The Trish Winterman storyline was put on the back burner for episode 6 of Broadchurch, the most moving and strongest episode of the series so far.
Previously, the Mark Latimer story had felt tagged on to series 3. A frustrating sub-plot, distracting from the new case.
However, Andrew Buchan’s emotionally charged performance as he stalked and finally confronted Joe Miller more than justified the lengthy preamble.
Unable to take physical revenge on Joe, but still filled with guilt and regrets, Chibnall delved deep into the psyche of any parent who has lost a child.
In the closing moments of the episode, Mark seemed to have found some sort of resolution, jumping off a boat and floating away in the sea. Tragic and strangely moving, if that was the closing moment for the Danny Latimer story, it was a strong one.
Elsewhere, Hardy and Miller made significant progress in the Trish Winterman case, but we still have some burning questions that need answering.
1. Is a broken down car the key clue?
The third rape victim is still refusing to speak to the police, despite Beth Latimer’s best efforts. However, they did reveal that the attack happened while waiting for a car break down service to arrive.
Beth picked up on the clue, but it seemed to go over Miller’s head. It places car mechanic Jim Atwood front and centre as a suspect with a possible means for all three attacks. Does he use the excuse of a loveless marriage to hunt down vulnerable women while out on the road?
2. Why does Ed Burnett have grass stains on his trousers?
We’re about 99% certain that Ed Burnett isn’t the rapist. We doubt Lenny Henry would take the role of the one black man in the village and then agree to be the rapist.
However, his obsession with Trish is creepy and much more than a healthy romantic interest. He’s a stalker, who has been posting secret messages to his employee, camped outside her home and taking secret snaps of her for the last decade.
Perhaps most importantly, why did Ed have grass strains over his suit after the party? He may not have raped Trish, but he’s still hiding something from the police.
3. Is Cath Awtood heading for a fall?
In series one of Broadchurch, there was one key line from Ellie Miller, which came back to haunt her.
“In your own house, how could you not know?”, she told Pauline Quirke’s Susan Wright.
When Danny Latimer’s killer turned out to be Ellie’s own husband, the line took a darkly ironic twist.
Could Cath Atwood be heading for a similar fall this week as she exchanged venomous looks and barbs with Trish. Despite previously pointing the finger at Jim as a possible suspect, Cath has now opted to take her husband’s side and disown her former friend.
Cath’s vanity and desperation to keep up appearances seems to have blinded her from the reality of her husband’s lecherous way. The pair are planning to depart Broadchurch, but Hardy and Miller may have something to say about it.
4. Is there a porn ring in Broadchurch?
Laptops, football socks, drawers of trinkets, school boys with phones filled with adult movies. There’s something connecting all of these different clues and storyline strands, but the curtain hasn’t been pulled back yet to reveal exactly who is pulling the strings.
Ian, ‘Twine Boy’ Leo, dodgy cabbie Lucas and Tom Miller are all connected in what looks like a possible local porn ring. Whether this directly connects to the attack on Trish remains to be seen.
5. Has Miller destroyed key evidence?
We could watch Olivia Colman bashing up a laptop and mobile phone all day, but did her drastic action actually cost her team vital evidence. If Ian has successfully wiped his laptop, Tom’s kit may have been the only place holding vital clues to what is going in with Lucas, Leo and the rest.
6. Why is Ian trying to set up Ed?
The pair obviously have previous – Ed refused Ian a caravan to stay in only last week – but Ian’s sudden bombshell about the shopworker sexually harassing Trish was still surprising.
Is Ian deflecting attention from himself? And how come Hardy and Miller haven’t got any of this info about the sexual harassment allegations? Surely someone would have seen that as a red flag during background checks?
Broadchurch airs on Mondays at 9pm on ITV.
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Photo Credit: ITV Pictures