‘Broadchurch’ continues to excite and frustrate audiences

BBC America’s hit series “Broadchurch” has hit the ground running with the return for its second season.

Season one finished with the killer being caught and the town of Broadchurch was finally given some time to grieve. In the opening episode of the second season, this feeling of calm and hope was ripped from viewer’s eager hands. The suspect caught at the end of the first season pleads not guilty.

Compared to the first season’s driving conflict behind the death of Danny Latimer, the trial seems like it would be a less exciting hook for audience members. However, in just three episodes, “Broadchurch” has been able to make a small-town court trial captivating.

It’s a different kind of emotion, but has a similar punch.

Another introduction to the storyline that seems like it could derail a balanced plot are the new characters. We are introduced to two lawyers, one is an acquaintance of Alec Hardy’s, the other a man that may bring even more trouble to Broadchurch and to Hardy’s life. It’s hard to welcome in new personalities after growing with the characters of the first season, but so far most of these new characters have already added depth and conflict that keeps the plot flowing smoothly. A remarkable new character, Jocelyn Knight, is a local barrister who has agreed to help the Latimer’s with their case.

Knight adds a sense wisdom and mystery to the town. She is already known by a handful of the residents and comes out of retirement to work on the case. Something about her hints that her hidden back story is waiting to be revealed in later episodes. With many characters already having their dirty laundry blown in the wind, it will be an exciting and recognizable plot point to see Knight’s secrets revealed.

“Broadchurch” captivated audiences from day one, because of the slow roll-out of information and the blending of truth and lies. In an interview with BBC, Arthur Darvill who plays the vicar Paul Coates said that even the cast didn’t know who the murderer was until they received the final script, adding to the feeling of authentic suspense.

It is no small task to try to recreate that suspense and intrigue that came with the previous season. Viewers will no doubt be very critical on how information unfolds. Perhaps that is why season two is attempting to weave in Hardy’s past case, Sanbrook, to keep a criminal chase relevant and current.

There is still much potential growth for this season’s story. Lovers of the first season of “Broadchurch” can watch happily as the characters they loved, or hated, continue to change around one another.