There’s just no getting around it: As well-acted and beautifully shot as Broadchurch continues to be, the drama, the storyline is letting this season down. Mystery shows keep us hooked by slowly unravelling things, surprising us with occasional turns and twists, investing us in characters and their narratives. But increasingly Broadchurch isn’t doing this and a lot of tension and drive to know answers has departed. Entire subplots, and there are many, now start to feel like filler to keep the show at eight episodes, when it could perhaps be a tighter, richer narrative with only six.
The trial of Joe Miller, instead of a gruelling emotional courtroom rollercoaster has instead given way to the more watchable battle between Sharon and Jocelyn. Seeing them spar has actually become a bit of a treat, and their bitter vitriol was easily a highlight of the episode. There’s even a bonus scene of the aftermath:
While the Sandbrook case continues to grow in prominence, the never-ending shift of guilt, truth and sexual infidelity seems increasingly low in hooks. But, what it lacks in plot engagement, it makes up for with the rise of Ellie Miller. While DI Hardy increasingly does and sees less and less, she has become all-consumed in her quest to escape the indignities of her surroundings and instead become the supercop that Hardy was billed as being so many episodes ago.
So, there is a future for Broadchurch, but it rests with Olivia Colman, not David Tennant. And I’d be surprised if his character is even still alive at the end of episode eight.