WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
The penultimate episode of Broadchurch series 2 is upon us and while it isn’t as strong as its predecessor in series 1, this one is still pretty good.
“It never ends well, does it?” asks Claire (Eve Myles) during a flashback which reveals that she almost certainly slept with Alec Hardy (David Tennant). This was a very powerful opening line which could very well be foreshadowing the finale, which airs next week.
It seems that the pieces are finally falling into place in the Sandbrook case. Evidence is being turned over, conclusions are being drawn and more importantly, characters are being “Reborn”. That’s what Alec Hardy says to Lee Ashworth (James D’Arcy) in a really well done confrontation scene. It is great to see Hardy show off his new emotions to Lee, who Hardy is now certain is the mastermind behind the case.
The Latimers share some very good scenes together, which shows that their family is on the verge of breaking apart forever. Even Beth (Jodie Whittaker) confides in Ellie Miller (Olivia Coleman) stating that she is considering leaving Mark (Andrew Buchan).
What’s also strong about this episode is that some very minor characters get a chance to shine. A particular favourite moment was when a member of the prosecutor Jocelyn Knight (Charlotte Rampling) speaks up against a member of Joe Miller’s (Matthew Gravelle) defense team, Abby, by saying that she’s a “horrible person”. That’s all that needs to be said about her character.
The trial scene this week for the most part seemed like unnecessary filler, but it did manage to deliver some tense scenes and some amazing single camera panning shots, that manage to pan past every character from the show. It’s also really nice to see all the original cast reunite again in the courtroom.
However, Sharon Bishop’s (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) villainous performance is very annoying to watch, solely because, it’s too unrealistic. The acting is fine, it’s just that the character does nothing but moan at poor Ellie and she never gives her the chance to defend herself. With that said however, it is nice to see the defense for Joe finally come to an end.
The episode features some great banter between Ellie and Hardy like always. But one thing it hasn’t featured is some of the new characters. For example, Ricky (Shaun Dooley) has been a real missed opportunity. He’s barely had five minutes of screentime this entire series. He started off as a creepy new suspect, but the character never had a chance to shine. Also, Susan Wright’s (Pauline Quirke) comeback feels wasted now. It was great to see her return at first, but like Ricky, she has not had enough time on screen.
The episode’s saving grace is it’s ability to deliver some very tense courtroom and interaction scenes. Lee and Claire share a very tense scene together that is quite hard to watch. Here we see their relationship sink to new lows. But this scene also leads to a nice interaction between Claire and Paul Coates (Arthur Darvill), in which Paul convinces Claire to face her demons.
Speaking of nice interactions, there was a very sweet scene shared between Jocelyn and Maggie (Carolyn Pickles). It was very warm and powerfully acted. It would have been nice to see more scenes like this, in this series.
The ending of the episode was both predictible and tense at the same time. Even though the dialogue that came out of the judge’s mouth was very silly, the final courtroom scene was very exciting, right up until that cut to black.
Overall, this second series has been a mixed bag. But there is still one more episode to go. One more chance for Broadchurch to shine. Here’s hoping next week provides us with a satisfying conclusion.