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Broadchurch series 2 episode 2 review

WARNING: spoilers below

Did I miss something? Broadchurch hit the ground running last week, but episode two had a distinct lack of pace – so much so that it’s hard to remember what exactly happened, which made for a slightly disappointing viewing.

We did get some more emotional background on the characters, extra details about Joe’s arrest and some stunning shots of Broadchurch. But on the whole this episode just felt like filler, giving us information that might be useful later on, but which isn’t particularly interesting now.

So what happened? The trial starts, once again bringing all the characters back together (doesn’t it seem to have come round rather quickly?). We learn that Ellie “beat the living daylights” out of Joe when he was in custody, which was obviously against procedure, and could jeopardise the prosecution’s chances of using his confession.

We also find out more about Claire and Lee. Lee tells Alec that he wants to meet Claire, that he wants his life back, that he misses her. We discover how the two met, and learn of their instant infatuation with each other. “We met at a client’s BBQ, I fancied him straightaway. Three hours later I was shagging him.”

There are plenty of other threads – Alec’s ill health and how Lee found out about it, Ellie’s attempts to move on by asking a colleague out on a date and Paul’s secretive visits to see Joe in prison. We are also asked to question the relationships between Maggie and Jocelyn and Mark and Tom.

The other big development is the arrival of Meera Syal who plays the judge. She brilliantly meets the lawyers dressed casually in a pink tracksuit, but shows herself to be efficient and straight-talking, demanding that the case be run “with courtesy, dignity and respect”.

broadchurch series 2 episode 2

There were some gorgeous landscapes, reminiscent of series 1, to take our mind off the murder – especially shots of the multi-coloured beach huts on Broadchurch beach at sunset as Ellie and Claire bond over some chips. They talk about love and relationships, and in a rather surreal moment whether they thought their respective husbands could murder a child. That’s a fairly exclusive conversation.

The episode ends with the trial, as we hear more about Danny’s final movements. Not much of the information is new to us, but we do hear how Beth is coping on a day to day basis and how she thinks how things would have been different if she’s been a better parent.

The defence examination is short but to the point, asking whether Mark had ever had an affair or hit Danny. Beth had to say yes to both questions to the shock of the courtroom. “My husband slept with Becca Fisher, she owns the Trader’s Hotel.” Beth admitted they found out later that Danny knew.

The prosecution then questions Alec who is asked to outline Joe’s injuries in custody and explain how he got them. The judge agrees with the defence that the confession could have been coerced and that it is therefore no longer admissible.

The climax of the show comes as Lee and Claire finally meet at Ellie’s house with Alec waiting in the kitchen and Ellie outside. Beth comes to confront Ellie about the attack on Joe and losing the confession, taking her off her guard and away from the front door. During the ensuing argument, Beth’s waters break while at the same time Claire and Lee seem to vanish. Unlikely? Yes. A nice coincidence? Perhaps, but at least something actually happened.

The show’s moving but we haven’t seen enough twists yet and it remains to be seen whether we care enough about the characters to hold on. For this episode I’d say the jury’s out, but I’m going to be watching next week, as this could just be the calm before the storm.

Were you hooked on Broadchurch series 2 episode 2? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…

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1 Comment

    I waited all evening for episode 2, but went to bed after 20 minutes, as I couldn’t follow where it was going, and I was becoming confused! Will try to pick up again next Monday

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