We're only one episode away from actual answers.

By Gillian Telling
April 16, 2015 at 05:31 AM EDT
Credit: James D’Arcy/BBC America
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It’s the last episode before the season finale, and things are heating up in sunny seaside Broadchurch. We’re this close to the jury finally deciding whether Joe Miller is guilty of Danny Latimer’s death, and this close to finding out what really happened at Sandbrook several years before.

But we’re not there quite yet! Nay!

We start this episode off with Ellie Miller, Alec Hardy, and Alec’s ex-wife Tess going over Sandbrook evidence yet again at Hardy’s house. They now know Claire had the heart pendant that Pippa Gillespie had been wearing when she was killed, since Ellie saw her wearing it in her hairstyling portfolio the episode before.

Except now they realize the pendant could have been Claire’s all along, and that she gave it to Pippa for some reason in advance of her being killed. (So much for my theory that she was a murderous idiot for taking a trophy off a dead kid last week.) Although she could still be a murderer. At this point, Hardy is determined to bring Claire down, and gives Miller the directive to light a fire under her ass.

Speaking of Claire, in the next scene we see her waking up in a tiny shed right on the beach. Question—are you allowed to sleep in these sheds? Or are they storage? It’s pretty sweet prime property, and about the size of my first NYC apartment, so I’d live there if I could. But this is off point. Ellie calls Claire and tells her she knows the pendant was hers, and Claire admits it. Is she getting closer to confessing something?

Hardy then goes to see Lee Ashworth, squatting in his ruins up on the hill as usual (where does he shower? go to the bathroom?) and tells Lee that he’s more determined than ever to bust him. “I’m more than alright. I’m reborn!” he tells Lee about his newfound energy now that his bad heart is all patched up. Lee is clearly bothered by Hardy’s dogged determination to bust Lee for the Sandbrook murders. He gets even more bothered when Hardy tells him that Claire had once been pregnant with Lee’s baby and never told him. “I don’t believe you,” he tells Hardy. Hardy shrugs. “Ask her,” he says before walking away.

We then head back to the courtroom, where mean defense lawyer Sharon puts Ellie on the stand as a “hostile witness” and accuses her of bribing her sister with £1,000 into lying when she said she’d seen Joe Miller the night of Danny’s murder. But Ellie was only helping Lucy pay some gambling debts in return for info about the case. (Bad move, Miller.) Sharon also once again accuses Ellie of having an affair with Hardy.

(Seriously, is this foreshadowing? Do people actually want this to happen? I don’t. Or maybe I kind of do. No, I don’t. I do! I don’t know.)

Hardy and Miller then track down a young kid called Gary Thorpe, the owner of Thorpe Agriculture, a.k.a. the furnace they found where a body could easily have been disposed of. Thorpe admits that he used to love Lisa—the older missing girl in the Sandbrook case—and would stalk her. But he denies any involvement with her death.

Hardy and Miller ask if he stalked her the night she disappeared—he says he was in the hospital because he’d tried to kill himself. But what’s his significance? Is he a new suspect? Or just a random weirdo who doesn’t really matter? Did he let someone burn bodies in his furnace, or is he the killer? We don’t really stay long enough with him to find out.

NEXT: Just a few more plot twists and an attempted murder

Next we make a visit to creepy Ricky Gillespie, the father of dead Pippa from Sandbrook; and he is obviously hiding something. Hardy notices he has a photo of bluebells on his walls. REMEMBER: Claire had a bluebell hidden away in her closet. There is some significance there. They question him about Gary Thorpe. Ricky had paid Gary some money for some unknown reason. Hmm, perhaps to burn a few bodies in his furnace?! I wouldn’t put it past him. They ask him about bluebells. Ricky is HIDING SOMETHING. But what?

As they leave his office, Hardy gets an idea—he asks Miller to call the random number they found in Claire’s phone awhile back. Yep—it goes to Ricky’s office line. WHAT.

Next we find Lee and Claire on the rocky beach. It starts out loving and then Lee suddenly tries to drown her in the ocean for not telling her about the pregnancy. She admits she had an abortion. He beats her up, then she beats him up in return. Their dysfunctional relationship is finally coming to a head.

Back in the courtroom, Jocelyn and Sharon are making closing arguments. Jocelyn points out Joe Miller never took the witness box to defend himself, and Sharon points out that Mark Latimer could have killed his own son because he was in the car park only 50 feet from the murder scene. Poor Mark, per usual. The jury are left to deliberate.

Hold up: PLOT TWIST!

Okay, not really, but in the next scene we see newspaper editor MAGGIE (I finally remember her name) and Jocelyn sitting on a cliff over the beach at sunset, enjoying some wine. Somewhat out of the blue, Jocelyn tells Maggie she’s always loved her. Maggie gets teary but says the moment has passed. Jocelyn says it hasn’t and they share a tender kiss. It’s quite romantic for a random moment of elderly sapphic affection. But seriously, where did that disclosure come from?

Back in the courtroom, Jocelyn’s assistant lawyer Ben is talking with Abbie, Sharon’s tall assistant. Abbie says she thinks they won, and that Jocelyn is too old to “have it” anymore. Ben casually says what everyone has been thinking about dumb, smug Abbie this whole time: “I think you’re truly a horrible person.” I wanted to cheer. I wanted to dance! I wanted to hug Ben. I loved seeing Abbie’s usual smirk disappear from her face!

Outside the courtroom, Beth tells Ellie (Miller) she’s thinking of leaving Mark. Ellie warns her this isn’t actually a great idea. “Be careful,” she says. “Being alone in a marriage is nothing like being really alone.” It’s a reminder that despite her brevity and hard work, Miller has lost her marriage, her husband, he family is broken up and she was married to a monster. How does she go on!

Claire, who finally realizes it’s over between her and Lee, suddenly has a new determination. She marches to the courtroom and finds Hardy, throwing the heart pendant at him. He’s furious that she’s had it all along, and grabs her arm, dragging her back into the courtroom. Because there’s finally a verdict!

Ellie and her son Tom hold hands and go to the courtroom. Joe Miller looks like a nervous Nellie in the dock, and the judge asks whether the jury find him guilty or not guilty. AND….fade to black! We’ll find out next week during the season finale. I cannot wait.

Episode Recaps


The British import explores the personal lives and investigations of Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman).
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