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Broadchurch series 2 episode 1 review

WARNING: spoilers below

Oh it’s been worth the wait. Series two of this award-winning series is already offering more questions than answers, and has us all speculating about whether they were right the first time round. Oh, and there’s a new case.

The first episode picks up seamlessly where we left off, showing the devastating aftermath for the community rocked by the murder of 11-year-old Danny Latimer. A crude recap would remind us that in series 1 – watch it first if you haven’t already – DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) were investigating the murder of Danny who was found on Broadchurch beach. The murderer turned out to be Ellie’s husband Joe Miller.

Series two kicks off with the day of the hearing and the main characters are all brought together in the court room. Danny’s parents Beth and Mark (who are about to have another baby), the vicar and even the B&B owner Danny was having an affair with. DI Miller is working in Devon and not coping well having lost her son, who moved to stay with relatives. She appears to be paying the price for this murder over and above her husband. She arrives late to the hearing and Danny’s parents can’t contain their contempt.

Meanwhile DI Hardy has been ignoring persistent calls from a ‘Claire’ who eventually bursts into the court room, only to be quickly ushered out by Alec. “I think he’s back and he’s looking for me,” she cries.

Suddenly all eyes are on Joe Miller as he walks into the dock. Then it happens. As the judge reads out the charge, that on 18 July 2013 Joe murdered Daniel Latimer on Broadchurch beach in Dorset, he changes his plea to “not guilty”, provoking roars of anger. Here we see the cast of superb actors really showcasing their talent in a series of close ups, demonstrating the shock and amount of suffering the characters have experienced.

This sets up the introduction of new characters Jocelyn Knight, a local retired QC played by Charlotte Rampling, who initially refuses to take on the case for the prosecution and Sharon Bishop, played by Marianne Jean-Baptiste, who takes on the defence. Later we see a beach encounter between Jocelyn and Sharon, during which we find out that Jocelyn used to be Sharon’s boss. There is clearly some history between the two, and Jocelyn decides to take the case for the prosecution.

It wouldn’t be Broadchurch without some secret liaisons – so we find the vicar going into prison to meet Joe and asking God for forgiveness, while also seeing Becca (Danny’s ex fling). Meanwhile Mark is still AWOL, but this time he’s meeting Tom Miller in a caravan to play computer games, eerily reminiscent of Joe’s relationship with Danny Latimer.

Gradually we begin to learn more about the new case. Claire, who we later find out is Claire Ripley (Eve Myles), has been living at Alec’s cottage since he arrived at Broadchurch seven months ago.

Alec takes DI Miller to the cottage and tells her everything. Claire is connected to his previous case. Two cousins aged 12 and 19 went missing. One was later found dead. The prime suspect was their neighbour Lee Ashworth (James D’Arcy), Claire’s husband. She gave him a false alibi, then backed down, but the case collapsed anyway. So Alec decided to run his own unofficial witness protection scheme and hid Claire in Broadchurch. But it’s not going so well. Lee breaks into Alec’s cottage and takes some of his bank statements and personal letters – one of which is from the NHS.

Broadchurch Series 2 Episode 1

Returning to the current case, with the defence team playing dirty the episode ends with the exhumation of Danny’s body. Once again the main characters are brought together, this time in the graveyard, where Beth cannot contain her hatred for Ellie who she still holds responsible. Lee Ashworth observes all of this from the hilltop. This episode is peppered with fraught relationships and harrowing scenes.

The only other thing we need to mention is the letter Ellie finds addressed to Claire containing pressed bluebells. We know Broadchurch loves red herrings, so would hate to speculate. But Broadchurch series 2 episode 1 has left us with lots of questions.

Is Claire as innocent as she seems? What is Mark doing with Tom Miller? Why has Joe decided to plea not-guilty? What is Lee Ashworth’s next move? Next Monday already seems quite a wait.

Did you tune in for Broadchurch series 2 episode 1? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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