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'Broadchurch' recap: Episode 2

Ellie’s actions from last season are reconsidered.

Posted on

Patrick Redmond/BBC America


TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
David Tennant, Olivia Colman
BBC America

“Lies get exposed in court,” Jocelyn Knight tells members of the Latimer family and their friends in anticipation of Joe Miller’s trial. “You’re fine there; none of us have got anything left to hide,” Beth tells her. Is she so sure about that?

Joe Miller’s trial has the audience reinterpreting how we viewed season 1. While at the end of last season Ellie’s attack on Joe at the station seemed like a justifiable outburst—after all she had just learned her husband was a murderer and had been lying to her—it now seems like a reckless move that may sabotage any chance of justice for Danny.

The news that Ellie’s (and Hardy’s) actions could be detrimental to the case comes when Ellie and Hardy are summoned by Jocelyn, who shows Ellie and Hardy a picture of Joe’s substantial wounds. She explains that the defense could use this as an example of “police brutality,” implying that the beating provoked the confession (which it didn’t). “You have jeopardized my best chance of success before we even got going,” she tells Ellie. (Last season, before Hardy let Ellie see him, he foretold this, warning her about touching him.)

Previous to this reveal, it didn’t seem like the defense had much of a case. Danny’s new autopsy didn’t even turn up anything. Even after we learn that this could be in their back pocket, Sharon is nonchalant about whether she’s going to try to discredit the confession, but as soon as it starts she goes straight for everyone’s weaknesses. When Beth is on the stand, even though Sharon frames herself as a sympathetic mum herself, she asks about Beth and Mark’s marriage and whether anyone ever had an affair. Beth reveals Mark’s affair. Sharon asks whether Beth or Mark ever hit Danny. Beth resists answering, wondering why she feels like she is on trial, but finally gives in. “Once, it was only once,” she cries.

And then Hardy is questioned. Sharon argues that he “coerced” Joe, that Joe was going to report Danny’s phone, but Hardy made a “false conclusion,” reeling after being called “Britain’s Worst Cop.” Then, Sharon draws out the truth about Ellie’s attack against Joe—that Hardy let Ellie see Joe “against allowed procedure.” Though Hardy insists that the incident was his “error,” and that confession came before the beating—which footage proves—Sharon asks “why should we believe you?” According to Sharon, they “cannot discount the possibility that the injuries were sustained before his arrival at the police station.” The judge agrees with the defense and the confession is excluded from evidence. Sharon is good at her job.

Our two story lines—the trial and the Sandbrook case—end up merging because of this event. But more on that later.

At the outset of the episode Claire, our connection to Sandbrook, gets a call from an unknown number, it’s Lee. In a voicemail, he tells her he loves her and that he’s been thinking about her. “I’m close now. See you soon,” he says. She calls Hardy, and while they are on the phone Lee himself is watching. When Alec approaches, Lee asks where Claire is, he wants to see her. Hardy tells him the Sandbrook parents want to see their daughter. “You got it wrong,” Lee tells Hardy. “It’s over.” He wants his “life back.” He gives Hardy his number, and says, “sorry about your health.” (Remember, Lee rifled through Hardy’s home, finding a letter about his medical procedure.)

Ellie, meanwhile, is intrigued by the Sandbrook case, so much so that when she’s watching forensics take a look at Hardy’s broken-into place, she finds a Sandbrook timeline, and is looking at it when Hardy enters. Hardy, expectedly, is angry, but that’s not to say he doesn’t want Ellie to be a part of the case. Over salad—Ellie had previously confessed all she had eaten was a Kit Kat and a Scotch egg—he asks her to help convince Claire to meet with Lee. Claire is resistant to Hardy’s suggestion, but she goes and chats with Ellie in private. They eat chips on the beach and talk about their husbands.

NEXT: And then they bond…