'Broadchurch' creator talks Mark's fate, Hardy's tirade, and Trish taking back the night

Mandi Bierly
Deputy Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
Hardy (David Tennant) and Miller (Olivia Colman) watch the town vigil. (Photo: BBC America)

The penultimate episode of Broadchurch‘s final season continued to tighten the vise on the main suspects for Trish’s rape. But before we list the evidence against them, we had to discuss three key moments from the hour with creator Chris Chibnall: Mark’s fate; Hardy’s verbal lashing of the three boys terrorizing his daughter, Daisy (which David Tennant also chimed in on); and the women of Broadchurch uniting for one of the series’ most beautiful and inspiring images.

Mark (Andrew Buchan) with estranged wife Beth (Jodie Whittaker) and daughter Chloe (Charlotte Beaumont) (Photo: BBC America)

Mark Latimer (Andrew Buchan) was pulled out of the water in time. Ten more minutes, and hypothermia would have led to his drowning. “Everybody thought that Mark had died, including my wife who, at the end of Episode 6, when we were watching on the sofa live in the U.K., punched me in the arm and just went, ‘No! How could you!'” Chibnall says. “A lot of my friends and colleagues were texting me and emailing me that week: ‘Oh, poor Mark Latimer!’ Andy Buchan kept it secret all week. We all kept it secret for a long time.”

For Chibnall, Mark’s dying was never really an option. “I couldn’t have punished Beth and Chloe that way, but it’s the continuation of the difference in grieving between Mark and Beth, and the way that, really, their paths diverged in Episode 1, Season 1,” he says. “[Since] then it’s really about the differing approaches they take to the grief as individuals, and as a couple, and as a family. Mark has nothing left at this point, there are very few options that he feels are available to him, and he’s still haunted by [Danny’s death]. He can’t move his life on.”

Hardy confronts his daughter’s tormentors. (Photo: BBC America)

While Beth had a brutally honest conversation with Paul about Mark (that made you understand why Chibnall cast Jodie Whittaker as Doctor Who’s 13th doctor) and Chloe wondered why she and her younger sister weren’t enough for their father, Daisy learned just how much she means to Hardy. On the way to the train station for her trip back to her mother, Hardy pulled the car over and confronted the boys that had been harassing her, including Tom Miller’s porn-loving friend Michael. The culmination of that tirade:

Hardy: “Do you know what I do in my job, do ya? I deal with murderers and brutal thugs and sex offenders, and I win. I get the better of them, so don’t for a second imagine I will break a sweat gettin’ you in line. Any of you come near, in fact, you even talk to, no, no, you even talk about my daughter ever again, let alone do anything to make her unhappy, I will find you and I will cut your tiny little c**ks off.”

Boy: “You can’t say that to us, you’re the police.”

Hardy: “I’m a father, and I will do whatever is necessary to protect my daughter. … Right. Piss off.”

The moment was one of Tennant’s favorites too. “What’s glorious about playing Hardy is that he has very little filter, so he says lots of the things that one wishes that one would be able to say in life,” Tennant tells us. “Of course, when that’s backed with a real moral righteousness it’s heaven to play, because everyone wants to be Hardy in that moment. … If someone had humiliated your daughter, you want to go and scream at them in the streets and to threaten to cut their tiny little c**ks off. I think anyone who’s a father, anyone who’s a brother, anyone who is a human being can key into that sense of wanting to be able to protect and to do it with all the right words in all the right places, and to absolutely achieve the humiliation that you want to visit upon these people.”

From Chibnall’s point of view, the moment was a long time coming. “We’re coming to the climax of the story, and we’ve seen in the series how the story has affected Hardy in three ways: as a police officer, as a man, and as a father, because he’s the father of a teenage daughter now. So I think this is one of those moments when all of that pent-up rage that he’s been controlling, and anger about the behavior of men that he’s been wading through — you know, saying earlier that this case makes him ashamed to be a man — it all explodes,” Chibnall says. “It’s just great to give David Tennant that stuff to play, because he can do anything and you want to give him those moments. He certainly delivered on that. And it’s a lovely counterpoint as well to that beautiful scene he has with Daisy in Episode 6 on the beach where he’s vulnerable with her, and says, ‘I want to be a better father.’ This scene in Episode 7 is him being a better father, is him making good on the threat where he says, ‘I’ll slap somebody around for you.’ It’s him verbally doing that.”

The women of Broadchurch unite. (Photo: BBC America)

Another of the season’s most powerful scenes was when Trish’s daughter, Leah — after hearing that her mother didn’t want to go for a walk because her attacker could be watching and how everyone was encouraging women not to be out late — organized an evening for the women of Broadchurch to come together. It was as moving to film as it looks onscreen. “It was amazing because many of our advisers, and some of their clients who were survivors of these crimes and had helped us in the research for the show, came out that night and are there in those scenes,” Chibnall says. “So in a sense, the women who inspired the story and shared with us their stories, and their lives, and their careers, are present in that scene. It was a very, very, very, cold night on the Dorset coast in the southwest of England, and they were there until 1 a.m. But having that amount of women there around the bay felt very powerful and very inspiring. In terms of shooting, it was one of our final Broadchurch moments that felt very Broadchurch-y, as an adjective. It’s one of the images I’ve had in my mind all the way through writing [the season]. It’s like Mark being in the water — sometimes you have images that stay with you when you first have an idea. This kind of Take Back the Night vigil was very much an image that I knew I wanted to be in there someplace. It moved as I was writing the series. It kept getting later and later, and actually, it became a great moment also for Trish and Cath to begin their reconciliation.”

Mark Bazeley as Jim. (Photo: BBC America)

Now back to those suspects. At the end of the hour, Hardy got word that a sock found at the manor where Trish was attacked had her DNA and traces from one of the men. We don’t know who yet, but it’s not the only evidence on the table:

Ed: He said he had grass and mud stains on the suit he wore the night of Trish’s party because after his fight with Jim, he ended up in the woods on the other side of the lake and fell down the bank. Released from questioning, he called his daughter, Katie, to report that he’d found a bag on his property filled with blue twine — and there’s blood on it.

Jim: He explained the condoms Cath had discovered in his vehicle, which were purchased on the day of her party, were to be used with a game young waitress. The waitress said Jim got a bit too rough with her during their tryst in the woods and she shut him down. We also learned Cath was out of town on the dates of both previous rapes, and that Jim’s was the towing company of choice for Laura Benson, the survivor who had come forward after Trish’s assault made the paper.

Ian: Trish’s estranged husband ultimately admitted to Trish that he’d had spyware placed on her laptop so he could access her webcam and see her — because he misses her. He told the police Leo was the hacker.

Chris Mason as Leo. (Photo: BBC America)

Leo: He told Hardy and Miller that he helped Ian with Trish’s computer because Ian basically saved his life after his parents split when he was 15. He said he had been at Trish’s party that night, to drop off his girlfriend. He claimed he had lied to them earlier because he knew how it would all look, and if his father had found out about any of it, he’d have lost his job and his home.

Clive: His wife found porn on his computer as well as that drawer in the garage, which is either full of trophies (Trish’s keychain, wallets, cellphones, etc.) or just proof that the cab driver turns nothing into lost and found.

The Broadchurch series finale airs Aug. 16 at 10 p.m. on BBC America.

Read more from Yahoo TV:

‘Broadchurch’ Season 3, Episode 6: Creator Chris Chibnall on Mark’s Big Moment
‘Broadchurch’ Season 3, Episode 5: Creator Chris Chibnall on Cath’s Chilling Line
• ‘Broadchurch’ Season 3, Episode 4: Creator Chris Chibnall, David Tennant on Hardy’s Date
• ‘Broadchurch’ Season 3, Episode 3: Creator on ‘Seeing Hardy in a New Light’
• ‘Broadchurch’ Season 3 Episode 2: Creator on Season 3’s Growing List of Suspects
• ‘Broadchurch’ Season 3 Premiere Postmortem: Creator Chris Chibnall on the Final Case
• ‘Broadchurch’ Final Season: David Tennant Previews Hardy and Miller’s Slight Role Reversal