Broadchurch review: The stakes are finally high but can the implausible plotlines be forgiven?

Episode seven: You have to wonder if Broadchurch can salvage any subtlety in time for the series two finale next week

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The Independent Culture

Seven weeks in and finally the stakes are high just in time for next week’s finale.

While Broadchurch has been full of the sort of high drama that wouldn't be out of place in EastEnders, there hasn’t been a huge amount to keep us wanting to tune in for the next instalment.

The big questions that need answers in the finale

At least now we are close to hearing whether the jury really believes Sharon Bishop’s implausible case that Mark Latimer killed his son without a shred of forensic evidence to prove it.

And there are developments in the Sandbrook case that Ricky Gillespie may have been the one colluding with Claire using pressed bluebells back at Alec Hardy’s countryside idyll.

 

But it is still hard to look beyond the ridiculous plotlines that have led us here. Would the emotionally challenged Hardy really have slept by Claire’s bed as she awoke from her abortion? Would the Joe Miller trial ever have been allowed to drag on this long in reality? Why does Ellie Miller still care more about Sandbrook than her own children?

And why, in the midst of all these muddied plotlines, has the drama suddenly decided to tackle middle-aged lesbianism?

This is the sort of nuanced issue creator Chris Chibnall could have dealt with sensitively in his first series, but the snatched scene in which Jocelyn declares her undying love for newspaper editor Maggie over a glass of Merlot on top of the windy cliff top was laughably absurd.

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Jocelyn Knight has revealed her hidden love for newspaper editor Maggie

Lee’s endless appearances on top of Broadchurch’s various grassy knolls are equally questionable. At least he chose another spot to take on Claire, who endured a different sort of rough play she usually enjoys with her husband.

Unfortunately it’s not just the plotline that has let this second series down, but the dialogue too. After Claire and Lee finally part ways, her best riposte to a man who has emotionally abused her is “you’re so stupid”.

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Lee's endless surprise appearances on Broadchurch's grassy knolls are equally questionable

And while she sits on the beach explaining to Ellie that her “life was destroyed in the ripples that keep coming at me” as the shot pans out to the waves crashing around her, you have to wonder if Broadchurch can salvage any subtlety in time for its finale.

Read more: David Tennant says Broadchurch is 'victim of its own success'
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