24 February 2015

TV: Broadchurch 2.8 (Newsom)

review by Tom Newsom (Twitter | Flickr | Blog)

To the final episode then. Have we been here before, with the end of the previous series? It certainly has some things in common.

For starters, happily, it explains everything. The Sandbrook case is satisfyingly put to rest, with the actual events well told using flashbacks. There’s a grim sense of foreboding and the actual events feel nasty. The direction and music (especially, I’d imagine) make this as beautifully dangerous as it is compelling, with everything falling into place.

I was impressed with the explanation - a double murder, if that’s not spoiling things I hope - and it’s solid enough to hang a series on. However the cluing throughout the series has been pretty scattershot. It would have been far more fun to watch if there was a definite shape of the events before rather than lots of tiny hints, especially with being on telly rather than written on the page. Unlike the first series, there’s a very small range of suspects so I think there should have been more half-answers and actually piecing it all together (here, Hardy just badgers the suspects for two years until one of them cracks!). But that’s the way with these things: it’s about the feeling when you finally see the past events on screen, rather than a murder mystery style twist. But it explains everything really, including a reason for everyone’s reluctance to actually tell the truth! Clever - but I’d have appreciated it more if they’d drawn attention to it, and damn any armchair sleuths piecing it together after hours.

The second thing that made me think of Series One was that the answer to the big question was revealed - in this case, Joe Miller’s verdict - to make way for scenes showing the impact on the characters. This village storyline doesn’t quite go where you thought it would - there are lots of twists in this hour. But it feels played down a bit, especially the final ‘undramatic’ twist (not that I was expecting another murder mystery to be set up!). And of course, it’s overshadowed by the Sandbrook case. Disappointing or trying to be realistic? 

Actually I wouldn’t say this final episode is unsatisfying - we get answers and closure in this episode, which unfolds in a great way. The third thing that’s similar to last time is the very, very final ending. Everything’s wrapped up, everybody’s happy... so of course they’re making another series!

This must be the only show where you don’t want it to continue, eh? I’m sure it’ll be very watchable, whatever they have planned.

many thanks to
Tom Newsom (Twitter | Flickr | Blog)

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