A Million Little Mistakes: Broadchurch Series 2 Episode 2 review

So, as we all know, the first series of Broadchurch was all about secrets. Everyone in the show had a dark secret and each of them were revealed over the course of the show, culminating with the reveal that a familiar character was a murdering bastard!

So what’s the theme of the new series? Not sure yet.

The first episode didn’t have much to work with. All it did was set up future plot points. I guess one could argue it was about returns and resurrections. The phoenix rising from the ashes. That kind of thing.

We have Hardy, making a return to an old case; We have Ellie returning to Broadchurch as a kick ass cop; We have murdering prick trying to make a return to freedom; We have the two lawyers, each making a return to court after a prolonged absence; and it ends with Danny making a return from being buried in a grave.

No, he didn’t turn into a zombie, that’s another show.

But the second episode doesn’t share that theme, at least, as far as I can see. It appears last week’s episode of Broadchurch follows a completely different theme: Mistakes, and either accepting the consequences, or fixing the damage.

(Once again, don’t read this if you haven’t caught up on series one of Broadchurch.)

The big mistake obviously carries over from the last episode: Sandbrook.

You know, I find it odd that Hardy blames himself for what happened, given it was his wife who left the pendant in her car. Nonetheless, he’s taken responsibility. And as such, is still protecting Claire from Lee Ashworth, who’s now in Broadchurch.

And he wants to see Claire.

Yeah, not going to happen, obviously. Or is it?

Well, in his continuing quest to right past wrongs, and finally prove Lee Ashworth killed those kids, he plans to get the two of them in a room together, and then things will happen, I guess. I’m not sure exactly what his plan is here.

But of course, Claire has to agree with it first. And she won’t. No, fuck that, he’ll do things, or something.

But Hardy’s desperate to get this to go through, and asks Ellie to help.

So the two of them have a heart to heart. They have so much to bond over. I mean, both their husbands are child murderers, so it all works out!

They talk about their murderers husbands. And eventually, Ellie talks about what would happen if she doesn’t confront him. She’ll be stuck in Broadchurch, hiding in that little house with nothing to do, bored out of her mind. She doesn’t even have a blog to update, it’s gonna drive her nuts eventually!

Also, the families in Sandbrook will never have closure. They need to end this!

That doesn’t work.

Then Ellie brings up how shit her life is since she was made pariah-by-proxy. She doesn’t have a lot going on, so she’s going to protect Claire.

This somehow works and I’m not sure why.

So Hardy arranges them to meet at a neutral location.

For those of you who don’t recognize, it’s Miller’s house. Which is notable for being both the place Hardy arrested Joe, and where Ellie has such fond memories of being married to a murdering bastard!

So Hardy plants a few hidden cameras around the place, and by ‘hidden’ I mean behind a few greeting cards, and out in the open on a bookshelf.

That’s not hidden!

Whatever! So once he places the bugs, Hardy grabs Lee, Ellie picks up Claire, and the two of them meet for the first time in months.

And as all this was happening, Ellie was dealing with her own mistakes. Remember last series, when Ellie took Joe’s confession amazingly well?

“You’re a fucking piece of shit!!!” – Ellie Miller

Well, turns out kicking the shit out of a suspect isn’t exactly proper police procedure. And now it’s come back to bite both her, and the Latimers, in the ass. Because as Jocelyn Knight, the prosecutor, points out, it looks kinda fucked up!

Not on!

And Knight needs this confession. It’s the most powerful piece of evidence they have, and these injuries could be enough to get it thrown out. They need to find a way to defend it.

And it all comes down to Hardy. I presume that’s because he was the arresting officer. He’s the one who has to defend it in a court of law. And I find that very interesting, because as Ellie tries to help Hardy correct for past mistakes, Hardy has to help Ellie correct for past mistakes. It’s an interesting parallel.

And how does he do?

Well, he certainly tries his best. Sticking to the facts. Maintaining that he did not beat a confession out of Joe Miller. Even though that’s kind of what it looks like. After all, he got a broken rib, and severe bruising across his body. I mean, that’s some-wait… A broken rib? What the hell was Ellie wearing that day!? Sabatons!?

Sabatons are the foot covering on medieval armour. This fact is brought to you by the letter ‘M’, for murdering bastard, about to go free. Because even with all of Hardy’s insisting that Ellie’s Hulk moment was the only time Joe Miller was attacked, it doesn’t convince the Judge, and she has the confession thrown out. Though it makes me wonder why the defence even allowed the jury to hear it in the first place.

Yes, jury. Please ignore this recording of the defendant explaining how he killed an eleven-year-old boy.

But that aside, I’m slightly confused. Both Knight and Bishop say that Hardy just stood there and watched. He wasn’t even in the room! I thought he was in the other room, observing over the security cameras. Actually, rewatching the old episode, there was no indication of anyone other than Ellie and Joe in the room when she kicked the shit out of him, until Hardy rushed in to stop her!

He might have snuck into the room just out of range of the TV camera, but then the cinematographer’s just screwing with us!

I don’t even understand how Hardy being in the room has even a modicum of plot-significance. I’ve said this before, if you’re going to go against earlier plot-points, even if they’re just implied, you’d better have a damn good reason. It may be minor point, but damn it annoys me!

Anyway, now the most valuable piece of evidence is gone and it’s all because Ellie beat the shit out of Joe, and everyone in town now knows, even Beth! Which gives her even more reason to irrationally hate Ellie!

And where is Ellie? Well, at her old house, helping Hardy with the Sandbrook case. And as that’s underway, they’re spotted by the town dumbass.

Yes, it’s local shit-stirrer, plumber and pillock, Nigel, whom you’ll remember last series as the man who instigated the lynch-mob against Jack Marshall, eventually driving the kindly old newsagent to suicide. And apparently, he’s learned nothing since! Because immediately after he spots Ellie, he quickly runs off to tell Beth. Because how dare Ellie go to the house she owns!

So Beth goes to Ellie’s house, and starts yelling at the woman because she’s a nutter!

Okay, to a certain extent, I get it. It’s Ellie’s fault the confession was thrown out. That’s fair enough. But, Ellie intentionally did that so he’d go free? Now you’ve lost me. She was angry and she kicked his ass because he’s a murdering asshole! I refuse to believe, if Beth was allowed so see Joe after he killed her son, she wouldn’t have beat the shit out of him as well. If anything, Ellie was trying to avenge Danny. That’s how I saw it. But no, Beth has her little point of view and nothing can shake it.

Fuck you, Beth.

Anyway, as Beth is tearing Ellie a new asshole with her insane yammering, Ellie has to leave her post, guarding the front door, preventing Ashworth from leaving with Claire, who’re both inside. And because she left her post, Ashworth legs it.

So much for keeping Claire safe!

Oh, and as Beth is yelling at Ellie, her water breaks, and she blames Ellie for it.

Yes, Beth. You yelling at Ellie caused your water to break, and that’s her fault somehow.

Fuck you, Beth.

So, with Beth about to go into labour, and Ashworth and Claire missing, we end the episode. And what an episode it was!

There’s something I noticed about this series. Do you remember Law & Order? Every episode of that show covered a single murder case, with the police investigation in the first half, and the trial in the second half. And because of this, it was kinda like watching two different shows, since it had two different main casts. The cops in the first half, the lawyers in the second.

That’s what I’m reminded of when I watch this series. It’s really all about the trial, and as such, we’re focusing quite a bit on Knight and Bishop as they proceed to both prosecute and defend the murdering bastard. But they’re not the main characters, that’s Hardy and Ellie. So we have Sandbrook to give them something to do.

Not that I have a problem with this. I mean the only real alternative was moving Ellie and Hardy to the back-burner, and having the show focus on Knight and Bishop instead. Not sure I would’ve been for that. But, it just feels a little bit contrived, given the timing. Did Ashworth intentionally come here during the trial? For what reason? Is something going to happen?

And on that note, those aren’t the only mysteries.

Knight and Bishop both have secrets that are so far unrevealed. Though if I had to guess, Bishop’s kid killed someone, and Knight is actually blind.

She’s just really good at hiding it, and Maggie’s helping her.

There’s also the Blue Bells.

Blue bell flowers. Obviously significant, but they appear to be being coy about it. Hardy knows, but he won’t tell us. It’s like they’re trying to be poetic, but it’s just confusing. All we know for certain is that Claire got one in the mail, and Hardy thinks that’s important in some way.

And then there’s Mark, who’s still hanging out with Tom Miller.

And it’s this episode, Mark finally explains why he suggested they hang out in the first place. Because he thinks someone should look out for Tom, and he blames himself for Danny death, and it’s all so tragic as he breaks down into tears.

Hold on. I don’t see any tears! Was he fake-crying!? Okay the epic-revenge-of-more-child-murder theory just got a bit more weight! And I don’t like it.

But the episode overall? I liked it a lot. It had everything I’ve come to love from the show. A compelling narrative, gripping atmosphere, and interesting and witty characters. And I’m sure that’s not going to stop any time soon. We still have several questions that need to be answered, and as long as the answers aren’t stupid I’m going to keep watching. So don’t make the answers stupid… please.

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