Ahhh, shit man. The Alec/Ellie feels are starting to get to me.
Ellie’s clearly demisexual and can’t enjoy sex unless she’s in love. And the way she said ‘Say you love me’ in that awkward sex scene just shows how desperate she is for emotional and physical closeness with someone. I mean, for the last 12 years she’s had a man at her side, someone she loved and thought she’d be with for the rest of her life. And now he’s gone - he’s betrayed her in the worst possible way, torn her life apart and left her feeling confused, guilty and above all lonely.
And in this shitstorm, the only character who has consistently been there for her is Hardy. No matter what she says to him, no matter how much she pushes him away, he is there for her, offering whatever support he can. Sure, a lot of the time it’s awkward - he’s obviously not that comfortable dealing with emotions - but he tries anyway, simply because he cares about her. He tries to take the blame for her assault on Joe. He becomes incensed when the barrister “casts aspersions” on her. He checks up on her, takes her to lunch, listens to her when she rants, forgives her when she makes mistakes and doesn’t at all seem to mind when she swears at him and calls him a fuckwit. She’s the only person he trusts to help him with the Sandbrook case. He just loves this woman. She’s his best friend.
Joe Miller left a huge hole in Ellie’s life, and Hardy, with his gruff, awkward yet unwavering devotion, seems to be the only man who can fill it.