As Hardy and Ellie come under fire, the people of Broadchurch start to turn against each other.
More clues come to light - cigarette butts found near the body and the fact that the burnt-out boat belonged to Ellie's ex- brother-in-law who left his wife Lucy, Olly's mother in debt when he left town. At the same time Tom, Ellie's son, meets Susan Wright, who offers to let him walk her dog. Beth threatens Becca over her affair with Mark and is restrained by Paul. She tells Mark she does not want his baby but later they reconcile over family photos. Jack Marshall comes under increasing suspicion as Karen tutors Olly - with whom she has sex - into writing a piece on the newsagent for her paper. Chloe is convinced of Jack's guilt after boyfriend Dean says Jack was always touching the sea scout boys but Jack later admits to the police and to Mark that his previous conviction was for having sex with a young girl, whom he later married. They had a son who died in a car crash aged six and the boys he hugged are substitutes for his dead son. Not everybody is convinced and a hate campaign against Jack develops.
The police stage a reconstruction of events the night Danny Latimer was killed hoping that it will jog memories and perhaps provide them with additional information. The Herald publishes a story about Jack Marshall and his conviction for underage sex. It's not quite the article Karen White and Olly Stevens wrote however. When Chloe's boyfriend said he suspected Marshall of liking some of the boys in the sea brigade, they go to the press. Besieged, Marshal tells the police what led to his conviction all those years ago and it's apparent he had nothing to do with Danny's death. The media continue to attack him however. Ellie learns that the burnt out boat belonged to her former brother-in-law. Susan Wright offers to let Tom Miller walk her dog, anytime he likes. Beth challenges her husband to explain his affair with Becca Fisher.
- At night, Tom Miller begins to skateboard down the main street. Following him are the Latimers and a procession of people. Ellie and Hardy hope that the "recreation" of Danny's last hours will influence people to come forward with information. Along the way, Mark sees Becca Fisher. The two look away when Beth notices them. Observing the procession from his store, Jack Marshall prays.
Afterwards, Beth watches a news story about the procession. Mark comes in and say they need to talk about what happened. She tells him that she's had "offers" too and could have "shagged all your mates" but that she didn't because she's "a human being" and not "an animal." She talks about how she sometimes feels she's stuck on a wheel repeating the same things over and over again. She's been with him since she was fifteen and he's the only man she's slept with. She demands to know why Mark cheated and what's so special about Becca Fisher. He tells her that Becca wasn't prettier or sexier, but just new. He talks about how he knows he's been doing the same things every second and will be doing the same things forever and Becca was a chance for something new. Beth tells him she's pregnant and he tells her she has to keep it. Unknown to the two of them, Chloe can hear their argument from her room.
At the Echo, Olly gives Karen a file with all of the paper's stories on Jack Marshall since he moved to town. She lets him write the article about the recreation, saying that they'll publish it under her byline.
At the police station, Ellie and Hardy review their evidence. Ellie gives Hardy a list of the boats reported missing in the last several months, noting that the burned boat was not among them. They took a look at the murder that the Yorkshire police had tipped them off about but it was a ten year old girl who was raped and stabbed to death and so doesn't fit the MO of Danny's killing. They discuss how the only prints and DNA found on Danny's phone were those expected to be there, including Mark, Danny's father, and Jack Marshall, who found the phone. Hardy notes that Marshall may have claimed to have found the phone because he knew his DNA would be on it. Ellie notes that Mark confirmed that the phone was Danny's but that she had always seen Danny with a smart phone like her son's. She notes that the phone they have is set to forward to another number, presumably the smartphone but that the other phone is turned off and there's no way to track it. Hardy wonders how Danny could have afforded two cell phones. Ellie notes that he had the big wad of money in his room. Hardy wonders if the money came from Jack Marshall.
When Ellie returns home, she finds her sister waiting for her. The sister asks her for a loan of a thousand pounds to help her out. Ellie angrily turns her down, noting that she's already lent her three thousand and that her sister should seek professional help. She accuses her of being self obsessed. Lucy says that she saw something the night Danny died. Ellie disbelieves her, accusing her of using a boy's death for her own ends. She asks what Lucy saw and Lucy demands a thousand pounds. Ellie angrily leaves saying that "I don't even know you."
At the Echo, Karen edits Danny's story, showing him how to polish it up. She sends it to her paper and Danny excitedly kisses her. She pushes him away and he apologizes saying he's wanted to do that since she first arrived. She says that they're working together and calls him a "cheeky bastard" but then kisses him back.
The next day the Daily Herald arrives with a cover story about Jack Marshall and a headline "I Didn't Kill Your Son". As they drive to work, Nige tries to persuade Mark Latimer to "sort out" the situation themselves. Mark says they should wait for evidence, but Nige persists, arguing that waiting may lead to another child's death. Mark angrily shouts at him saying that he can't do anything but that if Nige wants to that's fine.
Karen and Olly wake up in bed together. Olly notices that he's late for work and frantically rushes to get ready. Karen tells him to leave out the back in order to avoid "small town gossip". Olly asks her if the sex was good and if they could do it again. She notes that Olly is very needy but tells him that the sex was good, and that maybe they'll do it again. She then asks him how one would get the burned boat out at that far. Olly says that maybe the two of them should try and find out themselves. When he goes to leave he find the Herald with the story about Jack Marshall and shows it to Karen.
Chloe Latimer calls her friends and tells them to boycott Jack Marshall's store. Her grandmother, Liz sticks up for Jack saying that she knows him and he "wouldn't hurt a fly." Chloe notes that Jack was in prison and that he saw Danny every day. She says that the police have been useless so far.
At the police station Ellie and Hardy meet with their boss and discuss possible suspects. They note that Jack Marshall has no alibi for the night of Danny's death and had the boy's cell phone in his possession. Hardy also says that Mark Latimer is still a suspect since he lied to them about his whereabouts and that there's still two hours missing from his alibi. He also mentions that Mark hit Danny according to Tom Miller's statement. When asked whether Mark could have done it, Ellie answers that she doesn't know. Hardy also says that Paul Coates should be a suspect since he has no alibi and his church has a view of the Latimer house. He's running a background check on him but their supervisor tells him to be careful and not risk offending the church.
Paul Coates meets with Becca Fisher and reviews her financial documents. He notes that she's had less income than she had projected and that the bank is demanding repayment of a loan. Beth storms in and begins tearing apart Becca's pub room, smashing glasses, turning on the beer taps, throwing crisps around. She berates Becca for sleeping with her husband and warns her to stay away from her family. Paul ushers her out.
Karen calls her boss, angry that he edited her article in order to make Jack Marshall look more guilty than she had intended. He tells her that he simply punched up the article enough for her to land on the front page and that she should dig more into Jack Marshall's background.
Jack meets with Hardy, who advises him to cooperate with their investigation so that they can clear his name. Jack scoffs that he's heard that before and it ended up with him being charged with a crime. Hardy asserts that the only thing they care about is Danny's death.
Chloe meets with her boyfriend. He tells her that Jack Marshall had kicked him out of the Sea Brigade because Marshall had always liked to hug the boys and he had refused. Chloe texts a Karen and the two kiss. Unseen by them, Mark observes them from afar.
Chloe and Dean go to the Echo and meet with Karen and Olly. Dean gives them a list of other boys who were in Sea Brigade when he was. She advises them to go to the police with this information as well.
Beth and Paul talk. She apologizes for wrecking Becca's pub in front of him but says it felt good. Paul suggests that she see a bereavement counselor, but she refuses, saying that her anger is all she has right now. She tells Paul that Mark thinks she should keep the baby and Paul agrees. She says she hates it and refers to the pregnancy as "a thing which is growing inside me." She says that Danny should be growing and she wasn't done with him yet. She says she failed as a mother since she didn't keep Danny safe and asks why God would create Danny and then take him back. Paul suggests that some think God takes those he loves most sooner and Beth calls God selfish. Beth asks why she's being punished.
Tom Miller plays games at an arcade. When he runs out of money he goes to leave and stops to pet Susan Wright's dog. Susan invites Tom to come by her place any time and walk the dog.
Jack Marshall sits in his shop as photographers crowd outside taking pictures. He calls in Hardy and Ellie and demands police protection but Ellie says that since he hasn't been threatened they can't provide any. Hardy presses Jack Marshall about the details he's kept back. Jack says that he had been a music teacher and that he had "a relationship" with a female student. He claims that the attraction was mutual but her father reported them and he served a year in prison. He says that the girl was 15 years and 11 months old and that if she were a month older he would have escaped any legal consequences. When Ellie asks whether he had any contact with the girl since he says that he married her after his release from prison when she was 17 and he was 40.
Paul Coates approaches Ellie and Hardy and asks for them to help Jack Marshall insisting that he's an "innocent and scared man" who is being wrongfully hounded. Hardy tells him that his concern is noted and walks off. Hardy insists to Ellie that Marshall should still be a suspect and that they cannot be distracted by the press. They meet with their head of forensics. He tells them that they found four cigarette butts near Danny's body and that since they weren't washed away by the tide they had to have been left there around the time the body was deposited on the beach. He says that the cigarettes were from a rare high tar brand that someone might remember having sold recently. Hardy says that it doesn't make sense that the killer would drop off a body and then stand and smoke four cigarettes.
Nige comes by Susan Wright's trailer and gives her a package with 500 pounds in it. She says "that's all I'm worth" and Nige threatens to get his crossbow. She tells him they need to find a way to "work this out... together."
Mark confronts Chloe about her boyfriend and asks how old he is. She says he's seventeen, which makes them the same age as Mark and Beth when they were together. Mark asks if they're having sex and she says yes. She also says that they're using condoms which is more than Mark and Beth did. She yells at him for flirting with Becca Fisher right in front of her when she was working at the hotel. Their argument is interrupted by the doorbell. It's Tom Miller who tells Mark that the other dads are forming a posse to get Jack Marshall.
A bunch of angry men arrive at the Sea Brigade hall. Mark shows up and tells them to back off. He goes and talks to Jack who explains that he had an affair with a teenage girl and that they later married and had a son. Mark asks where his son is now. Jack says that his son was killed at age six in a car accident while he wife was driving. The grief over their loss tore them apart. He says that his interest in the boys and his giving them hugs wasn't sexual, but motivated by his missing his son. He says that he would never harm Danny and that he and Mark are "the same" noting that no parent should outlive their child. Mark angrily tells the mob of men to go home and then advises Jack that it's not safe and he should leave.
Olly takes Karen down to the beach where his boat is kept. He explains that his father used to take him out on it all the time when he was a kid but after his dad left he hasn't taken it out. The boat is kept tied up on the beach with some others. When they get there, however, the boat is gone.
At night Jack Marshall awakes to noise outside his house. When he goes out he discovers that someone has smashed his car window and spray painted "paedo" on one of his boats.
Olly goes to Ellie with the information about the boat. He says the last time he saw it was eight weeks ago. He also asks that if it is the boat which burned then she give him the story. She ignores him and walks out. Brian, the forensics technician confirms to her that the wreckage of the burned boat matches Olly's. Then Brian asks her out for a drink. She tells him she's married. She explains to Hardy that the boat had belonged to her brother-in-law who left her sister several years ago. Hardy asks who knew that the boat was there and she says everybody did. Hardy wonders if Danny knew about the boat. She asks Hardy if they're going to catch the killers and notes that he didn't do so in Sandbrook. He tells her that Sandbrook is different but she presses him on what went wrong. He says that a mistake was made, a big mistake. When she asks him whether it was made by him he says he doesn't want to talk about it and promises that they won't let the town down.
As they ready to go to bed Mark tells Beth that he loves her. She says that he's said that a lot since he got caught, and asks if Danny knew about him and Becca. Mark says no. Mark asks Beth that just for that night they have no bickering and no silences and find something else to talk about.
Becca Fisher comes to Alec's rooms and tells him that she has a lot of reporters asking for rooms. She knows he doesn't want to bump into them in the hallways but she needs the business. She offers him a half off rate for allowing the journalists to stay there. Hardy commiserates with her about how hard it is running the hotel and then asks if she'd like to spend the night. She turns him down saying that she'd be worried he might collapse.
Beth and Mark go through Danny's things and reminisce about their son. At the same time, Jack Marshall gets a delivery of newspapers, all of which carry headlines about him and his past, one reading "Child Bride of Broadchurch Jack". It carries a photo of Jack with his wife and son and when he sees it he breaks down weeping. The next morning, Hardy and Ellie are called to the beach where they find Jack's dead body.