As the episode begins, Father Michael (Sean Bean) gives a sermon to his congregation. He experiences flashbacks throughout. Afterwards, Michael visits Chloe Demichelis (Lauren Lyle). Initially, she is hesitant to let him in. When he insists he is not going away, she has no other choice. Michael helps the kids clean up their home, while also offering them vouchers for the food bank. During this time, the police officers gather at the courthouse for an inquest into Vernon’s death. Michael attends with Helen (Muna Otaru). Helen is the first witness to take the stand. Helen explains Vernon’s situation and discusses the mental hospital. She also admits she has no intention to forgive those that have not asked to be forgiven. Next, Chloe shows up at the food bank.
Chloe is shocked to find her mother’s clothes hanging on a nearby rack. Michael apologizes and confesses he should’ve warned her. Then, Chloe heads to the local shop and smashes the gambling machines. Michael rushes to the store after being notified. The boss, Harry Parkinson (Phil Davis), enters shortly afterwards. Harry plays nice with Chloe. He reveals he too lost his mother at a young age. He agrees to drop the charges and forget about everything. A woman from the mental hospital takes the stand. She admits Vernon wasn’t well, but they had very little choice in the decision to dismiss him. She explains she lied to Helen when she told her that Vernon was the least unwell. He was just one of the least unwell at the time. Jean Reid (Rochenda Sandall) watches as new gambling machines are brought into the shop.
Chloe enters and smashes them to pieces once again. This time, Harry enters the store in a fury. He explains that he knows exactly what Chloe wants and he isn’t going to give it to her. He also ridicules her mother. Then, he promises to get a restraining order on Chloe, so she’ll go to prison next time. Chloe promises Michael that she won’t do it again. He tells her to come to mass and watch him get back at the one responsible. In church, Michael gives a sermon. He directly relates it to Roz’s situation and ridicules the decision to put gambling machines in their poverty stricken area. Once he has finished, everyone applauds Chloe. Other locals grab sledgehammers and finish what Chloe started. Back at the inquest, Denis Kincaid (Tony Hirst) takes the stand. He tells them about his difficult decision to join the armed squad. He also explains he didn’t want to shoot Vernon, but had little choice. He doesn’t stray far from the truth.
He apologizes to Helen. That night, Michael gets a visit from Chloe. They agree to wage war differently from here on out. Chloe asks Michael what he did to stop her mother’s suicide. She wants to know whether he is the one that notified the college. Michael refuses to tell. She admits she doesn’t think Michael did enough. That night, Michael listens to Helen’s voicemail once again. He tells Peter Flaherty (Adrian Dunbar) about the inquest and the last question posed to the witnesses. He wonders whether or not that might be a good time to tell Helen the truth. Peter tries to convince him that it would not be a good idea. Ian Wakefield (Matthew Wilson) takes the stand. Then, Dawn Morris (Aisling Loftus) speaks. She explains that Vernon was stoking his anger. She suggests Helen would be dead, if she had not sprayed Vernon. Helen stands up and refutes the claim.
Andrew Powell (Mark Stanley) rushes to the bathroom to recollect himself. Michael takes the stand. He finally tells the truth about the phone call. He admits he heard it, but decided not to pick it up. Andrew watches on. The revelation divides Helen and Michael. The following day, Andrew speaks. He explains that the squad put far more pressure on Dawn, because she was a woman. He implies that the added pressure forced Dawn to feel like she constantly needed to prove herself. He suggests this is ultimately what led to the spraying of Vernon. He also calls the move the dumbest thing he has ever seen a copper do. The jury returns with their decision. While they agree that Kincaid acted lawfully, they believe Vernon’s death was unlawful. They also label Dawn’s actions as unlawful. Andrew comforts Helen, while Michael leaves. He visits Helen at home and tries to apologize.
Helen refuses to let him in, after he admits he only told the truth, because he was under oath and afraid. Later, Michael gives another sermon. Flaherty is in attendance. He notices Michael is suffering from flashbacks. Andrew also realizes that something is going on. Andrew speaks with Michael before he leaves. He tells Michael that he is not responsible for Vernon’s death. Michael returns inside and tells Peter he questions his right to be a priest. Peter explains that those feelings are very common for priests. He says a prayer for Michael. Later, we see Andrew visiting Christina Fitzsimmons (Anna Friel). He explains he wants to talk with her about Michael. Michael sits with his mother. She apologizes for the way she treated him in the past. Michael pretends that it isn’t a big deal.
When he awakes in the morning, he discovers that she has passed. Michael says a prayer for her, before notifying his sister, Beth (Vanessa Earl). The family has a viewing for the body. Michael and his brothers get drunk and race out in the rain. In the morning, Michael decides he is going to allow Peter to perform his mother’s ceremony. He is reminded that it was her dying wish for him to do so. The ceremony is held in Peter’s church, but Michael performs it. Michael explains that his family likely hasn’t been to mass in years and might not feel comfortable taking communion. He agrees to say a prayer, so they can do so. He encourages them to take it, since his mother would have liked it. Throughout the sermon, Michael doesn’t seem to have any flashbacks.
During the communion, Michael spots Christina and her daughter. They take communion and refer to Michael as a wonderful priest. They’re followed by Pauline, Andrew and Helen. Bernadette and Chloe also have a turn.
What a great finale. Broken delivered one of the best season finales I have seen in quite some time. While the previous 5 episodes were bleak, the 6th managed to wrap everything up in an uplifting, emotional charged package. Chloe took the advice Michael had given her mother and spoke out against gambling machines. Michael finally told Helen the truth about the night of Vernon’s death. In doing so, he seems to have inspired Andrew Powell to also tell the truth. Nevertheless, Michael was left broken and questioned his own abilities as a priest.
Helen got her answers and Michael received justification for continuing as a priest. Broken is centered around religion, but it is more about the community. While the show delves into many political landmines, it travels the field carefully and focuses more on the human struggle and that is what makes it so successful. The series has been great. It is ultimately too deep and depressing for many, but I’ve enjoyed each and every episode. I would definitely watch more. The finale scores a 9.5 out of 10. Previous recaps of Broken are available for viewing now.