Broadchurch usually thrills the audience with every episode, but this latest installment felt weighted down by the pressure to produce a good last series.
After a so-far promising series, Broadchurch‘s fourth episode feels disappointing. After the well-paced opening to this new case, it’s an episode packed with filler information the audience needs to know, but doesn’t make good watching.
The depth of suspects is rising, and newly released rapist Aaron Mayfort (Horrible Histories’ Jim Howick) has been thrown into the mix of an already flooded pool of accused men. There are now around 10 main suspects, so it’s impossible for anyone to pin down. Chris Chibnall treads a balancing act here, with too many suspects becoming confusing and boring, but the need of a big twist and suspense for when the rapist is finally revealed. Ellie (Olivia Coleman) and Alec (David Tennant) regularly throw suspect names into conversation, but due to the sheer amount of them, we don’t have a clue who they’re talking about.
What we did find out in this episode is that Cath’s (Sarah Parish) husband Jim (Mark Bazeley) slept with Trish (Julie Hesmondhalgh) on the morning of the party. Though this seemingly rules him out of the investigation, he’s still on police radar. Trish’s ex-husband’s new girlfriend, Sarah (Charlotte Lucas) glitters with clear jealousy, revealing she sent the abusive text message to Trish in Episode 1, though insists she didn’t know Trish had been raped at the time. At the moment, Broadchurch feels crammed with a million storylines and characters, so it’s difficult for the audience to keep up.
As we reach the halfway mark, we can only hope that the last four episodes will tie up the loose ends created; otherwise, they’ll have a lot of angry viewers demanding answers.
Broadchurch airs Mondays 9pm on ITV.