Broachchurch airs at 10pm Wednesday nights on BBCAm, part of Dramaville.
This episode is both sadder and more hopeful than we've seen before. Time has passed; the leaves are turning, the case has stalled out, and things are changing. Mark goes back to work and Chloe goes back to school. Beth contacts the mother of the Sandbrook murder case because she feels that's the only person in the world who can understand what her life is like now, and maybe tell her what she's supposed to do about it. Karen's been out of town and has just come back. It seems like the press is mostly gone. The episode is full of shots of the empty beach, the weather changing, the memorial by the beach sign looking battered and lost.
We start with Jack's funeral, and a great sermon from Paul where he tells them that the whole town failed him and that it's their fault he's dead--something that the town probably has been needing to hear for ages. And then the investigation kicks up again, but in a different way:
- Maggie is upset that they didn't follow up on Susan, so she and Ollie do it themselves, calling everyone that Maggie knows to get info--and finding something about her past. "Your husband, and your children and what happened to them. What was said, but never proved, about you." And she turns her into the cops.
- Right around this time, and right before, Tom is hanging out with Susan and she gives him Danny's skateboard--though for what reason, no one knows since she won't talk. It's especially interesting since the forensics report says they found fragments that match the skateboard in the burned boat.
Meanwhile, other stuff is happening:
- Tom asks about recovering lost data on a computer and then is found smashing his laptop to bits in the dead of night.
- Hardy follows Paul and finds out he's a recovering alcoholic, and that he "assaulted" a kid in his last parish, though Paul says it was an accident and not an assault. He goes in to give a DNA sample, and they have a debate about faith vs suspicion and which the town needs more of right now.
- Nigel sees the dog tied up while the mess is going down with Susan and steals him, then takes him out to a field and levels the crossbow on him--even though he's the only one in town with a crossbow, and dogs can't talk, so...
- Chloe can't handle school and leaves, and Beth and Mark find her at Dean's in her Happy Room that he made for her--a place where she can just forget about all the sadness and enjoy herself without worrying about it. After that, they all three go to the arcade and act like a family for the first time since this happened, and Beth decides to keep the baby.
- Hardy's attacks are getting faster and harder--he wakes up from bad dreams all painful, he collapses at Jack's funeral, he collapses in the office when no one is around, and at the end when they're running down someone who broke into the cabin, he collapses big time and they lose the perp. Four in one episode is worse than ever.
- The investigation finds out it's being cut back--it's gone too long and used up its funding.
This is an episode about trying to figure out what moving on looks like while the case is still ongoing. Beth and Mark and Chloe start to figure it out, and the fact that it's not as terrible as the other woman's experience says a lot about Beth, without the show harping on her decision to be better and take it better and move on better. The scene where she meets her is heartbreaking.
The first half of the episode has that quietness that typifies the show, and then the second half kicks up the gears a few, and things get speedy as they track down Susan, as Nigel gets crazy, as the cabin is broken into, as Hardy's illness catches up to him. We're still waiting to see what happens with Susan, especially if Nigel does kill the dog, the only thing she cares about, and there's no mention yet of what Ellie's sister knows or doesn't know, but there's only two episodes left after this; things have got to start panning out soon! It does feel like progress, though, and it's very satisfying that Maggie took down Susan on her own, paying her back for the threats last episode in a civil and intelligent way that played to her own strengths.
I've been avoiding spoilers as I watch my way through this, so I have no idea who actually did it, but this town is loaded with secrets, and the paranoia is just sort of turning to sadness in this episode: isn't it sad how much everyone hides from everyone else? Isn't it sad how everyone has some secret pain their not talking about or dealing with?
What did you guys think of Episode 6? Share in the comments below!