It’s time for this week’s Broadchurch review, courtesy of the lovely Leah!
Title Episode 7
Two-Sentence Summary Alec seems more like his old self once again and sets into motion a plan to catch the Sandbrook culprits, creating conflict for Claire, Lee, and Ricky. Both sides make their closing arguments in court, and the jury goes into deliberations, returning with a majority verdict that we’ll have to wait until next week to see.
Favorite Lines “Stop thinking of life as something that happens to you. What we do now, that’s who we are.” (Beth)
“I stopped and turned around and faced the demons I’d been avoiding. There was no other way to go, so I fought back. When I’m weak…then, I am strong.” (Paul)
“I look at you and I see someone stained by death. I think it haunts you every single day.” (Alec)
My Thoughts We’ve finally reached the penultimate episode of this season, and we’re so close to answering so many of the questions we had at the beginning of the season. Joe’s trial is almost over, and Alec and Ellie are very close to unraveling the thread of all that happened the night Pippa and Lisa disappeared. This episode felt a little bit jumbled because of the amount of times we jumped between different characters, but overall I thought it was an enjoyable one, as we were given many scenes showing how the characters were doing as we moved closer to the verdict.
The trial finished with its witnesses in this episode, as Ellie was attacked on the stand one final time—this time about lending her sister money. The trend of “no one ever tells Jocelyn what she needs to know to do her job properly” continued, since Ellie had not told her about the loan. I spent most of the time while Ellie was on the stand wishing for it to be done with because we’ve seen her attacked a million times already, and nothing different was going to come from this line of questioning. That’s probably why this felt a little out of place in the episode for me; the jury were already going to consider the possibility of the police being corrupt in this instance, and other than setting an ominous tone for the ending of the trial, it felt a bit weird to end with an imbalance in witnesses of sorts, especially since we didn’t even see Jocelyn get to try to ask Ellie questions that would counter some of the damage done.
Finally, though, we came to the last major part of the trial, and Sharon and Jocelyn each presented their closing arguments to the jury. In my opinion, both lawyers presented a compelling argument, though Sharon’s was focused more on speculation and theory, and Jocelyn’s pointed out key evidence. I am assuming that we will receive a guilty verdict at the beginning of the next episode, but I know that if I was part of this jury it would be a difficult case to decide on. The show has done a good job of taking moments from Season One that could look suspicious if viewed through a different lens and using them to fuel the defense’s case, which means that, while I am assuming we will likely get a guilty verdict, I cannot feel certain. Broadchurch is the type of show that could potentially have enough daring to try to pull off a not guilty verdict and perhaps even succeed, though that doesn’t hold much appeal for me.
While the trial came to a turning point in this episode, so it seems has the Sandbrook case. Alec and Ellie, with some help from Tess, seem to finally have narrowed down their suspects and collected the information they needed, and they are ready to make a final hard push. Whereas Ellie has been taking charge in the past few episodes, Alec was the one with the big plan here. I feel like Alec knows something I don’t at this point, but whatever he knows appears to be helping him make a plan that is working. He created conflict between Lee and Claire when he told Lee about Claire’s pregnancy, which led to a confrontation between the couple that eventually resulted in them breaking up and Claire running to the courthouse to give Alec the pendant. Claire is the one I’m most worried about in terms of being able to evade Alec’s plan, because I think she may have a good plan of her own, as giving him the pendant was an active choice on her part. However, I think Alec breaking up Claire and Lee may just end up being the wedge he needs to get one of them to turn on the other.
At the moment, the only potential parallel I can see between the Broadchurch and Sandbrook cases are that there’s a possibility they are mirrors: In Broadchurch, Ellie knew nothing of what Joe was doing and Mark had no idea either, but in Sandbrook, it appears that Claire and Lee were in this mess together and Ricky is involved somehow as well. I feel like at this point last season I knew who the killer was going to be, but this season, the Sandbrook case has had so many different directions that other than guessing that all three of the main suspects were involved I cannot feel sure about anything. I’m just glad that we won’t have to wait long for answers!
• Jocelyn and Maggie! I knew there was some sort of connection between them, but I hadn’t realized it was a romantic one, probably because to me they appear to be a bit far apart in age. Their kiss was sweet though, and it’s nice to see a bit of diversity on the show for a town that (as far as we’ve seen) is mostly white and straight.
• I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Ben telling Abby she was a terrible person, which is something I’ve wanted to say for a while. Thanks, Ben!
• After seeing Beth clarify some things about their argument to Mark, I’m hopeful that these two will be able to fix things and stay together. I also think the verdict next week will have an impact on that, because if it’s a “not guilty” it will likely lead to more fights as blame is passed around.
• Tess texted Alec near the end of the episode to tell him to get down to what I presume is the Sandbrook area courthouse. I wonder if she’s found a new lead, or if she’s gotten permission to reopen the Sandbrook case?
• I was glad to see that Tom and Ellie appear to be doing okay now after so many episodes of separation and conflict, and the quick shot of them holding hands while climbing the stairs toward the courtroom was nice.
Now’s the time, if you have managed to remain unspoiled, to state your predictions! What do you think is going to happen in the finale? Will Joe be found guilty? Will Alec and Ellie be able to finally uncover exactly who killed Pippa and Lisa? Will the show leave us on a cliffhanger because they know they’re getting a third season? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!