TV Time: Broadchurch 2.04

Leah is back with her thoughts in the latest episode of Broadchurch!

Title Episode 4

Two-Sentence Summary Joe’s trial continues, with each side introducing a surprise witness that throws a wrench into the other’s case. Claire and Lee reunite, while Alec and Ellie continue to look into the Sandbrook case by visiting the town and end up discovering new information that points them toward the grieving father.

Favorite Lines “Is that why it got to you? Because you could never be sure.” (Ellie to Alec, about the Sandbrook case)

“Willie Pep: 241 fights, 229 wins. Reportedly claimed he could win a fight without throwing a single punch.” (Ben to Jocelyn, about Jocelyn’s prizefighter metaphor)

My Thoughts This episode gave us some new information along with a few surprises. I enjoyed this episode a bit more than last week’s, probably because my favorite character (Ellie) wasn’t being attacked, and because I enjoyed learning more about the Sandbrook case as well as Alec’s psyche. I’m going to try a slightly different format this week, taking a look at some of the themes I saw in this episode.

First, a quick recap of the new information we learned: Joe’s trial introduced two new witnesses that provided a big hit to each side’s case. Jocelyn brought in Joe’s old paramedic shift partner, who told the story of a night when Joe snapped and seriously hurt a man, providing evidence of Joe’s temper and capability for violence. Sharon ended the episode dramatically by calling Susan Wright to the stand and revealing the defense’s alternative killer: Nigel. Meanwhile, Ellie and Alec traveled to Sandbrook to do some more investigating and discovered that Ricky Gillespie’s alibi is not as solid as it seemed, giving Alec doubts about whether he made a mistake going after Lee. Claire and Lee reunited, and the audience learned that Claire is definitely withholding information from Alec and Ellie about something she and Lee did in the past.

Life’s Uncertainty and the Unknown
This theme is one that has been a staple of the series in different ways. In the first season, we mainly saw this theme through the show asking the question of how well you could truly know someone. In the second season, the theme leans more towards the question of how to live with the fact that there are some things you will never know with complete certainty. In this episode, Ellie asked Alec if the reason this case has haunted him for so long is because he has never been able to have certainty over what happened. I think it’s definitely a contributing factor, along with his regret over the mistakes he made and his daughter being the same age as Pippa. We also saw the way a lack of answers affected Cate Gillespie, who is still staying in the same house where the girls went missing. That house must be full of painful ghosts, yet she lingers there in the hope that since Lisa’s body was never found, she’s alive somewhere and will return to the same house she was taken from.

Don’t Let Life Pass You By
Both Alec and Mark are good examples of this theme, but on opposite ends of the spectrum. While Alec has been obsessing over Sandbrook and missing a lot of his daughter’s life in the process, Mark has decided to put his family above everything else. In this episode, Mark told Beth that he’s thinking of taking some paternity leave because he wants to see all the little moments of Lizzie as a baby that he missed with his other kids. I think Danny’s death has made Mark question all of his parenting decisions, and he’s decided to dedicate himself to Lizzie as much as he can in an attempt to make up for what he sees as failing Danny. I like that the show is exploring the consequences of Danny’s death by showing the ways the Latimer family is different not just in the immediate aftermath but in the long-term, and I hope it continues to show us these changes as Season Two continues. I also hope that Alec decides to spend more time with his daughter before he works himself to death, literally, over the Sandbrook case.

Other Notes
• Ellie’s sister Lucy made things worse in her testimony by trying to make herself seem more certain than she truly was, and depending on if the defense follows up on it, Lucy may have put Ellie (or another officer) in the difficult position of either lying on the stand or discrediting her statement.
• It seems that last week I was right: Jocelyn does appear to be hiding some sort of health-related issue. I don’t know what exactly it could be, but having a large blurry spot in the middle of your vision is definitely not a good thing.
• Olly continues to be one of my least favorite characters and keeps trying to make a name for himself by posting information that probably shouldn’t be out on the Internet. The way he doesn’t seem to care what happens to other people because of his actions makes me uncomfortable.
• I’m glad Mark finally realized that he needed to stop meeting Tom, and I’m starting to wonder if this won’t actually be used against Mark in the trial now that the defense team is focusing on Nigel.
• I enjoyed seeing Ellie and Alec working as a team again instead of yelling at each other. Their antagonistic banter always makes an episode more fun.

We’re now halfway through the season, so let me know what you think so far!

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