‘Broadchurch’ Finale Review

Danny Latimer’s killer finally revealed!

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It had to end sometime, but we certainly won’t be forgetting it any time soon – I’m talking of course about the series finale of Broadchurch.

Following eight brilliantly acted and utterly compelling episodes, the killer was finally revealed last night. After an extremely tense first 15 minutes, none other than Joe Miller was unveiled as the culprit. The clues were there all along and although many, including myself, suspected DS Miller’s husband as Danny’s killer, it was still a difficult pill to swallow.

I was surprised that Joe was revealed as the killer so early on and initially I expected a further twist, but the remainder of the episode focussed on the aftermath of Joe being caught. A brilliant move in my opinion; not many murder-mystery type series show the parts that you don’t really like to think about, but stellar acting and clever writing carried the sensitive nature of this episode brilliantly.

The beginning respectfully and promptly tied together most loose ends. With Hardy almost certain of the killer he was permitted to continue investigating and his decision to immediately interview Tom Miller, accompanied by Joe, set off the alarm bells. Tom’s recovered emails were revealed to contain threats towards Danny, one stating “I wish you were dead” and “I could kill you if I wanted”, all in retaliation to Danny stating that he had a new friend who understood him better than Tom.

Ellie’s investigating tactics led her to reluctantly give her sister money but in return she learnt that, on the night of Danny’s death, Lucy saw a man bundling a full bin bag, most likely full of clothes, into a nearby bin, however she could not identify him.

What then followed was the highly anticipated and, without a doubt, extremely tense scene where weeks of endless questions were finally answered. Hardy, having been informed that Danny’s missing phone had been turned on, was able to track the phone’s coordinates which, after pointing the audience in the direction of other suspects first (just to keep our blood pressure level fairly high), eventually led him to Joe Miller.

59 days earlier and we were finally able to witness how and why Danny was killed. It is revealed that Joe was in love with Danny but not in the way people might suspect; he himself admitted to Hardy that he didn’t understand his feelings for Danny and that he actually never touched him but liked to just hold him. We learn that following a visit to see Tom after his dad had hit him, Danny unexpectedly became close to Joe which led to them meeting occasionally in private. An obviously confused Danny trying to escape from Joe, during one of their meets, resulted in him being chased up to the cliff top hut. In a sudden fit of rage, seemingly caused by Danny’s reluctance to agree not to tell anybody about their bond, Joe strangled Danny and left his body on the beach with his skateboard.

During Joe’s confession to Hardy he admitted to giving Danny the secret mobile phone so that they could talk in private and also £500 spending money. Joe also explained that the night he rang the police station, using Danny’s phone, he fully intended on being caught but by Hardy only, and upon seeing Ellie also he panicked and ran.

Hardy telling Ellie and the Latimer family that it was Joe who killed Danny were difficult scenes to watch, but I was riveted – mostly because of the brilliant performances, in particular that of Olivia Colman and David Tennant. It was a sad turn of events when Beth later asked a distraught Ellie “how could you not know” as this only echoed Ellie’s similar attitude towards Susan Wright in the previous episode. There were no certainly winners here and perhaps there was no real closure but there was the truth.

Broadchurch suitably concluded with Danny’s funeral followed by the town’s residents gathering on the beach to light a beacon in his memory which the, no-longer-suspicious-but-still-a-bit-odd, Vicar helped initiate. I really couldn’t help comparing this scene to the ‘Warning Beacon of Gondor’ part in Lord Of The Rings, shameful I know.

My only very small complaint: enough with the slow motion filming! It may have kept in with the rhythm of the series but I think it was a little overdone in some places.

Also, after the unexpected twist that Broadchurch will be returning for a second series, I’m very curious to see how that will pan out. Excited for the prospect or confused as to what story is possibly left to tell? You decide! All I can say is, Chris Chibnall you certainly kept that twist under wraps but thank you for giving us the best ‘whodoneit’ in a very long time.