Episode 3 picks up immediately after the events of last week, when Alec’s bugged meeting between Claire and Lee Ashworth predictably goes awry. Alec has decided to do what the rest of Broadchurch is doing and blame Ellie for letting them get away, even though Ellie was preoccupied by Beth Latimer accusing her of helping Joe wriggle out of his impending prison sentence and then going into labour. Ellie does what I would’ve done many episodes ago and completely snaps, informing Alec that they ran because they had discovered Alec’s cameras and that she is fed up of taking the brunt of everyones anger. I have to give Ellie credit for holding it together for so long, she has suffered just about as much as everyone else in the town. If you had discovered that your husband had murdered your friends child which led to you feeling completely betrayed by the person you love, as well as being penalised by employers and the community would you have made it this far without breaking down? Ellie has attempted to take everything in her stride as she can which is admiring but I think that her showing her true emotions in this episode was brilliant, it’s letting the other characters in on what she is going through.
Now, back to the events of the episode. Alec’s freak out seems misplaced when he discovers that Claire has taken Lee back to the safe house, the safe house that suspected murderer Lee knew nothing about. Smart move on Claire. Lee left when Alec arrived and him and Claire seemed to part on good terms with a kiss, so that confirms my thoughts on their escape last week, she must have left willingly. Claire does an Ellie and stands up to Alec when confronted by his frustration, but in this case Alec has a reason to scream, like Ellie says later in the episode Claire insists on protection yet invites Lee back into her life and the safe house. With her actions Claire really does seem like a love struck imbecile, how on earth did she pluck up the courage to testify against Lee in the first place? How an earth did she maneuver her way around life in general?
Speaking of Lee, through this episode I surmised that I was both wrong and right about him in my earlier posts, I thought one of the reasons that he was in Broadchurch was to mess with Alec but I was wrong. He reported him to the police for attacking him but pressed no charges, accepting an apology instead. Initially I thought it was to mock Alec but as the episode progressed I believed that it was to put them both on a level playing field. Lee was demonstrating to Alec that he isn’t better than him, Alec can throw around all the accusations he likes but they are equals. So that was what I was wrong about, let’s get to what I was right about. Lee is innocent. I know we are only three episodes in but I’m calling it now, I had a hunch last week but that has been confirmed. Why else would he visit Alec with the evidence on the case that he has collected himself? He wasn’t found guilty so if he had done it would have been easy to leave and rebuild his life elsewhere, he wouldn’t still be trying to prove his innocence to a man who was no longer in charge. If Lee is indeed the murderer then I will eat my hat, but the super duo of Ellie and Alec agree with me! Towards the end of the episode they cast doubt on Lee’s guilt when discussing inconsistencies with Claire’s account of the night the girls disappeared and realise that she isn’t a witness, she is actually a suspect. I don’t want to say I’m psychic but I called that last week.
In the Broadchurch side of Broadchurch we have Beth Latimer going into labour with only Ellie to help her. I was afraid that something was going to happen to the new Latimer baby or Beth but thankfully that didn’t occur, delivered to the Latimer’s was a healthy baby girl named Lizzie. It proved one of the more tender moments in the whole series, with the Latimer’s seeming truly happy for once and cradling the child, promising her and themselves that they’d do better this time. The happiness was short lived though as the court case pressed on with all Latimer’s insisting on attending. The courtroom scenes seem to get more agonising by the week, Sharon Bishop truly is a Rottweiler, last week we saw her tear down a pregnant Beth’s story and now it’s the turn of Ellie. Because everyone loves to dump on Ellie. Bishop insinuates that Ellie and Alec were having an affair and decided to frame Joe for the murder to get him out of the way. At this point I wanted to scream at the television, sure the twosome may have their online ‘shippers’ but in the world of Broadchurch it is completely untrue. We, the audience, know it but unfortunately the jury don’t, although the piece of information isn’t confirmed it may skew their view on the case. This mirrors the Sandbrook storyline we have this season, the more the audience learn of Claire and Lee the more we change our minds about them. In the first episode it looked certain that Lee had murdered those girls and avoided justice being served with Claire being somewhat innocent but now my opinions on them have completely reversed. What’s to say that that doesn’t happen to the jury? They may have started off believing Joe’s guilt but the more they learn from Bishop they may change their minds, so there is actually a possibility that Joe may get off.
This week also gives us more information on our two lawyers, Sharon Bishop and Jocelyn Knight. For the past couple of episodes Bishop has been determined to win the case but always seems to get distracted, usually via phone and for extended periods of time. We learn that it is her son that she is speaking to, her son who happens to be in prison. This makes her more three dimensional that the glory hunter I figured she was when first introduced, perhaps because she’s seen her son imprisoned she doesn’t particularly want to see anyone in that position? Maybe she actually believes in Joe’s innocence? Maybe she just wants to stick two fingers up at the justice system? I’m thinking the latter rather than the other two. Is her sons case is the one that Jocelyn wouldn’t help her on? That would explain the friction between the two and another reason why she would want to win the case no matter the cost. We see more of Jocelyn’s back story this week as well in the form of her ailing mother who she can’t afford to care for and her own deteriorating eyesight which is presumably the reason she stopped practicing in the first place. This doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence about the court case, for now everything seems to be turning in Joe’s favour but I certainly hope that we see justice being served by the end of season 2.
All in all I think episode 3 was a vast improvement from last week, the Sandbrook investigation is becoming quite compelling in it’s own right and not as contrived as episode two. The courtroom drama is also bringing in a lot of twists and turns so I expect there’s a lot to come from it in the upcoming weeks. We’re also beginning to see connections between the Sandbrook case and the Broadchurch court case which I wasn’t expecting but it is masterfully done. Bring on next week!