With the finale almost upon us, we thought it best to recap where we’re at 🙂
Trish Winterman (Julie Hesmondhalgh) reports being raped after a party held by Jim and Cath Atwood (Mark Bazeley and Sarah Parish) several days earlier. She was hit on the head with something and could not see who attacked her. DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) and DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) are called; they determine that it was a premeditated attack rather than a crime of opportunity, leading to fears that there may be a serial rapist on the loose planning to strike again.
Ellie and Hardy continue their investigation, focusing on the twine used in the attack and securing voluntary DNA samples from all the male guests at the party. They are met with less than cooperative attitudes, including from the victim, Trish. Ellie asks Beth Latimer (Jodie Whittaker), who now works for a social services agency that helps victims, to reach out to Trish. Complicating the DNA evidence, Trish reveals she had consensual, unprotected sex the morning before the attack, but refuses to say whom with. She later receives a threatening text from an unknown number, telling her to “shut up.”
Trish’s estranged husband, Ian Winterman (Charlie Higson), struggles to remember what happened at the party, where he got drunk and blacked out. When taxi driver Clive Lucas (Sebastian Armesto) is caught in multiple lies, he confesses he picked up an unknown man on the road the night of the party that he did not report in order to pocket the whole fare, and also that he was accused of harassment by a previous female fare. He is later seen with a pair of keys that belong to Trish. Mark Latimer (Andrew Buchan) tries to convince Beth to pursue a civil case against Joe Miller (who is nowhere to be found) for the wrongful death of their son, Danny, but Beth and their daughter Chloe (Charlotte Beaumont) are furious with the idea.
Trish accompanies Ellie Miller and Hardy to Axehampton House, the country house on the estate where the attack occurred, to go over her memories of the night of the party. She becomes physically ill as she recounts the attack outside near a creek bed. She recalls a light in the distance and the smell of vodka. Axehampton House’s owner, Arthur Tamworth (Richard Hope), gives Miller and Hardy a box of items found around the estate after the attack, including a cricket bat his grandchildren played with, but tells them there is a matching bat they cannot find. Ellie and Hardy discover a local man, Aaron Mayford (Jim Howick), was recently paroled for a rape in which he tied up his victim. He confidently provides an alibi, but Hardy is perturbed by his gallery of pinup photos in his garage, which he calls his “motivation.” Mayford later sexually harasses young DC Katie Harford (Georgina Campbell), getting in her car when she was doing surveillance on him. Jim Atwood’s DNA is a match to the rape kit, and he confesses to sleeping with Trish that morning before their party. The threatening SMS messages Trish received are traced to her estranged husband, Ian, whose girlfriend, Sarah Elsey (Charlotte Lucas), admits sending the text, but claims she sent it before she knew about the rape. A second woman comes forward, informing the police that she was tied up and raped in a field two years earlier.
Laura Benson (Kelly Gough), the second victim, shares details of her rape that match Trish’s account, including being gagged, tied up and the smell of alcohol. She said she never reported it because she was drunk and thought she wouldn’t be believed. Mayford, who worked with the employers of both victims, is arrested for Trish’s assault. Hardy and Miller are told of a third victim who refused to report it to the police. The timeline, however, rules out Mayford, who was still in prison during the attack. Ian, who needs a place to live after breaking up with Sarah, asks shop owner Ed Burnett (Lenny Henry) if he can rent his caravan. Ed indignantly refuses and says Ian deserves his suffering for losing Trish. Cath, hurt after her good friend Trish confesses to sleeping with her husband, tells Jim not to come back to the marital home, and tells Ed, her boss, about Trish and Jim’s conduct. Taxi driver Clive Lucas picks up Jim Atwood after his van breaks down, and he tells Jim he saw him with Trish outside the night of the party having an intense conversation. Jim forces him to pull over, chokes him and threatens him to keep quiet. Ed shows up at Jim’s auto and attacks him for cheating on Cath. Late at night, Ian sneaks into Trish’s house.
Danny Latimer (Oskar McNamara) returns via a dream to talk with his father, Mark. Mark finds Joe Miller working as a security guard and confronts him, demanding details of Danny’s murder. Joe reluctantly agrees and the two part ways after Mark fails to find the courage to use his utility knife to hurt Joe. Jim Atwood files a complaint against Ed, who is arrested in relation to the rape of Trish after Ellie finds the same blue twine in his shop that matches the twine used in the assault. DC Katie Harford is forced to leave the station after admitting that Ed is her father. Ed insists he is in love with Trish, and thousands of photos of her are found on his phone indicating he has been obsessed with her for years. Ian, who entered his wife’s house to take her laptop, claims that Ed had been sexually harassing Trish. The third assault victim, Nira (Ellora Torchia), refuses to speak to the police because she is afraid her family will find out. Ellie finds porn on her son’s phone, which Tom says he was given by Michael Lucas. Beth tells her daughter Chloe that she feels she must file for divorce. A despondent Mark, who is still seeing Danny, takes a boat out into the ocean and climbs into the water, floating away from Broadchurch.
Mark is rescued by a fisherman and hospitalised with hypothermia. With the clock running out, Hardy and Miller try to make a case against Ed, but are forced to let him go. They discover the second victim, Laura Benson, used Atwood’s breakdown service before her rape. Jim Atwood’s wife, Cath, is shocked to find a box of condoms with a receipt dating the purchase to the day of her party, and takes them to the police after Trish confirms her attacker wore a condom. Jim tells them he bought them to use with a young waitress, who confirms she had sex with him in the woods outside the party, but forced him to stop when he became rough. Ian confesses to installing spyware on Trish’s computer to spy on her via her webcam, then admits it was young Leo Humphries (Chris Mason) who installed it for him. Ed finds a bag with blue twine in it, with blood stains, outside his shop. Lindsay Lucas (Becky Brunning) finds her husband’s stash of items he has stolen, including Trish’s keys. The police find a sock with Trish’s DNA and believe it was used to gag her. A man’s DNA is found on it as well.
Episode recaps courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation