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‘There’s been a murrderr’. This week DI Hardy gets his Taggart on as the mystery surrounding Danny’s death becomes much thicker. Pauline Quirk finally finds her voice; Mark Latimer is up to no good and the Daily Herald’s Karen White appears to have a hidden agenda. If that wasn’t enough, it’s all gone a bit supernatural as a psychic claims he can communicate with dead people. Where’s Bruce Willis when you need him?
It’s really not looking good for the inhabitants of Broadchurch. Miller and Hardy are under pressure in the Latimer case. They need to work quickly in order to identify the main suspects in the case, but with more unexpected evidence mounting this seems an unlikely possibility. Ellie Miller refuses to believe that someone in the small town is responsible for Danny’s death, ‘I live here. We don’t have these problems.’ Ellie’s naivety and loyalty to the town and its residents cloud her judgment. She’s too emotionally attached and it’s good that she has someone like Hardy to ground her, even if she’s not always grateful for his input.
Local postman Kevin is the first suspect. Shop owner Jack Marshall (David Bradley) – you may recognise him as Argus Fitch from the Harry Potter series – remembers seeing Danny arguing with the postman in the early hours of the morning. When questioned, Kevin tells Hardy and Miller he had nothing to do with Danny. He never argued with him or even spoke to him; he was out getting drunk with his friends. Hardy stands there in silence looking around at the houses which makes Kevin feel uncomfortable. Ellie, on the other hand, is all smiles. Hardy picks at her method and she criticises him for his attempts at trying to mould her into something she is not. Her hilarious retort, ‘keep your broody bullshit schtick to yourself’, puts Hardy in his place.
DI Alex Hardy is particularly moody this week. Last week’s 99 might have done him some good but he wasn’t impressed. This week he turns down fish and chips. What’s wrong with him? It may have something to do with the strange dizzy spells he’s been having or does it have something to do with the young girl whose picture he carries around in his wallet? The clues surrounding Hardy’s past are slowly piling up and something tells me his past is going to catch up with him.
When the postman’s alibi is confirmed, Hardy wants to look at the Latimer’s. ‘No murderer behaves normally after a period of time.’ He tells Ellie to look for anything out of the ordinary amongst the people in the community, but she is dead set on the killer being an outsider. The following morning Hardy uses his instincts about the hut up on Briars Cliff and goes to question the cleaner Susan Wright (Pauline Quirk). She’s in a foul mood and is reticent to hand the keys to the hut over to Hardy. Hmmm I wonder why? Could it have something to do with that skateboard in her closet? Considering Danny’s skateboard and mobile are priority one, I don’t think Ms Quirk will be practising her moves on the local half pipe anytime soon.
Hardy’s suspicions about the hut turn out to be right. There are traces of blood in the hut and the fingerprints match Danny’s. It’s also been ruthlessly cleaned and there are another set of prints by the sink belonging to Danny’s father Mark Latimer. Hardy also retrieved video footage of Mark waiting in the car park at the top of Briars Cliff the night Danny went missing. When questioned Mark can’t recall whom he was waiting for or what they did. Couple all this evidence with his angry outburst at the local Reverend and things really are not looking so good for him. Did he really hurt Danny or is he just having an affair?
The portrait of family grief is predominantly expressed through Beth Latimer. She fluctuates between vacant expressions and then a sudden outburst of high emotions. She can’t go anywhere without people looking at her or approaching her offering her family support. The slow motion techniques adopted in the programme comment upon Beth’s mental state and try to offer audiences a realistic (or as close as they can get) view of what parental trauma feels like. Jodie Whittaker’s performance is again very moving.
Perhaps not so concerned is Danny’s sister Chloe. A bag of cocaine and £500 in cash are found under the bed frame in Danny’s room. Chloe claims that she got the drugs from hotel/bar owner Becca Fisher (the Australian woman). Becca denies this. It seems that Chloe is covering for her boyfriend Dean. Did Danny find out about Chloe’s extra curricular activities and threaten to tell his parents or someone else? Is this even linked to Danny’s murder or is someone trying to make it look like there’s a connection to throw the scent off? One person Chloe should be worried about is reporter Karen White. She’s shaping up to be Broadchurch’s femme fatale. It seems as if she has been waiting for Chloe and had researched her route home – or possibly knew of her whereabouts. She hands Chloe Danny’s teddy, which she took from the beach. She then offers Chloe her number. It’s unclear what Karen’s motives are at this point, but she’s definitely not to be trusted. Karen appears to be using local reporter Oliver too, ‘you help me and I’m willing to help you.’ Never trust a beautiful women Oliver, it’s not going to advance your career in anyway!
An unexpected addition to the Broadchurch cast this week is psychic Steven Connelly played by former Hollyoaks, and Two Pints of Larger and a Packet of Crisps actor Will Mellor. His real job is a telephone engineer – how apt considering he likes to connect with people psychically too. He tells Miller and Hardy about his psychic messages and that he’s had one from Danny. He believes that it has something to do with water and that Danny was in a boat. Naturally, the detectives are sceptical and Hardy calls him a ‘krank wasting police time’. Mellor has a recurring role throughout the series so there may be something to his abilities, but for now he’s branded a local loony, particularly by Hardy.
Case files: Danny’s fingerprints were found at the hut on Briars Cliff, a mile and a half from where his body was found. Whether he was here at the time of his murder is unknown, but this corroborates the coroner’s findings in last week’s episode. The hut had been rigorously cleaned and the only known cleaner is Pauline Quirk’s Susan Wright. Susan also has Danny’s skateboard.
Mark Latimer’s fingerprints were also found at the hut and he was caught on CCTV waiting on the car park near the hut for an unknown individual.
There’s also still the matter of the deleted text messages and computer files that implicates Ellie’s son Tom. Tom has been shouting ‘Danny’ in his sleep. Will he feel guilty about deleting evidence and confess to his mum? He’s not too happy about being questioned by the police, so maybe so. Did Tom also know about the money and drugs or did he know what Danny was really up to?
Episode One and Two of Broadchurch are available on ITV Player
Episode Three airs on Monday 18th March