Brace yourself, Broadchurch fans. The end is here. After three series of the ITV drama, and plenty of highs and lows, Chris Chibnall lowers the curtain as episode eight reveals who attacked Trish Winterman – and fans bid farewell to their favourite characters for good. 

No one was happy about the state of affairs. 

But as the drama began, the DNA results of that sock came back and they matched taxi driver Clive Lucas. His wife showed the police his drawer of trophies and – just like that – it looked like we had our attacker. But was it him? Twitter wasn't so sure... 

Hardy and Miller tried to skewer their suspect in the interview room and Lucas soon let slip that he was at the party. BUT when they dropped the sock bombshell, he looked completely flummoxed, only bolstering Twitter's theory that Michael – his stepson – was the culprit... 

Meanwhile, Ed Burnett admitted to the cops that he had heard Trish's attack, assuming it "was just drunk sex". "I could have stopped it, I could have helped her," he told Hardy and Miller. Oh, Ed. 

Still, the CCTV footage from Burnett's digs helped Miller do some masterful detective work...

... which led her to pin twine shop manager Leo and his car to the scene of the crime. "Swaggery little s**t," she spat. Hurrah for Olivia Colman!

But the pacy police scenes of the episode were soon offset by the quiet, emotional scenes between Mark and Beth Latimer as they admitted their marriage was over. "I don't think we can be together," said Beth – and Twitter mourned one of their favourite couples. 

But there was a crime to solve, and we were soon back with Hardy and Miller as they tried to work out if it was Leo or Lucas – or both... Was their a connection between the two, they mused. There was: the Broadchurch football team. So was it a conspiracy?

A phone call – one single phone call – was what caused everything to fall into place. A call that was placed to Leo Humphries' mobile the moment Lucas was arrested. 

Leo's phone and Lucas' phone were together the night of Trish's attack – as was the phone of Lucas' stepson. The Twitter detectives were right! 

It was Leo and Michael Lucas – as shown in flashback footage, Clive had just given them a lift home. Mystery solved... 

As we hit the halfway point, it was Michael in front of Hardy and Miller and we flashed back to him playing football with Clive and Leo – and Clive lashing out when his son accidentally fowled him.

Reacting to Lucas' violence, Leo was seen taking young Michael under his wing – teaching him how to drink, watch porn and, er, sleep with his girlfriend. "She does as she's told," smirked a sinister Leo. 

He then asked Michael to crash the party of "some MILF turning 50" – yep, Cath – and the pair were at Axehampton watching the dancefloor, and observing Trish and Ian's fight. 

Leo was prepared, with his bat and gloves, and a terrified Michael helped him out. "She's for you, man," Leo told him. "Do as you're told." And Michael carried out the attack as Leo filmed.

"Say it was me, don't put him through this," Clive said as the police told him what had happened. He'd known all along.

The police soon found Leo's phone with footage of Trish's attack – plus recordings of the rape of Laura Benson and two others. 

"I wanted to remember it, I wanted to see myself," he explained to Hardy and Miller. "You felt powerful?" they asked. "Not so much powerful, just proud." 

It was a staggering police of writing. But viewers were in shock as Leo's monstrous account played out...

As the finale began to wind down, Hardy found Miller on the steps of the police station, crying. "He is not what men are, he's an aberration," he reminded her. 

Meanwhile, Ellie informed a shocked Trish it was 16-year-old Michael who had attacked her. 

And Paul Coates preached his final sermon, giving the residents of Broadchurch the chance to gather one final time. Daisy gave her dad a hug and Ian offered to "bring round a takeaway" to Trish and Leah. 

But there was no such reconciliation for Mark as he climbed into his van and drove away from Broadchurch, in a bid to finally put some distance between himself and Danny's murder. 

But of course, the last scene belonged to Hardy and Miller (the orange jacket was back). "We could go to the pub, we've never been to the pub," she implored him. "Nah," came the curt response.

But even though they were leaving our screens, Hardy and Miller lived to solve another crime as we zoomed in on the cliffs and the credits rolled one final time.  

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