WARNING: spoilers below
So, then. We’ve reached the halfway stage of this tense and dramatic final season of everyone’s favourite south coast whodunit. After the onslaught of suspects thrown at us in the first three episodes, the number of new potential offenders is slacking off. In fact, this week’s Broadchurch only introduced one new shady type. Just one! Fans of the show will know that’s some serious restraint being shown…
Who is this new line of inquiry? Well, it’s recently released local rapist Aaron Mayford (played with impressive sliminess by Olivia Colman’s Peep Show co-star Jim Howick); a short, bearded and thoroughly unpleasant creep out on parole with a serious fondness for unsettling women. As we saw when he turned the tables on by the surveilling DC Katie Harford by jumping in her car and harassing her.
Before we met the unlikeable Mayford, we followed Trish as she revisited the scene of her attack. Hardy and Miller tailed her as she desperately tried to remember what happened that night. In a gut-wrenching moment, we watched as Trish walked up to the exact spot where she was raped and she laid down to try and help recall any details. The trauma was genuinely quite affecting – we sense a BAFTA might well be destined for Julie Hesmondhalgh’s mantlepiece. And the technique worked – Trish remembered the smell of booze on her attacker’s breath. And that there was a light nearby. Was it from a camera phone? Was her ordeal recorded…? Might these two memories help our detectives with the case?
As for our already pretty lengthy list of suspects, some we only caught glimpses of, others were grilled a little more. We learned that Trish’s boss Ed Burnett may have a little bit of a crush on her. We also saw Trish’s estranged husband Ian fretting over something saved on Trish’s laptop. The man’s shiftiness on the subject of hard drives is enough to make you wonder if he wasn’t a radio DJ in the seventies.
Oh, that threatening anonymous text sent to Trish? We discover came from Sarah, Ian’s new girlfriend. She sent it before hearing about what had happened, though. At least, that’s her story, anyway.
Jim Atwood is well and truly put in the spotlight when his DNA matches up with that taken from Trish. But, we learn, it was him that Trish slept with on the morning of her attack. His wife Cath – Trish’s colleague and friend – already described her and Jim’s marriage to Hardy and Miller as ‘loveless’. That said, she doesn’t know about his infidelity. And, curiously, mentions to Miller and Hardy that she can’t account for her other half’s whereabouts at the time of Trish’s rape. Almost as if she’s planting a seed of doubt in their minds about him…
Away from the case, we saw Mark Latimer buy some information about the whereabouts of a certain Joe Miller. He tries to round up a posse of one in Rev. Coates, but gets short shrift from the young vicar. Any vengeance scheme may be a lone mission it seems.
In a much-needed moment of comic relief, Alec goes a date. His social awkwardness is almost matched by that of his pretty, nervous new love interest. And his chance bumping into Ellie on the way back from the restaurant provides a nice little laugh out loud moment.
Another week, another intriguing episode of Broadchurch. Though there was one bum note played. What was with that oddly impromptu game of football on the beach? It was like a five-a-side game specially organised to pit various suspects up against each other. Miller and Hardy were in attendance and then Trish walked over. It was like Sport Relief had organised a charity police line-up. It was very strange and not a little jarring. Still, it’s always nice to see bibs in a brooding crime drama, isn’t it?
Anyway… We’re now 50% of the way through proceedings. We’re nowhere near finding out the culprit or what really happened to Trish that night, though. But let’s revel in that uncertainty, eh? After all, it’ll be another four weeks until all is revealed…
C’mon, tell us. What’s your hunch?
Did you tune in for Broadchurch series 3 episode 4? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!