed this episode more for that reason, though I am still tired of Ellie being the show’s punching bag, and I hope this does not continue through the whole season.
One of the storylines I enjoyed most in this episode was the birth of baby Lizzie. I was glad Ellie stayed with Chloe while Beth was in labor, and their conversation on the stairs was one of my favorite moment, in which Chloe simply asks whether Ellie knew what Joe was doing instead of screaming at her like Beth has been doing. Meanwhile, Mark was absent for hours on end without being reachable on his phone. You would think with a wife who is ready to give birth any day that he’d answer his phone when it rings, but if he was spending time with Tom, then maybe he feels so guilty every time he’s there that he ignores all calls. The most emotional part of this for me was when Mark first held Lizzie. He broke my heart with his teary promises to take good care of her, as well his assurances that she was wanted and loved and that they wouldn’t make the same mistakes this time. Mark clearly still has a lot of guilt over feeling like they failed Danny as parents, and he wants to make sure they don’t fail Lizzie, too. I loved how realistic the emotions from Mark felt in that moment, because the show is showing us how losing your child in the way the Latimers did changes so much about your life, including how you feel about yourself as a parent.
Lee continued to be a problem for Alec, but this time he also created a new possibility for where the Sandbrook storyline could go. I thought that the most interesting thing Lee did this week was bringing Alec notes from his own—more recent—investigations into the Sandbrook case. As long as Alec isn’t too stubborn to take a look at the information, perhaps we’ll be able to learn a few more specifics of the case, such as the significance of the bluebell that was sent to Claire.
Meanwhile, Ellie and Claire continued to develop their slightly-companionable, slightly-hostile relationship when they ended up going out for a night of drinking, talking, and picking up guys. I am so glad that we had scenes between these two because they’re some of the most revealing for Ellie’s inner thoughts, and because it’s nice to approach the two main suspects of this season (Lee and Joe) through the eyes of people who loved them, not just through the point of view of the detectives or victims’ families. It’s really interesting to see Ellie playing a dual role in her scenes with Claire, where she’s both bonding with her over their husbands being in similar situations and also doing some sly investigating to attempt to gain more information on Sandbrook. I don’t know whether I believe Claire’s confession to Ellie or not, but if Lee truly did drug her and was cleaning the whole house when she woke up the morning after the girls went missing, then that’s hugely suspicious. However, the more time we spend with Claire, the more I feel like she could be one of those characters who do terrible things and are amazingly good liars. As Ellie’s suspicions about Claire have grown, so have my own. Whether Claire is telling them the truth or not, I’m looking forward to seeing how Alec and Ellie deal with her now that it’s clear they view her as a possible suspect.
Joe’s trial was only a small part of this episode, but it certainly gave it a dramatic conclusion. First, we saw Alec on the stand again, this time to give testimony on the various communication-related evidence against Joe. I felt sorry for the Latimers, as the reading aloud of e-mails Danny sent to Joe revealed that things really weren’t going well at home for Danny at the time, and it’s only going to twist the knife of guilt into them deeper. After Alec testified, the defense called Ellie to the stand and proceeded to attack her relentlessly, implying that she falsified evidence and had an affair with Alec. Aside from the fact that Ellie being attacked by everyone supremely annoys me, I am not entirely sure what the defense was going for. Yes, they’re finding lots of holes in the prosecution’s story. However, they’re not yet giving me a coherent alternative to Joe killing Danny. Are they trying to say Mark did it? Are they trying to say Ellie did it? What exactly are they saying actually happened? At the moment, it seems more like the defense is attacking everyone they can, and it feels like a bit of a mess to me right now. Maybe they’ll pull everything together in a more cohesive narrative later, but right now I’m not sure what they want the jury to think actually happened the night Danny was killed.
• Jocelyn crashed her car while talking on the phone to Ben. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but her vehement refusal to go to the hospital to get checked out has me wondering if there’s something more going on here. Does Jocelyn have a health problem she’s been hiding from people?
• We finally found out a little bit about the mystery around Sharon: Her son is in prison for a crime that she believes he did not commit, and they’re working on getting an appeal. I assume this is what Sharon was angry about in her early conversation with Jocelyn—that, for whatever reason, Jocelyn refused to take her son’s case when Sharon needed the help. I’m unsure if this will come into play other than providing more background on Sharon, but I’ll be looking forward to learning more about what happened with her son.
• Seeing that Beth appears to be the only one in the Latimer family who blames Ellie for everything was a welcome surprise. I wouldn’t mind seeing more interaction between Ellie and Mark, or Ellie and Chloe, because I think their wounds match in some ways that could lead to some healing. Or at least they could give each other another person who understands some of what they’re going through.
• Does anyone in Sandbrook watch the news or read their newspapers? I have a hard time believing that Lee was able to impersonate Alec and wasn’t recognizable to people in the town where he was put on trial for a crime that appears to have gotten national news coverage.