!!SPOILERS!! !!SPOILERS!! In this post I will be not only reviewing the episode but also looking at the locations, music, literary references and other interesting facts and trivia within the episode. So, if you haven’t seen the episode, look away now.
Endeavour: Series 4, Episode 3. Lazaretto
A lazaretto is a quarantine station for maritime travellers. Historically, lazarettos were used to control outbreaks of cholera and plague found on board visiting ships.
First shown on the 22th January 2017 in the UK.
Chronologically this would be episode 16.
Directed by Börkur Sigþórsson.
WRITTEN AND DEVISED BY RUSSELL LEWIS.
It is ten weeks after Joan Thursday decided to leave Oxford. In her wake she has broke the hearts of not only her parents, Win and Fred, but also Endeavour.
Meanwhile, it is carry on doctors and nurses as they try to deal with irregular events at their hosptial. Firstly, there are numerous deaths in not only the same ward, Fosdick, but the same bed, number 10. What makes these deaths stand out is that the patients were seemingly recovering from their surgery. Is Doctor Merlin Chubb, the hospital’s main surgeon, to blame with signs of his left hand shaking during surgery?
A new patient arrives, Terry Bakewell, in handcuffs. He is in protective custody as he is a witness against the Matthews gang who carried out a robbery at a jewellers and who were involved in the bank robbery we witnessed in the last episode of the third series.
Collapsing at the police station Chief Superintendent Bright is rushed to hospital and while there he is moved to the dreaded bed 10 in Fosdick Ward. Will Bright succumb to the curse of bed 10?
With all this going on Endeavour is wrestling with his emotions as like the hospital he is trying to put out fires on many fronts involving his past loves.
BORING! BORING! BORING! This episode was anything but boring. Russell Lewis the writer is back on form with a episode that not only put Endeavour through the emotional wringer but the viewers as well.
Poor Morse has to contend with the
ghosts girlfriends of Christmas past, present and (possibly) future. The girlfriend of the past was of course Susan (Wendy in Dexter’s books) who though only seen briefly haunted the episode like the first Mrs de Winter in Daphne du Maurier’s novel, ‘Rebecca’. Though we didn’t get to meet Susan we certainly got to make the acquaintance of her mother, Caroline Bryce Morgan played exquisitely by Phoebe Nicholls.
The introduction of the unrelenting seemingly unemotional Mrs Bryce Morgan gave us another reason why Morse’s relationship with Susan failed; Mrs Bryce Morgan was never going to allow her daughter to marry a ‘failure’ like Endeavour. With the onslaught of Mrs Bryce Morgan’s withering poisonous remarks about Endeavour’s lack of success in his life we saw poor Morse visibly shrink as each verbal blow rained down on his already dented psyche.
The girlfriend of the (recent) past was the nurse, Monica Hicks played by Shvorne Marks. Endeavour and Monica’s scene was all too short. Endeavour seemed uncomfortable talking to Monica and so he should be after the slipshod way he treated her. (I also believe Russell Lewis never finished Endeavour and Monica’s relationship satisfactorily). Monica left Endeavour with the wise words, “Treat the next one better”.
The ‘girlfriend’ of the future was of course Joan Thursday, tracked down by Endeavour, (all rather too easily) to a flat in Leamington. The scene was a mesmerising catalogue of feelings; an embarrassed, taciturn, emotionally crippled Morse with a brassy, unapologetic, obstinate Joan. The scene was voyeuristically unnerving as we watched Endeavour trying to control his strong feelings while Joan Thursday one felt was strongly attempting to control and bury any feelings she had for Morse. It was a bravo performance from both Sara Vickers and Shaun Evans.
Russell Lewis, the writer of the Endeavour series, created an episode that pushed Shaun Evans every acting sinew to almost breaking point. Endeavour had to endure a myriad of emotions unlike anything he has had to deal with any previous episode. This was an episode where he not only had to deal with the three women who have been a part of his life but he had to also cope with watching Win (trying to cope with agoraphobia) and especially Fred Thursday to appear frail and finding it hard to keep a grip on their sanity. Both Win and Fred are doing their best to keep the Black Dog at bay.
Unlike last week’s episode the Director of this episode, Börkur Sigþórsson, kept the pace of the scenes moving at a beautifully metronomic pace which allowed the scenes to merge and flow with none of the grating, awkwardness of last week’s episode, ‘Canticle’.
The episode like the previous two ended with an unknown figure holding tarot cards. She places the tarot car ‘death’ on the table. Of course in the world of tarot cards the card death does not always literally mean death. However, I think there will be a death in next week’s episode and it may be Joan or Monica. One has to assume if a death is to occur it will be someone close to Morse and it may answer the question as to why the writer Russell Lewis felt the need to introduce the three loves of Endeavour’s life in this week’s episode.
We know of course that John Thaw’s wife Sheila Hancock will appear in the final episode but the hands that hold the tarot cards look to young to belong to the 83 year old Sheila Hancock.
A worry I have regarding this week’s episode is Endeavour’s meeting with Joan but not telling either of her parents. It is obvious that Joan will reappear in the next episode. If Fred found out Endeavour knew where she was but didn’t tell him it would be the end of their relationship. I don’t believe Fred or Win could ever forgive Morse for what amounts to a betrayal.
He could have told Fred he had received a call from Leamington and wondered if it was Joan. This would allow Fred to track her down himself without Endeavour getting involved. Of course we have to wonder why Joan denied that she had called; embarrassment. Did she make the call?
Anyway, this is all speculation. The episode was a delight from beginning to end but of course not all episodes are perfect. I believe the amount of murders carried out was too many and unnecessary. I understand the reasoning behind the angel of death’s need to bring attention to Doctor Dean Powell but I thought it was overkill, excuse the pun.
The ending wasn’t completely satisfying. A more fitting end would have been either the nurse killing herself by throwing herself down the stairs as an atonement for what she had done ( She did say to Sister MacMahon that she would kill herself if she had been involved in the death of someone) or having a Vertigo style ending (which I thought we were going to get at first) by having her climb to a point where Endeavour’s acrophobia would kick in.
But these are minor quibbles and the episode redeemed my faith in Russell Lewis. However, I do believe bringing in another few writers would help to keep the series fresh and alive.
As most of you will know Colin Dexter will not be appearing in the series four episodes due to ill health. However the producers have made sure that he appears in the episode in one way or another. In this episode Colin’s picture appears as a caricature in a drawing on the hospital ward.
I will be honest and say I have watched the episode three times and though I can see the picture I can never get a good look at it. The picture above is from Twitter @endeavourtv
The first piece of music is played at the beginning of the episode. It is a piece by Mantovani. The piece is called Charmaine.
Next we have a piece played at around the 21 minute mark. This is a significant piece of music in the Morse universe. This piece, Schubert’s String Quintet in C major op.163 D.956(II.Adagio), was used as the main theme throughout the original Morse series in the episode Dead on Time.
The significance of the episode Dead on Time is that it featured the older Susan Fallon nee Bryce Morgan. I had never heard this piece until the Morse episode in the nineties and since then it has been a part of CD collection as well as never having been removed from my MP3 player. If this music doesn’t move you then check your pulse because you are dead. 😉
Up next we have a classic song from the sixties playing while the nurses are relaxing and getting ready to go out.
The song is Glad All Over by The Dave Clark Five.
While Morse talks to Fagin in his radio booth we can hear As Time Goes By from the film Casablanca. I can’t be sure of the version but it does feel like the bland sound of Mantovani.
Up next we have the song playing while Endeavour makes his way to Leamington to find Joan.
The song is by the wonderful Chet Baker and is appropriately called I get along without you very well. If you know nothing of Chet Baker check out some of his other songs on Youtube.
I couldn’t find many literary references in this episode apart from the easy one i.e. the name of one of the nurses Flora Byron. I did notice Endeavour’s remark to Staff Nurse Jo-Beth Mills when discussing her belief that what is inside is what counts. Nurse Mills remarks that it isn’t Daisy’s fault (falling for Dr. Powell) and Endeavour replies, “There’s no fault in love.” It may be a coincidence but there is a line in the song form the musical A Man of No Importance;
“There’s no fault in loving, no cause for shame;
everyone’s heart does exactly the same.”
As so often is the case Max gets the best lines. While talking to Morse in Mrs Zachareides’s house, Max DeBryn leaves Morse with the words Vale Vigile which roughly translates as Farewell Officer/watchman.
Justine, one of my blog readers, spotted another literary reference. While Morse and Dr DeBryn are in Mrs Zachareides’s home investigating her death Morse asks about cause of death and DeBryn says “Could be any of the thousand shocks.” This is a reference to Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy. Hamlet says that death is “to end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.” Well spotted Justine.
Thanks to a friend who pointed out that the façade of Cowley General Hospital is actually Maidenhead Town Hall.
The same location was used in the Carry On film, Carry On Doctor.
Ian in the comments section wrote, ” I’m sure that the outside “corridors “ are those at Heatherwood Hospital in Ascot ??” Thank you Ian.
Connections to the original Morse or Lewis series.
Terry Bakewell, the convict in the hospital bed, has turned on his fellow criminals the Matthews gang. Of course we know the Matthews gang from The Endeavour episode Coda, (series 3 episode 4) carrying out the bank robbery. They originally appeared in the Morse episode Promised Land, (series 5, episode 5). (The episode set in Australia).
Phoebe Nicholls who played Caroline Bryce Morgan appeared in the Lewis episode Expiation (series one , episode 3). (2007) as Caroline Croft the headmaster’s wife.
Glen Davies who played the patient Burt Talbot had a bit part as a workman in the Lewis episode Intelligent Design Series 7, episode 3.
Alex McSweeney who played Terry Bakewell the hospitalized convict also appeared in the Lewis episode Old School Ties (2007 Series 1, episode 2) as Paul.
Interesting Facts and Trivia
I am a sucker for the Carry On films (well some of them) and the name of the ward in this episode is Fosdick. Fosdick Ward appeared in the 1967 film Carry On Doctor. The name would turn up again in the Carry On Again Doctor with one of the nurses being called Ms Fosdick.
Continuing on the Carry On theme, the Chief Surgeon is called Sir Merlin Chubb. Apart from the Arthurian Christian name the last name also refers to James Robertson Justice‘s character Lancelott Spratt in some of the Doctor series of films. (Doctor in Distress, Doctor in Clover, Doctor in Trouble).
And again continuing with the Carron Film theme, John Molloy noticed the following, the patient in bed 4, Burt Talbot. The scriptwriter for many Carry On films was Talbot Rothwell.
The Hospital DJ is called Lester Gagen and at the beginning of the episode he refers to himself as The Nightfly. This may be a reference to the excellent album 1982 Nightfly by Donald Fagen one half of one of my favourite all time bands Steely Dan.
During Fred Thursday’s ‘interrogation’ of the snitch Gilbert Sisley he makes the remark that he isn’t happy especially since he hasn’t had his breakfast. This is a classic line paraphrased from the Sweeney series said by John Thaw’s character, Regan.
For the first time I noticed that on the window sill of Bright’s office is the statue of a unicorn. Is Chief Superintendent Bright a replicant? (One for the Sci-Fi fans 😉 )
When Terry Bakewell us trying to make conversation with CS Bright he reminds him that they are “two cheeks on the same arse“. This phrase was used by the politician George Galloway when he described Gordon Brown and Blair as ‘two cheeks of the same arse’.
The author Kent Finn was mentioned in this episode by the hospital librarian, Lester Fagen, when offering books to CS Bright. Kent Finn was of course in the first episode of the fourth series, Game.
When visiting Joan Endeavour refuses an alcoholic drink because he was driving but he is clearly drinking whiskey when he visits the home of Caroline Bryce Morgan.
When the body is exhumed to look for a puncture wound the scene is a little reminiscent of the film Silence of the Lambs. In particular when they apply the Vicks vapo rub under their noses.
William Bryce Morgan, Susan’s brother is mentioned but not seen. Caroline tells Morse he is visiting Susan. In the Morse episode Dead on Time, William Bryce Morgan is played by Richard Pasco.
Thanks to Paul one of my blog readers who commented that a character in the 1970’s UK show General Hospital (no connection with the American version) was called Arnold Capper. John Halstead played Arnold and his character was a porter. The porter in this episode is called Kyle Capper. Thanks Paul. I’m afraid I couldn’t find any pictures of John Halstead.
Cast of Lazaretto
Phoebe Nicholls as Caroline Bryce-Morgan
Claire Lichie as Donna Zacharides
John Hopkins as Dr. Dean Powell
Mark Phoenix as Gilbert Sisley
Robert Wilfort as Lester Fagen
Morgan Jones as Lyle Capper
Glen Davies as Burt Talbot
Ciara Charteris as Nurse Flora Byron
David Yelland as Sir Merlyn Chubb
Amy Marston as Sister Clodagh MacMahon
Celine Buckens as Staff Nurse Daisy Bennett
Sarah Winter as Staff Nurse Jo-Beth Mills
Alex McSweeney as Terence Bakewell
Shaun Evans as DC Endeavour Morse
James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn
Roger Allam as DI Fred Thursday
Anton Lesser as Chief Superindent Reginald Bright
Sean Rigby as DS Jim Strange
Dakota Blue Richards as WPC Shirley Trewlove
Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday
Shvorne Marks as Monica Hicks
We have come to the end of this overview of the Lazaretto episode. I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Take care.