Broadchurch Series 2 Episode 3

ITV1 19/01/15 written by Chris Chibnall, directed by James Strong, starring David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker
Carrying right on from last week’s panic this episode will probably restore the faith of waverers unconvinced by the second instalment. Mixing outside events with the tense formality of the courtroom offers a more varied mood in which several development occur. The breadth of characters available is yielding intriguing results now and make Hardy’s attempts to get to the heart of matters seem all the more desperate. 
Perhaps the most surprising revelation is that Sharon Bishop’s son is in jail, perhaps for something he didn’t do. There’s more of a focus on both of the counsels this week. Marianne Jean- Baptiste makes her a powerful presence, her courtroom sharpness matched by her demands on her assistant yet contrasting with her maternal prison visit. Her questioning of witnesses provides the episode’s highlights as she skewers their weaknesses and curves the timeline to her advantage.  By contrast Jocelyn Knight seems weak and might have an oncoming illness (was her car crash caused by tiredness or something else?).  We know she has an elderly parent whom she cares for.
It’s Olivia Colman’s episode though; Ellie’s night out with Claire in which they pick up two men, go the funfair and take them back home as if trying to relive their youth is peppered with her brilliantly intuitive acting. She involves the viewer so we know what the character is thinking. Later when placed in the witness stand as Knight insinuates she and Hardy had an affair which prejudiced the case she gives such an honest performance pitched exactly right between indignation and defiance tinged with horror at what is being suggested. All this is after we’ve seen her practical side, helping Beth when her baby seems ready to arrive at entirely the wrong moment. Which of course in drama all babies do!
If Ellie has regained some direction and composure, Hardy is floundering. Long ago when the first series was in full flow I wondered if in fact he was the culprit because that would be a twist the equal of the one we finally did see. Now it looks like he is simply out of his depth. There’s a great line through the episode of Lee Ashworth informing events between them; if last week Hardy was confidentially setting up hidden cameras and dictating terms, this week he is reeling from Ashworth’s allegations of harassment and then his presentation of documents he claims proves his innocence. There’s two games of cat and mouse going on for sure- in the courtroom between Knight and Bishop and outside between Lee and Hardy. Having only previously see James D’Arcy playing posh decent sort of roles he is quite a revelation here as he goads Hardy with threatening stares and low key but menacing voice.
Occasional albeit brief Sandbrook flashbacks and repeated shots of the pressed bluebells suggest there’s plenty more to yet be revealed and demonstrate how the series is also a masterclass in editing. Keeping a steady pace is not easy and there are plenty of tv dramas that lose it yet Broadchurch sails with all the majesty of an ocean liner.
Questions? Well it may be Arthur Darvill’s furtive eyes but there is the constant suspicion that the reverend is up to something. Then there’s Mark Latimer’s meetings with Tom Miller which eerily seem to replicate the liaison between Joe Miller and Danny Latimer.  There’s the question of some personal beef between Knight and Bishop. Finally for now there’s the question of why when he keeps calling her “Miller” Ellie doesn’t punch Hardy!

She didn't like the naughty step

No comments:

Post a Comment