I think we understand that Joe's arrest cost Ellie Miller dearly. She lost her family, left her job, feels her reputation is in tatters. In parallel, we now know that Sandbrook did the same for Alec Hardy. He lost his family, his home, his reputation, his health. Ellie's trying to pull it together now. At the same time, Hardy is, too. The surgery he so feared. And listen carefully to the tone of his voice when he says, "I miss you, Tess." (Early on, telling Tess he's made a will, etc. Near the end of that scene.) It speaks volumes about his damage and his hopes to fix it.
And Ellie has Tom back, but look at Hardy's smile as he speaks to his daughter. He knows he has her back, too.