I finally saw the last episode of season 2 of Broadchurch, and what a satisfying episode it was. All of the things I liked about season 1, the insularity, the examination of community, was back. The defender had thrown up just enough doubt to make the verdict inevitable, even in the face of a confession.
I liked that it was the priest that came up with the idea of shunning, and that he managed to convince everyone to go along with him. I liked they all bought into the idea. Joe has now been ejected from the community and it has closed in on itself once more. The final scene where the two principal families are working on patching their formerly close relationship was nice, though some internet commenters found it a little morbid that they would choose that spot on which to do it. But Mark was correct. The beach in an integral part of the seaside town – they can’t never go back to the beach.
The second murder, the Sandbrook murder, was less satisfying, probably because none of the principals were sympathetic in the way that the Broadchurch residents were. It is not unironic that the most sympathetic of the lot turned out to be Lee Ashworth, who merely turned out to be weak and easily manipulated, rather than truly evil. The rest of them, however, got what they deserved. Except maybe Hardy’s ex. It was implied in the last episode that she slept with Lee, and that was never resolved.
One question I’m left with is how Ellie is going to manage to enforce Joe never seeing the children again. This is something of a mystery. Maybe if she never asks for child support, then he has no rights. I’m not sure how it work in the UK. Maybe that’s the plot of season 3.