With one more episode to go in series 3 (for UK viewers), the elaborate web of suspects seems to include most of the residents of Broadchurch. The evidence is piling up — Miller and Hardy know whose DNA is on the sock, but we won’t find the identity of the rapist/s out until Monday night…
Series 3 has been, on the whole, much better than series 2, though my view on this might be distorted by the fact that I saved them up and binge-watched them, because I am not renowned for my patience with suspense. This has been a carefully paced series, with some excellent work from Olivia Coleman and David Tennant. As we wait for the final episode, here are the prime suspects so far, a few potential wildcards, and my top theory.
Obviously, spoilers are ahead. You have been warned.
What do we know so far? Well, there have been three rapes with a very similar MO over the last few years, all in the summer months. The Big Clues seem to be the twine and the sock - which unfortunately don’t rule many people out. The condom wrapper is another clue - but that can be discounted if Jim’s al-fresco incident with the waitress happened later that night at the same spot. It would be a pretty big coincidence, mind.
Ed the stalker
The easy money would have been on him earlier in the series. Lenny Henry is probably the best known actor of all the suspects, for one thing. He has a violent temper, and can be highly unpleasant. He claims to ‘love’ Trish, but he behaves like an obsessed stalker. He had blue twine in his pocket. He had grass and mud on his suit. But he seemed shocked when he found the bloody, incriminating twine - I think he’s being set up.
Ian the creepy ex-husband
He has no compunctions about spying on his wife, and is obsessed with getting back together with her. He flies into a jealous rage when he sees her with other men - even when he is with another woman. A hypocrite, definitely. But I see can’t see him being the rapist. I can fully believe that he is part of the Great Perv Conspiracy though (see below).
Jim the cheat
The DNA match can be explained by his early morning romp with Trish, but he is linked to the twine and the condoms. He could have deliberately returned to the same spot by the waterfall for his tryst with the waitress.
Clive the taxi-driver and porn baron
Clearly a weasel of the highest order. Horrible to his wife and step-kid. He has Trish’s key-ring hidden in a drawer, and looked pretty sinister at the end of episode 7. I think he’s more shady than Jim and Ed.
Leo the tech wizard, lord of the twine
He was at the party and has no alibi, plus he is linked to the twine and the sock. He’s broken the law already, installing spyware for Ian. He was a cocky little arse early on, though he seemed shaken and repentant in episode 7.
Aaron the creepy rapist
He is the stuff of nightmares. But I think he was introduced too early to be a prime suspect for this case. It’s too easy, isn’t it? If the rapist turns out to be the one guy in town who they already know is a rapist? But, he might be a player in the Great Perv Conspiracy.
I really hope it isn’t Tom Miller but the porn subplot early on might have been a clue. This might of course implicate the taxi-driver’s step-son as well. But the historic nature of the crimes would argue against this - I hope.
Reverend Paul - if he were responsible for this, it would be a pretty big twist. I have heard speculation that he might be responsible for what happened to Danny as well, and this would tie up all three series of the show. But this seems like a lot to resolve in one hour.
Is the old guy who owns the big house behind it all? I don’t buy it. He’s only had about 5 minutes of screen time, I can’t remember his name, and the crime ruined his business. I’ll rule out the band and the caterers for similar reasons.
The Great Perv Conspiracy
This is my chosen theory, and I’m sticking with it. There are so many unpleasant types in this series that it wouldn’t surprise me if this were some sort of horrifying club. It would tie together the porn subplots, and the sharing of photos of Hardy’s daughter, implicating the young’uns of the town as well as Clive the porn baron and Leo the tech wizard. It would tie in Ian’s spyware, and resolve the clue of the light that Trish saw - which is surely someone filming the rape? The moment at the ‘Reclaim the Night’ march where everyone waved their phones in the air has to be a clue, right? What if this really does involve half the town? Perhaps the reason so many of the men don’t have alibis is that they are part of this horrible club, making pornographic videos without the knowledge of consensual partners, sharing footage they get from spying on women, and ‘upping the stakes’ by filming rapes.
If this is the case, I’d rule out Ed as a member of this club. I get the impression that if he knew who had hurt Trish, he’d charge in and beat the living daylights out of him/them. In fact, I’m going to suggest that Ed and his daughter will go all Nancy Drew themselves, and blow this case wide open, thus redeeming the daughter, which would be especially painful for Miller if her son has been involved.
If The Great Perv Conspiracy is the winner, then members of this club would fall into two types - the active members, and the customers. I’d put Clive, Leo and Aaron as actives, with Jim and Ian as customers, along with Tom, Clive’s step-son, and the teenage boys that Hardy threatened in episode 7.
What do you think? Am I on to something? Or have I fallen down a rabbit hole? Let me know in the comments!