Broadchurch: Episodes 1-3 Character Recap - Who's Done What So Far?
The fourth episode of Broadchurch airs tonight at 9pm on ITV in the UK and at 10pm on TV3 in Ireland. here's our rundown on what some of the key characters have been up to and some questions we'd like answered.
As ever, this article contains full spoilers for the series, so please don't read on if you haven't caught up with the story so far.
As Joe Miller's court case continues, the defence demolish the evidence that DI Hardy had built his case on.
Meanwhile, in the investigation into the Sandbrook abductions and murder, Hardy and Miller find that they are faced with more questions than answers.
Alec Hardy (David Tennant)
Two cases dominate Hardy’s world at the moment – Broadchurch and Sandbrook - and he seems to be losing his grip on both of them.
Due to an error of judgement on his part, Ellie was allowed to assault husband Joe in the interview room during his arrest and questioning and now his confession is inadmissible as evidence. In the dock, Hardy was forced to admit that any member of the Miller family could have had access to the laptop and mobile phone and could have sent messages to Danny as Joe. Now Hardy and Ellie have been accused of having an affair and of colluding to fake evidence to get Joe out of the way.
Despite being taken off active duty on health grounds Hardy is currently pushing himself to his limits in order to close the Sandbrook case. His actions don’t seem to have the knowledge or support of his superiors in the Wessex force. He has been secretly hiding Claire Ripley, wife of Lee Ashworth, the main Sandbrook suspect, in a cottage near Broadchurch in an entirely unofficial witness protection scheme. He has also encouraged Ellie, now attached to an entirely different force, to help him in his quest for justice for the Sandbrook victims. Only when Ellie voices her suspicions that Claire knows more about the case than she’s saying does he reveal that he has always regarded her as a suspect too. But why does he seem unable to react to Lee’s goading of him? Has Lee got some reason to have the upper hand?
Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman)
How mush more can Ellie Miller take? She’s taken a transfer and demotion to Devon, but now Hardy has called her back to help him on his unofficial investigation. Why has she gone along with him? Perhaps it’s after meeting Claire that she realises that there is someone after all who understands the position she’s in. However, now Ellie is beginning to realise that Claire may not be all that she seems and Hardy has confirmed that he regards her as a suspect too.
Ellie's son Tom has distanced himself from her and Beth, her former best friend, hates her. Ellie has seen any hope of reconciliation with either of them dashed as it emerged that her assault on Joe made the confession inadmissible. Now the defence have suggested that she might have sent the messages to Danny from the laptop and phone, and that she and Hardy were having an affair. Has Ellie got the resilience left to bounce back from this latest blow?
Joe Miller (Matthew Gravelle)
Since his not guilty plea, Joe has become more convinced that he will soon be released from prison. He continues to receive his secret visits from Paul Coates. It remains to be seen how he will react to the accusation that Hardy was having an affair with his wife. Will he stand up for her or will he try to save his own skin?
Claire Ripley (Eve Myles)
Claire seems an impulsive, passionate individual, especially where Ashworth is concerned. She begged Hardy to protect her from her husband, but on meeting him her first action was to run off with him back to the cottage in which she was supposed to be hidden. She seems strangely fixated on him, and still loves him in spite of the fact that he could have killed two girls. Claire divulged some new evidence to Ellie, that Ashworth had drugged her on the night of the girls’ abduction and she woke to find him cleaning. A flashback shows her yelling at an unseen man ‘What have you done?’ Claire can’t or won’t explain the secret of the bluebell and after accusing Hardy of snooping in her home she has turned against him.
Lee Ashworth (James D’Arcy)
Portrayed by Hardy as the certain killer of the two Sandbrook girls, Ashworth has turned up in Broadchurch not to have his revenge on Claire but to try to clear his name. He has even been doing some investigations himself by pretending to be Alec Hardy. He also seems to have some power over Hardy, hitting him and impersonating him without fear of repercussions, and forcing him to apologise for stalking him. Ashworth vows to stay around and be close to Claire until the real killer is caught. Despite his claims of innocence, he cannot explain the pendant being in his car, and flashback sequences show that the two girls were interested in him. Ashworth is puzzled by the question of the bluebell sent to Claire.
Mark Latimer (Andrew Buchan)
Mark has been meeting Tom Miller secretly in Susan Wright’s abandoned caravan. He was missing and uncontactable while Beth was in labour and arrived after the midwife. He has also been distant from Beth and not wanting to do things together.
Mark has pledged to be a good father to his new baby Lizzie and to get it right this time round.
Beth Latimer (Jodie Whittaker)
Beth gave birth to a healthy baby girl. She was mortified to be supported by Ellie during part of her labour and, although Ellie had hoped the experience might patch up their friendship, Beth hated her as deeply as ever. Ellie’s attack on Joe gave an opening for his confession to be thrown out and now Beth is being led to believe that the two detectives on her son’s case were having an affair. Beth is unwilling to forgive Ellie for missing what Joe was up to, but what exactly is Mark up to behind her back?
Sharon Bishop (Marianne Jean-Baptiste)
The QC for the defence has plenty of dirty tricks up her sleeve when it comes to finding the weak spots in the case against her client Joe Miller. She has called for an unnecessary exhumation and has since then attacked the testimonies of both Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller. Her latest ploy is to accuse the two of an affair. However, Sharon has her own secret – she has a son serving a long sentence in a Young Offenders Institution. Is this the source of her feud with Jocelyn Knight?
Jocelyn Knight (Charlotte Rampling)
Seeing Sharon Bishop on the case has compelled Jocelyn to come out of retirement and take on the case against Joe Miller. Something in the relationship between her and her former protégée soured some time ago and now the pair are fierce rivals in court. Jocelyn has yet to have her moment and the defence seem to have the upper hand. She is not without her own burdens. Her elderly mother is in a care home, causing her financial difficulties and she has visual problems that caused her to crash her car. Could this be affecting her ability to do justice to the case?
Tom Miller (Adam Wilson)
Tom is still refusing to have anything to do with Ellie. Will she ever be able to prove that she is not to blame for his dad’s imprisonment? And what of his secret meetings with Mark? Are they anything more than bonding sessions or could history be repeating itself?
Paul Coates (Arthur Darvill)
The local vicar is making secret visits to Joe Miller in prison. Is this because he sees it as part of his parish duty? Or has Joe got some other hold on him and insists he keeps coming? Paul is understandably keen to keep these visits quiet. He would also like Joe to change his plea back to guilty. Is this for the good of the community, or has he something more personal at stake?
Lucy Stevens (Tanya Franks)
Ellie’s sister Lucy was much troubled by financial issues in the past, and ‘sold’ Ellie evidence for a loan. In the last few months she’s managed to straighten herself out and get a job alongside son Olly (Jonathan Bailey) at the local paper, and she’s taken on the care of Tom for Ellie. But now she’s likely to be called to court to testify on what she saw that night, and already she seems nervous. Was she telling Ellie the truth? Did she see someone, and if so who?