Broadchurch Finale

How Could You Not Know?

Here in the USA we just experienced the Broadchurch finale and it was a fusillade to the senses.  As with most mysteries the anticipation for the conclusion is always intense.  You can't wait to see who the villain is and in the meantime you play your own guessing game as to who the main culprit is.

I had picked Rory the Roman (Arthur Darvill) and had to taste bitter defeat as my wife correctly guessed it was the perfect husband, Joe.

When that reveal was made I was a bit disappointed.  I felt Joe was a secondary character or even lesser as all the other potential culprits seemed more filled out to me.  When DS Miller's husband Joe was outed there was only about 28 minutes gone by out of the hour and my wife exclaimed, "What are they going to do with the rest of the episode?"  

"Show us the aftermath" I replied.

To say the least.  Here is where we found out what Broadchurch was really about.  It wasn't the mystery of who the killer was, it was the people involved and the human toll.  This is where Broadchurch truly excelled.  The mystery behind the identity of the killer was just a device.

Broachurch focused it's lens upon the human tragedy involved and it was done by asking the question "How could you not know?" The most damning indictment of that question was when when Beth Latimer confronted Ellie Miller and basically asked how she could share a bed with someone and not know he was a child killer?

Miller was devastated.  How could she not know?  She was closest to the killer, she was tasked with finding the killer as an officer of the law, her best friend was the victims mother, how could she not know?

You could ask the same of the Susan Wright. Her own husband was convicted of molesting her child.  The news of which became a sensation in her former hometown.  How could she not know?

What of Jack Marshall?  A pillar of the community and a leader of young men.  And a supposed pedophile?  Why did they let their children get so close to him?  How could they not know?

Beth Latimer led the quintessential suburban life.  A fine home, a beautiful family and a loving husband.  Yet all was not as it seemed to be.  Under her very nose her husband was conducting an affair with Becca Fisher.  Were there no clues?  Was she blind to the signs?   Beth was pretty tough on Ellie at the end.  With good reason.  But who casts the first stone?  Had she been watching her husband would not her son have strayed from the family?

How could she not know?

Broadchurch cast it's light on humanity at it's darkest.  The questions and the question will linger long after this season has faded.  We can't help but put ourselves in their shoes.  What would we have done?  How would we have felt or reacted given similar circumstances?  Could we look in the mirror and ask ourselves, "How could you not know?"

When you form a community, a family, a loving relationship you invest your self in that person or group of people.  To place doubt in that relationship would be placing doubt in your self.  You are committed wholeheartedly to your brethren, to the ones you care for and the ones you love.  To do otherwise would shatter the bonds of community, family and love.

We place our trust in those around us as we trust our selves.  To act counter to that would go against our very nature.  It defines our very being and it answers the question,

"How could you not know?"


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