Broadchurch Season 2, Episode 1 Review


The past couple of months I’ve been doing recaps on The Missing which was hailed as 2014s answer to Broadchurch, but now it’s 2015 and Broadchurch is back and attempting to reclaim its spot as the top British drama. Broadchurch took Britain by storm in 2013 and followed the investigation of the murder of 11 year old Danny Latimer and it wasn’t just your everyday procedural, the show explored the characters of the town who were linked to the investigation and the audience were given tales of heartache, suspicion and betrayal. It was beautiful. If you hadn’t noticed I love myself a bit of doom and gloom. Broadchurch truly was the best drama of 2013 and it had an initial compelling storyline but it went far beyond what anyone could have expected. The show had a clear beginning, middle and ending and unlike The Missing it didn’t seem contrived. When season two was announced I was overjoyed at first but then the worry set in, the first season was perfection so could the show live up to the sky high standard it had set for itself? Or would season two be a cheap knock off of the first and tarnish its own reputation?

Season one cast a shadow of suspicion upon most of the characters and it was up to the detectives Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) to follow the clues and try and solve Danny’s murder. In the last episode of the first season we discover that the culprit was Joe Miller (Matthew Gravelle), Ellies husband, who had grown close to Danny but when Danny resisted his affection Joe was unable to control his rage. The discovery was shocking for the residents of Broadchurch as well as the residents of Great Britain who had been glued to their televisions for two months. Season two picks up several months after the closing of the first, when Joe Miller is entering his plea and the people of Broadchurch who’s lives have been greatly affected arrive in court to see justice being handed down. Broadchurch doesn’t skimp on the shock factor and gave us (and the characters) a swift punch in the gut when Joe says he is pleading not guilty. In 2013 we watched as the lives of the Latimers and their loved ones were turned upside down after the loss of Danny and now they are making an attempt to rebuild and the sentencing of Joe would have closed the chapter on that ugly part of their lives.


It is clear that Joe murdered Danny, as it is stated in the episode that he didn’t resist arrest and he confessed so it’ll be intriguing to see how he tries to get out of this mess with the help of Sharon Bishop (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), his new lawyer who isn’t afraid to play dirty as she has already managed to exhume Danny’s body. One of the reasons that Broadchurch was such a success two years ago (it feels really weird saying two years ago) was because of the community and seeing how it affected them. Not just the Latimer family who were superb as the bereaved family the whole of the first season as well as this episode but others in the town who were friends and suspects. The tragedy almost ruined their lives and it was brilliant to watch, they were a major reason for the audience to come back week after week so it’s nice to see that season two is managing to keep them as major players within the show rather than shifting completely to a new case. It will at times be agonising to see what the characters are going through (it already is) but if the new mystery falls flat then at least we have their story to come back to. On the side of the Latimers is retired prosecutor Jocelyn Knight played by the marvelous Charlotte Rampling, and although she was hesitant at first she decides to take the case and I sense that we have another brilliant character in the making.

Although we’ll be seeing the after affects of Danny’s murder investigation and Joe’s plea the show is still a murder mystery so this year Alec will be tackling the case he was working on before Danny’s. Two sisters went missing in Sandbrook, a twelve year old and a nineteen year old and the former was found dead just a few days afterwards. The prime suspect was Lee Ashworth (James D’arcy) who lied about his alibi and although this was revealed he still managed to be found innocent. Claire Ripley (Eve Myles), Lee’s wife, provided him with the false alibi but came clean, but as he was found innocent there was no witness protection available her so Alec puts her into hiding unofficially. Lee has returned to taunt his wife and perhaps Alec as well and although he hasn’t actually said a word in the show I’m excited to see what is to come from him. It feels a little off that Alec is investigating the case from Broadchurch but I can overlook that because it means that he and Ellie are back in action. The two didn’t have the best of starts and there was a lot of animosity between the two in the first season but it’s wonderfully to see how their relationship has grown and even though they make attempts to hide it they do care deeply for one another. If they had moved Alec to a new location with a new mystery to solve season two would have failed not only because of the loss of the town but the loss of the relationship that they’ve forged.


The first episode was depressing as hell to watch but at no point did I feel like I was wasting my time. It’ll be hard for it to live up to the first season but the essence has been kept on as well as introducing another mystery to solve and that is enough to keep me coming back for more each Monday. Sure, I got excited a tad too prematurely with The Missing but Broadchurch’s first season was absolutely brilliant and by the looks of it the second will be as well.

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