ENDEAVOUR SERIES 6, EPISODE 4: Degüello

Why should I spend 25 plus hours writing a comprehensive review of this episode when I doubt Russell Lewis spent half of that time writing this manipulative, overly sentimental, simplistic, hurried, travesty of an episode.

Jag rating out of ten:

under revision.

Author: Chris Sullivan

After having looked after my mum for some 11 years she is now unfortunately in a nursing home. I'm afraid her dementia worsened as did her physical capabilities. So, for the first time in 21 years I find myself no longer caring for anyone. Apart from my mum I was also a single parent to two children and also looked after my dad who had Alzheimers, (he died in 2005). So, I have decided to return to University to try and get another degree this time in English Literature. (My other degree I got some 30 years ago is one in Ecological Science. Firstly I have to complete an intensive year at college which starts at the end of August 2018. If I pass the college year I will then be able to go straight into Edinburgh University. A busy time ahead made even busier by my writing a book on the TV series, Lewis.

50 thoughts

  1. 🙂 I love your frank review even though I don’t agree with the sentiment. I loved this episode and the denouement, like something out a spaghetti western. Then again I am overly sentimental, the subtle reference back to the death of Bright’s daughter and the re-connection of Fred and Win touched my heart. And now I fully understand why Morse hated the Masons so much. Chris you have a way with words and your review made me laugh out loud

    1. Hi Chris I have to agree with you unfortunately. It was terrible and I did think insensitive to those people who were involved in the Grendel tower fire. It got to the point where I switched over and I never did that with an episode of Morse or Lewis. Oh well maybe I have to turn to Midsomer Murders instead !!!

      1. Hi Nigel, I don’t think it was insensitive regarding the Grenfell Tower Fire. I think the focus was more centred around the Ronan Point Tower (1968) where the building crumbled & it was an attempt to draw attention to shabby workmanship & the innate corruption within the building companies. councils, back handers & shortcuts to get the Le Corbusier dream of Towerblocks in the Sky built which was central to the script A lucrative alliance of local authorities keen to clear their waiting lists fast and building firms equally keen to sell their building kits spurred this onwards.A gas explosion destroyed the structure of the Ronan Point Tower, with the panels falling on top of each other like a house of cards. Four people were killed, and many thousands more were terrified, as they began to wonder if their new homes,at first so obviously superior to the old, were even safe to live in. This wasn’t the white heat of technology, but jerry-building on a Victorian scale. I believe the inclusion of this exposed the far reaching top down politics of corruption. We witnessed much worse in the constant reruns & programmes on the Grenfell Tower tragedy in the effort to get ‘their’ story told.

    2. If that’s what you call a review I would quit while you are ahead – you need to watch it again.

      It was the best episode of the whole series 6 – this episode is why i stayed with Endeavour hoping for another series one. More like this needed.

      Also better reviewers

      1. Tabitha – obviously you haven’t spent much time on Chris’s website to ridicule him as a reviewer and you have also had a “knee jerk” reaction to his comment.

        Chris’s reviews of Endeavour/Lewis and Morse have been meticulous/insightful and informative – have I agreed with all of them – hell no but to so discount someone who has dedicated so much time on this site and earned him such respect from Dexter”s family that he was asked to speak at his memorial is disappointing.

        I could easily disparage even remotely comparing series six with series one (they could be different shows IMO) but I won’t because that is your opinion and I respect it.

  2. Im shocked at your comment…it was one of the best episode hes written.! I give it 10 jags.Nuff said.

    1. Inclined to agree: sentimental, yes. I don’t see how it vomited all over the memory of Morse, etc. Simply put: I enjoyed the good guy/bad guy denouement & liked the twists of the plot.

  3. Wow ! You really didn’t like it ! I must admit (and there were elements I liked) that everyone becoming a hero seemed very sentimental – I so love all of these actors but compare this with the amazing end of Neverland – Strange refusing because of his career/Bright’s stand/jakes inability – much more mature and edgy.

    I felt like he was trying to redeem everything and everyone in one episode ! I have probably been around too long but I think they took the “all for one and one for all” maybe one step too far.

    Again I do think having the main actors as Associate Producers might be giving them a little too much influence- and they are actors not writers.

    I did like Viv’s character but just like every woman in this series they just pop up to do nothing and add little. I know modern times but think of the strong female characters in Lewis – Laura, innocent and Maddox.

    I hope poor Sara Vickers gets the hell out of series 7 – she must be so tired of having most of her scenes cut and being no more than a cardboard cut out!

    Also how poor is that editing to cut out the scene with Joan and Morse that was plastered all over those amazing posters? Surely that could not have been deliberate.

    But there were parts I liked – 50/50 – I was apprehensive about adding my comment to FB as everyone seemed to think it was the best TV ever (!) but given your review quite comfortable adding my comments!

    1. Not as enjoyable as others in the series. I agree with the comment regarding Grenfell Tower, perhaps a bridge would have been a better example, as I found the discovery of the body encased in concrete in the basement to be implausible.

      At least the murder was finally solved. Despite the previous negativity from some characters about CS Bright’s “Pelicon” film, clearly this episode showed the youngsters had registered the message and he was instantly recognisable by the target audience.

      Another hint about Bright’s earlier career was that he was in the Indian Police pre-War and must have joined the Military Police at some point during the War. I can recall him referring in an earlier episode to “Freetown” – presumably in Sierra Leone. Presumably he would have left India in 1947 and joined the Sierra Leone police until Independence in 1961 and then took a post with Oxford City. I still wonder what he gained his “mentioned in despatches” for in WW2, maybe there’s a sub-story in the next series.

  4. Well I’m not going to be quite as damning as your review Chris but actually I do agree with the overall sentiment. It’s rather become a soap opera don’t you think . I still can’t work out why Mrs Bright was introduced except to have us raving about what a good actor Anton Lesser is. Why he is still working chasing over Oxford with guns with his wife dying alone at home I have no idea. The sweet and sickly end was just a step too far towards a child’s fairy tale for me. And they all lived happily ever after (except poor Mrs Bright of course. )

  5. I’m surprised at your review, or lack of.
    I loved the episode, I feel “Endeavour” has started to reach the heights of “Morse”. Bright’s scenes were a joy, and we survived the episode without losing him, or Thursday! Again, Anton Lesser’s acting was marvellous, as was Roger Allam’s. I quite enjoyed the murder investigation, and Win’s turnaround, and at the end the denouement was, I thought, beautifully done. Maybe a little theatrical, but I thoroughly enjoyed this episode and the previous one. A little more of Max would have been nice, and the classical music needs to be reintroduced, but apart from those two suggestions (and the removal of that hideous thing on Endeavour’s top lip), I found it worthy of 9 jags. I can’t wait for series 7.

  6. I found it quite entertaining, though not so much a detective story, more like The Professionals or perhaps The Sweeney. Not much to do with Morse.

  7. I think this series has been excellebt, up there with the others. I really don’t understand why you think it was so bad.

  8. Hi Chris, I’m sorry that you are so disappointed with the way Endeavour is going. For myself I was disappointed in the lack of classical music, and feel sure we are in total agreement there. I also feel that in the latest episodes Endeavour has been upstaged (is that the correct term?) by the supporting actors. However I did enjoy this episode and know I will continue to do so if there is going to be another series. I’m sorry if you have decided not to do your usual informative and interesting review that I always look forward to. However, as you say yourself, why should you? In any case, you have made my Morse/Endeavour experience much more insightful and interesting, and I appreciate that.

    1. As a music lover I’d like to add one more point. Whenever Endeavour moved in the past, he took both his suitcase and his record player. At the end of Degüello he moves into his hew home with just his suitcase. Of course we know he always maintained his love of music, but I’m hoping this wasn’t symbolic of a lack of classical music in the next series.

  9. What a silly, petulant review. I’ve read your blog for a long time and it’s clear you’ve become increasingly disillusioned with the development of the series. But to dismiss an entire two hour production in a couple of sneering sentences reeks of self importance. Think you need to revisit your post Chris. You may have lost respect for the programme but this review shows a lack of respect for your readers.

  10. A bit harsh, Mr S. though the ending was poor. I had assumed Fred would die in this episode, but there you go. Seems odd to make the previous 3 episodes so dark, and then end with ( what was obviously a spoof of ) the classic Ok Corral shoot-out. They obviously didn’t know how to end the series, and someone’s comment regarding the possible over-involvement of actors in the final cut could well be true. One remembers Hitchcock’s comment that actors should be treated like cattle.Told what to do and where to go! Or it could just be that the writer is losing his grip? I enjoyed the Third Man reference to ” Holly Martins” though!!

  11. Oh and I also thought the Ronan Point plot was appropriate – immediately one realised that corruption involving cutting corners in building contracts is still de rigeur. A timely reminder of the 60s corruption of Messrs Poulson et al….seemingly still with us!

  12. You could always spend half that time writing the episode you think it should have been. Once you’ve untangled your underwear, obviously.

  13. ‘Knickers in a twist Chris’…Don’t encourage me to laugh Nick…Chris is entitled to his opinion, & I’m sure he has many valid points to make, but, possibly, we, are not going to see them?

    1. I agree with you regarding Chris’ opinion, and I’m not saying he’s wrong, just that maybe a little perspective might be called for.

  14. I’m confused. Why was the librarian killed? with a chisle. By an invisible thug with muddy boots.

      1. Ohhh. Riiight. Boy, did that get buried deep in the plot. This is something that bothers me most about other crime stories. The serious logical flaws in motives and methods.

        Boss: “hey thug. Go kill the librarian. In the library. Do it with your wood chisle and leave it stuck in him. Watch him die slowly without a double check. Leave lots of muddy footprints. Don’t worry about witnesses in the library, or the rest of the campus. you’ll blend right in.”

        Thug: “What’s a library?

  15. You really didn’t like it, did you Chris. We are all entitled to our opinion but your lack of review does leave me not knowing what you have brought to every other episode – locations, cast etc – and that is disappointing. Also, I’m not sure what you have been expecting this series. True, you have highlighted some valid shortcomings but this is a series for 2019 and not 1989 – those thirty years do make a difference to tastes in entertainment. In addition whilst the ending may have seemed a little sentimental there was an element of inevitability to it when the “baddies” have been removed. Who else was there for Bright to choose from. I really enjoyed it and am already looking forward to the next season.

    Anyway, thanks for all your input so far.

  16. Oh you scallywag you. It has had wonderful reviews elsewhere; I think you must either have been trying to watch Call the Midwife and Baptiste at the same time – or perhaps you were concentrating on your studies; it’s not like you to be so negative! I thought it was a wonderful episode, one of the best yet, with so much for you to get your teeth into. Such a relief that Thursday was not killed off and that they will all be back for a 7th series. I advise watching it again with a strong cup of tea and a slice of cake. PS Did you recognise Roger Allam as the voice of the news item about the opening of Carlton House?

  17. I quite enjoyed this episode, and am disappointed you won’t be reviewing it, Chris.

    I enjoyed puzzling out the connections between the different elements of the story, and found my heart was pounding through the stand-off near the end, which hasn’t happened thus far this series.

    I thought it all tied up a little too neatly at the end, which was both disappointing and satisfying in equal measure; nice that they’re all reunited but it happened far too easily.

    And the Masons/corruption storyline is a bit repetitive now…

    Agree with the comment further upthread that some stronger female characters are needed. The women in this series just seemed to stand around and feed Morse information at an opportune time.

    I think the problem, Chris, is that you’ve become so annoyed with Russell Lewis’s writing that you’re watching the episodes with a less than impartial eye – a bit like when someone brings their child to visit who you find really irritating; you’re on edge and even if they are well-behaved and sit still they get on your nerves!

    I am looking forward to series 7 and thought it was a good – but not great – episode overall.

  18. I laughed at the reference to Holly Martins (The Third Man). I was sure there would be a faked death, empty coffin, or chase through a sewer, by the end of the episode.

  19. I thought it was a fantastic episode. As has been mentioned, the collapsing block of flats was a reference to a similar event that happened in the 60s, in the East End, at Ronan Point, where a gas explosion seemed to be responsible, but was made more serious by appalling building and design work. NOT the Grenfell fire at all.

  20. I enjoyed the episode, I don’t think it was as dire as Chris thinks. It was nice to see that Thursday’s concience returned, both about Win and policing. I feel that all the main characters have returned to their moral standings as before.

  21. I fully agree with Chris here, this episode was absolute the worst in the Endeavour franchise so far. I don’t like meoldrama and this was just over the top. I agree with you Chris, one jag is actually being charitable.

  22. Am I being dumb? I can’t find any reviews here of episodes two and three of the sixth series.

  23. Well, *I* liked it.

    Yes, there were plot holes. (For instance: Why, after seeing the cracks in the apartment walls and hearing them reported to the social workers, and hearing the social workers report them to the councillor, who was obviously going to ignore them, didn’t we hear the social workers report them to the police or the newspapers?) Yes, some of the set pieces, such as when Bright and Thursday were reminiscing about meeting their wives, were a bit too “set.” Yes, the blocking of the final show-down was a little too reminiscent of something like “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” (which at least Thursday would appreciate), though I do think that’s a directing choice and not a writing decision. And yes, the promotions everybody got, especially so quickly, were a little too happy-ending-for-all. But, on balance, the mysteries were nicely puzzling but logical, and the characters stayed true to themselves while still keeping us wondering how they’d wind up. Most satisfying, I thought.

  24. There have been a number of comments here about how giving actors some sort of “producer” title in a TV show that they are in may give them undue influence on the scripts. Not having any evidence one way or the other with this particular program, I can’t say whether that’s the case. What I can say is that, many times, giving actors titles along the lines of “associate producer” or “executive producer” or something like that is a way to give them a share of literal ownership in the production and thus, a share of the profits. It sometimes comes about in salary negotiations–no, we won’t give you X amount of money up front, but by making you a “….. producer,” you’ll get a percentage when the show goes into syndication/gets sold to Netflix/is released on DVD on top of your actor’s share. If you’ll notice, though, there are still others above them in the pecking order.

    1. Hi there – well aware why stars are made executive producers or associate producers as a way to increase $$ for them (and I would imagine keep them engaged too) my comments have been based around a number of interviews that Shaun has given when he details the many meetings/conversations during off-season about them discussing where the story/ characters are going and the collaboration with the writer and exec producer about that.

      As Shaun only signs on series by series and “no Shaun / no series” he would have to be have a huge input into what happens.

  25. I liked it (mostly) too but my criticism is two plot holes.
    Firstly, how could a quarry worker wearing muddy boots have been allowed into the Bodlean library. I have been in there and was well aware that I was carefully ‘ weighed up’. So the muddy footprints, which also appeared in Page’s flat, were a silly plot line too give a very obvious clue (Cluedo again). Most of the mud would have been worn off anyway. Then how did DS Jago appear at the gunfight at Eddie Nero’s place and escaped unharmed? He was supposed to be with the Met’ I thought. Apart from this and the all to neatly wrapped ending, as a whole it was entertaining drama even if it wasn’t near the Dexter standard

    1. oops! can’t spell ‘where’ and ‘to’…it was a typo not bad grammar (he says!)

  26. I liked it. I’m not a Morse purist though. There were elements of ‘suspend your disbelief’. But seeing Morse in that house with that car at the end, had me a bit moist about the eyes… I think it’s because my mother was a huge Morse fan and it just hit me. She would have loved Endeavour I’m sure. Especially due to the lead actor’s name reminding her of her eldest son!
    I love the pop culture references in Endeavour and try to spot as many as possible.

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