Television: Broadchurch 2.1

I love this show.

I don't love David Tennant's neck beard, but the rest is pretty terrific.

There are really a limited number of ways to go on from where the first season of Broadchurch ended. They could either have skipped ahead by a lot, or they could pick it up where they left off. They chose the latter. And that's good, because the situation is rife with the kind of tension that makes for good drama.

Joe is up for his plea and sentencing. There seems to be no question he'll plead guilty given the fact he's confessed. Right? But of course there wouldn't be much to it if it were that easy. So he pleads not guilty, to everyone's surprise, even his advocate's. He claims he can't go to prison, not as a child killer. Hmm. Probably should've thought about that before, you know, killing a child. #lackofforesight

The plea sets everyone on edge. They were expecting closure but now must face a full trial. And if Joe gets away with murder? Broadchurch is already coming apart at the seams, but if Joe were to walk free, it really will tear the town apart. If the trial itself doesn't.

All right, so where is Ellie in all this? Working traffic stops in Devon, apparently. She has Fred, but Tom doesn't want anything to do with her, so Olly and his mother (Ellie's sister) are looking after him. And we discover Tom is also being looked after by Mark Latimer, who meets with Tom to play video games in Susan Wright's abandoned caravan (that's "trailer" to U.S. viewers).

Beth, meanwhile, is ready to pop with the new baby. And we discover Reverend Paul is now seeing Becca.

But of course the biggest new plot line is that Alec is hiding a woman named Claire from a man named Lee Ashworth. The show was going to have to confront whatever happened at Sandbrook sooner or later, and this is it: Claire was the wife of the chief suspect (Lee), the man who walked free after Alec took the blame for the case going wrong. Alec had promised Claire during the investigation that Lee would be going to prison for life and she had no reason to worry about testifying against him. Guess how that went? So with Lee loose and free, Alec has hidden Claire away. And Lee has found them.

Yes, yes, Eve Myles (Torchwood) is Claire. But far more interesting (to me) James D'Arcy is Lee! You may remember him from such recent posts as my coverage of the Agent Carter premiere; he plays Jarvis. How fun to see him in two such different roles!

Alec confesses all this to Ellie in order to get Ellie (with Fred) to move into the house where Claire is hiding. Two women with child-killing husbands . . . Could be a new kind of sitcom?

Oh, and there's stuff about what we would call lawyers, but that stuff hasn't gotten all that interesting yet (though yay for Charlotte Rampling!). Something to do with Rampling's character Jocelyn prosecuting on behalf of the Millers only because she can't stand to see her once protegée win as she defends Joe. There's clearly a history here, but we're only going to get it in fits and starts.

A promising start. I'm lukewarm on the Claire plot, but the rest is good, and that one may eventually warm up in tasty ways.

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