Broadchurch Series 2 Episode 2 Recap and Discussion

My recap of Broadchurch Series 2 Episode 1 is here. SPOILERS follow for Episode 2.

This time round I’m trying a different approach. I’m doing a recap of each plot strand, instead of jumping around scene by (micro) scene.


Lee Ashworth breaks into Alec Hardy’s home and makes off with some paperwork that gives him plenty of detail regarding Hardy’s ill-health, which he uses to add a note of menace to their first confrontation. Hardy (David Tennant) uses Claire as bait, but loses her when Ashworth pulls a disappearing trick – did Claire go with him willingly, or was she kidnapped?

James D'Arcy as Lee Ashworth
James D'Arcy as Lee Ashworth

Ellie Miller

Ellie (Olivia Colman) gets put through the wringer again, when her visceral attack on Joe at the end of Series 1 turns out to be a defining moment of Series 2: evidence of “police brutality” results in Joe’s confession being rendered void. Beth Latimer sees this as yet more evidence that Ellie is to blame for Beth’s pain, and provides a dramatic distraction by picking a fight with Ellie (and having her waters break) right at the moment Lee Ashworth is reunited with Claire.

Ellie had some lovely bonding moments with Claire before the latter’s exit-stage-left, and we get a glimpse of the guts and determination she has to claw her way up from this incredible heartbreaking misery. I hope she gets to come up for air. Though her desperation in chatting up SOCO Brian (a.k.a. “Dirrty Brrian”) – no words.

Oh. Ellie. No.
Oh. Ellie. No.

On the other hand, there’s Hardy...

Not shipping. No.
Not shipping. No.

Bishop vs. Knight

So far we have two moves by (the Queen’s) Bishop: the exhumation of Daniel Latimer (no new information) and the move to strike Joe Miller’s confession from the proceedings. Those are very direct moves aiming (diagonally) for the jugular. I really hope we will see knight-like moves from Jocelyn Knight – more subtle, two steps forward and one, unexpectedly, to the side. That would be fun to watch unfold. Too hard? Let’s wait and see. She did, after all, anticipate the confession falling apart, and she warned Hardy and Miller that it might happen.

I wonder if there’s something wrong with Jocelyn’s eyes, though. First the audiobook, now asking Maggie to read to her...

Another former Doctor Who actor Meera Syal is a new addition to the cast as Judge Sonia Sharma. Her clumsy but cheerful appearance in full cycling gear, and her comments to Sharon and Jocelyn about running the trial with “courtesy, dignity and respect” remind me a little again of early Ellie – her bright and breezy return from holiday with gifts for everyone.

Meera Syal as Judge Sonia Sharma
Meera Syal as Judge Sonia Sharma

Meanwhile Sharon Bishop and assistant Abby are like a pair of school girls intimidated by the popular girl Becca Fisher. Hilarious. I hope something comes of those paper-thin walls. Someone should mention it near the prosecution team. Just sayin’. 😉



New T.V. Shows (like first books in a potential series) have a tricky balancing act to perform. They have to wrap up the first season satisfactorily in case the show is not renewed. But they also have to have something brilliant to move into if it’s a hit. It only seemed that Broadchurch had no where to go at the end of Season 1. Surely that was the end? Joe confessed. Case closed. This is unspeakably brilliant plotting that a very natural scene (Ellie losing it), not made much of last Season but there nonetheless, has now been used as a knife to cut those threads that were so neatly tied up.

It’s also now clear that the murderer could only ever have been Joe Miller, despite the tactic of keeping that information from everyone, including the actors involved. And the overarching theme begins to present itself: betrayal by those closest, and how lives are destroyed through no fault of their own.

So we have these two stories in parallel—Lee Ashworth who walked free, and Joe Miller who stands a fair chance of being acquitted without his confession to damn him. Is Alec Hardy the worst cop in Britain? Or did he get it right, and can he yet make it right?

(Okay. That’s better – that was only a third of the length of my review of Episode 1. And it didn’t take two weeks to write up 😉 )

Next: Episode 3