The truth is starting to come out as the suspect list narrows, though there’s shady business aplenty in the sleepy town of Broadchurch. So who’s in the cross-hairs now?
Let’s bitch it out…
Despite the significant setbacks plaguing the investigation, episode six focuses on two new suspects: Paul (Arthur Darvill) and Susan (Pauline Quirke). At this point, with only a few episodes remaining, it seems more and more likely that the secrets that emerge are more significant and meaningful than ever.
It’s been eight weeks since Danny Latimer’s murder and a significant portion of the episode concerns the state of the investigation. The case has already claimed another life – Jack Marshall, who is put to rest in tonight’s episode – but in reality it’s destroyed virtually the entire Latimer family. Chloe’s (Charlotte Beaumont) return to school is disastrous, people can’t believe Mark (Andrew Buchnan) is back at work and Beth (Jodie Whittaker) is on the cusp on a complete emotional breakdown. The distraught mother asks Karen (Vicky McClure) to get in touch with the mother of a victim from Hardy’s (David Tennant) previous case in one of the most uncomfortable scenes of the series. The coffee shop confession may have been the best thing for Beth because it reveals the bleak future of pills, booze, and afternoon naps that await her unless she pulls herself out of her grief spiral.
All of these encounters culminate in a family confrontation when Chloe runs to Dean’s “happy room” for relief from being “the dead boy’s sister”. The resulting montage of the carefree family at the arcade is cathartic. It took me a moment to realize why these images are so powerful: we’ve never seen these people happy before. It’s nice to see the three of them laughing and bonding, especially when Beth decides that she will keep the baby.
The rest of the town isn’t doing quite so well. As the case loses steam and the media attacks on Hardy heat up following Jack’s death, he and Miller (Olivia Colman) zero in on Paul as their latest person of interest. Darvill’s Paul has come off as a nice guy throughout the series, though I’ll admit that I’m biased by my impression of him from his tenure on Doctor Who. He’s clearly not Rory here, though, as he’s hiding dark secrets like many of the other citizens of the town. There’s the questionable involvement with the boys at the school (Hardy sees him touching Adam Wilson’s Tom in a potentially inappropriate at Jack’s wake). And then there’s his secret battle with alcoholism, which he seems determined to keep private.
Whether or not there’s more to Paul is uncertain. The episode takes a sudden detour when Maggie (Carolyn Pickles) tracks down info on Susan, which coincides with the mysterious dog-lover’s offer of Danny’s missing skateboard to Tom. The incriminating evidence is enough to take her in for questioning, an act which is itself side-tracked by news that the Hut has been broken into, leading to a foot chase and Hardy’s most severe attack yet. It’s all happens fairly quickly so that suddenly the episode is over and you realize that very little has been resolved.
At this point there’s still a number of loose ends to be dealt with, but with the reveal of several key pieces of information and the few remaining suspects either being cleared or questioned, there’s a sense of the inevitable end drawing near. Danny’s killer will be revealed soon, and something tells me the hows and whys of the crime will be shocking and painful.
- The inflammatory newsprint that catches Maggie’s attention has something to do with Susan’s husband and daughter and has the word “Monster” in the headline. Interestingly, we now know that both Jack and Susan had secret families and both were involved in the sea brigade. Is this how Susan is connected to Nige (Joe Sims)?
- If Susan previously seemed like the most likely villain solely based on suspicious behaviour, she’s now been superseded by Tom Miller. At Jack’s wake the angry young boy snaps at Chloe that he hated Danny, then we later see him destroying his laptop after Paul confirms that the police have the capacity to recover its deleted contents. Remember that Tom still has Danny’s smartphone, too. What were the boys mixed up in?
- At this point it’s unclear whether or not there’s more to Paul’s involvement in any of this. Something tells me that he’s a red-herring – someone who is literally exactly what he seems: a reformed drunk looking to unite the community after a tragic series of events
- Hardy is clearly getting worse. His attack at episode’s end prevents Miller from catching the killer, and earlier in the hour he nearly faints at Jack’s wake. There’s a good chance that these spells will mark the end of his time on the case
- Miller (when Hardy calls himself the worst cop in Britain): “Yeah…I’ll get that printed on a t-shirt”
- Maggie (to Vicky McClure’s Karen when she returns to town after Jack’s death): “Have you come to wash the blood off your hands?” That seems a bit unfair, no?
- Miller (to Joe, about the case): “The longer it goes on, the more I’m afraid I’ll suspect everyone”
- Beth (when Mark reassures her that Chloe is fine): “How can you ever say that now?”
Your turn: Who’s looking guiltier: Susan or Tom? Is Nige really going to kill Susan’s dog with that crossbow? Is there more to Paul’s background than we know? Will Hardy survive these attacks? Sound off below
Broadchurch airs Wednesdays at 10pm EST on BBC America