**Warning: spoilers if you haven’t watched Broadchurch series 3 episode 6**
In the end it seemed too much for Mark Latimer.
In an excruciating, deeply moving scene, the father of Danny Latimer rowed out to sea and jumped overboard in an apparent suicide attempt.
Whether he succeeds or not we will have to discover next week but there seemed a horrible finality to the sight of Mark floating in the water after his last, desperately sad moments. He had seen his son Danny in a vision in the boat, having dreamed about him earlier in deeply moving scenes played fabulously by Andrew Buchan.
Before casting adrift in the sea, Mark had phoned his daughter Chloe to tell her he loved her, declining to speak to his estranged wife Beth and standing on a clifftop while he gazed at the sand below in a scene reminiscent of Danny in series one.
Whether or not our minds are supposed, in some dark way, to play around with the words “cliffhanger” here, that was what it was, a superb one even if such wordplay diminishes the sorrow and profundity of the moment. It was a brilliant culmination of an absorbing episode from Chris Chibnall (and director Lewis Arnold) in which Mark finally confronted Joe Miller, Danny’s killer.
Having tracked him down to a Liverpool dockside armed with a Stanley knife, he got some of the answers he was looking for about his son’s death, though of course we don’t actually know if he harmed (or even killed) Joe before deciding to climb into the water.
At least Joe was kind enough to tell Mark that he couldn’t have saved Danny, that he was dead when he turned up near the beach house in series one. And, once he had made sure Mark was not recording him, he confessed again to Danny’s murder.
“Do you want to use that knife,” he asked Mark, claiming to be too much of a coward to take his own life but laying himself open to an assault by his victim’s father.
Mark replied that he wasn’t strong enough to make Joe “pay”.
Elsewhere, Cath and Jim Atwood appear to have reunited and are discussing leaving town altogether (will Cath really take Jim back?). She’s also severed ties with rape victim Trish Winterman (Julie Hesmondhalgh) for good, it seems, showing her loyalty is with her man and not with her friend (albeit a friend who slept with her husband on the morning of her attack).
It also looks bleak for Ed Burnett (Lenny Henry), Trish’s boss who has an unhealthy obsession with his employee. David Tennant and Olivia Colman’s Hardy and Miller discovered thousands of pictures of her on his phone and learnt he had slept outside her house for twenty – that is TWENTY – nights since the attack. He loved her, he said, and wanted to look out for her.
But of course, to Hardy and Miller it doesn’t look like that at all and Ed was further incriminated by the dirt and grass stains on the suit he wore at the party and twine in his pockets – twine bearing a striking resemblance to that used to bind up Trish.
Ed’s detective daughter Katie was also in hot water having failed to disclose her rather close familial relationship to a key suspect and getting quite a tongue-lashing from both Hardy AND Miller. Miller in particular.
“Might put you in charge of bollockings from now on, Miler,” said Hardy in one of the few lighter moments in tonight’s episode.
You can’t help but feel that next week we will be very close to the truth. But for the moment all our thoughts are with Mark.
Here’s hoping he changes his mind at the last minute and finds something to live for…