Angry Scottish Rants: Broadchurch Season 3

A couple of years ago, I watched the first season of Broadchurch and have honestly been raving about it ever since then. The third—and, unfortunately, final—season concluded this past weekend, and I’m an emotional wreck.

First of all, how the heck is this show so good??? The writing is brilliant!!! The acting is phenomenal!!! The characters are so developed!!! There are plot twists EVERYWHERE—just when you think you’ve figured it out, something else happens, and you end up questioning everything you (think you) know.

You know what’s bothering me about this case? It’s making me ashamed to be a man.
— Alec Hardy

In case you didn’t know, the first two seasons dealt with the murder of a young boy and the subsequent trial. This season, however, takes the show in a different direction as DI Alec Hardy (my boy David Tennant) and DS Ellie Miller (my girl-crush Olivia Colman) investigate a rape. It’s not a light-hearted subject and they treat it with the appropriate amount of gravitas: in fact, everything from the first moment the victim makes a report to the moment they catch the perpetrator is handled as realistically as possible. And, most importantly, they treat the victim with respect: they believe her, and they mention, more than once, that it’s NOT her fault. It’s so important that they show that kind of support, and I love that their social media accounts have also been pushing links to support/crisis groups.

Typical. A woman gets attacked and all the men go around battering horns, making it about them.
— Ellie Miller

Each of the eight episodes see the detectives talking to possible suspects and reviewing evidence, but we also see how the victim—Trish Winterman (Julie Hesmondhalgh)—copes with the aftermath, including her reluctance to relive the experience, even when she knows it will help the investigation, and confronting the numerous men who could have been behind the attack. By the fourth episode, just as you start to narrow down your list of suspects, another plot point is introduced and it throws you for a loop (let’s just say Trish isn’t the only victim).

Alec: Can I ask you a question, Miller?
Ellie: ‘Course.
Alec: How long have they been calling me shitface?
Ellie: Since you first arrived.
Alec: Really?
Ellie: Yeah.

As I mentioned after watching the first season, the show is super clever: there’s almost no way to predict how it’s all going to be resolved, but they make sure they don’t leave you with any burning questions. The first season ending was an absolute shocker, and this third season still managed to surprise me in the last twenty minutes. And the plot is woven together so intricately, it’s impossible to talk about the show without accidentally spoiling anything, but watching it all come together is incredibly satisfying. Plus, they wrapped up the Danny Latimer story line in a realistic (if not altogether happy) way.

Ellie: You seem much happier. What happened with Daisy?
Alec: I tore up her ticket.
Ellie: You took my advice?
Alec: Know what I realized, Miller?
Ellie: What?
Alec: I'm too nice to people.
Ellie: No, uh.
Alec: Never works, being nice. Done with that.

Do I recommend this show? Heck yes! The second season is a lot slower paced, and not as strong as the first season, but this final case delivered the Broadchurch I fell in love with in the first place and left me feeling emotionally exhausted.