Broadchurch Episode 2 aired the other day on BBC America. The series doesn’t use episode titles, but I have one at the ready. The Dominoes Begin to Fall.
That is, half the town begins to shape up as
a) people the police are talking to in attempts to discover inconsistencies. or to clear people from suspicion
b) people who become persons of interest because the police cannot rule them out
c) the persons of interest become suspects.
Secrets are revealed, people are not what they seem, and the playing field becomes less level with each passing moment of the show. In other words, the killer of young Danny Latimore could be any one of a whole raft of people.
By casting such a wide net over the town, the writers have really opened the story up. We really have no clue, based on what we’ve seen, that would enable us to pick the killer out of the crowd. Add that to the fact that the location is intriguing and new and different. This is not a locked room murder. And the body will not be turned over to the parents for burial because so far, the body is the only tangible thing they have that might contain more evidence.
To get you caught up – we will give the rundown by characters:
DS Ellie Miller – back on the job from vacation, she finds she didn’t get the expected promotion. Instead the promotion went to a detective brought in from another jurisdiction by her boss Elaine Jenkinson. Miller doesn’t get along with this guy because personal eccentricities aside, he doesn’t know the townsfolk, and she does.
She has her manner of dealing with folks, and he has his. So there’s plenty of friction between them. What’s more, her own son, Tom Miller, was friendly with the boy who was killed. After rapidly deleting text messages and emails from his phone and computer, this son now has nightmares.
DI Alec Hardy – the hot-shot detective. He’s cold, aloof, and doesn’t relate to people very well. What’s more, we are led to believe that he has had recent difficulties that have given him some issues.
These issues may or may not include some kind of malady or sickness which we don’t have the details of yet. It might be anxiety, or it might be something more serious. His one weak moment was when he was stopped in his tracks by something said by the telephone techie who was also something of a psychic. Hardy was surprisingly stunned when this ‘seer’ mentioned something that by all rights he should not know.
Beth Latimer (below)- the deceased boy’s mother. She’s wound up real tight, no doubt because she has to not only deal with the death of her son, but she’s also losing touch with her husband, and she’s pregnant which was the big reveal in this episode.
Mark Latimer (above): The boy’s father who has secrets of his own. He wasn’t working on the night the boy died as he stated. Instead he was out most of the night with one of his ‘mates’, only he can’t remember this man’s name. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a woman. His marriage seems shaky – he can’t explain where he was or with who, and Beth can’t/won’t reveal her pregnancy to him.
Chloe Latimer: The dead boy’s older sister. She has an older boyfriend which is something of a secret. Cocaine was found in her room at the Latimer’s but she claims it wasn’t hers. Just something she was asked to acquire by her boss at the hotel, Becca Fisher. The reality is that it was her boyfriend who provided the drugs. Chloe is being chatted up by reporter Karen White, who is looking for an inside source so she might be able to write and break a major news story.
Danny Latimer: The deceased. 500 Euros were found hidden in his bed. He was also seen on CCTV arguing with a postman. However the postman’s alibi checked out.
Rev. Paul Coates: the spiritual head of at least some of the community. Not liked by everyone, especially not liked by Mark Latimore. He seems a bit of a busy body.
I think his role will increase in significance in the coming episodes. Not sure why – just have the feeling.
Susan Wright – A woman in the town who has acted suspiciously every time we’ve seen her. She’s the housekeeper of the cabin or top of the cliff side hut that DI Hardy found while walking Danny’s paper route looking for clues or evidence. When Hardy went to her place to get the key to the cabin, she again acted strange and wary. Has she something to hide?
You bet. We saw what it was in her closet, but DI Hardy didn’t. Beyond that, they’ve gone out of their way to make her seem suspicious. I can’t say why, or if it means anything. You know she was one of the first people seen (and shown) lurking nearby on the beach after the body was discovered.
Speaking of newspapers –
Karen White: She’s from the big regional paper. She’s been lurking about trying for a) space (a desk) at the local paper, b) trying to get close to Chloe Latimer, and c) putting the charm on the local cub reporter Olly Stevens by promising to help with his career. Obviously she is a user of people. We know it, but Olly doesn’t. So far, she is like not the guiltiest of the characters of the series, but I feel that they’ve gone above and beyond to set this character up in a bad light.
Jack Marshall: Owner of the news agency that used Danny to deliver the papers. He belatedly told the police about seeing Danny arguing with the postman. If he looks familiar, maybe you saw him in Game of Thrones.
Olly Stevens: The cub reporter. He seems eager and avid about his work. But he hasn’t a clue that Karen White will do anything and everything to get the story, up to and including deceiving him.
There are more characters that I’m sure we will meet again like Olly’s editor (above-left) who denied Karen White any place to work at the newspaper office even though there was an empty desk right in front of Olly. Then there was Becca (below), the hotel lady, who would even acquire drugs to keep the hotel’s clientele happy. And that seer or mystic who’s day job was that of a telephone techie. The show has done a great job of casting suspicion and yet keeping us guessing. Really, we’ve no reason to know who the killer is at this point.
I like the style and substance of the show, and I like that Miller is willing to go toe to toe with Hardy. I like the way we are given many small tidbits of facts and flawed denials, just to keep us unsure of anything and everything.
If I am having one problem with the show, it is that in Dorset County, on the south coast of England, they do speak English, but we aren’t always sure of what was said. Clearly the stateside English that I’m used to is different from Her Majesty’s English.