This review contains spoilers.
To borrow a phrase: well, that escalated quickly.
Yes, the second episode of the popular drama does not hang about. We are quickly treated to witnesses being summoned – and the case seeming to crumble around us – as well as the meeting between Claire (Eve Myles) and Lee Ashworth (James D’Arcy) (re-uniting gets tricky when your husband may have committed murder) and Beth’s (Jodie Whittaker) water breaking.
First, the trial. This happened much quicker than I was expecting it to and it doesn’t look, as I originally assumed, like the entire second series will be based around Joe’s trial and the legal process. The witnesses being called did allow things from the last series to be brought up again, such as Mark Latimer (Andrew Buchan) hitting Danny and Ellie (Olivia Colman) assaulting her husband whilst in police custody. However, there is little time to sit with these developments, which is a disappointment in a series that has previously excelled in showing the devastation of secrets revealed in a small town.
But amidst this, we also have Hardy (David Tennant) and his crusade to close Sandbrooke. It is in this episode, that I started to think that DI Hardy (now teaching terribly) is possibly not a very good police officer. I know. It was a surprise to me too. His witness protection plan shows a shocking lack of foresight, and the problems with sending Claire to meet with her husband could have been seen a mile off.
Ellie and Claire’s scenes are a delight in this episode. A slightly strange situation in which they bond over their husbands being murderers, but nevertheless very interesting interactions. Ellie’s shock at Claire’s account of her and Lee – “he’s never been rough with me, not unless I’ve asked” – was very entertaining, and Ellie seemed concerned with the protection of Claire in a very sweet – and more professional – way.
So, following a very uncomfortable scene which seems to threaten sexual assault, Claire and Lee disappear. It seems unlikely that she would have gone with him willingly, which suggests that Hardy and Miller just facilitated a kidnapping. The ending of the episode seems abrupt in the extreme, as we have Hardy tearing out of the house in pursuit whilst Beth’s water has broken and she continues to yell at Ellie. Cue titles.
At breakneck speed, then, the new series of Broadchurch continues. I hope that we have some more reactions next week, and that these reactions are not just Hardy yelling. This episode felt a little rushed; it was clear that last episode brought in a lot of new threads and plotlines, but it seems as though they’re struggling to manage all of them in this episode. I am, however, eager to see how they progress from here – and whether the Sandbrooke and Broadchurch cases can co-exist without consuming each other.