Episode five of the best drama not named Breaking Bad is bracketed in silent death. This week we open with the silent recreation of murder victim Danny’s last steps by his best friend, Tom (Adam Wilson) and end with a body washed up on shore.
Let’s bitch it out…I’m a little surprised it took four episodes for another body to drop on Broadchurch. After the recent turn of events, though, I can’t say I’m too surprised with the identity of the latest casualty: Jack (David Bradley). I don’t think anyone will call foul play on this one; it seems likely that Jack took his own life after last week‘s allegations of pedophilia escalate this week. I may have thought he was a suspicious old creep at the start of the series (blame Game Of Thrones!), but by the time Hardy (David Tennant) and Miller (Olivia Colman) discover Jack’s body on the beach, I realized just how much I liked the old man. RIP Jack.
Another carry-over from last week is the damaging effect of the media. From the coverage of Tom’s late-night walk to the artificially fabricated stories slandering Jack, it’s clear that Broadchurch‘s writers want us to (re)consider the role that media play in sensationalizing crime. Even Becca (Simone McAullay) and Rev. Paul (Arthur Darvill) get in on the action as they each contribute radio interviews to the omnipresent reporting around town (I particularly liked Becca’s line about the “tragic, isolated” event. Guess business at Traders really is bad…though you’d think she want the reporters to stick around now that they’ve rented all of her rooms).
The finally big development is a propensity of awkward sex. After Becca effectively saved Hardy’s life last week, he misinterprets her kindness and embarrasses himself with an abrupt offer to make with the sexytimes. Miller also has a strange encounter when Bryan, the medical advisor, asks her out, persisting even after she reminds him that she’s happily married to Joe (Matthew Gravelle). Is this what the residents of Broadchurch do when they’re not murdering young boys and driving old men to suicide: infidelity and late-night hook-ups?
And that’s not even counting the heated exchanged between Mark Latimer (Andrew Buchan) and daughter Chloe (Charlotte Beaumont). After Mark catches Chloe sucking on Dean’s face, they have a lovely battle of wills in which she throws his own inappropriately aged romance with Beth (Jodie Whittaker) back in his face. I realize that none of these sexy shenanigans may not necessarily be pertinent to the mystery behind Danny Latimer’s death, but there’s clearly a lot more going on beneath the sunny surface of the town than we suspected even a few episodes ago. What’s next: marijuana fields and men burning from lamp posts?
- Also hopping on the awkward sex train: Olly (Jonathan Bailey) and Karen (Vicky McClure). Gee, no one saw that coming…
- I like the none-too-subtle edit between the high tar cigarette butts found near the beach crime scene and Susan (Pauline Quirke) smoking. Perhaps this is another red herring, but we’ve long known that there’s more to Susan than meets the eye and this is a pretty obvious visual cue that we’re meant to connect her to the crime scene (if nothing else)
- We don’t get any more info on Susan’s connection to Nige (Joe Sims), apart from the fact that he’s willing to pay her to eff off. She’s not having it, though. What could have brought these two together and why is he so desperate to keep it under wraps?
- Just in case you were wondering, that burning boat belongs to Olly’s absent father (also known as Miller’s brother-in-law). And what’s up with Olly’s mom, Lucy (Tanya Franks): last week we found out she’s deeply in debt and now she’s hitting up Miller offering info on the murder for money? How long before her husband shows up with mysteries of his own?
- It’s interesting that there’s no forgiving Jack for his “sordid” past. Even after he confides in Mark why he hugged Danny and the other sea brigade boys, all he gets is a cold “get out of town” and thinly veiled threats of violence. And yet his reasoning – he missed his dead son – is exactly the same reason that Beth requested a hug from Tom after last week’s church lunch (which, let’s be honest, she held for an inappropriately too long). I guess there’s a different set of rules for grieving mothers vs fathers
- Speaking of Beth, how awesome is her virtuoso display of destruction at Becca’s? While I’m not a big advocate of taking out your frustrations on the “other” person when it comes to infidelity, if you’re gonna smash things up, you might as well do it right
- What.Is.Up with Paul? He’s far too chummy with the women of Broadchurch. First he seemed suspiciously close to Beth and now that she’s criticizing his God, he’s cozying up with Becca? I love Arthur Darvill, but Paul gives me the creeps
- Finally, just when you think Miller and Hardy are starting to get along (the brief moment they share a laugh about Bryan’s gumption at asking her out is lovely), she goes and randomly drops the failed Sandbrook case like a lit bomb. Not cool Miller!
- Karen (chastising him for not considering the layout of his article): “Thinking definitely helps, Olly”
- Olly (when Karen asks him to use the backdoor): “You really are a dirty girl, aren’t you?”
- Chloe (taking police liaison Pete down a peg): “You’re just getting fat eating all the toast we make you!”
- Beth (to Becca): “Come near my family again and I’ll break your fucking face” Love it!
- Mark (when Jack protests having to leave his home): “They’ve made up their minds.”
And with that we’re only three episodes away from the big reveal. Hardy’s suspects include Jack (RIP), Mark (unlikely) and Paul (maaaaybe). Do they match yours? (My money, FYI, is on Paul, Susan or Tom). Did you cheer when Beth got her Hulk on? Will you miss Jack? Any insight on Olly’s family situation and how it factors into things? Comment away below!
Broadchurch airs Wednesdays at 10pm EST on BBC America. *Please Note: Since this series has already aired in the UK, please refrain from posting spoilers or commenting on future episodes.