Following recent events, Miller is more isolated than ever before as she tries to find out what happened at
the clifftop hut. Meanwhile, the police are circling Susan as Nige grows increasingly desperate for her to leave Broadchurch.
What is she hiding? And which members of the local community hold the key to Danny's death?
The cliffhanger of episode six gave way to
a slower start to episode seven as Alec Hardy struggled to regain control of the case after last week’s alarming conclusion.
Perhaps waking up to Ellie Miller’s sourest of sour faces wasn’t the greatest return to consciousness for a bloke
we left at death’s door last week but Hardy is absolutely adamant that he will be the one to bring this case to its
conclusion. So we see him defying medical advice – heart arrhythmia is the diagnosis that we’ve all been guessing
at, by the way – and making a journey back to his desk that plays out like watching a man swimming against treacle.
It’s all for that ‘penance’ that he’s referred to previously. He has to solve this case, not
just for the Latimers but also for the families that he failed in the Sandbrook case.
meanwhile, steps into the boss’s shoes quite adeptly while he is still plotting his escape from the clutches of the
medics. As she faces her team and reels off the task list, she’s confident and assured, a world away from the awkward,
nervous Ellie that Miller thrust into the limelight at the start of the investigation. We see, perhaps, the DI that she could
have been had Hardy not usurped the role. He of course, is quick to remind her that she’s not up to the job, but do
his words have an ulterior motive? Is he just trying to ensure that she keeps up the momentum, picking up some of the slack
from him? Or perhaps he wants to make sure that she’s up to scratch when he’s no longer around to do the job –
now that word of his condition is out he knows that his days, if not hours, on the case are numbered.
The episode was one of long awaited revelations. The unpleasant loner Susan gave a shocking testimony of the discovery
of Danny’s body that led to the disclosure of her own secret past and the tragedy that befell her family. Her own daughter
murdered and husband convicted, she was implicated enough to have first her surviving daughter and then her newborn baby taken
away from her. She quickly dropped Nige in the frame. Hardy and Miller deftly tore paper thin alibis to shreds to get to the
heart of the matter, although the most avid viewers could probably see this big reveal coming a mile off. Yes, Nige was Susan’s
son, adopted as a baby. Nige had only just discovered that he was adopted a few months back. Discovering that Susan was your
mother would probably be enough to turn anyone into a crossbow toting maniac with a store cupboard full of shotguns, and that
was before he even found out the truth about his birth family. Nige, his world rocked to its foundations, had been trying
every means at his disposal to convince her to leave him alone, and Susan was resisting fiercely. Still the lies came, each
trying to outsmart the police and second guess what the other was saying. Nige admitted finally to a bit of poaching, but
Susan is still certain that she saw him lay Danny’s body on the beach. We last see Susan wandering off away from her
caravan and the town, Nige has finally succeeding in driving her away. Susan has convinced herself that he is his father’s
son and is capable of repeating his acts – he has her ex’s evil within him - and this is enough for her
to believe his threats and remove herself from the situation.
Hardy too gave up his big secret after, bizarrely, checking in with psychic Steve first. It turns out that Hardy
has been to Broadchurch before. Is this the brooding boy that we see hunched up on the beach, gazing out to sea in hazy flashbacks,
along with the face of murdered Danny and his own daughter? But it was to reporters Maggie and Olly that he set the record
straight about the intertwining tales of Sandbrook and his own marriage breakdown and his illness in an emotional and raw
account of those events. You understand then the sacrifice that he made for his own child, and his despair that she believes
the commonly held version of events and, therefore, rejects all contact with him. In Hardy’s mind the Sandbrook case
is still very much open but it remains to be seen whether he has sufficient time remaining to enable him to solve it.
The Latimers started to
come to terms with their new arrival and turned to Paul for support. Faced with their combined guilt and distress he advised
them to try to accept the pregnancy as a blessing. They have turned a corner but there’s a long way to go for them still,
as is evident during an uncomfortable moment at dinner with Chloe and Dean. And it’s even more uncomfortable when Dean
reveals a secret about Nige and Danny that could potentially send the investigation off in another direction, just as Hardy
was convinced enough of Nige’s lack of involvement to release him. Still, Hardy has the remains of Tom’s laptop
now, and is even perhaps starting to see Paul Coates as an ally rather than a suspect, and he knows that his colleague’s
son is capable of violence against his former friend and threats against the vicar. At long last, the focus of Hardy’s
investigation has swivelled around to the Miller family.
Ellie, of course, seems unaware that Tom is being investigated
by Hardy and oblivious to the fact that he already has the laptop. But she has other concerns. She’s appalled by Susan’s
testimony. How could she stand smoking over the body of a child and do nothing? And how could she betray her son Nige like
that? “I’m a mum and whatever my child had done I’d want to protect him” she levels at Susan. The
way things are going, with Tom’s suspicious activities growing by the day, she might find herself putting that to the
test soon. She accuses Hardy of maintaining that she’s protecting her son, but as she leaves the office it’s written
all over Hardy’s face that he does believe just that, and something about this investigation might be a little too close
for comfort. There are signs too that all is not quite right in the perfect Miller household. Ellie snaps at husband Joe,
“What have you done?” What indeed, and were those important moments after all when he questioned Hardy about catching
the killer and teased Ellie about being a suspect?
As Hardy opened the email
from his colleague the penny dropped. Whatever was recovered from Tom’s computer was the missing piece of the puzzle
– but just who does it implicate?
And if it wasn’t Nige on the beach, then who looks similar enough to him so that Susan might mistake
him at a distance? The killer apparently has Danny's smartphone. Stolen from his body
... or was it easier for them to acquire?
How noteworthy is it that the closing sequence has all the remaining suspects either waking or sitting awake at the
exact same moment while Ellie, oblivious, slumbers on? It’s a parade of suspects that mirrors the one seen in the first
episode. One of these people – possibly more than one – is responsible for Danny’s death.
And finally, is the question
that Ellie put to Susan as they parted for the final time about to have monumental significance?
"Back then, in your own house...How could you