Broadchurch: Episode 8 – More Talk About Who Done It?

Broadchurch 8 aired last night. Many questions were answered. Okay, maybe not all that many, but the fact that remains is the single most important one – we still don’t know with certainty, who killed Danny Latimer.

After reading my post following episode 6, and following Episode 7, I received a lengthy series of questions from reader FD. Mind you, these were set forth as questions not questions AND answers.

FD: Great discussion. No solution yet. But, let’s try to focus on some key details.

1) Why were there paint chips that matched Danny’s skateboard found in the remains of the burned boat? And why was the boat burned?

2) Why did Susan hide the skateboard for six episodes and then give it to Tom Miller, the son of Detective Miller? Was she trying to provide new evidence to the police? And why did Susan Wright change her name? What secret(s) is she hiding about her past?

3) Why did Tom Miller delete the information on his hard drive and then destroy the laptop entirely when he found out the police might be able to recover the deleted data? Is he trying to protect himself or someone else by destroying the data?

4) Why did Nigel take Susan’s dog Vince? Did he kill Vince? Why? Did Vince know too much, or does Susan know things she won’t disclose unless she sees Vince is safe?

5) Why was Danny’s body moved? From where? How? And why did he have 500 quid under his bed? Where did the money come from?

Danny was killed by person or persons unknown. Was it murder, or an accident?
If it was murder, what was the motive? Drugs? Blackmail? Sex? All of the above?
Find the motive and you find the killer. Unless Danny was not the intended victim. Or he wasn’t a murder victim at all.

Hardy botched his last murder case. He has to solve this one. Like Hardy, Ellie Miller now says “the longer the case goes on, the more I suspect everyone.”
She needs to look closer to home.

JMM: Following FD’s commentary, I didn’t respond. A week went by and no other reader offered any theories, or alternatives. So reader FD posted again yesterday:

FD: Since no one has come forth with answers to my questions from last week, I will continued to cross-examine myself.

Think about this. Why was Danny skateboarding around 3:00 a.m. Why wake up so early?

I think he was going fishing. I think he was on his way to join Nige and Tom on a pre-dawn fishing trip. Whatever happened, and I still think he died by accident, his hair and paint chips from his skateboard were found in the burnt-out boat.

I think his body was moved from the place he died to the bottom of the cliff using that boat.

I think Tom Miller deleted his phone and computer records related to the planned fishing expedition.

I think it’s Tom in the hut, or Nige in the van or vice-versa. But it wasn’t murder. It was an accident. Back to you, Professor Plum!

One time suspects - now all apparently have been cleared (by me, not so much by Hardy and Miller. Of course Jack is dead, so he won';t be blamed either.

One time suspects – now all apparently have been cleared (by me, not so much by Hardy and Miller). Of course Jack is dead, so he won’t be blamed either.

JMM: Okay having been called Professor Plum – a character from Clue, which was a mystery solving board game that was created all the way back in 1949, I had no choice but to respond. Now all of what I wrote came before last night’s broadcast of Episode 8.

I like some of your theories but not all.

I think the hair and the paint from the skateboard are meaningless. Since the boat was like an unadvertised free rental, Danny and Tom could have been on the boat at any time (with or without Nige).

How or what could have caused Danny death on this fishing trip? Even if he was killed on the boat – weighting the body and sinking it at sea might have been preferable to the risk and trouble of bringing the body back to the beach beneath the cliff. In which case the boat needn’t have been burned. That is why I think the whole boat concept is just misdirection.

I do agree that Tom Miller, and Danny Latimer did do some thing together or were going to do something together on the night of the killing. Just don’t think it was fishing. Because that ignores the crossbow entirely. We’ve seen the crossbow now twice.

Which also leads to the theory, that Nige did not kill Susan’s dog Vince. I think he has the dog for some sort of leverage on Susan Wright.

I also don’t agree that it was Tom Miller at the hut. With Alec’s undisclosed illness, we can easily see that he couldn’t chase down the mysterious hut intruder. But Ellie might have recognized Tom by his size or his clothes.

So maybe, the contemplated trip was a hunting trip. Which brings me to my theory. And like you said in the first comment that Ellie needs to look closer to home.

We plainly saw that Alec was depressed about not seeing his daughter. A family issue. I’m thinking there was a family issue at the Miller’s.

I’ll take you back to Jack Marshall’s funeral. Did you not notice how Joe Miller wasn’t happy about Tom being questioned by Alec [this was wrong – Tom was questioned by Vicar Paul Coates] at the funeral.. It wasn’t a matter of – hey lighten up on the kid – he’s just a boy. No, it was more of a jealousy thing.

Joe Miller may have felt that the influence of Danny and Nige weren’t good for Tom. [Or more importantly not good for Joe either.] So maybe he paid Danny to not pal around with Tom. Tom was brushed off, and didn’t know why, so he decided that he no longer liked Danny.

I think it was Joe – parental protection and parental jealously. Rather than lose his boy to what he perceived as bad influences. He did away with the bad influence. Danny was clearly a much easier target than Nige.


Miller: You checked yourself out of the hospital? Are you daft? Hardy: We are running out of time, and I have to solve the case.

Miller: You checked yourself out of the hospital? Are you daft?
Hardy: We are running out of time, and I have to solve the case.

Okay – with Episode 8 now having been aired, some of FD’s questions have been dealt with, and we have a better picture of probably who did not kill Danny. My own theory of it being Joe Miller is still out there, and in truth I have no way to support the theory as yet.

Ok, we now know that a fishing trip was not on the agenda for that night. Nige admitted to all of them poaching (or nicking animals) possibly just to kill them later on, at The Estate, the farm where Dean lived. The weapon – the cross bow and they had wire cutters to breach the fences.

Not a picture of family bliss

Not a picture of family bliss

We also know that Nige did not kill Vince, Susan’s dog. As I surmised it was to get some leverage on Susan. We also now know Susan’s creepy history, and we know Nige’s lineage. Also revealed is DI Alec Hardy’s illness and past from the Sandbrook case.

A major question emerged from last night – the phone call about the intruder at the hut that was made and alerted the police. The call came from Danny’s still missing smart phone. If it was Tom, then Hardy would have recognized a boy’s voice.

That would be Vicar Paul Coates calling to ask Hardy to get Tom's smashed laptop.

That would be Vicar Paul Coates calling to ask Hardy to come and get Tom’s smashed laptop.

Another pending or dangling detail was Tom’s smashed laptop. Vicar Paul Coates had it and turned it over to the police. Coates mentioned that he was threatened by Tom. If Coates turned over the laptop, Tom would tell a tale of the Vicar and Danny. But Coates turned it over anyway.

Danny is dead and could not confirm the story, or it was never true to begin with. Just a bluff by Tom, or more accurately a threat with nothing to back it up. But I think it served to clear the Vicar as the suspected killer.

I also think Susan is not the killer either. She told DS Miller the sordid tale, and then under cover of night left town. She was carrying a suitcase, but where was she going at night. Either way, the story wouldn’t work if they had to chase her down.

I’m clearing Nige as well – he’s too much of a fool. A bad liar, not particularly clever, and after Hardy showed him the files, then he was released. He was walking back to his adopted mother’s house, recognized that he was being tailed, and made a break for it. That was just dumb. The real killer would have known he had been brought in for questioning, then set free – why jeopardize that by making a foolish attempt to lose the tail?

Joe Miller and Tom Miller

Joe Miller and Tom Miller

So that leaves Tom and Joe. We need more to pin it down. Tom said that Danny said he had a new friend. I think that is likely what Danny told Tom, but wasn’t the case at all. Probably a tale made up after Danny was bought off (to go away from Tom) – with the 500 quid. But my money is on Joe Miller, having paid off Danny, then he didn’t like it when he saw them together again on the hunting venture to The Estate.

By the way – did you notice how two characters really stepped up in this Episode. DS Ellie Miller had confidence, authority, and did well in getting Susan to spill out her story. The other character to gain in confidence was the cub reporter Ollie, who secured and got the Sandbrook story from Hardy.

I am loving this show. A real who-done-it? And superbly performed.

What is your take?

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