By Nivea Serrao
As this week’s hour of “Broadchurch” progressed, there wasn’t a dry eye left. Prolonged court cases can do that to you. Luckily for our characters, the end is in sight (although it really did seem like it would be sooner than later for a minute there).
The top of the hour features the teenaged Tom testifying in court. This serves as a powerful reminder of not just what a big loss Danny is to his friends and family, but how much more he’d have grown had he lived. It’s also the first time we really get to explore what an impact this whole trial is having on the young boy.
The first thing that comes from Tom’s testimony is that Mark takes to the stand to defend himself. Unfortunately, maintaining his innocence comes at the cost of his marriage. The only silver lining in Beth’s heartbroken sobs is that she allows Ellie to comfort her. This is a relief because I’ve been silently rooting for these two to patch things up for a while now. (The only thing that could have made this episode any better would have been Hardy interacting with Fred. But I can’t always have what I want.) However, watching Beth and Ellie sitting there in the stairwell is a sad reminder that both women were betrayed by the men they loved.
The second development comes straight on the heels of the first. Having witnessed her friend’s breakdown, Ellie decides that she’s had enough of Joe hurting the people around her. So she goes into fierce mom mode and berates Tom (in front of everyone), not just ordering him to move back home with her, but also declaring that she is taking back her life. (You do you, Ellie.)
As much I celebrate Olivia Colman’s performance on a weekly basis, this episode’s MVPs were undoubtedly Andrew Buchan and Jodie Whittaker, who painfully put Mark and Beth through the ringer, not once but twice: first, as he broke her heart in court and later, as they raged against one another. Looks like despite her abundant cuteness, Baby Lizzie will not be able to fix the rift in their marriage. Perhaps justice for Danny won’t be able to either. (Side note: Where is Chloe? What does she have to say about all this?)
Amid the bigger revelations of the episode, we also see Jocelyn finally tell her Ben about her slowly fading eyesight. No doubt this is will probably come into play at some inopportune time while court is in session over the next two episodes, although I suspect telling Ben gives the prosecution a fighting chance to recover. The only big secret left on the show is whatever Abby found in Olly’s house. At this point, his terrible taste in women is a running gag on the series, but Lucy’s completely on-point reaction is priceless.
* As much as I like Ellie and Hardy forcing Claire’s hand, I still don’t know what to make of her reactions or her relationship with Lee. While I’m pretty sure she’s guilty (and that last flashback all but screams it), I have no guesses as to what Lee might be trying to cover up. But I am slowly being convinced that he’s innocent.
* After Claire’s epic cereal-tossing breakdown, I really hope Hardy didn’t find that house on Airbnb.
* For a guy who carries a flask to a wedding, Ricky Gillespie’s judgmental attitude towards his wife’s drinking is a clear case of the pot calling the kettle black.
* Hardy would simply text Ellie about his surgery. And of course he also requests a ride almost immediately after.
* Fierce Ellie is my favorite shade of Ellie.
* I am currently having a hard time reconciling James D’Arcy’s performance as Edwin Jarvis (“Agent Carter”) with that of his role as Lee Ashworth. How are they both played by the same man? (Also, #RenewAgentCarter)
* David Tennant’s uttering, “No more broken heart.” broke my heart. Hardy really does need to spend more time with his daughter.
* HARDY MADE A JOKE.
* I really appreciate that neither Ellie nor Tess are being catty and jealous with one another.
Nivea Serrao is a staff writer. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org