Well, Happy 2015, everyone! And as another year goes by, it’s time we set the previous year ablaze in a hateful effigy.
After all, we had Ebola, Oscar Pistorius getting off, Scotland declaring dependence, Syria going to shit, those girls in Nigeria, Cliven Bundy, Turkey banning Twitter, Heartbleed, that weird moment when bronies were accused of harbouring pedophiles (turns out it was bullshit), that nutter in Santa Barbara, the shithead cops in Ferguson, the shithead cops in Cleveland, the shooting in Ottawa, North Korea hacking Sony, Robin Williams dying, fucking GamerGate, and motherfucking ISIS!
It’s been a shit year all told, and I’m glad it’s finally over! And me, being the eternal optimist that I am, I’m hoping this means society is on the upswing and things will only get better. We can assume the recent bullshit in France is a fluke.
But I have no idea! So I guess the only thing to do is hope for the best and prepare your nuclear fallout shelters, just in case. You know, they might come in handy.
Now, if only, the Latimers thought of that, then the events of the last week’s episode of Broadchurch wouldn’t have come as such a shock to them!
Before we continue, I’d just like to say, if you haven’t seen the finale of Broadchurch series one, stop reading now. Oh, don’t give me something about, ‘uh, I’m not going to watch that show.’ No, watch it, now! The first series was fantastic, and you need to watch it! And as I cover the new series, I’ll be ruining the first. So let’s get rolling.
Oh, yeah, I’m going to be covering the new series of Broadchurch… shocked?
But first, let’s take a look back. The series one finale of Broadchurch revealed who the murderer was. And who was it? Well I still want to wait for people to leave so…
They try to get us to suspect it’s Nigel, as he’s hiding in a van.
Then, as Hardy is suspended because he has a heart condition, he reveals he figured it out. And then a big clue comes when Danny’s cell phone, which the killer has, was turned on, and so they’re tracking it down. So as he walks toward the signal, they try to get us to suspect it’s Mark…
And then the priest…
And then it’s revealed… it’s actually Ellie’s husband. Joe Miller.
He turns himself in without a fight, and gives a full confession.
Seems he was meeting Danny in secret for several months, slowly developing a strong friendship; and he was ‘in love’ with the kid and possibly a pedophile or something. He never sexually abused him, but I don’t know.
And on that night, they got into an argument, and Danny suddenly accuses Joe of being a pedo, and Joe responds by choking the shit out of the little fucker, and doesn’t realize he’s killing the kid, until it’s too late.
But how does Ellie take this news. Well, pretty well… She breaks down into tears and then kicks the shit out of him.
“You’re a fucking piece of shit!!!” – Ellie Miller
See? She didn’t try to stab him with a spork, so I think she took it relatively well.
Obviously, she didn’t know. And even if part of her did know, it’s likely the other part of her refused to even consider it.
But try explaining that to Beth, who blames Ellie for her son’s death.
“How could you not know?” – Beth Latimer
Her exact words, people! And you know what, I understand she’s a grieving mother, and she might not be thinking straight, but: Fuck you, Beth.
You wanna know how she could not know? Because she doesn’t have psychic powers, and her husband was really good at hiding it. He was a sneaky bastard.
And this is a real kick in the chops for Ellie, because she said the same thing to Susan Wright in the episode prior.
At least she understands now.
And as the series ended, we saw a touching scene as people up and down the coast honoured Danny with fiery tributes.
But you already know this, since you saw the show, right?
Then, around five months later, we pick up with the town, on the day Joe Miller has his first court date, to enter his plea.
And everyone’s there!
Alec Hardy’s finally settled into the town. Bought a home and everything.
What’s left of Ellie’s family has completely broken apart. Tom doesn’t want to see her anymore, because he blames her for some bizarre reason. And so now she’s working in Devon as a hard-ass traffic cop.
Ellie’s Partner: Can we give him a break?
Ellie’s Subtext: No, fuck off!
I guess because the last time she gave someone a break, he ended up killing her best friend’s son!
The Latimer’s are busy preparing for the new baby, and Beth still blames Ellie for her son’s death.
Fuck you, Beth.
Becca and Paul have gotten together.
That’s right, it’s the town vicar and the town bike, and I totally called it. I guess opposites really do attract.
And as they all gather to hear Joe make his plea, they all probably know exactly what he’s going to say. I mean, he already confessed, of course he’d just plead guilty.
And so he enters his plea…
“Not Guilty.” – Joe Miller
Holy shit! What!?
Yes, he’s actually going to fight the conviction, which might’ve been pretty darn easy if he didn’t already confess!
But everyone’s surprised by this, even his own lawyer.
He asks her to find someone who can take the case. I’m assuming because in the UK it’s a specialized job and she’s not that kind of lawyer.
But why is he even bothering to fight it? After all, a full trial will be pretty aggravating for the family. Isn’t he considering what he’s going through? Well, obviously not given that he killed their kid!
But I honestly can’t be surprised. Especially after the moment he arrived in the courtroom, and saw all their hate-filled faces.
He probably thought the same thing everyone else thought. After what he did, and regardless of what he did now, he had no chance of redemption. None. So he had absolutely nothing to gain by pleading ‘guilty’. And nothing to lose by pleading ‘not-guilty’. You can’t really be surprised. But they were for some reason.
So, Joe’s lawyer decides to find him a lawyer. And she does. Her own boss, Sharon Bishop.
But Bishop doesn’t want to, until the first lawyer talks her into it, by pointing out a few discrepancies.
Okay, now I’m worried.
Meanwhile, the Latimers need to find a prosecutor, because apparently they can do that. And they’re advised to recruit local QC, Jocelyn Knight.
Apparently, she’s one of the best, but hasn’t prosecuted anything in three years. Why? Well, she says Maggie knows why, but they’re not telling us.
Of course, she changes her mind once she learns that Bishop is defending Joe Miller.
Apparently Knight and Bishop have a bit of a history. Ah, I see what you did there, writers! Chess reference! I assume we should also note that one is black and one is white, you racists!
Is the Judge going to be named Steve Rook, as well!?
So we’re basically looking at a grudge match of some kind. This is going to be interesting. Though I really wish they didn’t try to hide it so clumsily. We know there’s something between them, but they just refuse to tell us, or even give us a hint, even though it would make sense to. It’s almost as if the characters consciously want us to remain in the dark!
“So you’ll do it for them, but not f- …” – Bishop
Spit it out!
I mean, I get it, this is intended to be one of the major mysteries of the series. But they can’t even finish their goddamn sentences?
And as this complex drama is going on. Hardy and Ellie and dealing with their own problems.
Meet Claire, played by Gwen Cooper from Torchwood and two episodes of Doctor Who. And she’s been calling Hardy all day because ‘he’s’ after her.
What!? Oh, no! Not ‘he’! Anyone but ‘he’!
Actually they explain this one pretty quickly. Turns out ‘he’ is Lee Ashworth, the man Hardy tried for murder in the Sandbrook case, which was the case he botched prior to series one.
And Claire testified against him.
So fuck us!
But Hardy’s sure there’s no issue, since Ashworth isn’t even in the country. Then he learns that the guy’s been back for the past three days, and no one told him.
“What is the point of you, Craig!?” – Hardy
See, never do business with a Craig.
Oh, and the guy also broke into Hardy’s house, and stole some mail.
Oh, shit! Phone bills! We’re screwed!
So with Ashworth in Broadchurch, Claire life could be in jeopardy. So why don’t they put her in witness protection or something?
Well, because there is no witness protection if you testify against someone who’s been acquitted. Which is why both she and Hardy came to Broadchurch at the beginning of the last series. So she could hide from Ashworth.
Though, given that, why Hardy would work as the lead investigator in a high-profile murder case is beyond me. I guess dead kid trumps potentially dead former witness, or he didn’t think Ashworth would be smart enough to consider that Hardy could lead him to her.
But why would Ashworth go after her specifically? Especially since he walked free? What would be the point? And surely she wasn’t the only witness in the case! What’s going on!? Well, there is a reason for that: Claire’s his wife!
So with all that explained, this job is too big for just one cop on the edge!
He recruits Ellie and explains everything to her, so he can enact his big plan, which is… Actually I’m not sure. I think part of it involves Ashworth finding Claire and doing… something…
Maybe Hardy’s hoping he’ll incriminate himself, that way they can finally convict him. I don’t know. Hopefully they’ll explain in greater detail, but for the time being, we got nothing.
And the thread ends like this. With little explanation other than seeing the two of them spend the night at Claire’s, before the next day when some bullshit happens involving the other plot thread with Danny’s body being exhumed by Joe’s defence team, pissing everyone off.
And that’s the first episode of the new series of Broadchurch. And what an episode it was.
Obviously this episode was intended merely to kick off the rest of the series, and as such it doesn’t work as a standalone episode. So it’s a good thing it isn’t. But what it gives us is fantastic.
We got the same old characters, still as fun as ever. Maggie’s still the badass newspaper editor, and Olly’s still the enthusiastic young reporter. Golly gee willikers!
Paul’s changed somewhat. No longer as awkward as I remember. I guess when you’re dating the fittest woman in town it does something to your self-confidence.
He’s even taken to visiting Joe in prison to comfort him. And really, this tends to be the job of priests, to help those who are at their lowest. It’s also one of the few things about religion I can support. Rehabilitating even the most hardened of criminal.
But obviously those visits and prayers didn’t stop Joe from trying to fight his conviction.
Speaking of Joe, why is he doing this? Why is he fighting the conviction?
Well, as I said earlier, he really has nothing to lose. But as we see him talking to Paul after entering his plea, he gives hits that there are other reasons.
Joe: Nobody’s innocent, Paul. Everyone’s hiding things.
Paul’s face: Da fuq!?
Yeah, I don’t get it either. Is it some type of revenge plot?
Speaking of revenge, there’s also Mark, who’s been disappearing for hours at a time, and not answering his phone, making Beth curious. Especially once Nigel calls asking for Mark, and Beth replies: “He’s with you, isn’t he?”
So where is he? Is he fucking Becca Fisher again!? Is he in a three-way with the priest!?
No, actually it’s much more benign. He’s with Tom Miller, playing FIFA!
Now, obviously, we shouldn’t jump to conclusions, but holy fuck! It’s possible, (in fact, likely) that his motivations are strictly benign, and he’s merely befriending a little boy who is in desperate need of a father figure who didn’t murder his best friend.
It’s also possible he’s planning some epic revenge in a you-take-my-son-I-take-yours kinda fashion. But if that was the case, he could probably just kill the kid and get it over with right then and there. They’re already alone, and no one knows. Why wait?
So I’m leaning toward the friendship angle. It might also be possible he wants to understand the relationship Joe had with Danny. But, you know, without the possible pedophilia.
I guess the rest of the series will fill us in.
And finally, there’s one more thing to talk about: Ellie and Hardy.
Back in series one, Hardy acted as the distant one, who just wanted to do the job. He didn’t socialize and he kept to himself. So it was up to Ellie to get him out meeting people. Which admittingly, she did with much hesitation.
“You’re invited to dinner! For fuck sake!” – Ellie Miller (I’m paraphrasing)
Oddly enough, it was Joe’s idea.
This series, the roles are kinda reversed. Ellie’s keeping to herself, so Hardy’s trying to get her out into the real world.
Hardy: Try not to be alone today, Miller.
Ellie: I am alone, sir!
Hardy: You don’t have to call me ‘sir’ anymore.
Ellie: I know! [trips on sign] Christ! Did you put that there!?
He shows a genuine concern for her, and she keeps pushing him away. And it’s made all the more crucial since he may be the only one who truly feels sorry for her. Almost everyone else blames her for what Joe did. Even though they shouldn’t. But Hardy almost certainly doesn’t blame her for anything.
It might also be the reason he recruited her to help him deal with Claire. She needs to get out, and Claire is probably one of the few people who genuinely understands what she’s going through, since they both married murderers.
I just hope they don’t turn it into a shoehorned romance plot. They need to stay ‘just friends,’ I don’t think it would work otherwise. Please don’t turn this into another Jonathan Creek.
So all in all, I’m excited for the new series. Of course I am, it’s my number one favourite show that hasn’t been cancelled yet!
That’s right! Move over ya fuckin’ ponies! It’s time we got some character drama up in here!