At the beginning of the finale, Lindsay (Becky Brunning) alerts the authorities to Clive (Sebastian Armesto). Also, DC Katie Harford (Georgina Campbell) and Ed (Lenny Henry) notify the police of the twine found behind the farm shop. Ellie (Olivia Colman) speaks with Katie, who admits she doesn’t know what to believe anymore. Beth (Jodie Whittaker) speaks with Mark (Andrew Buchan) later that night. The conversation is short and awkward. At the station, Alec (David Tennant) and Ellie speak about Ed. Ellie admits she believes Ed might be innocence. Then, the couple interview Clive. They’re able to quickly catch Clive in a lie. Clive insists people were careless and he simply cleaned up after them. He denies doing anything with the women, who owned the items in his collection.
Then, Clive reveals he was at the party and saw Jim (Mark Bazeley) arguing with Trish (Julie Hsmondhalgh). Clive admits he is baffled why the detectives continue coming after him. Alec and Ellie use Clive’s backtracking to diminish the credibility of his alibi. Clive is shown the sock, which was used to gag Trish. Ellie confirms it had Clive’s DNA on it. He admits the sock is used by the football team, but still denies being involved in Trish’s rape. Clive nearly breaks and insists he is unable to explain the sock. Alec and Ellie speak about the situation outside. They continue waiting for the arrival of the CCTV footage from Ed’s shop. Then, the couple interviews Ed. Ed pleads with the cops to check the CCTV footage. Alec insists Ed is still lying about something. Eventually, Ed snaps and admits he heard the rape. However, he claims he thought it was initially just drunk sex.
Ed also admits he feels responsible, since he could’ve stopped the rape. Finally, the CCTV footage arrives. Ellie and Alec watch it. They quickly discover that the twine was hidden when Ed was in custody. Ellie traces the man’s footsteps on a map. Surprisingly, a new traffic camera has been installed nearby. They use the camera to find the man’s vehicle. The license plate comes back to Leo Humphries (Chris Mason). Back at home, Jodie and Mark chat for an incredibly long time. Mark admits he no longer feels like a part of Beth’s life. Beth admits they eventually went their separate ways before Dan was murdered. Back at the station, Ellie and Alec try to figure out how Lucas and Leo are connected. They quickly pinpoint football as the link. The detectives head to Leo’s place. He isn’t home, so they visit Danielle (Ines De Clercq).
Alec calls Leo’s phone and hears it ringing from inside. Leo is forced to show himself. The detectives revisit Lucas and tell him about Leo’s arrest. Again, they try to pressure Clive to tell the truth. Eventually, Clive insists he wants to speak with his solicitor. Leo sits in a cell, while Alec and Ellie decide to target their cell phones. Next, Alec and Ellie scour through their paperwork. They find a strange number on Leo’s phone records. They find out who the number belongs to, before speaking with Clive again. Clive is asked about the phone number. He denies knowing anything about it. Ellie confirms the phone was tracked to Axehampton on the night of the rape. In fact, the mysterious phone, as well as Leo’s and Clive’s were tracked to that location. Clive slowly begins to break.
Clive admits he only gave them a ride home. In a flashback, we see Leo and Michael Lucas (Deon Lee-Williams) get into Clive’s taxi. Immediately after the flashback ends, Michael is interviewed by Ellie and Alec. Michael is asked why he would rape Trish. In a flashback, we see Leo take Michael under his wing after watching him get slapped around by Clive. We watch as Leo develops a stronger relationship with Michael over a period of time. He also begins grooming Michael. He shows him porn, before allowing him to sleep with Danielle. Then, Leo invites Michael to crash the Axehampton party. They visit the party together and watch Cath (Sarah Parish) dance. Then, they head outside and wait around. Eventually, Trish exits and is left alone. Leo lures her over and smacks her in the back of the head with the cricket bat. Leo covers Michael’s face and forces him to rape Trish, while he records.
Seconds later, the detectives return to Clive. Clive offers to take the blame, in hopes of saving Michael. Also, they learn that Leo had several rapes recorded on one of his phones. After watching the video, Alec and Ellie interview Leo. The evidence is laid out, but Leo remains emotionless. When asked why he recorded the rapes, Leo admits he wanted to remember them. He also admits the women were not virgins, so he didn’t take anything from them. When asked about Trish, Leo confirms she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He also admits Michael seemed lonely and he thought he would be able to help him. Back at home, Chloe (Charlotte Beaumont) catches her father watching old home videos. They watch it together.
Seconds later, Alec finds Ellie outside crying. Alec tries to comfort his partner. Then, we jump to the church. Maggie (Carolyn Pickles) tells Paul (Arthur Darvill) she intends to start a YouTube channel. Paul confirms his last service will be held in a few hours. Ellie and Beth visit Trish and tell her about the arrests. She is shocked that her attacker was so young. Paul gives his last sermon. Alec and Ellie say their goodbyes to Paul outside. Ian (Charlie Higson) speaks with Leah (Hannah Millward) and Trish. The trio agrees to get takeout later that night. Mark heads off on his own. He gets in his work van and drives away, while Beth and Ellie have dinner with the kids. At the end of the episode, Alec and Ellie speak about the future.
Alec admits he doesn’t know whether or not he and Daisy (Hannah Rae) will stay in the town permanently. However, he does tell Ellie that he’ll see her the next day.
The finale of Broadchurch’s 3rd season was hit and miss. The revelation that Leo and Michael were responsible for Trish’s rape was great and unpredictable. It was also nice to see that Clive did indeed care for Michael to some degree. Unfortunately, the finale was bogged down with aimless chatter between Beth and Mark. The entire season was slow and tedious, yet the finale felt rushed. We learned nothing about the future of Jim and Cath. How about Katie and Ed?
The writers focused too heavily on the Latimer family and it ultimately fell flat. In fact, Mark should’ve been removed from the equation long ago. Beth at least had a purpose this sense. For the finale of the entire series, Broadchurch definitely went out on a low note. There were far too many unanswered questions. The time wasted on the Latimer family could’ve been put to far better use. A 6.5 out of 10 is awarded to Broadchurch’s finale. Catch up with previous recaps of Broadchurch now!