“Broadchurch” features a later-in-life lesbian romance


First of all, if you are not already watching Broadchurch, then what even. It has all of your favorite British actors who are not otherwise occupied with getting murdered in Game of Thrones or propping up the aristocracy in Downton Abbey.  It’s got David Tennant (Doctor Who), Olivia Colman (Skins and pretty much everything else), James D’Arcy (Agent Carter) and Eve Myles (Torchwood, my fantasy life).

Now in its second season, Broadchurch explores a small town where everyone’s secrets come out in the wake of a young boy’s murder.  That’s a rather played-out premise, but the drama is redeemed by gorgeous photography, deeply committed performances, and the recognition that people’s actions and desires are frequently a mystery, not only to those they love, but to the people themselves. The first season ended with the killer unmasked (no spoilers but I KNEW ALL ALONG), but the second season has only benefited without the pressure of a Suspect of The Week.  

Instead, series two of Broadchurch focuses on the trial of the boy’s killer, and an ancillary investigation into an earlier murder. (Which is actually kind of driving me crazy. David Tennant is all “This is the unsolvable case that ruined my life” when it turns out there are clues just literally lying around everywhere. But I digress.) The strongest addition to the new season’s cast is Charlotte Rampling as Jocelyn Knight, the barrister trying to bring justice to a devastated town.


Jocelyn embodies everything that one wants to be at her age: she lives alone in a commodious house far above the rest of the town, and only comes down to do very occasional good deeds and chastise people for their foolishness. The only company she accepts is that of Maggie Radcliffe (Carolyn Pickles), the feisty newspaper editor, with whom she shares pasta and verbal sparring matches. It’s clear from the first moment Maggie mentions Jocelyn that there are Feelings between them, but those weren’t explicitly stated until this past week’s episode. And then, well, this happened.


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So that was pretty much perfect. Some viewers tweeted that they felt this was nothing more than a ratings-grab meant to shock viewers, but anyone shocked by this development has not been trained in the fine are of lesbian subtext. There have been long glances between those two all season and Jocelyn said that her biggest regret was missing out on the person (gender neutral) that she was supposed to be with. While I do wish there was more time to explore their love affair—fuck, I wish there was a whole show for that—its theme fits in nicely with the rest of the show: essentially, you can’t change the past, but you can emerge as a better person from the ashes of your mistakes.

With only one more episode to go in Season 2, viewers can only hope that these two women will find the courage to love each other openly and continue battling windmills together in season three.

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