Series 1, Episode 1 - Recap
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We see various shots of still images at nighttime, a police station, a childhood boy's bedroom door. The music builds as we see an alarm clock ticking. A young boy is seen looking over a pier as the title card appears over his head. The noise of the ocean builds and all of a sudden a woman wakes up.
She goes downstairs to talk to her husband; she wants to know why she has been left in bed. A young girl asks this woman, her mother, if she can stay off school as she has a temperature. The mother refuses. A woman addressed as Liz comes into the room; the guy thanks his mum for delivering some eggs and says he has to leave for work.
He is then seen walking to work, talking to near enough everyone as he goes. He is seen asking a woman and a man about the woman going back to work. A blue van pulls up next to him; the man complains he was late. The man in the van asks the other man about the night before and is told to just carry on driving.
We see the woman the man was talking to earlier enter a police station; the rest of her team greets her as she hands out presents. A woman dressed in high-ranking police officers clothing addresses the woman as Ellie and asks her for a word.
Ellie is told she has lost out on the promotion she was promised to a man called Alec Hardy. She argues her case as she had been promised the job. She asks when Alec started and is told last week. We then see Alec standing in a field, a farmer is seen complaining about some petrol been syphoned from his tractor. The officer alongside him says they have had a call.
Ellie is seen on the phone in the ladies toilets complaining on her phone about losing out on her job. She is interrupted and told she has a job to go to. The woman from the beginning along with her older daughter arrives at a school sports day. Her daughter agrees to go to her school, as she doesn't want to be at the sports day. She is then told her son Danny hasn't arrived in school. She starts frantically ringing various people and asking a student called Tom if he knows anything about Danny's whereabouts. She then leaves a call with Mark, the man from the house earlier.
Next we see the mother stuck in a traffic jam. She gets out of her car to find out what's going on. A driver tells her the police are at the beach, they think they have found a body. The mother is seen running in slow motion towards the beach.
We see a shot of a speedboat, before Alec is seen walking across the beach 'Oh God, Don't do this to me' he says, as he approaches the body of a young boy laid unconscious on the floor. He pauses and the noise of the ocean becomes incredibly loud. A crowd is seen to have gathered, Ellie comes under the police tape. She runs up to the body shouting 'No, No, No, No'. Alec doesn't realize she is part of the force as Ellie tells him that the boy is her sons best friend and wonders if the mother has known. Alec tells her to sort out her attitude as she is working a case, he immediately assumes it was suicide.
The mother is seen continuing to run towards the beach, she approaches the police tape and realizes it is her son, she runs under the tape On seeing the mother, Ellie runs towards the woman telling her 'Beth Get Away. You can't be on the beach'. Beth breaks down as she struggles against four police officers trying to get to her son.
At the office of the newspaper 'Broadchurch Echo' a man called Oliver is greeted as he brings various members of staff coffee in. A woman is seen telling him how she wants the articles writing. The photographer Reg hasn't turned up. So he has had to take photos on his camera phone. He downloads some of the sports day. Oliver receives a email from the Daily Mail, it is a rejection email. The editor gets a text from someone called Yvonne saying the beach has been closed off. She sends Danny to check it out.
Alec is seen talking to Ellie as they walk along the coastline, Alec is surprised that theirs no proper railings. Someone from forensics thinks that Danny's fall has been made to look like it is an accident; he hasn't jumped or committed suicide.
Oliver runs up to Ellie and Alec as they walk back down to the beach. Ellie tells Oliver to not call her Aunty while she's working. A suspicious woman is seen watching the scene from the side of her caravan.
Alec and Ellie are in a car, Alec asks Ellie how many cases like this she has dealt with before, she admits none. The pair approaches the house where the young boy lived. Mark greets them. Beth is stood up as Alec and Ellie sit down. The parents also sit down with the older teenage daughter and Mark's Mum. Alec confirms that the body was of their missing son Daniel. Beth starts crying; Ellie is seen looking very uncomfortably at the floor. The parents start asking questions while Alec wants to know if there was any reason for him to be up on the cliff. He wants to know if his behavior has been out of the ordinary at all. They tell Alec about the last time they saw him. Beth says he was reading in bed at 9 o'clock last night. Alec wonders if it looks like someone has tried to force his or her way into the house. Mark says he doesn't believe it is Daniel so wants to see the body to be sure.
Mark and Ellie are seen walking towards the morgue; someone asking him to sign a petition stops Mark. He wants to know if he's going into the morgue for anything important. He says he isn't.
Alec is seen going into Danny's room, he goes to put some plastic gloves on, but instead starts looking around. He is then seen with the gloves on looking at where Danny had been measured against the doorframe. Beth is seen looking in on him.
At the morgue Ellie enters a room, Mark follows, we see Danny's body laid out. Mark admits he was convinced it wouldn't have been him. Mark starts asking Ellie questions. He then starts apologizing to Danny about not been their for him and how he feels he has let him down. He tells him he loves him. Ellie is seen with tears streaming off her face as Mark leaves the room.
In the police station, Alec is seen leading the case, briefing a team of officers. Ellie is set on a table and gives a brief history on the family and the time's they last came in. Alec tells the team he doesn't want any gossip until things have been investigated.
The managing officer and Alec are seen walking along a pier, she tells Alec if he doesn't want to, she would be willing to put someone else on the case. She says it's not a question of his ability but that she's trying to protect him,
Ellie asks Alec why he was walking along the pier with Jenkinson. Alec calls Ellie Miller and asks if he can talk to her son. Ellie asks if he can still be called Ellie. Alec and Ellie are in the newsagents. Ellie is questioning the owner of the shop, Jack. Jack says he hadn't noticed anything suspicious.
Alec and Ellie are talking to the pathologist who says that someone with large hands had strangled Danny to death. Alec and Ellie shake the pathologists hands. Before they leave the pathologist says to Alec 'We don't get this around here. Make sure you find them'.
We see Beth and Mark just stood in different rooms upstairs, not speaking. A knock at the door makes Beth go downstairs. We see Alec and Ellie tell them that they are treating his death as suspicious. All of the family is present.
The older teenage daughter is seen outside a caravan with a boy stood against a motorbike. They are embracing as he tells her he doesn't know what to say. He asks her if anyone knows about them with her only been 16 and him been older, she says no one knows and they go riding off on a motorbike.
Alec and Ellie are in a car. Ellie asks Alec if he thinks more kids are in danger. Chloe and the boy she was with are seen as she lays a teddy bear. Oliver is still present at the scene of the crime. He rings Ellie and asks if it was Danny. Ellie doesn't confirm or deny it, but Oliver realizes he has seen Chloe. Ellie tries ringing him back but he refuses to answer. He is seen tweeting what he believes is fact.
In an office, a boy appears alongside a woman. She says she is really busy putting together a proposal. But is told that she has to see this. She is told about the tweet and opens a link. A man comes out of a side room and tells her what she has better be good.
A forensic team is at the family home. They say they are going to have to take away Danny's computer. Chloe barges in and wants to know why Danny's name has been released. Beth says she has no idea why because she hasn't given consent, after questioning the forensics team. He tells her to ask the person in charge of the case.
Alec is back at the station and wants to know who has leaked the name; he can't believe it's come from twitter. Ellie slowly raises her hand and Alec realizes it was Oliver, he tells her to go away. She is then seen in the car park banging her hand against her car. Shouting 'Shit, Shit, Shit, Shit, Shit!'
Ellie is seen looking off the pier. Alec is seen giving an official short statement over what has gone on. Back at the other office, the woman asks her boss if she can go to Dorset to report on the case. Alec is seen checking into his hotel. The receptionist talks to Alec about how shocked everyone are. Alec is told he has people waiting for him in the bar.
Oliver and Jenkinson are stood at the bar. Oliver apologizes to Alec, while Jenkinson says she will make sure any reporting goes through her now and she will talk to the Latimers. Alec tells Oliver to stay out of his way.
Beth thanks Ellie for bringing her to the beach. Beth remembers bringing him to the beach. Ellie admits she hasn't told her son yet. Ellie swears to Beth that whoever did it will be caught.
Ellie comes home; she kisses her son, who is eating yoghurt. She says she's just popped in for a shower so she can get back. Ellie asks where Tom is. Her partner says he's in bed and doesn't know anything yet. Ellie sits on her partner’s knee and starts crying.
Mark is seen talking to Beth; he is still in complete shock. Beth can't understand why Mark didn't look in on him last night. She then asks him where he was last night. He says he was working.
Ellie is seen sat on Tom's bed, she tells him what has happened to Danny. Tom asks her a lot of questions and wants to know if his parents know. Ellie tells him how it's okay to be sad especially since how unexpected it is. Tom asks if the police will want to ask him questions, Ellie tells him they will and wonders if theirs anything he wants to tell her now. They have a hug and Ellie tells him she's just downstairs if he needs her. After Ellie leaves, Tom dry his eyes and is seen deleting 7 messages from Danny from his mobile phone. He then logs onto a computer and is seen wiping his hard-drive.
We see Oliver working in the papers office. Karen White introduces herself ringing up asking for advice on where to stay. Oliver tells her to stay at the hotel opposite the office. Jenkinson comes from behind and says she is going to attend the media briefing at the school. Karen is seen picking up the soft toy; Chloe had left at the beach earlier.
Ellie is sat at her desk she calls Alec over. She has CCTV footage of Danny; he is seen skateboarding down the road. They both question where the skateboard is. Ellie also says that they need to find his mobile phone.
Alec is then seen giving a press conference to the press. He gives vague information as we see the family, Oliver, the hotel receptionist, the newspaper shop owner the vicar and various other people we have been introduced to during the episode watching the press conference as Alec says he will catch whoever did it and if people are hiding things they won't get away with it.
A sweeping shot of the beach and the drop from the cliff above is shown at night time as the end credits roll.