The US version of Broadchurch, Gracepoint, may not have been successful, but Broadchurch was granted a second season, which kicked off last night on BBC America.
Broadchurch: Where Are They Now?
We’re back in the coastal town on Broadchurch where Alex Hardy (David Tennant) is preparing to attend a plea hearing in the Danny Latimer case. The first season focused on Hardy’s efforts to find the young boy’s killer, and in the stunning finale, we learned it was his partner’s husband, Joe Miller.
Before heading to court, Alex is interviewed on the beach (where Danny’s body was found) by Maggie and Ollie. He brushes off the day’s hearing as a simple in-and-out plea hearing. The whole time he’s ignoring texts and calls from someone named Claire. After the interview, Alex asks Ollie how Ellie is doing. Apparently they haven’t spoken in awhile.
Ellie Latimer is back in uniform, performing traffic stops. She’s unwilling to let a speeding man go with a warning because she’s in a bad mood. I would be too if today was the day my husband was set to plead guilty to killing a young boy.
Reverend Paul Coates has been visiting Joe in prison, secretly, and praying with him.
And while some things have changed for the Latimers – Beth is super pregnant and preparing for a home water birth – some things remain the same: Mark isn’t answering his phone and has been out without telling her where he’s been.
Joe’s court-appointed attorney – a young woman named Lucy Stevens – meets with him briefly before they’re due in the courtroom. It should be very simple. In and out. Plead guilty and we’re done.
Ellie is running late, but finally arrives and takes a seat next to Alex. Beth is not happy to see her. Mark is all, “Let it go and let’s get this over with it.” I’m with Mark here. I know Beth is still grieving, but she can’t still think Ellie knew what was going on between Joe and Danny. The real person who deserves your anger will be along any minute, Beth.
A woman shows up in the courtroom and when Alex sees her, he hustles her outside. It’s Claire (Eve Myles; Torchwood). She’s concerned because some man may have found her. She’s getting weird phone calls. Alex tells her to calm down and go back home. He’ll see her later.
Joe is brought in and makes eye contact with Ellie, who tells him not to look at her. It’s pretty rough. Things get worse when Joe shocks the entire courtroom by pleading not guilty.
Ellie freaks out in the bathroom and Alex tries to calm her. Their chemistry as characters really shows here when he offers up a hug because he thinks that’s what he’s supposed to do, and she’s completely horrified – so much so she bumps into a trash can on her way out, and then blames Alex for setting it there.
The Latimer’s attorney isn’t equipped to handle the case past this point and suggests they contact a local lawyer, Jocelyn Knight, but warns she might say no. Meanwhile, Joe’s court-appointed attorney is furious he didn’t tell her he planned on pleading not guilty. He says he can’t go to jail as a child murderer.
Alex meets with Claire and tries to reassure her the man she fears doesn’t know where she is.
Maggie visits Jocelyn Knight and asks her to help the Latimers and she says no. It’s not clear how these two know each other, much less why Maggie is familiar enough to know where Jocelyn hides her spare key.
Nigel calls the Latimer’s house looking for Mark. Beth thought Mark was with him. Uh oh.
Alex is approaching his house, yelling at someone on his cell. He’s not happy to learn the mystery man has entered the country. When he goes inside he finds someone has broken into his house. Most likely the mystery man, huh? Yup. We don’t see his face, but he’s off somewhere looking through Alex’s mail.
Lucy heads to her office and tries to convince her boss, Sharon Bishop, to take Joe’s case. It’s not sexy enough for her and the west country location isn’t exactly up her alley. Sharon warms to the idea when Lucy says there are discrepancies in the case. What discrepancies?
Paul visits Joe and lays into him for not telling him he was going to plead not guilty, and for pleading that way to begin with. He instructs Joe to never call him again.
Ellie visits her therapist and admits to having a lot of guilt about what Joe did. Their son has been living with relatives (Her sister? Maggie? Ollie? This wasn’t clear to me.) and she was hoping once Joe pled guilty, they’d be able to move on.
Alex takes Ellie to see Claire. Here we learn who she is and why Hardy has her hiding in a house in Broadchurch. Oh, and we learn about his last case, which was referenced in season one. Sand Brook.
Two young girls (a 12-year-old named Piper and her 19-year-old babysitter/cousin, Lisa) went missing one night. Piper’s body was found three days later, but Lisa is still missing. The suspect is Michael Lee Ashworth and Claire is his wife. Claire testified she was with a friend the night the girls went missing. When the case fell apart, Alex moved her out of town so Michael wouldn’t find her. She’s been there seven months, right when Alex came to town. She’s why he came to Broadchurch. This infuriates Ellie because, remember, Alex took the job meant for her. Alex points out they have bigger things to worry about like the fact Ashworth is probably in town. He needs Ellie to watch after Claire.
The Latimers approach Jocelyn on the beach and ask her to represent them, to prosecute Joe. She refuses. But Sharon Bishop has taken Joe’s case. She immediately zeroes in Alex’s handling of Joe’s arrest and his relationship with Ellie. When Jocelyn sees on the news that Sharon Bishop has taken the case, she chokes.
Mark is back to not answering his phone, and this time he’s missing dinner. Guess where he is? Hanging out with Tom Miller, playing video games in Susan Wright’s abandoned house. Oh, hell no.
Ellie and Alex are sleeping over in the house where Claire has been living. In her room, Ellie finds a bluebell flower pressed in paper, hidden in a bureau.
Jocelyn and Sharon meet on the beach and Jocelyn asks Sharon not to take his case. Jocelyn is Sharon’s ex-boss. Sharon was hoping Jocelyn could give her some Insight into the town to help with the case. Jocelyn reveals she’s helping the Latimers and Sharon is pissed.
Later, Alex begs Ellie to give him a lift somewhere, but he won’t tell her where they’re going. Meanwhile, Jocelyn arrives at the Latimers and says she’s taking their case, and warns that the other side won’t play fair and they need to be prepared for that. In fact, they’ve already begun to fight dirty. They’re having Danny’s body exhumed for another autopsy.
The family arrives at the cemetery just after Ellie and Alex get there. Beth blames Ellie, of course. There’s nothing they can do, though. Sharon and Lucy watch from the sidelines and the look on Sharon’s face made me want to slap her.
Alex spots Michael Lee Ashworth watching from a distance. He points him out to Ellie, who asks why Alex is so sure Ashworth is guilty.
Via flashback: As the police investigated the girls’ disappearance, the next door the neighbors, Claire and Michael Ashworth, are sitting in their backyard.
- So, Alex took the fall for botching the Sandbrook investigation even though it was his wife, and he still felt so guilty that he’s been keeping Claire in Broadchurch for 7 months? 1. He’s a better spouse than I would have been and 2. It’s clear this created after season one because there was no way Alex gave any indication of this in season one.
- Reverend Paul is dating Becca, the innkeeper who was sleeping with Mark Latimer. Paul was in love with Beth Latimer. This won’t be awkward at all.
- Looking forward to learning more about the past relationship between the two attorneys.
- BUT let’s talk about whatever the fuck it is Mark thinks he’s doing. It’s more than a little creepy that he’s secretly hanging out with the son of the man who killed his son, who used to meet with his killer secretly.