Leah is back with her thoughts on the latest episode of Broadchurch!
Title Episode 6
Two-Sentence Summary While Tom’s testimony ultimately leads to a reunion with Ellie, Mark’s testimony creates a wedge between him and Beth. In the process of putting pressure on their Sandbrook suspects, Ellie discovers a picture of Claire wearing Pippa’s pendant, and the audience is shown a flashback of Claire stealing the necklace from Tess’s car.
“This isn’t about your dad; this is about your friend Danny. Because Danny can’t speak up for himself anymore. So our job is to find out what Danny would say if he was here.” (Jocelyn)
“Your father has done enough damage, and I won’t let him destroy us too!” (Ellie)
“I never thought it would be a part of this.”
“Everything’s a part of it, Mark.” (Mark and Jocelyn)
“I’ll give you money to shut up.”
“I’ll give you more money to stop being less of a knob.” (Alec and Ellie)
“They’d have ruined your career. I got away with mine…just.” (Alec)
My Thoughts This episode was very enjoyable, even though some of it felt like setup for the final two episodes. I enjoyed seeing Ellie gaining confidence and taking charge, and seeing more of Alec with his family. I’m glad we’re finally starting to narrow in on the Sandbrook case and figure out what happened, and that Joe’s trial will reach a verdict soon so we won’t have to keep watching people being attacked on the stand.
This episode didn’t have quite as clear of a theme for me as the past couple of episodes, but I did notice a few similarities between some of the characters. Our detective duo had some familial reunions, while Mark and Beth were torn further apart. Alec had surgery to put in a pacemaker to deal with his illness, and his ex-wife Tess showed up to help look after him. I don’t know if she is there because she feels obligated to him, since she said part of the reason she showed up was because she wanted to tell him she loved him for covering for her in Sandbrook. Or maybe she still loves him in the way divorced parents can think of each other as family, and she’s there because they’ll always be family through their daughter. Either way, these two seemed to have made peace with each other, as is evident by the somewhat heavy-handed “No more broken heart” Alec told his daughter (about the surgery) while looking at Tess. It’s nice to see they’ve gotten to the point in their relationship where they can talk and still care about each other without getting angry or resentful. Hopefully this means Alec will start to live for things outside of the Sandbrook case again, and he’ll be happier and healthier.
For Mark and Beth, this episode only brought more pain. They’ve been in quiet discord for a few weeks now, but the revelation of the extent of Mark’s plan on the night Danny was killed only made it worse. Mark has done a terrible job of letting anyone know anything that they needed to know, including not telling Jocelyn about his time with Tom or his visit to Joe and not telling Beth about the letter he wrote that night. There is never really a right time to reveal to your wife that you were planning on ending your marriage, but I think it would have been kinder to tell her when they weren’t in front of a courtroom full of people. Generally, I like Mark, but he’s really screwed some things up in this season and needs to try to put things right. I hope Mark and Beth will be able to get through this and stay married, but I know the stress put on a marriage from losing a child can sometimes lead to divorce.
Ellie’s evolution thorough this second season has been painful to watch at times, but I’m happy with where she is right now. I think the way she stepped up with Tom in this episode is a good example of where she is mentally at this moment. I appreciate how she has been taking charge more often in the past few episodes, choosing the direction she and Alec are going in their continuance of the Sandbrook investigation. She seems to be getting back some of the confidence she used to have in her abilities as an investigator, and it was wonderful to see her finally step more into her parental role by giving Tom the scolding he needed to hear. I think she and Tom will need each other to get through this, and I’m so glad it looks like they’re starting to try to heal together. I hope we get to continue to follow them as they deal with the trial and verdict together.
The Sandbrook case only provided us with one piece of new information in the episode, and it wasn’t very surprising to me. When Claire did Ellie’s hair while they talked, Ellie looked through Claire’s hairdresser portfolio and discovered a picture of Claire wearing Pippa’s pendant—the pendant that was stolen from Tess’s car. Claire was the one who stole the necklace that night, and she burned that picture so Ellie can’t come back with Alec and get it. While I had suspected Claire was involved with Pippa and Lisa’s disappearance based on her conversations with Lee in earlier episodes, now we have confirmation. There have been hints that there’s something connecting the Ashworths and the Gillespies in a way we’ve yet to discover. I’m looking forward to figuring that out, because I have a feeling it will be essential to finding the truth of what happened to Pippa and Lisa.
• Poor Jocelyn received a phone call at the end of this episode that her mother had passed away. I wonder if this will affect her ability to finish off the case in some way—either making her struggle to focus or make her fiercer than ever in her arguments.
• Paul finally told Joe that he wasn’t going to visit him anymore. I’m glad Paul won’t go to see him again, but I’m still waiting to see if anything comes from the defense’s subtle threats to try to get Paul to be a character witness.
• I had thought Abby was an okay person until this episode, because apparently she thinks it’s totally fine to go snooping through another person’s papers to give herself an advantage in the trial. Is this what the purpose of sleeping with Olly was? She, Olly, and Sharon are my least favorite characters right now, because they all do their jobs in ethically questionable ways that make me uncomfortable.
• I found it interesting that, during Tom’s testimony, the show chose to use several shots of Joe and Tom looking at each other. I don’t think there was this much of a focus on Joe being in the courtroom while anyone else was testifying, not even Ellie. I assume this was to help illustrate Tom’s struggle about his testimony and because he’s been one of the only characters who was still choosing to be connected to Joe since Season Two began.