Broadchurch series three was starting to fall into Midsomer Murders territory about halfway through episode three.
Olivia Colman’s Ellie Miller summed up the whodunit TV cliché nicely; pointing out that the list of suspects was growing by the minute rather than narrowing.
The band member, the café owner and the taxi driver were all questioned by Miller and Hardy (David Tennant) – it felt like we were only missing a butcher, a baker and a candlestick maker.
However, writer Chris Chibnall began to weave together several spiraling storylines at the end of the episode, which had our heads spinning and rewriting our list of suspects from scratch.
Here are the five burning questions we have after Broadchurch episode three.
1. Who slept with Trish on the morning of the attack?
Who is Trish trying to protect and why does she want to keep their identity from the police? Hardy’s bolshie interrogation technique and Miller’s trite style haven’t been able to win her trust and she understandably wants to keep her private life, private.
What will it take for her to reveal her secret lover’s identity? Perhaps if they get taken in for questioning, she’ll speak up in their defence.
2. When is Hardy ever going to get some sleep?
David Tennant looked like he’d been dragged through a hedge backwards this week and we were appalled by his technique of tea-making involving a microwave and a knife. The man nearly died from heart failure in series one, shouldn’t he be adopting a more healthy lifestyle? Fetch the man some quinoa.
3. What is Ian hiding on his computer?
Linking together two different plots, Ian (Charlie Higson) had a late night meeting with fishing shop manager Leo (Chris Mason) to discuss getting rid of ‘that stuff’ from my computer.
If Ian is innocent, he’s been very unlucky with his circumstances.
He got blind drunk at the party and blacked out, waking up in the grass by the lake. He lied to the police about this, claiming that he shared a taxi home.
He’s washed his clothes from the party, scrubbed his shoes and refused to hand over his DNA.
And he’s got something on his laptop that he’s desperate to hide from the police.
The evidence stacking up against Leo doesn’t look good either.
4. Why doesn’t Cath trust her husband?
Cath interrogated her husband Jim about whether he knew anything connected with the attack on Trish. The fact that even Jim’s wife believes he may have been capable doesn’t bode well for the mechanic. However, there’s no motive or link between Jim and the attack yet, other than his brooding stare.
5. Who is texting Trish? And are they now sending flowers?
Is the person sending threatening and apologetic texts to Trish, the same person who has posted anonymous flowers on her doorstep?
We suspect the texter and flower-sender may not be the attacker – who they really be so meticulous in their actions and then so careless in the cover-up?
6. What secrets is Lenny Henry’s Ed Burnett hiding?
Grumpy show owner Ed remains an enigma, but at least he has the same story as Jim about their fight at the party – it was about Cath’s working hours.
We did get a few clues about Ed’s past – he doesn’t drink, his wife died 13 years ago, he has some terrible opinions about rape victims – but we suspect there are plenty more secrets to be revealed in the coming weeks.
We still don’t know what his daughter informed him about the case either, but we suspect Miller and Hardy won’t be best pleased when they discover one of the investigating officers is related to a key suspect.
7. The home owner is a new prime suspect
Out of all the new suspects revealed this week, the most suspicious was the owner of Axehampton House, named Arthur (Richard Hope).
He only appeared briefly in the episode to hand over some of the CCTV footage, but his mutterings about the quiet spot by the waterfall “where nobody will notice me” were immediate red flags. We’re sure this won’t be the last we hear from him.
8. Clive Lucas really needs to stop lying
Dodgy taxi driver Clive got himself into all sorts of bother this week with a tangled web of lies about his actions on the night.
Someone at the party spotted his vehicle empty with the lights off late at night, leaving him with plenty of questions to answer.
Miller and Hardy are also now aware of his peculiar home life. Married aged just 19, he gave up his promising medical career to look after his wife and another man’s son. Despite a decade of philandering, she refuses to leave him and they just sleep in different beds.
He’s been accused of sexual misconduct with a passenger in the past and his relationship with his son-in-law looks like it may be abusive. All of this combined, it can’t be long before Hardy and Miller swoop in for the shifty cabbie.
9. Tom Miller is going to be in big trouble with his mum
Tom Miller’s bad behaviour at school is far more troubling than first feared. He’s not just part of high school hijinks, he’s clearly instigating the sharing of pornography with his school friends.
He’s been stealing back his phone from his mum and is showing no signs of regret or remorse about his actions. Could the young lad be following a dark path down his father’s footsteps?
Broadchurch airs Mondays at 9pm on ITV.
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