Now that we’ve reached the dizzying heights of Broadchurch, Episode 3 (I know, already!), we could be forgiven for expecting a few surprises here and there. A few plot twists and turns. And lo and behold, we were not disappointed.
Last week, we saw father of the deceased, Mark Latimer, taken down ol’ Broadchurch nick for a spot of questioning. Having seemingly lied about his whereabouts on the night his son disappeared, claiming to have been with a ‘friend’ he’d rather conveniently forgotten the name of, later remembering it to be hapless colleague Nige Carter (Joe Sims), not to mention the discovery of blood on the family boat, he was fast inching his way up to number one on the list of suspects. At least, that is, until lead investigators DI Hardy (David Tennant) and DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) uncovered the truth. Unfortunately, however, so later did wife Beth (Jodie Whittaker).
Meanwhile, Susan (Pauline Quirke) was acting progressively more suspiciously, behaving in such a hostile way towards the police that one can’t help but be surprised that she hasn’t been imprisoned for something or other already, whilst Will Mellor’s bumbling psychic, Steve, became more and more desperate to give Beth his message from Danny. Which he duly did. In other local news, Arthur Darvill’s Reverend Paul Coates crossed over into please-let-me-help-I’m-having-a-bit-of-a-professional-crisis-over-here overdrive, being the only person in the know about Beth’s baby. The two super sleuths were also as persistent as ever, although with some actual motive behind Karen’s (Vicky McClure) behaviour revealed, and editor Maggie (Carolyn Pickles) remained as hostile to all outside creative influences as ever.
So yes, plot developments. Most striking, was the discovery of Mark’s not so very subtle affair with local hotelier Becca Fisher (Simone McAullay), it being reasonably obvious from the get go that he wasn’t really responsible for the death of his son. He was also introduced as a suspect far too early to ever really be believable. We all know from our heritage of countless detective programmes and crime novels that the real killer is always the wild card that swoops in at the end – the one who was there all along but nobody ever really considered. That said, the sympathetic, totally un-shifty and sort of on the periphery and thus actually a little bit of a suspect award would currently have to go to Reverend Coates, were it to go to anyone. And in these times of general and widespread Church distrust, I can’t help but feel that, not only would it be a tad cliché if Darvill’s character turned out to be the murderer, It would also be far too reminiscent of a game of Cluedo come to life for my liking.
Episode 3 also saw a little bit of character development between the two police detectives, Hardy and Miller, with Ellie inviting Tennant’s Hardy round for dinner, because that is ‘what people around here do’. Clearly unhappy about the fact, she wouldn’t take no for an answer, leaving us looking forward to a welcome bit of light relief in the form of a cosy family meal gate-crashed by the matriarch’s grumpy and not terribly popular boss. And in a TV series about the murder of a childhood, family breakdown and town suspicion- goodness knows we could do with it. Meanwhile Beth developed a feistiness towards her husband, admittedly born from mistrust, that it seems we may see more of in later episodes.
Sp things are moving along nicely down in Broadchurch. Much in the same way as you’d expect from almost any detective series, but nicely nonetheless.
Broadchurch is next on tomorrow night, 9pm, ITV1.