Saturday, February 7, 2015

Broadchurch - Season 2, Episode 5 - Review

My review of last week's episode

Oh, all right. This episode has drawn me back to Broadchurch. It still has some of the same problems, but is blessedly free of some of the silliness of the second and third episodes. There's lots of the same: tense confrontations, unnecessary subplots, angry/distraught/happy/thoughtful people contrasted against a lovely sky, but it's a decent enough episode.

Ellie and Alec are beginning to act like a couple, visiting the circus together with baby Fred. Surprisingly, it is now Ellie that is calling the shots (I noted that after this transition, Alec's pushing the baby buggy). She's beginning to become an excellent detective, pushing Ricky Gillespie with tough questions, and staying up late at night assembling a case map. Alec, remembering, no doubt, the scars Sandbrook left on him, seems rather disturbed by Ellie's sudden efficiency, and in an unprecedented change of heart, urges her to leave the case.

While she's busy actually, y'know, getting stuff done, Alec is doing another I'm About To Die - Whoops, No I'm Not! scene. At some point, the man has to suffer some ill effects from being terminally ill. Instead, he's off gallivanting about the countryside, staring moodily out to sea while thinking about his new haunted past (re: Pippa Gillespie), having a heart to heart with Jocelyn Knight, and rescuing Lee Ashworth from the wrath of Ricky Gillespie. Lee was formerly the most physically aggressive character in the season (he's also omnipresent - standing menacingly in places), but he's now turned into a damsel in distress by a paunchy middle-aged guy.

Lovely cinematography continues - I especially appreciated a shot of a yellow ball in the rain. That shot nicely recollects the subtlety of last season, bringing us into Beth's mind without saying a word. The subplot with the reformed sex offenders feels a little half-baked (would Paul really ask her to meet them?), but it is intriguing. I'm curious to see where they go with it.

Meanwhile, in court, Pauline Quirke's Susan Wright has turned out to be a terrible witness. Coupled with an assault on her son in prison, this angers Sharon enough that she finally has a show-down with Jocelyn Knight, and they say catty, personal things and we find that Jocelyn refused to defend Sharon's son. Again, I careth not, but Charlotte Rampling plays the character with such strength that I can't help but enjoy her scenes.

The episode ends on a high note as it is implied that Lisa Newberry is not, in fact, at large, but late. Ellie's new purpose and Beth's struggle with forgiveness herald interesting drama in the future. Maybe the next three episodes will salvage Broadchurch's beleaguered reputation.

My review of next week's episode

Hannah Long


  1. rescuing Lee Ashworth from the wrath of Ricky Gillespie...

    It was so implausible--a weakened detective who thinks he has at least one foot in the grave, rescuing the circus strongman from a flabby hothead, with time to ring up the detective beforehand and give him time to arrive to the rescue in a taxi--that I assume it was staged for Alec Hardy's benefit. Especially since we just learned that Ricky was Lee's go-to Roofie supplier and all-around pal. Didn't we see Lee put Alec Hardy on the ground with two fingers when he was rescuing Claire? Why, yes we did! You think Hardy would at least put in a call for the boys at the station house for some backup. Oh well . . .

    1. Hardy doesn't do backup.

      But that conspiracy theory makes more sense than anything I came up with. If James D'Arcy had suddenly broken into his Agent Carter character, that might have made sense, but otherwise...


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