At the beginning of the 4th episode, the detectives and Beth transport Trish (Julie Hesmondhalgh) back to Axehampton. Trish walks them through the night of the attack. As soon as they enter, Beth (Jodie Whittaker) tells Ellie (Olivia Colman) about the flowers Trish received the night before. Trish admits she took dishes back to Chas (Charles Babalola), who exploded at her. During the tour, Alec (David Tennant) notices a box of toys near a wall. Trish tells the group about spotting Ian (Charlie Higson) at the party, before speaking with Cath (Sarah Parish). Trish reveals Ed Burnett (Lenny Henry) was the last one she saw, before exiting the building. The group heads outside. Trish admits this is where she got into a spat with Ian. She insists she doesn’t know where he went, because she turned her back to him.
Then, she heard someone calling her name, before being hit in the back of the head. The group walks along the pond, until they hear the stream nearby. Beth agrees to hold Trish’s hand before they continue onward. Eventually, they come to the spot where Trish believes she was attacked. Trish gets on the ground and relives the attack. Trish vomits, before insisting she can smell it. Then, she recalls seeing a light shining in front of her. Trish freaks out and is escorted away. Ellie and Alec head towards the direction of the light. They come across a house and speculate that the light might’ve been a motion sensor light or a car. Seconds later, Arthur Tamworth (Richard Hope) arrives. They return to the man and Alec asks about the box full of toys. There is a cricket bat inside. Arthur admits they were original a pair, but the other one went missing.
During the conversation, Katie Harford (Georgina Campbell) calls and tells Ellie about a sex offender who was just recently released from prison. The man’s victim was tied and gagged in a similar manner to Trish. As Ellie and Alec drive towards the sex offender’s house, they speak about the text messages Trish has received. Ellie admits the text was sent via website. The sender was required to login. Therefore, they should know who sent the messages before too long. Then, their conversation turns to Aaron Mayford (Jim Howick). The man ended up serving 16 months, before being released on parole. When they arrive, they’re greeted by Aaron’s wife, Jenna (Hara Yannas). Aaron is familiar with Trish’s rape. He pleads his innocence, before revealing he has been working from home in data entry. He insists he was fishing on the night of the attack. Alec is escorted to Aaron’s gym. There, they look at the man’s fishing gear. Alec also notices that Aaron has a lot of pictures of models on his walls.
Aaron insists he uses the pictures for motivation. When they leave, Alec tells his partner he wants to know everything about Aaron. That night, Leah Winterman (Hannah Millward) calls her father and tells him about his mother’s return to Axehampton. Ian also attempts to get access to his laptop, which Leah has been using. Leah refuses, since it belongings to Trish. They agree to sort it out later. Alec and Ellie visit Cath. They’re invited to an upcoming community soccer game. Cath is also asked about the night of the party. Cath admits Jim (Mark Bazeley) disappeared for a while around 11 or so. Next, Ed tracks down Beth. He tries to question her about Trish, but Beth refuses to give up any information. Mark (Andrew Buchan) meets with a private investigator and receives information about Joe. Nige Carter (Joe Sims) arrives and invites Mark to the upcoming game. Everyone meets at the beach moments later.
Alec and Ellie arrive just in time to see a small squabble between Jim and Ed. The game is halted when Trish arrives with Leah. During the game, Rev Paul Coates (Arthur Darvill) speaks with Lindsay Lucas (Becky Brunning) about Michael’s school troubles. Lindsay is shocked by the news. Back on the beach, Michael (Deon Lee-Williams) and Clive (Sebastian Armesto) get into a brief argument. Ellie notices Ian speaking with Leo (Chris Mason). Ian admits Leo was once his student. Ellie speaks with Leo about the soccer net, which looks very similar to the net found at the scene of the crime. Back at the station, Alec confirms they’ve been given permission to keep track of Aaron’s movements. Katie and Steve are given that responsibility. That night, Daisy Hardy (Hannah Rae) receives a visit from Chloe (Charlotte Beaumont). Chloe offers to be the girl’s friend, while also admitting she knows what happened.
Alec meets with Zoe (Elen Rhys). It is confirmed that Alec met Zoe, when Daisy set up an online dating profile for him. When Beth returns home, she finds Mark cooking for her. He apologizes for being stubborn. Katie and Steve continue watching Aaron. That night, Ellie runs into Alec. Ellie reveals they got a hit on the DNA. They immediately rush over to Jim’s garage and haul him down to the station. Jim is forced to admit he slept with Trish before the party. He also insists he wouldn’t need to rape Trish, since she was always willing. Alec and Ellie visit Trish in the morning. She confirms Jim’s story and admits she just wanted sex. She also shows them the flowers and card. Outside, Ellie receives information about the text messages. It appears the messages came from Ian. They rush over to the school right away. Ian denies everything. His new girlfriend, Sarah Elsey (Charlotte Lucas), enters and confesses to sending the texts. She promises she didn’t know about the rape at the time.
Seconds later, Mark meets with Paul. He admits he got Joe’s location and intends to track him down. He invites Paul along, but the offer is refused. We see a woman reading the newspaper article about Trish’s rape. She looks distraught. Aaron manages to get inside of the vehicle with Katie. He freaks her out, before she manages to throw him out. Back at the station, Ellie learns about a woman, who wants to speak with her. Alec and Ellie speak with the woman. She admits she was raped two years ago. The attack was very similar to Trish’s case.
The 4th episode of Broadchurch gave viewers the first opportunity to relive moments of the night of the attack. While those few moments were quick and uneventful, it was harrowing to see the transformation of happy Trish compared to what we have in the present. We also discovered who Trish had slept with on the morning of the party. Questions still remain about Jim and the condoms in the glove box. Of course, that could be someone else’s vehicle that Jim was working on.
At times, it feels like the other women might’ve attacked Trish as a way to get back at her for sleeping with Jim and possibly others. At this point, who knows? The episode was great. An 8 out of 10. Catch up with previous recaps of Broadchurch now!