Broadchurch

Broadchurch Finale: Wobbly Rape Case Resolution Caps a Solid Final Season

Broadchurch wrapped its third and final season this Wednesday on BBC America, a full four months after the series did so “across the pond.” Were you, the Stateside viewer, able to avoid spoilers for the Axehampton rape case resolution?

Leading up to and with its final hour, the UK drama dangled a few more red herrings before us — by identifying cab driver Clive’s DNA on the football sock, having Ed find and clumsily contaminate the blood-stained twine used to restrain Trish, detailing Jim’s dicking around on the very night of his wife’s birthday fete and casting side-eye at Ian’s use of spyware to “spend time with” his estranged missus.

Clive in fact was next to get brought in for questioning, due to the aforementioned DNA discovery. Traffic cam footage meanwhile revealed the planter of the blood-stained evidence outside Ed’s shop to be Leo Humphries aka Twine Boy. Clive proceeded to blow his previous alibi and admit to how he picked up Leo — and his frazzled son, Michael Lucas — late the night of the party.

Pressed not terribly hard by Miller and Hardy, Leo almost matter-of-factly revealed how some time ago he befriended Michael and arranged for his own girlfriend to be his football mate’s “first.” Leo, though, took his mentoring of the lad to a dark, dark extreme, bringing him to Cath’s party where Leo eyeballed the guest of honor but ultimately singled out Trish, who was alone outside after her row with Ian, for a brutal assault using his “party kit.”

How a drunk, distraught and hugely unwilling Michael was able to follow through on his new friend’s orders to rape Trish, I do not know. Nor do I care to know. (In the larger scheme of things, Broadchurch perhaps wanted to make clear that the motivation to rape is seldom anything as banal as unrequited love or revenge, but instead is purely about power exacted through violence.) With the truth now out, Clive beseeched Hardy and Miller to arrest him versus his impressionable stepson, seemingly to no avail.

Elsewhere as the series drew to an end, Thirteen Beth and Mark agreed to separate, in the wake of his near-suicidal quest for closure over Danny’s murder; Daisy commended her father for his handling of the case that rocked yet unified their small town (as well as for policing her own harassment); Trish seemed poised to let Ian ease back into her life; and Maggie followed up her resignation from the newspaper and its clickbait-y site to start up her own YouTube news vlog.

What did you think of Broadchurch‘s final hour, and Season 3 as a whole? Grade each in the polls below.