WARNING: spoilers below
So, then. After some four hundred plus minutes, four thousand plus suspects and probably four million plus theories each, we finally know what happened that fateful night over at Axehampton House. Look, we’re not going to brag and say ‘we told we so’, okay? Partly because we’re classier than that. And also, partly, because we didn’t call it exactly right. But if you remember our episode two and three recaps, you’ll recall our early call – ‘Tom Miller’s friend’, Michael Lucas…
And what do you know? We were right! Okay, okay. So we only really got it right via a technicality. The real bad guy of the third and final series of Broadchurch turned out to the young lad in charge of the fishing line company, Leo Humphries. The smarmy twine-flogger groomed cabbie Clive Lucas’ impressionable and quiet sixteen-year-old son Michael, eventually co-opting him into his grim hobby and forcing him to attack Trish.
At the beginning of the last ever episode, it was revealed that the DNA match so tensely cliff-hung last week turned out to be a match for Clive Lucas. But anyone who remembers The Simpsons episode ‘Who Shot Mr. Burns?’ will know that an early DNA revealing in a whodunit might just turn out to be from an unlikely source… A child of the suspect. Down in Dorset, Clive and Michael Lucas filled in for Homer and Maggie Simpson.
A full search of Leo’s office uncovered a mobile phone registered in his name with footage of not only Trish’s attack, but of the other two women that had come forward. A conveniently full and frank confession from Humphries filled in the black for detective duo Hardy and Miller – if only criminals in real life were quite so helpful, eh?
Conventions and stereotypes have been flipped on their head all series. We begun with the violent sexual assault of an older, not particularly conventionally attractive woman (no offence, Julie Hesmondhalgh…). The idea being that, as DS Miller later says, ‘rape is about power and control, not sex.’ We were then presented with some usual suspects in a case, including The Husband, The Sex-Mad Philanderer, The Taxi Driver, The Convicted Rapist. And in the end? It turned out to be the young, handsome lad with the good job and pretty girlfriend.
Back with the Latimers and a change of pace. A scene showing Beth telling her estranged husband that she loved him but that they would never get back together was truly heartbreaking. Time, maturity, honesty and no lack of realism have been afforded to the Latimer’s grim portrait of grief and loss over these three series, and it’s a credit to the cast and the show’s writers.
We ended Broadchurch with, it has to be said, a slightly cringeworthy moment when the whole town turned out to witnessed the dejected vicar’s final sermon in a scene that was as embarrassing as it was unrealistic. Still, thankfully the very final shot of the series had us eavesdropping on a chat between Hardy and Miller. He’d decided to stay down south and carry on working with Ellie. Something she couldn’t help but smile at. And something that, unfortunately, we’re going to just have to imagine for ourselves…
Did you tune in for Broadchurch series 3 episode 8? Let us know your thoughts on the series in the comments below!