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Exeunt: used as a stage direction in a play to indicate that a group of actors leave the stage.
At two minutes we see a student running through a college quad. A professor is walking away from the camera. The actor has the look of Colin.
At around the eight and a half minute mark, while in the first victim’s home, Endeavour mentions that the crossword setter was, Codex. This was the pseudonym that Colin used when setting crosswords.
I think this is supposed to be Colin.
Directed by Kate Saxon. Kate directed the Endeavour episodes, Zenana (S7E3), Terminus (S8E3)
Written by – Colin Dexter (characters), Russell Lewis (written and devised by). Russell has written all the Endeavour episodes. He also wrote;
Lewis (TV Series) (screenplay – 4 episodes, 2010 – 2012) (story – 1 episode, 2006)
– Fearful Symmetry (2012) … (screenplay)
– Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things (2011) … (screenplay)
– Falling Darkness (2010) … (screenplay)
– The Dead of Winter (2010) … (screenplay)
– Reputation (2006) … (story)
He also wrote the Morse episode, ‘The Way Through the Woods’.
First broadcast in the UK on March 12, 2023.
EXEUNT: Series 9, Episode 2.
Endeavour continues to investigate who was killed and buried at Blenheim Vale. After the skeletal remains of Landesman and Brenda Lewis were found Endeavour believes that one of the young boys, Peter Williams, will also be found. Meanwhile, two people have been killed in what looks like accidents. However, their obituaries were published in the Oxford Mail before they died.
Preparations for the wedding of Jim Strange and Joan Thursday continue to punctuate the events mentioned above.
(warning, this review will contain spoilers)
I’m not sure where to start. Let’s start with the positives. As always the cast were sublime. The main cast can walk away with their collective heads held high. The actors who played the secondary characters, Frazil and Max in particular, played them with such relish. There were times when Abigail Thaw and James Bradshaw stole scenes from the main actors nor only in this episode but throughout the series. Anton Lesser was under used in this episode but his reading of Prospero’s monologue from Shakespeare’s The Tempest was moving, glorious and overwhelming. It practically stole the show.
Those behind the scenes can also take a curtain call: the cinematographers, the wardrobe and make-up departments, the location team and everyone else involved can be proud of their work on the Endeavour series.
Kate Saxon’s direction was good and showed she had a steady hand on the tiller. I think of the three episodes she directed, Zenana and Terminus, this was her best work. Kate appeared to have a clarity of vision in what was always going to be a difficult episode to direct. Kate appeared to be enthused and invested in this project.
The music by Matthew Slater was utterly beguiling at times especially the first piece we hear at the beginning of the episode. Matthew always had a difficult job in following in the proverbial footsteps of the legend that was Barrington Pheloung. I feel that Matthew Slater improved series by series.
Unfortunately, I need to write about what was wrong with the episode and the final series overall. This final episode was, like the second episode, Uniform, rather dull in places and even worse, ridiculous. The main/subplot of John Bingley was utter piffle and the episode would have been better without it. I still can’t decide if it was a subplot or the main plot. For a main plot it was over very quickly, within the first hour. John Bailey was a cartoon cypher for all that apparently ails modern Britain or England in the case of the episode. I have no problem with a writer pushing a political agenda but not when we are bludgeoned over the head with those ideals and it has all the subtlety of a sledgehammer.
What made it worse was the Scooby Doo moment when Bingley confronted Endeavour. He talked about how he would loved to have killed a few more if it hadn’t been for Endeavour interfering. I was waiting for the line, ‘If it wasn’t for you pesky police I would have gotten away with it.’ Russel tried to cram too much into the episode. It would have better if he had left out the John Bingley storyline and concentrated on the Blenheim Vale/Sam/wedding storylines.
However, I do believe using the events of the Neverland storyline was unwarranted and lazy. New storylines would have have been better and fresher. Each of the episodes of the ninth series should have been standalone episodes with the only story arcs being the wedding and Sam.
My main problem is Fred murdering the biker who turned out to be Peter Williams, the ‘boy’ that Endeavour believed was buried at Blenheim Vale. For me, this was not a good way to allow us to find out why the older Endeavour never mentions Thursday. Not only did Fred murder someone but Endeavour, in saying and doing nothing, is complicit in that murder. As I have written below, Why would Joan be safe from the bikers as said by Endeavour? Didn’t Fred say that criminals would get to you through your love for your family? Wouldn’t the bikers kidnap and threaten her until she told them where Fred was? Jim Strange has already told us that the bikers are relentless and unforgiving if one of their own is killed.
Fred should have been killed due to a situation caused by Endeavour and so making him feel so guilty that he never mentions Fred. It would have also have created the reason why the older Jim Strange was quite frequently tetchy with Morse. It could have also explained why Strange’s wife, is rarely mentioned in the Morse series and in particular her never being named. This would have made more sense. I believe Russell didn’t have the courage to kill off Fred Thursday.
I enjoyed the ending with the two jags passing and a John Thaw lookalike being used. However I didn’t like the rear view mirror part. I know Russell did it to have a continuity with the last and the first episode but like using the Neverland Blenheim Vale storyline it is repeating oneself.
I will never understand why Russell didn’t introduce the McNutt character other than mentioning him. Surely, it would have been better to have had McNutt be Bright’s replacement. Of course, Morse says to Bright that he will think of moving to the newly reopened Cowley police station that McNutt will run. Maybe, we are to believe that he does transfer there and becomes McNutt’s bagman.
I believe the chap at the end who Endeavour hands the book to is supposed to be Colin Dexter.
The idea is I believe, that Russell Lewis, through the Endeavour character, is passing the baton over to Colin. Russell has written the first part of Endeavour Morse’s life now it is down to Coin Dexter to write about the later years of Morse.
So, what about the future of the Morse Universe. In discussions on my Twitch channel and in the comments section here on my website, the two favourite ideas are a series about a young Thursday and a quirky crime drama with the characters Dorothea Frazil and Max DeBryn. Unfortunately, I think it will be at least five years before we see another series in the Morse Universe. If we see one at all.
– Once again Russell puts Endeavour in jeopardy in this episode. Not just once but twice.
– So, many ridiculous coincidences in this episode: the bikers turn up just in time to save Endeavour from being killed. But why? Wouldn’t the bikers be concerned that Endeavour would have them arrested for killing Lott? Why didn’t we hear the bikes driving up to the area.
– Endeavour has a daydream. This is what one would expect from a soap opera or sitcom not a serious crime drama. Why not have Endeavour have a dream and then wake up in hospital after being beaten by the Lott?
– He is badly injured, kicked in the ribs, maybe stabbed or punched in the back yet he doesn’t wince when Joan hugs him.
– Sam has a major problem with drink and drugs but then hallelujah he suddenly doesn’t have those problems. No mention of going to the Alcoholics Anonymous or counselling. Would Sam be able to join the police force after being in a military prison?
– Fred would need to tell Win why he was having to leave the police force and why they were no longer moving to Carshall. Would Win stay married to Fred if she knew he murdered someone? Fred lost their entire savings and she left him because of that.
– Why would Joan be safe from the bikers as said by Endeavour? Didn’t Fred say that criminals would get to you through your love for your family? Wouldn’t the bikers kidnap and threaten her until she told them where Fred was? Jim Strange has already told us that the bikers are relentless and unforgiving if one of their own is killed.
– What an amazing and incredible coincidence. The very church where Joan and Jim are being married, Endeavour sees the name of the person who owns Blenheim Vale on a gravestone.
– Fred has hidden the gun in a box on top of a cupboard in the kitchen. Does Win NEVER clean up there?
– Where did Endeavour get the bullet to load Fred’s gun?
– It seems to me that the death of Andrew Lewis in the first episode of the series was just a tortured way to mention Robbie Lewis in the last episode.
– Isn’t it a coincidence that Dr Andrea Massey at the wake for McMurdo says, “We should tell people if they mean something to us.” And here’s Endeavour thinking that same thing about Joan.
– Once again Endeavour is the only one who finds clues; the button from Sam’s jacket, the name on the gravestone etc.
– If the killer John Bingley has a friend who works at the Times as a typesetter why didn’t John Bingley get him to put in the other death notices? Wasn’t Bingly worried that his friend would tell all if the police got involved?
– We never find out why Jakes returned. Yet another coincidence?
Jags out of ten:
All ‘modern’ music is what was used in the original UK broadcast. For legal and copyright reasons the music may be different in broadcasts in other countries.
At around the seven minute mark we see Sam in a pub. The music being played is Paranoid by Black Sabbath.
At 30 minutes Sam again at the pub while Bloodsucker by Deep Purple is playing.
At around 31 minutes, Endeavour is at home listening to music. It is Requiem in D Minor, K. 626: Communio. Lux aeterna – Cum sanctis tuis by Mozart.
Around the one hour and five minute mark, Jakes and Endeavour are talking in Endeavour’s home. Thank you to Nancy who pointed out that the music playing in the background is, Chopin – Prelude in E Minor op 28 no 4.
At around the one hour and ten minute mark, Endeavour is in his car. We hear, Mozart’s Requiem In D Minor,. K. 626: Sequence III, Rex Tremendae Majestatis.
At around one hour and 17 minutes Endeavour enters the marquee. We can hear Brown Sugar playing by the Rolling Stones.
In the same scene the Rolling Stones segues into Elvis Presley’s, The Wonder of You.
Then as Endeavour is left standing alone when Joan and Jim leave we hear Elton John’s, Rocket Man.
The final piece of music was Requiem : ‘In Paradisum’ by Gabriel Fauré
At two minutes we hear the college professor speaking to his class. He is quoting a Thomas Babington Macaulay poem, Horatius.
“Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the gate:
‘To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his Gods.
The reverend during the funeral of Edwin Bevin says, “…the pen is infinitely mightier than the sword.” “The pen is mightier than the sword” is a metonymic adage, created by English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839. The full quote is, “The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.”
In the final pub scene, Endeavour says to Fred, “I know thee not, old man.” This is from Shakespeare’s, Henry IV Part 2: Act 5 Scene 5. The King is talking to Falstaff.
I know thee not, old man. Fall to thy prayers.
How ill white hairs become a fool and jester.
45I have long dreamt of such a kind of man,
So surfeit-swelled, so old, and so profane;
But being awaked, I do despise my dream.
Make less thy body hence, and more thy grace.
Coincidentally, Roger Allam has played the character of Falstaff.
At the end Chief Inspector Bright reads out from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Act IV, Scene 1. It is said by Prospero.
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep. Sir, I am vex’d;
Bear with my weakness; my, brain is troubled:
Be not disturb’d with my infirmity:
If you be pleased, retire into my cell
And there repose: a turn or two I’ll walk,
To still my beating mind.
The name of McMurdo who was killed in an ‘accident’ and whose funeral we saw at the beginning has the name from the Arthur Conan Doyle novel, The Sign of Four. McMurdo is the doorman at Pondicherry Lodge.
Claypole, the undertaker, shares his name with the undertaker in Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist.
At around the 22 minute mark, Endeavour and Thursday enter Dr Fortescue’s college rooms.
Above: Richmond Gardens by Mark Churchill (1935–2011).
Above: Abstract Landscape in Greens and Browns by John Talbot Mclean (b.1960).
The episode opens with a funeral. It’s Dr McMurdo’s funeral.
Thank you to Coco who identified the above location. It is The South Chapel Hendon Cemetery and Crematorium, Holders Hill Rd, London NW7 1NB.
At around two and a half minutes we see a pupil running through a college quad.
This is New College.
At three minutes the Thames valley police station.
The location of the Thames Valley Police Station is, The St Cross Building, University of Oxford. It contains the English Faculty Library. Thank you to Roger who wrote in the comments, “relevantly for Morse, that building is actually overwhelmingly taken up by classrooms and offices for the Oxford Law Faculty and for the Bodleian Law Library. A fitting fictional home for a police station?”
This is Langleybury House & Film Centre, Langleybury Ln, Sarratt, Kings Langley WD4 8RN.
At around 11 minutes we see the new offices of the Oxford Mail.
This is a building adjacent to Holywell Music Room on Holywell Street.
Endeavour visits Dr Rupert McMurdo’s home. UNIDENTIFIED.
The Thursday home.
The Thursday house.
The address is 10 Ramsey Road, Headington.
Strange and Joan arrive at what might be their new home. UNIDENTIFIED
Endeavour, Thursday and Dr Fortescue walk through a college quad at around the 21 and a half minute mark.
This is again New College.
After talking to Dr Fortescue at around 23 mins we see Thursday and Endeavour walking through a college quad.
Above, Fred and Endeavour are walking toward this large Archway one can see in the photo below.
In the next scene Thursday has his ‘turn.’
This is now Exeter College. As can happen in the Morse Universe. The actors walk through a door or exit of one college and end up in another.
After the above scene we are at the funeral directors. Thanks to Coco who identified this as Hall Barn Estates Ltd, Home Farm Estate Office, Hall Barn, Windsor End, Beaconsfield HP9 2SG. This location was also used to stand in for Cowley Train Station in the episode Scherzo.
Endeavour visits Neptune House where the first phone call was made to the Oxford Mail regarding a death notice. UNIDENTIFIED.
At around 31 and a half minutes we see the shot shown below.
This is New College Lane.
At 34 minutes Strange relates to Endeavour the location of the second phone call to the Oxford Mail.
This is The High Street in the Old Town of Hemel Hempstead.
The High Street in Hemel Hempstead has been used in a few Endeavour episodes; Raga (S7E2), Confection (S6E3) and Pylon (S6E1).
At 41 minutes the funeral of Edwin Bevin. The South Chapel Hendon Cemetery and Crematorium, Holders Hill Rd, London NW7 1NB.
A quick shot at around 47 minutes.
This is Brasenose Lane.
After the above shot we are at the flower shop.
The production team have used the same location for the flower shop as they have for the empty shop that Endeavour visits at 34 minutes; The High Street in the Old Town of Hemel Hempstead.
At around 47 minutes Endeavour arrives at the church where Jim and Joan’s wedding will take place.
All the church and graveyard scenes are at this location.
Thank you to my good friend, Linda Parker, who identified this location. It is St Mary & St Nicholas, Church, Berkshire, Remenham Ln, Henley-on-Thames RG9 3DD.
Endeavour, at around the 56 minute mark, follows up a call from Ms Frazil.
This is Turl Street, Oxford. Once again, The Oxfam Bookshop has been used as a location.
At around one hour and two minutes. we get this shot.
This is Catte Street at the Broad Street end.
Morse’s home shown at one hour and four minutes.
It is a vicarage next to St Paul’s Church, Grove Park Road, Hounslow, London.
Endeavour is in hospital.
This is same exterior as used in the Endeavour episode, Lazaretto (S4E3).
This is Maidenhead Town Hall.
The same location was used in the Carry On film, Carry On Doctor.
Endeavour says goodbye to Fred.
This is, of course, Radcliffe Square. Fred is seen walking down St Mary’s Passage.
Near the end of the episode. Blenheim Palace.
Above two photos from b4-business.com.
I’m not sure if the pub frequented by Sam is a real pub or a studio set.
At around the one hour and two minute mark we see Jim’s stag night in full swing. UNIDENTIFIED.
Fred and Endeavour spend one last time in a pub.
This is the The Cross Keys, 57 Black Lion Lane, London, W6 9BG.
Actors who appeared in Exeunt and/or Morse or Lewis or Previous Endeavour episodes.
At 39 minutes we see DC Lott in the police station.
DI Lott played by Danny Webb was in the pilot episode of Endeavour. He also turned up in the pilot episode of the Lewis series as Tom Pollock.
Charlie, Fred’s brother turns up.
Charlie is played by Phil Daniels who turned up in the Cartouche (S5E2) and Icarus (S5E6) Endeavour episodes.
CONNECTIONS OTHER THAN ACTORS TO THE LEWIS, ORIGINAL MORSE SERIES AND PREVIOUS ENDEAVOUR EPISODES.
At around four minutes we see flashbacks to the Neverland episode of Endeavour.
At around 16 and a half minutes, Endeavour tells Thursday that Andrew Lewis, the man killed in the first episode, had a cousin in Newcastle, Robert Lewis. This is of course referencing Robert Lewis, Morse’s sergeant.
If we take Kevin Whately’s real year of birth for that of Robert Lewis that would make him, 21 in 1972.
Fred Thursday talks about a colleague and friend Commander Len Drury. he appeared in the episode Scherzo.
Bright mentions to Endeavour in the police station around the 19 minute mark that, “Division are to reopen Cowley, under DCI McNutt.” McNutt is the character from the Morse episode, Masonic Mysteries.
At 23 minutes, Thursday has his ‘turn.’
This happens in the same college quad where Morse collapsed in the episode The Remorseful Day; Exeter College front quad.
This is a bit tenuous. At about 26 minutes we are in the Oxford Mail office and on the wall we can see a front page of the Oxford Mail that reads, ‘Body found near church.’
A reference to the Morse episode, Service of All the Dead?
At 34 minutes Endeavour is visiting the location of the second call to the Oxford Mail.
We see catalogues for the Burridges store. Burridges was of course seen in the Endeavour episode Sway and then mentioned in the Prelude episode. Endeavour also visits the store to ask about shoes in the prelude episode.
Another tenuous link. DI Lott introduces his bagman as DC Bennett. Charlie Bennet was a character in the Morse episode, Absolute Conviction. Charlie Bennet ‘murdered’ his wife. Not the same character, of course. As I wrote, a bit tenuous.
So, we learn that Charlie was not in money trouble from the Cartouche episode. He was told to say that by DI Lott to have something over Fred Thursday. They then called in that marker for Fred to close down the Blenheim Vale investigation.
In the episode Win hands Endeavour a Wednesday special sandwich. So, we never find out what was between those slices of bread on a Wednesday.
Endeavour says to Fred Thursday in their final scene, “Goodbye Sir.” The same words said by Lewis as he kissed the forehead of Morse in episode, The Remorseful Day.
The music played at the end and sung by the choir is Requiem : ‘In Paradisum’ by Gabriel Fauré. This was the music played as Morse collapsed in the episode, The Remorseful Day.
Jakes mentions during the stag party that he had dated Joan. This was seen in the Endeavour episode, Home.
At the end we see ‘John Thaw’ as the older Morse.
Here are photos from the Oxford Mail during filming of the above scene.
At the end of the episode we see Endeavour sing in a choir. In the first episode of Morse, The Dead of Jericho, Morse is seen singing in a choir near the beginning of the episode.
Blenheim Palace seen at the end of the episode was first seen in the Morse Universe in the episode, The Way Through the Woods. Which co-incidentally was the first episode written by Russell Lewis for the Morse Universe.
Endeavour is in hospital.
This is same exterior as used in the Endeavour episode, Lazaretto (S4E3).
This is Maidenhead Town Hall.
The same location was used in the Carry On film, Carry On Doctor.
At around six minutes Endeavour mentions to Thursday that the land at Blenheim Vale is owned by a Centavo Holdings. A centavo is a 1/100th of a Peso.
The first victim as Professor Edwin Robert Bevin. There was a Edwyn Robert Bevan OBE, FBA (15 February 1870 in London – 18 October 1943 in London) was a versatile British philosopher and historian of the Hellenistic world.
The first victim did not complete the Times crossword. The clue was, ‘Mother takes murderer back. Idiot.’ Six letters. The answer is Maniac. Here is how to get to the answer.
‘Ma’ is an abbreviation of, ‘Mother.’ So, that’s the first part of ‘Maniac.’ ‘takes murderer back’ is where you reverse (‘take back’) the last four letters of the clue’ niac’ and get ‘Cain’ a murderer. Idiot is the second clue. So, both clues lead to Maniac.
The death notice of Professor Bevin in the newspaper has the Latin phrase, ‘Omnia mors aequat.’ Death makes all things equal.
Professor Bevin, the first victim, taught at, Lonsdale College. Endeavour’s alma mater.
The funeral director’s name is, Jephthah Claypole. Claypole reminded me of the BBC children’s TV show, Rentaghost. Timothy Claypole was the first ghost to appear in the show.
While talking to Thursday at around the 17 minute mark, Endeavour says, “Ego te absolvo.” You are absolved.
At around the 21 and a half minute mark, Dr Fortescue, in the company of Endeavour and Thursday, says to one of his pupils, “Cheerio, Thompson. Enjoy the vac. Cyclades, isn’t it? ‘Vac’ is short for vacation. The Cyclades are an island group in the Aegean Sea, southeast of mainland Greece and a former administrative prefecture of Greece.
More Latin in the death notice for Doctor Rupert McMurdo, ‘Mortui Vivos Docent.’ Let the dead teach the living.
At around the 35 minute mark, Thursday and Endeavour are talking. Fred mentions that Ms Frazil phoned to say another letter was in the Oxford Mail about Mr Heath.
This is referring to Edward Heath the Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1972. In the same scene Fred mentions the ‘European Communities Act.’ This was An Act to make provision in connection with the enlargement of the European Communities to include the United Kingdom, together with (for certain purposes) the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar. Brexit repealed that act.
DI Lott says at around the 40 minute mark, “Well, they’re not flogging The Watchtower.” The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom is an illustrated religious magazine, published by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. Jehovah’s Witnesses distribute The Watchtower.
Morse has collected all the sympathy cards after the funeral of Edwin Bevin.
The Latin phrase is “Mors Cum Terrore Novo Venit.” Death Has Come With A New Terror.
More Latin at around the 57 minute mark when Endeavour is in the shop that’s closed down.
Mors cetra, bora incerta. Death is certain, its hour is uncertain.
At around the 59 and a half minute mark, Fred is explaining to Prettyman what happened regarding the sympathy cards left by the killer. We see this one.
Minatue innocentilus qui parcit nocentibus. The innocent man who spares the guilty.
In Endeavour’s home, Jakes says, “Go west, young man.” “Go West, young man” is a phrase, the origin of which is often credited to the American author and newspaper editor Horace Greeley
At around one hour and five minutes Endeavour relates to Fred on where the name Lionel Godfrey Chambers, the owner of Blenheim Vale now apparently living in Bermuda, came from.
Someone took the name from a gravestone of a baby who died after only five days. Then using that name someone got a new birth certificate, passport etc. This idea was used in the excellent film, The Day of the Jackal.
We see Bright, near the end of the episode, sitting at his daughter’s grave.
Bright has moved to India.
As Fred and Win stand in their living room for one last time, Fred says, “Here’s looking at you.” A reference to the film Casablanca.
When Jakes arrives with Endeavour at the police station at around the five minute mark, Strange says,
“Well, brush my teeth and call me Pearly!”
I have never heard this phrase before.
Win says to Fred, “He’s (Sam) just borrowed it, till he’s flush.” In this context, ‘flush’ means when Sam has gained more money.
The barman is talking to Endeavour and the barman says, “Legless, as per.” ‘Legless’ means drunk. ‘As per’ means “as usual”
The flower shop owner, Vi, says to Endeavour about the sympathy cards, “They could’ve put it on at the cremmy.” This is an abbreviation of crematorium.
THE MURDERED, THEIR MURDERER/S AND THEIR METHODS.
The first victim in this episode is Professor Edwin Robert Bevin. Tripped on the stair carpet.
Killed by John Bingley. Bludgeoned.
Second victim. Dr Rupert McMurdo. Fell from a train. Though he is the second victim Endeavour encounters, McMurdo died before Professor Bevin. We never see Dr McMurdo. Killed by John Bingley.
The third victim is Raymond Kennet, nickname Tomahawk. He of course turns out to be Peter Williams the body of whom Endeavour was searching for at Blenheim Vale.
Stabbed with his own knife by Fred Thursday.
Andrew Lewis, the first victim in the episode, Prelude.
We never find out who killed him other than a corrupt group from London in connection with Blenheim Vale. It may have been DI Lott.
A body is found at Blenheim Vale.
Shot in the head. Max confirms it’s Landesman. We never find out who killed him other than a corrupt group from London in connection with Blenheim Vale. It may have been DI Lott.
Near the end of the Prelude episode another body had been found.
Endeavour believes it’s Brenda Lewis. She was shot. We never find out who killed him other than a criminal in connection with Blenheim Vale. It may have been DI Lott.
Mickey Flood killed in the Prelude episode.
Shot. We never find out who killed him other than a gang from London in connection with Blenheim Vale. Again it may been DI Lott.
We don’t see it but we have to assume that the bikers killed DI Lott.
Brian Pettifer as Jephthah Claypole
Christopher Godwin as Theo Conklin
Victoria Alcock as Violet ‘Vi’ Bingley
Shaun Evans as DS Endeavour Morse
Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday
Jack Bannon as Sam Thursday
Meg Kubota as Dr. Andrea Massey
Sara Vickers as Joan Thursday
Jo Stone-Fewings as Dr. Adam Fortescue
Roger Allam as DCI Fred Thursday
Jack Laskey as Peter Jakes
Anton Lesser as Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright
Sean Rigby as DS Jim Strange
James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn
Richard Ridings as DI Chesney Finch
Laura Branigan as Libby Ventnor
Abigail Thaw as Dorothea Frazil
Philip Wright as John Bingley
Jack Hamilton as Tomahawk
Danny Webb as DI Arthur Lott
Ross Green as Reverend Theodore Affcott
Phil Daniels as Charlie Thursday
Rufus Wright as Chief Superintendent Dominic Prettyman
Another outstanding review!!
Excellent. One other rather shocking piece of writing to end a series. During a conversation with Fred, Endeavour declares that he told the bikers that the biker “tomahawk” was a paid informant working for the police. What isn’t clear is when he told them that. My contention was that it had to be before the meeting at Blenheim Vale because Endeavour was badly beaten by Lott and therefore would not have been capable of a tete a tete with the bikers at that time. Therefore I believe, that as it’s written, Morse apparently spoke with the bikers before the meeting at Blenheim Vale, told them the lie about tomahawk and tipped them off to the presence of Lott and his connection with the other killed biker. This would explain the magical cavalry style appearance of the bikers at Blenheim vale but would make Endeavour accessory before the fact in Lott’s (apparent) murder as well as being accessory after the fact to tomahawk’s murder. That is a terrible thing to do to a character and while Colin Dexter’s morse and the morse of the series certainly bent the occasional rule he would have certainly never approved of covering up murder!
I am glad Thomas has presented this theory and saved me the trouble. It was exactly my reading of the scene.
Loose end: what happened to the two toughs Lott brought with him to Blenheim vale?
The same as happened to Lott, I assume.
Great review, Chris! I love how you can answer all the questions about locations, music, etc. For instance, when Jim said the church was “All Angels,” I looked it up…and found out, no it’s not. It’s been bugging me what the location really was, so thank you for digging it up.
I was under the impression that the Thursdays were moving to Carshall as planned, quite possibly because Fred didn’t take the threat from the bikers as seriously as Morse did. I also wonder if he’s going to make it through those last few years of his career there before he can draw his pension. The “turn” he had kind of presaged a (or another?) heart attack and I can easily imagine him dying a natural death before the bikers get him. Which could be another reason Morse never mentions him later: If Fred dies naturally in the next couple of years, leaving Morse guiltless, it would make sense that he would lose touch with Win and the rest of the Thursday family, at least until Joan and Jim return to Oxford. There wouldn’t be as much reason to speak of Fred without an ongoing or at least recent relationship, which it appeared Morse had with McNutt in “Masonic Mysteries.”
I also came away with the feeling that Morse imagined the stabbing of Peter Williams as to be just what we were shown: essentially an act of self-defense and hardly a cold-blooded, premeditated murder. That would weigh heavily on his decision not to turn Fred in.
Finally, it’s interesting that you think Bright moved to India, as opposed to went for a visit. We saw him looking at travel brochures in the first episode of this series, one for India. That definitely appeared to be the type that promotes festive cruises or package holidays or the like. (Not that that’s the type of trip I imagine him enjoying, but it could be an efficient way to get from Point A to Point B, and then he could do his own thing once he got there. Or, of course, he could have taken one good look at the brochure and thought, “Nope. Not for me.”) Moving, on the other hand, seems like a huge and hugely disruptive step for someone whose memories of the place are decidedly mixed and who hasn’t lived there in decades.
Thank you for a great review and all the amazing location and other references- I was ambivalent about the last episode – it was better than I thought it would be (after S8) but also unsatisfactory in many.
I agree with you that perhaps Russell lost his nerve with killing Fred off – I think he went for the “happy ending” with them all gathered at the wedding – I didn’t like that (although beautifully shot) as I just didn’t see them together I feel Joan would have wanted far more and I think Morse being best man and him being late the previous episode when clearly Joan wanted to see how he feels just too much Morse angst.
Also as a huge fan of Inspector Morse it jars with me – Strange is well and truly Morse’s boss in 1987 so we are to assume he returns to Oxford at least in 1982/85 – (10 years after these events) Morse and Joan did not part on bad terms – far from it – so he never mentions her by name or runs into her over the 13 years of that series (yes I know that was because the Thursdays never existed but why try and link it to the later series at all) …..Morse was never vindictive or petty – far from it – he was very sweet and caring to Susan even and she had broken off their engagement and ruined his academic career so it just doesn’t make sense to me re:Joan.
BTW I never saw this tectchy and cold behaviour that everyone says Strange and Morse had in the later series – Morse was always pushing the boundaries and I actually think he and Morse had a fairly good relationship – although let’s just leave the fact that Strange says to Morse in the later series that he “couldn’t imagine Morse young” 🤦♀️
It would have made much more sense if Joan had married someone else entirely or had gone with the rest of the Thursdays….
Agree re: Sam’s “recovery” it was very soap opera like – when someone is in a wheelchair one episode and then walking around the next….and don’t get me started on the daydream – I do feel another cop out by Russell – so many fans get a “kiss” – felt the Jakes character was wasted again – so many fans have been wanting him back for so long and that seemed the only reason to get him back.
I did like the last scene – although I think many predicted that would be the scenario in one form or another (linking it up to the first episode and the sighting of John Thaw) but still…. I did love it.
Thanks, Chris, for your usual masterful analysis, and for your service over the years! I, like you, had numerous reservations about the last episode, mainly around the half-baked handling of the Thursday question. To adequately explain the character never being mentioned in Inspector Morse would have required a much more dramatic set of events – probably the death of a major character. But the writer shied away from dealing a terminal blow, I suspect because despite protestations to the contrary, there is every intention to return to the Morse universe in a few years, and they didn’t want to close off any doors. I imagine that either ‘Young Fred Thursday’ or ‘Max DeBryn, Ghost Hunter’ is already in development…!
Thanks Chris – such a good point re: Thursday!!!! – I just thought that Russell “bottled” at the final hurdle to kill Fred off but as Thursday is his creation (as are all the Thursdays and Frazil) he is smart enough not to paint himself into a corner…
But please, please not a spin off with Joan and Jim – I thought that pairing was his weakest “get out” the actors brilliant but it just did not ring at all true for me – and I somewhat resent that they now have said that marriage was planned since series 2 and cut out some scenes with them to keep the Morse/Joan thing going with fans … I dislike being “played” as really they kept the Joan/Morse thing going even in the dire S7 (which she was not even in)
I also felt the Fred exit was a let down – him being the killer – and their parting and the fact that Joan is married to Strange who is back in Oxford in 10 years (give or take) as very weak reason why they were never ever mentioned – he is Strange’s Father-in-law for heaven’s sake,
The last scene was wonderful and very well done – and the acting of Allam and Evans heart wrenching in those last scenes – I just feel, especially Allam, was a bit cheated by the exit.
As we have no more (currently) of the franchise i too would like to thank Chris Sullivan for all of your amazing work – I know there is much more you can discover and write but your reviews and all the incredible information you bring with them has brought me great joy over the 10 years of Endeavour. Thank you.
Good morning, thanks for a great review. In brief right now, but I thought the bloke who hands Morse the libretto at Blenheim Palace must be Russell Lewis (to whom, after all, Morse says “That’s it then?”)
Hi Cailin. Russell has already said on Twitter that it’s not him.
Yes I had Fred and Joan being killed due to some error on Morse’s part; ideally one of those times when he thought he knew better than everyone else, hubris being his basic character flaw above all else. Which would mean he would try to forget them and never mention them again because of his own guilt. I wasn’t satisfied with the ending really, it felt weak. I wonder if Russell has some plan for another series? I know Colin Dexter is supposed to have decreed Shaun Evans the last actor who would play Morse. Maybe there will be some sleight-of-hand plot twist in real life and this prohibition will be explained away. Because it seems that the next Morse series is set up for new actors a bit like The Crown, with McNutt and Hugo DeVries all deliberately(?) left hanging still. As is the Thursday thing; don’t we have Strange’s wife mentioned by name in a Morse episode? I forget the name but it isn’t Joan is it? This means that the first series of the new incarnation can deal with the tragedy that befalls them and Strange can be in the series… and with luck we will get a better reason Fred etc isn’t mentioned. I don’t think Russell would give us such a weak ending otherwise. Well here’s hoping anyway. He said he felt he was due some time off, and I optimistically wondered if he meant from the Morse franchise. Chris I’m not sure you would be overjoyed to see him write another series. Maybe in a supervisory capacity with other writers following his story arc. Dx
Another thorough review and the end of an era – the last episode Chris reviewed soon after transmission.
Before going into the detail, I want to thank Chris for all the work he has put into this website, the detailed reviews and the well thought through opinions. Recently I have thought the reviews a little harsh, although series 8 could easily be deleted with few regrets.
I enjoyed the episode. This series was so much better than the last two, but it still felt a bit weak. The plots had been completely overtaken by the characters and I agree completely that the murder felt like a short story rather than an integral part of the episode.
The explanation above about the bikers makes sense, but requires the viewer to believe that Morse conspired with a criminal gang to enable them to kill a serving police officer. Choosing not to delve into the Big Pete/Tomahawk killing by Fred would be at the fringes of believability.
The next problem I had was the power of the Blenheim Vale gang. Previously they had power within Division, most recently evidenced by the pair of traffic officers and yet they would disappear once Lott meets his comeuppance.
One point is that Lott was a DS in the pilot
Two further things to mention are that the police used dead children as their legend when going undercover (which came out in the spy cops story). The other is that they reused the coach from the pilot episode to produce more material.
Most of the farewells were handled well. Bright’s recital was a particular high point and the scenes at the wedding allowed interaction between the characters who did not appear together normally. As regards Thursday, the farewell was touching, but undermined by the need to name Fred as a killer. This was the worst of the corners that Russell Lewis painted himself into, followed closely by Strange/Joan wedding. Why bring Jakes back and then underuse him, especially with the Blenheim Vale plot withering away.
Finishing with the choir practice and the two Jags crossing was a good touch.
A wonderful and comprehensive review, Chris. During the streaming on twitch, my computer kept freezing and buffering so I didn’t get much of the plots or dialogue; however, I did order the DVD so I am looking forward to that. For instance, I didn’t realize Bright went back to India but I did hear his monologue which was beyond beautiful. Also, in your review you mention that Win would not forgive Fred for killing someone but I think, in this case, she would, because it was done to save her son. And, due to computer issue mentioned above, I completely did not get that great connection to Lewis. So your reviews are indispensable! Thank you.
Bravo to the fine cast and crew and bravo to you, Chris, for many years of excellent work.
I wondered if there was a connection to the Lewis pilot. In this episode, Endeavour comments on how tragic it was that one of the victims had left a crossword unfinished. In “Reputation”, when Lewis receives the evidence file with Morse’s crossword – the one with the Shakespearean clue at the bottom – is the puzzle finished or not? Could this be an ironic comment by the young Morse about his own tragic death?
Chris – did I miss in your amazing rundown of the locations where the wedding reception took place ?
No, I wasn’t sure where ut was, though it did look close to the church.
On balance, a great final episode and of course an excellent review. I agree with Chris’s comments and personally felt that there were two other failings. Firstly, Lott did not seem to be sufficiently intelligent to have been the criminal mastermind with a 20 year reign of terror and capable of directing the Blenheim Vale affair, multiple murders, conspiracy, blackmail etc. I would have thought it would be better if he was a willing (or better still unwilling) functionary of a more malevolent Moriaty-like character. Secondly, Sam’s behavour did not seem to be linked to PTSD from service in Northern Ireland (which would be reasonable especially given it was then the height of the Troubles), and this would have cast him in a more sympathetic light. Indeed, I found the relative lack of discussion about the NI situation to be slighly incongruous in the later series (I can remember bombings being on the news all the time, even though I was at the time a child). The final episode would have been set just months after Bloody Sunday. It seems to me rather obvious that Fred would have had an opinion on the subject, and possibly more a more intelligent one than we might expect (informed by his experience in WW2).
Very good point, Robin about the lack of any mention of the situation in Northen Ireland.
I wonder whether a few lines in the story around Sam were cut unnecessarily. It seems to me he could have been affected by for example having had been involved in the controversial internment policy of the time, had seen some awful things or had to shoot someone etc, whereas the final story left this traumatic experience (if there was one) rather vague and implied he got bored with Army life and started doing drugs. The idea that Fred would be able to help his son recover from such a traumatic experience and achieve redemption, but in doing so tragically compromised himself (and Morse, who had to decide not to properly investigate the crime) would explain a lot that we know subsequently in the timeline. This does indeed seem to be the case, but it seems to me that it was just a bit too subtle in the final form. No critisism of the acting by the way which was great.
I’ll probably leave a more comment on the episode another time. I thought this series was always going to have two major storylines irrespective of the “crime of the week” or an overaching storyline. Firstly, it was going to be would Morse and Joan have one last thing, which ends in tragedy. Secondly, would Fred end up dead.
So none of these happened, and we were spared a blood spurting shootout that could have been the end of the Thursday family and Morse’s failure to protect Joan could have meant the only way of reconciling the events was to lock them away in his brain and never mention them again.
I don’t know what Russel Lewis originally had planned vs what has transpired over the 9 series. My personal view is that Fred as due to die at the end of series 2 or could also have had him out at the end of series 3.
My question on this specific episode – the choir conductor that Morse says is that it, has been confirmed by Russel that it’s not him; I saw in the review that it was meant to be Colin. Have we had that confirmed, because in my eye, and I’ll check when I rewatch, that it looked nothing like him.
Great analysis of this final episode! Season 9 hasn’t commenced yet in the US, but I love the spoilers because they help me look for and understand the plot. Maybe someday I’ll visit Oxford, good luck to you all.
Although I enjoyed this series much more than the previous 2 and the acting was sublime as always it left many threads unresolved and unexplained. Where it seemingly did try to, it did so in a very unsatisfactory way. No more so than the Morse/Joan saga which became utterly ridiculous and wasn’t a reason to keep watching so to have it arch over the entire story was unconvincing.
Obviously the Thursdays are never mentioned in Inspector Morse so to have Joan marry Strange who becomes Morse’s boss is silly frankly. For Joan to exist at all even unmentioned makes no sense at all –
If they had to disappear (which wasn’t believable either as a resolution) then as was mentioned in another comment, then surely it had to be the whole family- Joan, living in the same area, married to a career police officer, well I mean, not remotely believable. Strange’s wife was referred to in the later Canon so it did not make any sense at all to have her marry him in Endeavour. Very lazy writing and ideas frankly, never mind all the other issues, Blenheim Vale, Jakes return for no apparent reason, the alcoholism/ptsd/military prison of Thursday’s son miraculously disappearing and having no impact on a possible job with the police.
Given how superb the Cast were and are I wonder if anyone raised similar thoughts on the writing or was it a case of Russell has written this and that’s that. It seems such a huge disservice to them all.
Brights monologue will stay with me the most from this series, sublime always, Anton Lesser is brilliant no matter what he is in irrespective of the quality of the material.
There does seem to have been a distinct lack of collaboration regards the story arc and conclusions and it really impacted.
I fine myself really annoyed at the lack of credibility of ghe former and have to keep telling myself it’s just a television programme. But when you invest time and an emotional connection in characters and their stories especially when the quality makes you forget they aren’t real – well you expect more when those stories reach their end. So these things niggle and spoil it. I can’t imagine writing that conclusion and not thinking, ‘.no wait, that doesn’t make sense’. Doesn’t seem to have bothered Russell Lewis much.
I very much agree especially about the Strange/Joan marriage – as I mentioned they (Morse and Joan) parted on sweet terms not anger or venom – so he never looks in on her ? Asks about her ? Or at no point Strange never alludes to his FIL, Mother-in-law or Brother-in-Law – I can’t figure out why Russell went there – much more sense for her to marry someone else or go with the Thursdays. And yes I would have liked a Morse/Joan romance but many were over it…
But there was much else that didn’t make sense – Jakes reappearance (which I was really excited especially when I thought it had to do with Blenheim) but to me felt it was just because fans had been clamouring for his return for six series. (I put the fantasy kiss in the same “fan” satisfying basket)
Also as Chris mentioned- Morse is a surely an accomplice to the murder……
Anyway the actors did sensationally with the material and there were many high points especially after the disappointing last 2 series.
To your point re: the actors input to the scripts – certainly Shaun and Roger do as Executive Producers (and Shaun especially the S7 arc and alcoholism was his idea) but I guess Russell’s was the writer and they would have respect for where he wanted to go. And I guess he was damned if he did … and perhaps he tried to achieve just too much in 3 eps
I think Allam’s long desire for a fantastic death would have been better (for many reasons)
But the actors did not disappoint.
“as I mentioned they (Morse and Joan) parted on sweet terms not anger or venom – so he never looks in on her ? Asks about her ? Or at no point Strange never alludes to his FIL, Mother-in-law or Brother-in-Law ”
My thought was that, at some stage between the end of Endeavour and the start of Morse Joan and Jim either get divorced, or Joan dies. I suspect the latter (Morse might pursue a divorced Joan).
I think Strange is married in Morse, so he could have remarried.
I hope you get the chance to visit Oxford.
I think there’s a reference to The Godfather (released in 1972), when attending the undertakers. I can’t remember the exact line (I only saw it when it was transmitted), but one of the undertakers mentions that they made one of the victim look quite respectable, mirroring Don Vittorio calling in the favour of the undertaker after Sonny’s death.
Yes, that’s a good connection. In the Godfather, the undertaker has to try and make Sonny’s body look respectable.
Been waiting for this review, but feel its not quite what I was expecting. There were a lot of loose ends, and missing parts to the story….guesse we had to work a lot out for ourselves.A good final episode, bur as Chris says , perhaps not as fans anticipated…..I was on edge all the time, sure we would lose Fred…..and Lott popping up.? and Jakes too, presume hed heard the Blenheim Vale case still had a lot of questions to answer.Ive watched it twice, now Ive read the Chris review, Ill see a lot of it from a different perspective….One thing that really bugs me is the gun shot…was it russian roulette, or a dream sequence, like Joan kiss was…or what.???
The Endeavour and Morse series invite inevitable comparisons: in particular, is Endeavour true to its roots and does it maintain the quality of the Morse programs?
It’s worth remembering that television was consumed very differently when Morse was first broadcast. Back then, free-to-air TV dominated the entertainment landscape and characters like Morse occupied a larger position in the public’s psyche. Modern programs like Endeavour need to compete with all the alternative options for entertainment, particularly those available on-line.
Maybe that’s why, when watching Exeunt, many of the farewell scenes seemed to me to be overly respectful. I’m aware that the writers need to pay due homage to their characters, but I couldn’t help but think that the sheer amount of screen time given to the various goodbyes came across as anachronistic.
After watching exeunt episode on dvd I am sure Lott stabbed Morse. He had a very small knife in his hand afterward, for a ½ second you can see the blood on Morse’s coat where he was stabbed when he collapsed at Joan’s wedding. Because the wound was very small he could have not felt the effects until he collapsed and went into the hospital for it. I also think he was not dreaming when he bared his soul and kissed Joan at her wedding. I think as he was standing there in front of her thinking what he really wanted to say to her. When the cars are passing at the end I don’t think it was Endeavour looking through the mirror again at an aging Morse, I think, after rewinding it several times, it was a simultaneous thing – Endeavour looked through his mirror as his older self passed while Morse looked through his as his younger self passed. Through it all, good episodes and no so good ones, I love the characters and their personal stories and I never wanted it to end.
Yes, I believe he was stabbed but if you are stabbed by any kind of sized knife, you are going to feel the affects immediately. Did you see the size of the blade that Lott was carrying? As for the kiss, it was definitely a dream. After the kiss the screen becomes hazy to signify it was a dream. I don’t understand you’re last point. Kathleen, you wrote, “I don’t think it was Endeavour looking through the mirror again at an aging Morse.” But, then you go on to write, “Endeavour looked through his mirror as his older self passed.” It could have been a simultaneous look but the only way to show that would have ben via a split screen shot. However, I don’t understand what point you are trying to make regarding the passing of the Jags.
The passing of the two jaguars reminds of the 1971 film adaptation of ‘Cider with Rosie’ where in the final scene the aging Laurie Lee passes the younger Laurie Lee (a young boy then). Just after they passed each other, Laurie Lee turns around and the boy is gone as if he was never there.
“‘As per’ means “according to.””
Isn’t is just short for ‘as per usual’? So ‘Legless, as usual’ is basically what he said.
Russell really is a fan of this sub-cockney leaving off the last part of popular expressions. I think he has invented it (and it’s a nice piece of work). Do you recall the Lewis episode he wrote with Saskia Reeves as his old sergeant? It’s about an old case where she says she looked back after complaints and concluded they “never put a foot…” (…wrong…) He used this as a tic in Fred Thursday’s speech throughout Endeavour. Dx
David, it’s water under …..
Some problems with 2 of the Latin quotes, as follows:
(1) “Mors certa hora incerta” is the correct Latin. I note the newspaper has “Mors cetra”. Not sure if this is a deliberate typo or not. I’m mindful that James Joyce in Ulysses quoted a newspaper article in which he put in numerous deliberate mistakes and typos.
(2) “Minatur innocentibus qui parcit nocentibus”. The Latin on the card is correct but you’ve transcribed it incorrectly but it is a bit hard to tell from the writing. Another more literal translation would be “He who spares the guilty threatens the innocent”.
I’ve always thought that Morse was well suited to Dorothea Frazil instead of Joan, as they seem to have similar types of minds.
LIke the others, I don’t know why they brought Jakes back – unless I missed it, he didn’t even say if he was still happily married to his heiress.
I couldn’t remember the little boy they mentioned at the end in Blenheim Vale back series ago when Jakes mentioned him, apparently? Don’t understand why Russell brought back the whole BV plot this series – how are we supposed to remember what happened when it was months/years ago when BV was first used as a plot?
I watch Endeavour for free on iView in Australia so it’s a new series each year or so.
I wish they would make another series with Shaun Evans, now working for McNutt.
I have only viewed this series once and look forward to watching it back again, taking a more detailed look. This series was an improvement on the previous two, which wouldn’t have been that difficult to be honest. So overall I enjoyed the 3 episodes.
Just 1 or two points from the comments above. In ‘The Remorseful Day’ Strange mentions a brother-in-law who has had successful heart surgery. I think he is trying to reassure Lewis when Morse is hospitalised. So for what it’s worth, such a person is referred to in the Morse TV series.
Regarding Sam’s departure from the army, it was mentioned in series 8 (while he was AWOL) that a comrade & friend of Sam’s was killed while on duty. During this series, possibly episode 1, I’m not certain, Sam talks about this, about how it wasn’t the same kind of war that his father had experienced. He says that the British army was now dealing with a different type of army in Northern Ireland, one that didn’t wear a uniform so therefore could be anywhere or involve anyone (I’m paraphrasing here). I seem to remember the conversation happening when Fred is trying to empathise and tell Sam that he’d had similar experiences in WW 2. Sam did not just become bored of army life and turn to drugs and drink out of boredom, he was traumatised by the death of a friend and by the situation that the army was in at the time.
The overall situation in Northern Ireland was referred to albeit briefly by Fred, Bright & Win at various times during series 8, while Sam was AWOL.
So then the brother-in-law that Strange mentions would be Sam ? I guess why the marrying off of Joan to Strange makes no sense in the later series to me.
Sam, Joan or indeed any of the Thursdays aren’t mentioned in Morse books or Inspector Morse series as we know, they are purely the creation of Russell Lewis for Endeavour series. In the final series of Endeavour, R Lewis had to invent a reason why the Thursdays are never mentioned in the later Morse TV series. Joan’s marriage Jim Strange and the threats to the Thursdays by the gang are the reasons that Russell Lewis came up with. As we have seen, there are varying opinions on how plausible a story it is.
I was just making the point that in Morse TV series, Strange actually mentions having a brother-in-law.
Using Russell Lewis’ 2023 plot line, that would be Sam.
However at the time of the Morse TV series back in 1999/2000, Sam didn’t exist and it wasn’t relevant to viewers who the brother-in-law was.
Sorry for any confusion.
Hi Julie – no need to apologise – No confusion – yes the Thursdays, Bright and Frazil did not exist in the books or Inspector Morse – I guess that is why Russell knitting the Thursdays (and especially Joan) so tightly with a future character and very significant character was so odd and unfulfilling (and for me as a big Inspector Morse fan) frustrating….
Thanks for your insight and that pick up.
I think it’s time to put the Morse universe to bed. The quality has been dipping since the last few series of ‘Lewis’. And I’ve never been able to warm to the ‘Endeavour’ series at all. It’s all too self-referential and too self-consciously ‘classy’. Russell Lewis’ stories are all flash and subplots, usually masking a lack of original ideas. We still have the original series and a lot of good ‘Lewis’ episodes, so let’s move on, before it all starts to curdle
For me the quality started falling off in Endeavour from about S4/5 – prior to that especially S1 and 2 were great. I must admit I never saw much fall off with Lewis – it kind of always had great episodes and then not quite. It definitely focussed on the mystery which Endeavour, I agree, veered away from badly from s7.
Also in Endeavour the Easter eggs and anachronistic writing became worse and worse – compare Bright’s opinion on gay men in S1 (sadly more in keeping with the time) to his very 2020’s opinions on homosexuality and race etc in s5 onwards – the writing became very preachy and even though I agreed with much of the sentiment it jarred even with me – you started to be able to pick the killer (or at least one of the bad guys) a mile off as soon as they mouthed off about hating gays, racist, mysognist, or devout Christian- I just wish Russell had spent more of his writing expertise and great talent on the mystery rather than all the Easter eggs and his pet icons being not even woven in (which I think they were earlier) but shoved at us….
But I so agree that I think they are done with the franchise – but feel that it will not be the last…… maybe with Morse but not the “Morse Universe” and would not be surprised if there are already “talks”
Someone said here that they think that is why they did not kill off Thursday (or Joan or indeed any of the main characters) so Russ did not paint himself into a corner and had spin offs at least as a future option (even if he doesn’t write it as character creator he can sell it and be involved)
” John Bailey was a cartoon cypher” Agreed! He was so insignificant, I wasn’t aware of him at all.
I really enjoyed the last episode. In my opinion there is no movie or series where all is completely explained and displayed, especially in this show where many things were vague in some good, acceptable and attractive way from the first episode. There was no need to see how Endeavour got bullets, for example. If it’s supposed to see everything the episode would last much longer. Why did Jakes come to Oxford? Why not. It’s his city and he just came there for some reasons, relatives, papers, wedding, who knows and never mind. Why has Joan’s name never mentioned as Strange’s wife in the Morse series? Maybe because she finally realized what Sam told her about love. Why we just can’t imagine she divorced Jim. It would be so reasonable. Maybe Morse would never pursue divorced Joan for he knows he would never be able to be a devoted husband as he is too obsessed with cases, with job. Why did Endeavour cover Fred? If Morse had not covered Fred, things would have been prolonged with an investigation, a trial, etc. In the end, Fred would certainly not be convicted because he is neither legally or morally a murderer since he defended his son’s life and his own. Maybe I am wrong about this, but that scene was too short. I may be wrong, but as I said this is my opinion and as a romantic fool I maybe idealized this too much. I hope for series 10 at least. Thank you Chris Sullivan for all. Much appreciated! Sorry, English is not my mother language so I can’t express my thoughts clearly. As a great classical music lover and someone who can’t miss anything in that field I have one additional info. Well, Chopin – Prelude in E Minor op 28 no 4 (absolutely fantastic piece) has not been mentioned. Jakes is lying on the Morse’s couch, telling him: “Odd man out. Same as always”.
Hello Nancy and welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed the episode but I must reply to the various points you made. I have to disagree but that there are many films and TV shows where everything is explained and that is down to good writing. I could name many examples. Because you believe that ‘no movie or series where all is completely explained’ is tantamount to saying that two wrongs make a right. Worse than that, by forgiving bad television and bad writing you are simply allowing producers, writers and TV companies to make bad television. You are telling the afore-mentioned that they are allowed to make mistakes, don’t tie up loose ends, create lots of coincidences and suspend disbelief to the point where that suspension breaks as does the viewers incredulity. There was so much filler in this episode and the series that things that were important like where did the bullets come from that Endeavour used could have been added. And all it could have taken was a sentence or a shot of the gun and bullets when Endeavour puts them in the back of his car. Of course it matters why Jakes turned up because without a reason then it makes no sense and is just a HUGE coincidence that he appears when Endeavour just happens to be looking into Blenheim Vale. All Russell Lewis had to do was have Jim Strange ask him to be his best man and that’s why he returned. Or Jim phoned or wrote to him that Endeavour had reopened the Blenheim Vale case.
The reason why Joan’s name was not mentioned in the Morse series is because the Thursday family didn’t exist in that world. Why Joan wasn’t mentioned is irrelevant but why Fred was never mentioned is very important. Of course Fred is a murderer. He killed someone and he made Endeavour complicit in that murder. If Russell had killed Fred then that would have been all that was necessary. Then there would not have to be a prolonged investigation. You think it’s morally right to kill someone? What? So, if someone killed a member of your family and their excuse was he/she was protecting their son or daughter you would be happy to see them going free???? It doesn’t matter if he was defending his son, he killed a human being. He would at the least be charged with manslaughter. There is nothing romantic about murder Nancy.
Sorry to be so harsh but bad television and lazy writing must never be defended.
I definitely don’t think killing anyone is ok. “There is nothing romantic about murder Nancy.” This is true, of course. It shouldn’t ended that way. Actually, I came here only to contribute about Chopin’s Prelude which hasn’t been mentioned anywhere. I am not an arguing person. I emphasized that I was not objective due to my idealization of all Endeavour things. In most sentences I use words: “maybe”, “maybe I am wrong” … I really appreciate you. Thank you for everything.
Thank you Nancy and thank you for being a part of my website. I have added the Chopin music to my post.
Chris this seems a bit harsh. I think the issue is that what you feel is bad television and lazy writing might not be quite the same as someone else’s view. I know you know this. I think on balance it was very good TV and extremely ambitious writing. Not all of it. But most. But that’s just my opinion. I’m of course happy to defend that opinion as you will be yours. I respect the fact you feel that much of these last series was bad TV and that much of the writing was lazy. And films are full of the notion that murder can be romantic. Maybe even some of the ones that you have enjoyed… Dx
Nancy – I totally agree with you. I love Morse, Lewis and Endeavour (the series and Chris’ website), and I accept that there are errors in all three series, but I overlook them. I’m a depressive, and watching these wonderful shows is a welcome escape from my darkest days.
Thank you for catching the point about what I wanted to say. I also consciously accepted all the errors. It’s not strange because fantastic acting (and all previous series) dropped a shadow on all the things you and I disregarded. They were so real, brought so much depth..I am sorry you are depressive, but maybe I am too and haven’t ever fully realized that until the end of Endeavour. It was a perfect escape from everything. If you need someone to talk find me on twitter (@NancyverseNft) or instagram (nancyverse). Take care and stay safe.
Thank you so much, Nancy.
Yep Nancy I have to agree with you as well as Chris strangely. There was much laziness in tying up loose ends but I didn’t care really. It was sometimes annoying to see only Morse finding all the clues. And Russell’s left of centre bias did show in a slightly revisionist view of race, gender and other issues we have come to understand much better than characters from the 60s and 70s ever could have. But that’s for Russell to decide and I’d hate to have fans so passionate about their character that they would respond with negativity and frequent disappointment at some of wot I wrote. I think it needs to be clear that it’s Russell’s prerogative to take these decisions just as it’s anyone else’s to express their disappointment. Personally I loved how clever the writing was, that it gave Russell the chance to include social commentary and even that it enabled him to attack Boris and his mates in the Bullingdon Club in this last series albeit only in passing. I loved his almost involuntary pop culture references and his playful use of language, and his interweaving of the later incarnations of the Morse and Lewis series. Above all else I loved it enough to suspend my disbelief, and it’s fine by me if some of you couldn’t always join me. I hope to see you back here in 5-10 years Chris for Endeavour: The McNutt Years. Here’s hoping. Dx
Lovely comment, David. I like the idea of an Endeavour: The McNutt Years but sadly we all know that can’t happen.
Oh and btw re Well Brush My Teeth And Call Me Pearly… i couldn’t find any adverts from the time but I’m pretty sure pearly whites (teeth so white they look like pearls when the light shines on them?) was a phrase co-opted by toothpaste commercials when I was a kid… I was born in 64. Maybe they didn’t invent it but they certainly popularised it. Jim was always a voice of popular culture. I can’t imagine Endeavour would ever have allowed himself to watch ITV! (Which for you US peeps was the only place you would get adverts, as the BBC is state-funded more or less and back then there were only 3 channels, ITV and BBC1 and BBC2). Dx
Thank you David.
I love the idea of Endeavour: The Mcnutt Years. I’d watch that if it was a telly series.
Chris – would there be a possibility of new Morse books, written “in the style of” Colin Dexter, or was that forbidden by Colin in his will ?
I think that the main reason for bringing back Jakes was to have the brief conversation between Fred and Bright near the beginning of the episode where they are discussing about Morse not revealing that Jakes was Little Pete. Fred says something to the effect that Morse is the sort of person who would take secrets to the grave. Thus Russell Lewis is laying the groundwork as to why it is in character that Morse never talks about the Thursdays in the future. Quite neat I thought, but easily overlooked.
Of course having introduced Jakes he had to give him something else to do – like be best man when Morse goes AWOL – I wonder whether that meant the ring never made an appearance at the wedding ceremony as Morse should have had it on him. Another small niggle unexplained.
We saw Morse and Jakes at Morse’s house and Jakes was ready for the wedding and said something like you’re cutting it fine. So Morse at that point told Jakes to go the wedding and stand in for him as best man, and presumably gave him the ring.
A good send off, with some flourishes could have probably done without. I didn’t like that Thursday killed the biker, the biker ended up being Peter Williams and the biggest coincidence of all is that in all the churchyards in all the villages around Oxford the wedding happens to be taking place where the gravestones containing the names of BV owners are.
I loved the ending with Bright reading The Tempest. My personal view is that after the gun going off (still not sure what this was really supposed to represent other than russian roulette which was pretty pointless because we know he must live) and the screen faded to black this reading over the empty police station and then the credits would have been perfect. It would have removed the more direct link between the Endeavour prequel with the future Morse, instead ended up with the Jags crossing.
I still don’t think that conductor in the end scene is supposed to be Colin Dexter. It looks nothing like him; we know it’s not Russell Lewis from a confirmation he made.
I’m sure this won’t be the last comment I make on this blogs, but I’ll take this opportunity to thank Chris and other contributors for all the hard work in pulling together the information. It is a brilliant resource, not only for reference material, but somewhere to share thoughts and I guess is more accessible than FaceBook posts. So thanks again Chris.