Broadchurch – A Look at the Second Season

After a day and a half of deliberations, the Jury told Judge Sonia Sharma that they had not reached verdict. The Judge sent them back with the provision that if they could not reach a unanimous verdict, that she would accept a majority verdict.

On the next day, a verdict was reached and read out in court. Later in the attorney’s changing room (all Queen’s Counsels must wear gowns of a prescribed design, white dickeys, as well as wigs), we got this exchange –

How’s the family taking it?

Maybe you should have asked that question before you took on the case.

Oh please don’t be a sore loser.

And don’t be a shitty winner. I trained you to be so much better than this. Of all the people you could have helped, you took on a tawdry child killer. All you ever wanted was to prove me wrong so you could show the world how brilliant..

No, no. All you wanted was for me to be a mini you. You know the difference between us? I don’t see the nobility in this job. I see a loaded, lopsided game, full of people justifying their cynicism as a higher calling. It’s just street fighting in wigs…

Just street fighting in wigs… and these are the only the involved lawyers in the Joe Miller murder trial. This is Episode 8 of Season 2 of the BBC drama Broadchurch (now available on Netflix).

If you like characters that are strong and intense – Broadchurch is an ideal series for you.

For the defense

For the defense

One of those lawyers, Sharon Bishop, the defense attorney is played by Marianne Jean Baptiste, you probably know her as Bethany Mayfair, an FBI boss in the NBC hit series, Blindspot. The other attorney, Jocelyn Knight, represents the Crown and is prosecuting the case. She’s played by Charlotte Rampling.

Back in August and September of 2013, I wrote 8 separate posts as Broadchurch’s Season One progressed, and when it ended, Joe Miller, the husband of Detective Ellie Miller, has been brought in and has confessed to killing Danny Latimer.

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Broadchurch – BBC America: Season Finale

The Season Finale of Broadchurch aired on BBC America on September 25th, and I was in full couch potato mode at precisely 10:00 PM. I wasn’t going to miss this for anything. What follows is not a recap, nor is it spoiler rich. I am going to give you some idea of how it played it out, but I’ve done my best to withhold much of the key info.

Well, I got the torch bearing procession through the town that I had mentioned weeks back. Finally. Only it wasn’t a crowd filled with hate and blood lust. There were no cries of string him up! Rather, this was a gathering of the townsfolk, a coming together to heal and find solace, and to send Danny’s soul on to its reward.

Yes, I correctly tabbed the murderer, but not for the right reasons. To see who I named, you can go back to my previous post on Broadchurch here And I was incorrect about the use of the boat. The boat was used to ferry Danny’s corpse to a point on the beach where his body was later found. But as I surmised, the boat was not truly a clue that helped them locate the killer.

In fact, it wasn’t a mistake that solved the crime. Nor was it sparkling detective work. The solving of the case came from a confession, and from a lie. The Vicar Paul Coates did turn over Tom’s laptop, despite the threats made by Tom. And this laptop was the source of some important emails – only they weren’t pulled off of the remains of the hard-drive Instead, Detective Alec Hardy was able to trace them back to the ISP email server.

Hardy: Where is your laptop Tom?

Hardy: Where is your laptop Tom?

And once Hardy had them, he was able to question Tom, who being completely unaware of the evidence, glibly lied to the detective by saying his laptop had been either nicked, or he had lost it.

Another beacon, not of light, but rather that of a cell phone signal that was being traced and routed to Hardy’s phone led him right to the murderer. Who said simply, I can’t fight anymore. Meaning the shame and anguish were too great, and too much of a burden.

I was wrong about the reason for the slaying too. I had labeled it as something along the lines of parental protection, or parental jealousy. But it was neither of those things – it was simply a matter of need, and personal gratification.

Now that the series has ended, I will look forward to a second season.

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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:

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Broadchurch: Episode Six – Recap & Analysis

Episode Six of Broadchurch opened with business as usual. Lots and lots of spoilers ahead.

Vicar Paul Coates blasts the community for failing Jack Marshall just as it failed Danny Latimer. Inspector Alec Hardy has nightmares and a near fainting spell at the Marshall funeral. Tom Miller reveals that he wasn’t Danny’s best friend. In fact, he hated Danny and he’s glad he’s dead.


That came out of nowhere and was completely unexpected. Is the reader FD correct? This certainly changes everyone’s views of Tom. However I don’t think what we know about Tom is that compelling. Shocking? Yes.  Incriminating? Not yet. Right now it is far too early in the episode and far too early in the series. IMHO – just another misdirection that we can easily label a false lead.

After the Marshall funeral, people do to try to pick up the pieces. Mark goes back to work with Nige. Chloe goes back to school but feels isolated. Beth asks Karen White to arrange a meeting with a woman who lost a daughter in the Sandbrook murder.

Hardy's dream

Hardy’s dream

This woman and Beth meet at a diner, and the woman seems to know exactly where Beth is right now, having been there herself. When Beth asks her how she dealt with it,she says that her tactics for coping were: Sleep, Drink, TV, and Sleeping Pills and none of them worked. This woman also told Beth about how badly Hardy had botched the case in Sandbrook. Evidence went missing, testimony in court was delivered badly. In short – Hardy is the worst. Don’t trust a word he says.

Speaking of Hardy, he went after Vicar Coates, who the police  now know has a problem with alcohol. He also had an altercation with a child. Hardy called it insults. Coates described it as a joke gone bad.

Tom Miller again looked suspicious when he asked Vicar Coates about stuff that was ‘accidentally deleted from a hard drive”. Coates told him that there were recovery software programs that could resurrect the data, and that police technicians could probably do it as well. Tom said okay – thanks.

Chloe returned to school then ended up leaving school early. She couldn’t take a minute more of being ‘the dead boy’s sister’. So she rang Dean and he came and got her. She just needed a break. But Beth went into panic mode when she heard from the school that Chloe hadn’t returned after lunch break. Mark collected Beth and headed out to the farm where Dean had a flat. This caught Beth by surprise as Mark hadn’t informed her about Dean.

Hardy had Vicar Coates come in to give a DNA sample via a mouth swab. They got into it. Coates resented Hardy’s attitude. Don’t you go questioning my faith just because you have none.

Ollie and his editor, Maggie Radcliffe started to dig into Susan Wright. Radcliffe was enjoying herself. She even referenced Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Ollie hadn’t a clue as to who they were. Radcliffe said, God, how I hate the young. But her digging unearthed some results. She then posted a sealed envelope on Susan’s front door.

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Broadchurch on BBC America – Episode 5

Broadchurch Episode 5 aired last Wednesday on BBC America and Episode 6 is scheduled for tonight. The latest headlines from Broadchurch is that the town simultaneously suffered its second death, while the suspect list in the death of Danny was reduced by one.

Yes Jack Marshall is gone. Hounded by the sensational tabloid press, and bothered deeply by the suspicions of the townsfolk, who dressed up in their near lynch mob cloaks, and marched on Jack Marshall at the Sea Brigade. The only thing missing were the pitchforks and flaming torches. Mark Latimore, Danny’s father, was able to convince them to disperse, which they did.

Only under the cover of night, they snuck back and wrecked Jack Marshall’s car, and grafittied his property. But for Marshall this was not unexpected. His jaw clenched even tighter than normal, and he stayed in. But the next morning, he discovered that he was once more all over the front pages of the newspapers delivered to his shop.

As Jack had said in an earlier episode – I sell the papers, I don’t want to be in the papers.

So that morning, once the sun was up, Jack’s body, still in his bathrobe, was discovered on the beach. The implication being that Jack had leaped off the cliff to his death.

Of course, there is an alternate theory, albeit a weak one, that someone killed Jack. But this would serve no useful purpose unless:

Jack knew who killed Danny and/or the real killer had planted sufficient evidence in Jack’s shop or home that would incriminate Jack.

There’s another thought that Jack’s suicide was really another hammer blow to the nail about the downside of living in a small town, as well as another swipe at the ‘evil practitioners’ who were a part of the Fourth Estate which usually refers to the press/media.

Many questions still have not been answered, which makes for a lot of speculations by we viewers. We still have not been able to clear at least the remaining top three suspects.

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Broadchurch (BBC America) Episode Four Recap and Theories

Broadchurch, the BBC TV series now airing on BBC America, aired Episode Four last evening. As they say – the plot thickens. The style of Broadchurch is that they keep ratcheting up the level of suspicion. As this is a who-done-it, we can only react to what we are shown.

Yes, we can try for our own analysis and try to make it into a workable theory, but the series is making that ever-so difficult because so many of the characters that we’ve met began with being a possible suspects in the murder of young Danny Latimore. Then we are shown strong evidence – either by action or by statement, that someone else has just risen even higher as a suspect in our minds.

And while this is going on, the police investigation, headed-up by Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller have to take it one step at a time. While the town is getting a bit restless – you know – why is it taking so long, and all that, these townsfolk haven’t yet trotted out their pitchforks and torches, or taken to marching through the streets, eager to string some one up.

But in all honesty, the writers and producers have marshaled all their skills to make this case damn interesting, and four episodes in, we don’t have a clear suspect yet. So, let’s break down the latest of what we’ve learned, character by character. All that follows can and may be described as spoilers.

Alec Hardy – he’s toned down his rhetoric to a degree, and he’s accepted a dinner invitation from the Millers. He shows up at the Millers with candy, flowers, and wine – a bit of an overkill (no pun intended). Joe Miller is good at pouring, and Hardy overdoes the drinking.

Dinner at the Miller's

Dinner at the Miller’s

By the time he gets back to his hotel, he’s a leading candidate to pass out in his bathroom, which he does. Next day he wakes up in the hospital, and begs Becca Fisher not to tell any one.



Ellie Miller – Horrors! Hardy has called her out in no uncertain terms. In his view, she’s well on her way to becoming (gasp!) a good detective. Her son Tom Miller, continues to look suspicious of something – what it might be, we don’t know yet.

Beth Latimore

Beth Latimore

Beth Latimore – she confides in Ellie Miller that she knows about her husband Mark and Becca. Only she doesn’t know everything. Mark Latimore, despite concealing his whereabouts and with who (on the night of the murder) to the police originally, appears to have turned the corner. However, his wife Beth has now told him that she ‘knows’ about he and Becca. The Latimores have also fallen under the influence of Karen White, the regional newspaper writer.

Karen White – has finally been tracked down by her editor after 27 unanswered messages. He agrees to ‘take a look at it’ if White can provide an exclusive article with pictures. Which she does, with the Latimore’s cooperation. There’s a big spread in her paper which brings out the national media to Broadchurch.

Maggie & Ollie

Maggie & Ollie

Ollie – the erstwhile cub reporter for the Broadchurch paper has been doing some digging. He shows it to his editor Maggie Radcliffe, who immediately brings it to the attention of Hardy & Miller.

This action brings Jack Marshall into sharper focus.

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Broadchurch (BBC America) – Episode 3 / What Do You Think?


From one of my readers:

FD On August 22, 2013 at 1:54 am
Since it took me three episodes to form a theory, I consider this a pretty good mystery. I’m hesitant to say I’ve got this one figured out, but I’ll stick my neck way out and say I think Mark Latimer’s co-worker, Nige, is the bad guy. He lied to the cops to give Mark an alibi, but the cops busted the alibi. They weren’t drinking together. We now know where Mark was, but we have no idea where Nigel was on the night Danny disappeared. And there’s an item in his van that isn’t used in the plumbing trade.

But, I have a lot of other clues to wade through like why was Danny seen arguing with the postman. Why did Miller son delete his phone messages? Why is the woman who lives in the trailer concealing Danny’s skateboard? And most important, what was the killer’s motive? I need more info before I make a guess. Stay tuned.


When one reaches the end of Episode 3, I can see that it isn’t much of stretch to think badly of Mark’s mate, Nige Carter. However the questions of motive appears. What would Nige want or expect with Mark out of the picture? A relationship with Beth Latimer, or a relationship with Becca Fisher, possibly. We can guess that he had the opportunity, but that’s about as far as we can go. For now. With or without knowledge of the crossbow in his truck.


Others seem to come into focus. One would be that telephone tech. After all he did posit that Danny died on a boat. He’s not full on correct, but we do have blood found on the Latimer boat, and then, at the end of the episode there is another boat ablaze off shore. This is likely destruction of evidence. But we know nothing else about that boat right now.  Granted, his ‘powers’ may be suspect, but he did make a correct statement about something from Hardy’s past.

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Broadchurch (BBC America) Episode 2 Recap

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.

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Broadchurch – Well Received Series From BBC Now on BBC America

Broadchurch is the name of a brand new series which had its debut on BBC America 3 days ago, on Wednesday the 7th of August. This eight episode series wowed folks across the pond earlier this year, and now we get a chance to take it in.

It is a small seaside village, on the south side of England in Dorset County. The town is small enough that when a man heads off to work in the morning, he’s on a first name basis with every one he meets while walking through the village. By the way, this was done in a single lengthy uncut shot, which you will often see in the movies, but not so often on tv.

What begins this series is the mysterious death of an 11-year-old boy. He’s found on the beach below the cliffs. These are not the white cliffs of Dover but are similar in shape and size if not the color.

In the opening episode we will meet a Lady Detective, DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) who knew the dead boy and her own son was friends with that boy, her senior is DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant), a couple of folks – an editor and a jr. cub reporter from a local newspaper, a more senior reporter from a larger regional newspaper, and others from around the village.

The mystery takes it time, and for the first 45 minutes or so, it is by the book – with nothing seemingly out-of-place, except for the boy’s death. The local ME stated, We don’t get much of this around here. So let’s catch this killer.

Only in the last 10 minutes or so do we get any deviations which make us make some mental notes and ask ourselves some questions.


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