At the beginning of the final season of Broadchurch, we see an older woman crying outside of the police station. Within a matter of seconds, Ellie (Olivia Colman) and Alec (David Tennant) arrive at the scene. The policeman on scene reveals that they only have the woman’s first name, Trish (Julie Hesmondhalgh). After a quick introduction, Trish is carefully loaded into the vehicle and transported to the SARC. Anna (Andrea Hall) introduces herself and escorts the group to a controlled room. Ellie begins by taking a mouth swab. Then, she steps outside and receives a call from her father. She is asked to bring home a loaf of bread. Alec asks about Ellie’s father, after the phone call ends. She admits he is infuriating. She also reveals she has no clue when he plans to leave.
Then, they discuss the injury on the back of Trish’s head and the marks around her wrists. They sit down with Trish and ask her a few questions. She is unable to recall her surname. She also admits she was attacked from behind and cannot remember where she was assaulted. However, she does remember where she lives. She confesses she cannot recall whether or not she knew her rapist. Trish reveals she was on her back and heard water running during the sexual assault. Moments later, Trish gives up her clothing as evidence. Pictures are taken of her wounds and a vaginal swab is also obtained. While Trish is given a shower, Alec and Ellie discuss the case. Alec admits the wounds appear to be older. Ellie is asked when the last stranger rape occurred in the area. She admits it wasn’t during her time with the force.
Anna tells Trish that they’ll give her support, before she is transported home. Once they arrive outside of her home, Alec notices a strange man, Clive (Sebastian Armesto), nearby. Inside, Trish admits she is separated from her husband, who still lives nearby. Alec prepares to get his details, before being sent away to get tea. He uses the opportunity to search through Trish’s home. He finds evidence that Trish attended a friend’s birthday party several days ago at the Axehampton House. He also discovers information about Trish’s job at the local farm shop. He looks through mail on the counter and finds the woman’s last name, Winterman. While Ellie consults with Trish, Alec finds messages from Cath on Trish’s cellphone. He looks through the woman’s bedroom and finds a pile of clothes in one corner. Then, he heads outside and is interrupted by Ellie.
Ellie ridicules Alec for not making the tea, before nosing around. He tells Ellie that the doors and windows are all locked and secured. Trish’s house also has a burglar alarm, so it is likely she wasn’t attacked in her own home. Ellie suggests the attacker might’ve had a key to the property. Next, Trish confirms Cath and a neighbor have a key to her house. She also admits she was at Cath’s party several nights ago. Eventually, she confirms she was attacked at the party and the clothing on the floor is what she wore during the assault. The clothing is bagged up for evidence. Ellie learns about Trish’s job at the Flintcombe Farm Shop. She agrees to go there and speak with Trish’s boss for her. Before the couple leave, Ellie sneaks around and gives Trish her personal phone number.
On the way out, Alec and Ellie discuss the woman’s motivation for returning home. Alec becomes enraged when Trish calls Ellie’s phone. They argue briefly. Then, they arrive at the Axehampton House and begin looking around. They locate a small lake nearby and follow it to a small waterfall. During their search, Ellie finds a rock, which appears to have blood on it. Nearby, she locates a part of a condom wrapper. The police are called in, before we switch over to Beth Latimer (Jodie Whittaker). She speaks with her boss and admits she doesn’t feel like she belongs. Beth is given a new client. She places a call to Trish and leaves a message. Meanwhile, Mark Latimer (Andrew Buchan) and Paul Coates (Arthur Darvill) stand outside of a bookstore. Inside, Maggie Radcliffe (Carolyn Pickles) signs her book, which is based on the case of Mark’s son. He complains to Paul and admits he should have never agreed to it.
Meanwhile, SOCO Brian Young (Peter De Jersey) and the others arrive on the scene. After arguing with Alec and revealing his nickname, they begin searching for evidence. Alec asks Ellie about his nickname, before they enter the farm store. They speak with Cath Atwood (Sarah Parish) and her boss, Ed (Lenny Henry). Ellie tells Ed that Trish will not be in for a few days, before they confront Cath outside. Cath is asked approximately how many people were at the party. She gives them a number of 70 to 80 people and probably 50 men. She is told that they’ll need a guest list. She tells them that they’ll need to speak with her husband, Jim (Mark Bazeley), since he was in charge of the invites. Back at the station, DC Katie Harford (Georgina Campbell) and the others are filled in with the details.
Afterwards, Ellie is whisks away after getting a phone call from her son’s school. She learns that Tom (Adam Wilson) has been distributing porn to other students. She ridicules her son, before escorting him outside. Outside, she admits she doesn’t want Tom to be like his father. Outside of the station, Alec speaks with his daughter, Daisy (Hannah Rae). He agrees to let her spend the day with friends, but tells her not to walk home in the dark. Cath calls her husband and tells him about the police’s visit. Later, Mark visits Beth and Chloe (Charlotte Beaumont). Mark learns about the new rape in town. He expresses concern for his family, but Beth insists they don’t need him looking after them. This leads to an argument and Mark leaves. Later that night, Bob returns home.
Jim opens his glove box. Inside, we see condoms that look very similar to those found at the scene of the crime. Ellie gets a call from Trish. Trish reveals that something was in her mouth at the time of the assault. Ellie quickly rushes the new information over to Alec. Alec admits the forensic evidence came back and revealed that cloth fibers were found in Trish’s mouth. Also, traces of blue fisherman’s twine was found in her wrist wounds. He also confirms that the attacker did use a condom. Alec lays out his theory that the attack was planned and premeditated. At the end of the episode, a policeman on the scene finds a bag from the farm store that contains blue twine.
The opening episode of Broadchurch’s final season was excellent. While the series is a little slow, the episode wasted no time laying out the case and pinpointing a few potential suspects. The investigation, interviews, and acting helped to make things seem totally realistic. The episode was intriguing, gripping and grueling. The way the writers managed to incorporate the Latimer family into the story was very clever.
This far in, Broadchurch’s final season is looking great. An 8.5 out of 10 is deserved. Catch up with previous recaps of Broadchurch now.