The finale of the second series of Broadchurch has finally arrived. After eight weeks, everything comes to an end. While the series 1 finale of Broadchurch was tense, emotional and just all around brilliant, sadly, this finale is not.
The episode starts immediately where episode 7 left off. Joe Miller’s (Matthew Gravelle) verdict has been reached and in a shocking twist (and a rather bad night for the British justice system) Miller is declared NOT GUILTY! The man who murdered an 11 year old boy and dumped his body on a beach has been cleared of all charges. Straight after, Alec Hardy (David Tennant) arrests Claire (Eve Myles) as a suspect in the Sandbrook case, which Hardy vows to close today.
This is all powerful stuff, and the episode starts off so promising, but it also makes series 1 feel kind of pointless. Whenever anyone watches the previous series back, they’ll watch knowing that Joe Miller will be cleared and declared innocent even after he confesses to his crime.
The major problem here is simple: it focuses way too much on the solving the Sandbrook case and not enough on the Joe Miller case. The Sandbrook section could have easily taken 15 minutes of screentime to solve everything. But instead, it drags and drags.
We start off in the old Broadchurch police station, which at first is great. The series felt like it was home again and it felt quite nostalgic to see Hardy and Ellie Miller (Oliva Coleman) interview suspects Lee (James D’Arcy) and Ricky (Shaun Dooley) in the same room where they interogated the suspects of the Latimer case.
While this is going on, we see the town of Broadchurch all team up to deliver their own justice against Joe Miller, which is incredibly tense and exciting. But as perviously mentioned, the finale spends far too much time on the Sandbrook closure. Though the case is finally cracked and solved, the resolution and reveal of the true mastermind behind the murders is incredibly underwhelming. It is revealed that Lee, Claire and Ricky were involved in the murders.
The arrests of all the suspects also didn’t feel nearly as satisfying as they should have done, mainly because the case didn’t hold a candle on the original Latimer case and it was never strong enough to work as a story for an emotionally gripping finale.
Although the Sandbrook case came to an underwhelming end, it was nice to see Hardy finally have his closure on the case. The finale also included beautiful cinematography and standout acting, but that’s to be expected from Broadchurch now.
The finale would also have worked better if it spent more time on the townsfolk reactions to Miller being cleared and their plans to deliver true justice. But it didn’t. Instead it felt very rushed and poorly edited at times.
Half of the original characters from series 1 don’t appear in this episode (where was Susan Wright (Pauline Quirke)?) and most of the supporting cast don’t even get a line of dialogue.
The first 15 minutes were fantastic as it was both great and shocking to see Mark Latimer (Andrew Buchan) kidnap Joe Miller and take him to the hut where he killed Danny Latimer.
The only saving grace here was the section of the town dealing with Miller in their own way. While rushed, the ending of the Joe Miller story was still well done. Watching Beth (Jodie Whittaker) lay into Joe and talk about true justice was wonderful to watch and extremely powerful. We get a good feeling that both the Latimers and the Millers are now ready to move on with their lives. This whole scene makes the finale watchable.
Sadly, Joe Miller being “Banished” from the town didn’t feel like the best comeuppance the character could have got. Though the shot where he has to walk past all the townsfolk, who all know he’s guilty, was very well done.
Speaking of comeuppances, it wasn’t great watching Jocelyn Knight (Charlotte Rampling) end her story arc by asking to work with Sharon Bishop (Marianne Jean-Baptiste). It just didn’t feel right for the character as she also seems to have forgotten all about her feelings to Maggie (Carolyn Pickles) from the previous week.
Concluding with Hardy about to leave the small town and wondering where to go next was a good closing shot as for the first time ever, he is free. However, it also hinted towards a possible third series. And what a surprise, it has now been confirmed that there will be a third series of Broadchurch. Likely to either air in 2016 or very early 2017, let’s just hope that the next series focuses more on drama and not another murder mystery.
Overall, series 2 of Broadchurch has been a very mixed bag. It started off so well, but lost its edge as it went along. Still, it provided enough engaging elements to make it a watchable and enjoyable season of television.
What was your opinion on series 2 of Broadchurch? Let us know in the comments below.