The third and final season of Broadchurch is a good but ultimately disappointing season of entertainment given what’s come before this. With a brand new cast of characters to cast suspicion on while a new mystery unfolds, Broadchurch brings the drama back to the heart of what made the show so good to begin with. The plot’s not quite as strong as the first two and the final reveal doesn’t quite hit as hard as the first two seasons making Broadchurch a sombre ending to an otherwise decent crime drama show.
The story sees both Detective Miller (Olivia Colman) and Alec Hardy (David Tennant) reprising their familiar roles to tackle a new case about a sexually assaulted woman who has little knowledge of the attack. It leaves her shocked and dazed as the two detectives try to get to the bottom of what happened to her. With a host of new characters and a return in rhythm and consistent pacing for the show sorely lacking last time, season 3 does get some things right. The story and mystery isn’t quite as gripping as the first season though but its the characters that ultimately keep it compelling and watchable.
Its a shame then that the victim, Trish Winterman (Julie Hesmondhalgh), showcases some really poor acting throughout. With wooden, stifled expressions and a really uneven, inconsistent persona, its distracting how out of her depth she is among the other actors. Coming from a soap opera background, its perhaps a little unfair to judge her acting against the sheer majesty of both Tennant and Colman but alongside these two actors, her frailty and lack of acting prowess is very much evident to see. It does make for some painful viewing at times and its a pity, because her actual character is written relatively well.
The plot never quite feels as tightly woven this time around, with a formulaic feel to the mystery that accompanies the season. It has all the familiar beats you’d expect from this show but the reveal at the end of the season isn’t quite as powerful as you’d expect and a little too predictable and disappointing. Its not all bad though, with the episodes leading up the finale pointing at multiple suspects which helps to keep the mystery going.
Overall, Season 3 of Broadchurch is more of the same but lacking the charm that once made the show so great. The star power of Tennant and Colman drive the narrative forward with incredible chemistry and effortless charisma. A poor performance from Hesmondhalgh does put a black cloud over this the season and the plot isn’t quite at the same level as the first two seasons. The mystery is still intriguing enough to see you through until the end but Broadchurch ultimately, the show ends on a rather sombre note.