**Warning: spoilers if you have not seen Broadchurch series 3 episode 7**
First thing’s first – Mark Latimer survived. He was picked up in the sea after last week’s moving instalment ended with his suicide attempt.
The fallout to his near-death was treated with the sort of sensitivity we’ve come to expect from this series of Broadchurch. Danny’s dad earned our sympathy as he struggled to get by after his son’s death, especially with Andrew Buchan’s expert portrayal, but we also saw the reaction of his family members who saw the selfishness in his desperate act. The idea that he had nothing to live for when he has two surviving daughters was touched upon poignantly by Beth who confided her fury with him to Broadchurch’s number one listener, vicar Paul Coates.
It was one of many stirring speeches tonight (newspaper editor Maggie, below, also had one, as did David Tennant’s DI Hardy) in an episode which moved us to the brink of a resolution.
Hardy’s speech was a brilliant broadside against the teenage boys suspected of disseminating inappropriate images of his daughter Daisy. He will not, he made clear, let their actions drive his daughter out of Broadchurch, ripping up her train tickets and telling her to fight on.
He also left the young men with a flea in their ears. “I deal with murders and brutal thugs and and offenders…and I win.”
Too right. He lost out to Olivia Colman’s Ellie Miler on the breakfast stakes, though, when she whipped a slice of his toast in the office kitchenette. But, far more importantly, he and Miller look set to catch the Broadchurch sex offender now that the focus of the investigation has narrowed down to two or possibly three suspects (more on that later).
A fabulous sense of resistance was also displayed by the women of the town who held a silent vigil by the seafront, lit defiantly by their mobile phones, and organised by Trish’s daughter. It was a moving spectacle, not least because Julie Hesmondhalgh’s Trish and Cath (Sarah Parish) showed what female solidarity is all about by making up.
One reason for this rapprochement is the fact that Cath’s husband Jim (Mark Bazeley) now looks a very possible contender to be the culprit, thanks in large measure to his wife’s sleuthing.
She found his condom box with a missing item, plus the receipt which showed he purchased it on the night of her 50th birthday party. We also know Jim nearly had sex with a waitress in the woods on the same evening, before she stopped him in the act – with the clear suggestion from Hardy that he would have been prowling the woods, very sexually frustrated, on the night Trish was raped.
Lenny Henry’s Ed Burnett now looks a less likely culprit – more a hopeless unrequited stalker – and, rather bizarrely, the investigation seems to have forgotten Aaron Mayford (Jim Howick) altogether.
Trish’s ex Ian Winterman (Charlie Higson) installed spyware on his wife’s computer and, we learned, is still in love with her. He admitted to being angry about watching her cavort with men at the party – but there’s still no evidence pinning him to the attack.
Instead, pole star in the constellation of suspects is now Clive Lucas, the creepy cabbie whose wife discovered Trish’s keys in his drawer of trophies – the set that we spied earlier in the series.
Will she get a chance to tell anyone about his stash or will Lucas – who arrived just as she realised what she’d found – manage to stop her?
Paramount in our questions remains, of course, who is the attacker? Is it Clive? Or Jim? Or Ian? Or even Leo? Is it one person acting alone – or are there several perpetrators?
With last week’s series finale, we’ll finally know all – and bid farewell to Broadchurch for good.