The last episode of Broadchurch had a shocking reveal, but the rest of the episode was quite tame.
For the last ever episode of Broadchurch, I was expecting a bit more than to close on a church service and a discussion between Hardy (David Tennant) and Miller (Olivia Colman) about pubs and Mondays. You can’t have thinking that where 2013’s first series brushed with brilliance, both the second and third outings, which entertaining, missed the same sparkle.
Saying that, the element of the final episode that I did enjoy was the way the writers handled the rape storyline, and shed a light on the mentalities of rapists when thinking about their attacks. Leo Humphries (Chris Mason) was revealed to have groomed and forced Michael Lucas (Deon Lee-Williams) to assault Trish Winterman (Julie Hesmondhalgh). Leo was further charged with the three other rapes uncovered over the course of the series, as Hardy and Miller found mobile phone videos of him committing the offences. While tragically young Michael was very remorseful as he did not want to commit the rape in the first place, serial rapist Leo had some very disturbing thoughts that he voiced for Hardy and Miller. Admitting he loved the control of rape, which made him feel “beautiful”, he also queried: “It’s just sex, isn’t it?” A truly terrifying mindset.
These distressing comments had much of the audience in shock, mainly as this highlights how some rapists may think when we see real cases reported on the news. To have the attackers as young men was an aspect I respected the writers of Broadchurch for. Rapists in TV and film are often stereotypically dirty looking older men. Broadchurch highlighting Michael and Leo as young, seemingly untypical attackers may take away some of the stigma that comes with rape, and may make survivors of rape more willing to come forward. Hopefully this story has helped victims who are struggling.
I found far more issue with the final moments of the episode. Most loose ends were tied up; Mark Latimer (Andrew Buchan) left Broadchurch in order to deal with his grief, the rest of the Latimers starting moving on with life, and Rev Coates (Arthur Darvill) and journalist Maggie (Carolyn Pickles) found new life in their careers. However, Hardy and Miller’s final conversation seemed mundane and lacking any large conclusion for them as characters. I was expecting an explosive ending, one final last reveal, such as Hardy admitting feelings for Miller or something to that affect. This ending did not do justice for the amazing writing and acting the audience have come accustomed to in the last three series of the programme. It was so disappointing to watch.
I am sad to see Broadchurch go, and I can’t wait to see what Chris Chibnall does next. After he turns his hand to a new era of Doctor Who next year, here’s to hoping he’s got another award-winning drama series up his sleeve.
Broadchurch aired on ITV. You can catch up via the ITV Player.