Broadchurch Series 1 Episode 5 (ITV) Review

We’re another week into Broadchurch’s intriguing whodunit and this fifth episode chooses to focus on one village resident in particular. The finger was pointed at Jack Marshall last week when his hidden past with children was uncovered, and here we discover more about his story and what he might have had to do with Danny Latimer’s death.

What he had to do with Danny’s death turns out to be nothing at all but, small grieving towns being what they are, the residents of Broadchurch are quick to assume that Jack’s perchance for hugging young boys means that he’s a raging paedophile who needs to be dealt with promptly. After some digging from Hardy, Marshall reveals that he entered into an affair with a 15-year-old student while working as a music teacher, served his time in jail, and then married the girl and started a family.

When their son died in a car accident and the grief tore him and his wife apart, he started hanging around with children so as to numb the pain. It’s a sad story that, while it doesn’t completely absolve him of his sex offender label, makes him a sympathetic victim of mob mentality this week. Once the press get hold of the story and the Herald decides to sensationalise the story Olly wrote, he may as well have killed an entire school of children for all the benefit of the doubt the town allows him. It continues the ‘press are evil vultures’ theme of Broadchurch with Jack’s tragic end a direct result of the media’s actions.

Mark Latimer’s reluctance to believe Marshal could have killed his son, as well as the two hours of unaccounted for time, keeps the blame pinned on him for the time being. Then there’s Susan Wright, who this week offered little Tom Miller a creepy dog-walking gig after being accosted by a crossbow-bearing Nige. The smoking gun in this episode was the £500 he offered her to leave town, as that was the exact amount of money found in Danny’s room. Then there’s the burnt boat, which it turns out belonged to Olly’s father/Ellie’s brother-in-law.

What did you think of the episode? With three episodes left, who’s at the top of your suspect list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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