Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

This Broadchurch case makes Hardy ashamed to be a man

Andrew Buchan, Jodie Whittaker (Photo: BBC America)
Andrew Buchan, Jodie Whittaker (Photo: BBC America)

Because The A.V. Club knows that TV shows keep going even if we’re not writing at length about them, we’re experimenting with discussion posts. For certain shows, one of our TV writers will publish some brief thoughts about the latest episode, and open the comments for readers to share theirs.

  • There’s a lot of talk this week of “It’s not about you,” “It’s not about me,” etc., and I think that’s really interesting. In any case, especially one as disturbing as this one, people have the tendency to focus on themselves, how things affect them specifically, without taking in the big picture. But Hardy points out that his daughter Daisy is the focal point in his life, so much so that he returns to a place that he “mostly” hates to make a better life for her. In contrast, Katie frets about Hardy’s reaction to her when he’s in the middle of this seemingly unsolvable case. But the worst offender is Mark, whose continued efforts to want to get justice for Danny aren’t doing anything but destroying the family he still has. When it’s not about you, but your own perspective is all you can see, how can you move past that? These discussions made for a very interesting episode, with our classic Broadchurch cast appearing much more thoughtful than this unsavory new lot from Cath’s party.
  • This week in “Shut up, Katie!”: However, Katie must be correct in assuming that nobody likes her. Even though she did make an excellent chart of all the male suspects.
  • And so many of them! Right now Lucas/Clive the cab driver, Cath’s husband Jim, and Trish’s husband all appear the most guilty. But we can see why Hardy despairs over his gender in this episode, as there’s hardly a decent example to be found. The husband who scoffs at the dinner his wife made him and is slow to deny that he had anything to do with her friend’s rape. The other husband who is unfaithful on such a frequent basis that his pious wife has nothing left to do but cling to the hopeful future of her son. Even Tom, scouring his mother’s room until he finds his phone, and goes right back to doing what got him into trouble in the first place. Or the menacing group of boys on Hardy’s doorstep. The show is almost comically pointing out the vast differences between these other men and Hardy, who’s almost a white knight at this point compared to the partygoers, adults who get into a fistfight at a 50-year-old’s birthday party. Although Pastor Paul tries, as does Ellie’s father, but Mark can’t see that all of his efforts are causing his family to slip away from him.
  • In my overall season review, some commenters said they were disappointed with the Hardy-Miller interactions this season, and this episode is just one reason why I just don’t get that. Their relationship is the heart of the show, and counteracts all the darkness that surrounds the two as they investigate this vile case. Even though he outranks her, Hardy respects Miller’s opinion, so much so that she’s able to tell him when he needs sleep or when he’s too hard during a questioning, and he appears to value her opinion. The whole scotch egg conversation was as charming as it was illuminating. And somehow, Hardy crying out “Millah!!” will never get old, preferably with a scotch egg in his hand.
  • To that end: “I”m just not good at…” “People? Interpersonal relationships?”
  • Hardy’s discussing Daisy with Miller may also help explain his fervency for this case, as Daisy could be at risk with this attacker still running around. Even Miller seemed a bit vulnerable during her walk home in the dark.
  • David Tennant and Olivia Colman are great, but wow, Jodie Whittaker had some riveting scenes this episode.
  • Guiltiest suspect this week: Cab driver Lucas/Clive. I mean, come on, he has Trish’s keychain in his locked-up drawer of mementos.