The trial of Joe Miller has been at the forefront of this season, along with the Sandbrook investigation but in episode five we step away from the court room scenes slightly. At the end of last weeks episode Susan Wright took to the stand and testified that she had seen her estranged son, Nige Carter, disposing of Danny Latimer’s body on the beach which left us at a cliffhanger. How on earth is Jocelyn going to fight this one? Quite easily actually as Susan hasn’t been a pillar of the community, with the compulsive lying (which we see a lot of throughout this episode) and the fact that she is just a downright nasty person which the courtroom is informed of through her earlier interaction with Maggie in which she tells her “I know men who would rape you”. The “oh my god” moment at the end of the last episode was resolved within a few minutes as Jocelyn makes her look like an inept witness, one that should not be trusted.
Jocelyn and the townspeople seem to have sussed Sharon’s game plan at this point, she is attempting to make it look like Mark Latimer killed his son and that Nige disposed of the body. A far cry from the softer side of Sharon we saw last week, telling her junior that the people have been through enough, although I had an inkling it was going this way I thought she may grow a heart but I guess I was wrong. Mark volunteers to take to the stand, but we’ve seen him be incredibly hot headed and not all of his movements were accounted for on the night Danny was killed so how will he handle being questioned by the Rottweiler in court? I see him either completely falling apart as a grieving father, something that he has pushed aside to embrace the happiness of being a new father to baby Lizzie, or he’ll completely lose it and won’t endear himself to the jury at all. Another development on the trial front is Tom Miller coming forward to give evidence on behalf of his father, which I am assuming will be a false alibi which is what had the defence almost jumping for joy.
We get to see more of Sharon’s son this episode as well as he has been beaten in prison and she is unable to contain her anger any longer when Jocelyn greets her before court. Her rage has been building up for five episodes and she finally let’s rip, blaming Jocelyn for her son’s predicament as she wouldn’t defend him and Jocelyn’s reasoning being that she didn’t like her and wouldn’t take the blame if he was found guilty. Well Jocelyn got the blame anyway so I believe it was more to it than that, there must be something about the case that we are still yet to find out. Although these events are seemingly unrelated to Joe’s case they will push Sharon to be even more ruthless in court, not only to get her client off but to win against Jocelyn and I hope it’ll be a doozy to watch. That along with Mark and Tom coming forward the court room scenes are bound to get a lot more interesting in the upcoming episodes.
One of the major themes throughout season one was the sense of community in Broadchurch, how people come together in times of trouble and are able to rely on one another. We have seen glimpses of that this season but it has been pushed aside in aid of the two main story lines of the season up until now. This episode we see Beth making an attempt to move forward with her life by starting a charity in honour of Danny with the help of Maggie and Reverend Paul Coates, unfortunately for her the charity will help reform sex offenders. Even though though Maggie and Paul were there to help her through the first meeting she is unable to do so as she kept picturing Danny, but in Broadchurch fashion I think she’ll be back next week and succeed with help from her friends. We see the sense of community through the Jocelyn as well who was only introduced this season through her open door policy. Sure, she made a remark about locking it when Hardy turned up on her doorstep but didn’t turn him away, instead helping with his will. These are only a couple of examples from this episode, we get to see a hell of a lot more and it was refreshing to see the townspeople actually interact rather than sitting together in a court room. When watching these scenes it felt like season one again which is always a positive.
We may have stepped back from courtroom scenes this week but we were full steam ahead with the Sandbrook investigation. After Tom’s rejection of Ellie and her insomnia she distracts herself by pressing on with the investigation, reviewing Hardy’s old case files as well as the evidence that Lee believes he has collected. Hardy was urging her not to get sucked into the investigation as no good could come from it which felt a little out of character as he has been insisting that she help him for the past four episodes. As part of their new unofficial investigation they talk to Claire again and ask for her account of the night the girls were taken as she had told Hardy two different versions and Ellie a third one. As of right now she is sticking to her story about being drugged by Lee and waking up to find him cleaning, but she insists that he didn’t kill the girls. I’m sure her belief of his innocence has nothing to do with the two reconnecting in last weeks episode. She also proves she’s a liar once again by saying she doesn’t recognise Ricky Gillespies number, the Ricky Gillespie who Claire was having an affair with and happens to be the father of Pippa Gillespie (the murder victim), a number that she dialled herself on her phone. So Claire continues to be shady.
Last week Kate Gillespie said that her husband was sleeping with a bridesmaid the night that Pippa and Lisa were taken, but Hardy and Ellie confirm with the bridesmaid that that didn’t occur so Ricky’s whereabouts for the night are unknown. For some reason Ricky shows up at Hardy’s home unexpectedly and actually decides to speak to him and Ellie, most likely because he realised that his actions last week were suspicious. He informs them that he was with Kate at a wedding all night, information that the audience and the dynamic duo already know is false. He also insists that he wasn’t attracted to Lisa, his niece but I think his face says otherwise. So Ricky continues to be shady. During Ricky’s trip to Broadchurch he decides to beat Lee Ashworth to a pulp and following that Hardy thinks it is a good time to question him again, more amicably than he has done in the past. Hardy asks whether or not Lee and Claire used Rohypnol and he admits they did once, and that they’d gotten the drugs from Ricky. Hardy then asks if he had ever slept with Kate which Lee denies but a flashback tells us otherwise. The interaction between the two contained flashbacks of Lee and Ricky watching the girls as they were playing in a wooded area which sent a chill down my spine, especially when seeing the look on Lisa’s face which shows that all is not right. Lee continues to look shady.
In the first episode the only suspect was Lee but now it could literally be anyone, even Kate which Hardy points out. It’s a little confusing, were the two couples drugging swingers? Did Pippa and Lisa find out about their seedy proclivities and then they decided to silence them? Well, Ellie comes up with another theory this episode which I found quite interesting, perhaps it was none of them? Maybe Lisa accidentally killed Pippa and ran away which is why her body was never found. This theory is nipped in the bud quite swiftly as a clue Ellie finds in the evidence leads to the Thorps Agriservices warehouse which is covered in blood and contains a large furnace with a pile of ash in it. Ellie and Hardy put two and two together and guess that the ash is the missing Lisa. So it must have been one of the swingers. Or all of them.
I was quite disappointed with last weeks episode but this week the show seems to be getting back to it’s roots. We have to community actually interacting once again and the Sandbrook story line is really amping up and feels more like the investigation around Danny’s murder last year due to the number of suspects and the feeling that we can’t trust any one of them. Even Joe’s trial seems to be kicking it up a notch with the introduction of Mark and Tom’s testimonies. Also with Hardy’s deteriorating health which we see a lot of in this episode time is of the essence now, he has to wrap these cases up quickly. I’m still a little annoyed that the last few episodes felt like filler but after episode five Broadchurch certainly has my attention once again, I just hope it can hold onto it.