Television: Broadchurch, Episode 1.7

Last week I began to formulate a theory about who might be the Broadchurch murderer. And this week seems to have supported my hypothesis.

I'm not going to out-and-out say it, but let's just put it this way: The people who get glossed over the most are often the ones who turn out to be the evildoers.

This is true in most procedurals. I've mentioned it often enough when doing write-ups of Elementary, how the person you meet briefly and then are prompted to forget as a slew of other information is tossed at you is usually the one that gets circled back to at the dénouement. And that the assumption of innocence is just as often an indicator that someone is, in fact, guilty. (Look at Irene/Moriarty.)

We'll know next week if Broadchurch has put this formula to use. I have to say, even if they have resorted to formula, they've done a fine job with it. Maybe it's because they were able to draw it out over eight hours. In an hour-long episode of a show—one in which the viewer expects the mystery to be resolved within the roughly 54 minutes of air time—it's difficult to put enough distance between that character we meet and then immediately drop and the big reveal of them having been the criminal. But extend that a few hours . . . And put a week between each of those hours besides . . . And it becomes much, much easier to make people forget that one person. The one who has a few brief scenes and is so much wallpaper.

Anyway. Enough of that. The only other thing I'd like to say is to commend Mr. Tennant on his fine acting. He does so many subtle things with his posture, and the way he clinches his jaw, moves his hands, etc. The whole show is well acted, really, and the characters very well drawn. They are human, three-dimensional. You start out liking them, then as you get to know them and their flaws, you find it harder to like them and yet they remain compelling. It's not so different from real life. It's easy to like people you hardly know. But anyone you know really well . . . You may like them, but there will be things about them you don't like as well. You can't avoid it. Because no one is perfect. Only people you know in the most superficial way can be people you thoroughly like. And isn't that funny? Wouldn't that suggest you should never get to know anyone very well?

Ah, but if you lived like that, you'd be a pretty lonely person.

And there's something satisfying in knowing another person well, and in being known well, too.

So this has turned into a philosophy lecture, which is my signal to cut loose. Next week's Broadchurch will reveal Danny's killer. Am I right in thinking it's someone we haven't spent much time with? And the big question still remains: Why? I'm looking forward to answers.

P.S. If you're wondering what actually happened in this episode, it was this: Susan told Ellie she saw Nigel lay Danny's body on the beach. So they hauled in Nigel and found out he was actually poaching pheasants. And it turns out Nigel is Susan's son, taken away from her by Social Services after her husband was convicted of molesting their daughters and killing the older one. @.@

Oh, and despite Tom's attempts to destroy his computer, they were able to pull information off of it, namely e-mails in which he quarreled with Danny.

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