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ENDEAVOUR   (2014)

Masterpiece Mystery: Series 2
British TV series

 

Director: Kristoffer Nyholm, Giuseppe Capotondi, Andy Wilson, Geoffrey Sax
Writer(s): Russell Lewis
(Based on characters created by Colin Dexter)

Cast:  Shaun Evans, Roger Allam, Jack Laskey, Sean Rigby, Anton Lessor, James Bradshaw, Abigail Thaw…

Format: DVD, 2 discs (4 episodes – 89 minutes each)
MPAA Rating: Not rated

Price: $39.99

Genre(s): Crime, Drama, Mystery

 

Reviewed by Cherie Jung
(September, 2014)

 

Series 2 continues to follow young Endeavour Morse in his early day as an Oxford police constable working with CID.

There are four episodes in this series.

TROVE – Endeavour returns to active duty after a four month re-assignment while recovering from a gunshot wound received in the final episode of Series 1. He is assigned to a case deemed a suicide but Morse feels it is a probable homicide, with no real evidence to back up his theory. He also insists two other current cases, a theft of ancient artifacts and a missing girl, are related to the suicide investigation. Even with repeated viewings this episode doesn’t seem to play fair with the viewers. In an attempt to increase the mystery factor and begin an arc relating to the Masonic Order (although they are not called as such, merely referred to as a secret society) the episode has some plot holes. I can’t blame the scriptwriter. The plot holes may be the result of editing for time, but may leave the casual viewer a bit confused.

NOCTURNE – Morse ties an unsolved 100 year-old crime to a present day crime despite the objections of his colleagues. The spooky angle of girls going missing, one by one, at the Blythe Mount School for Girls during summer term is quite well done. I doubt many viewers will suss what’s going on, who the killer is, or why. Trust me, the why is very convoluted and relied on too many coincidences for my liking but the atmospheric mystery surrounding the missing girls had a ghost story feel to it that made the rest of the story tolerable.

SWAY – Three housewives have been strangled. Morse insists the cases are linked (doesn’t he always?) and the work of one person even though there are some dissimilarities at the crime scenes.

NEVERLANDA runaway boy, a prisoner who walked away from an open prison, corruption, and crimes from the past converge in a troubling and dangerous scenario.

 

I have two problems with the way this series is developing. One is that the storylines are so convoluted, with some of the connections barely discernible, even after repeated viewing that I sometimes wondered if I should be taking notes as the episode played out.

Secondly, Morse never seems to learn from his mistakes. We all know he’s smarter than all of the other cops but he’s becoming rather obnoxious. Shouting at this or that and demanding that his vision of the case or cases is the only truly probable interpretation. Then he goes blustering along until at some point he figures out he has gotten it wrong…again.

Several of Morse’s fellow officers try to make excuses for his disrespectful and brash behavior, DI Thursday suggesting he’s just had one too many conks on the head and is suffering from a touch of concussion. “Yes, that’s probably it,” Chief Superintendent Bright muses, “A touch of concussion.”

Concussion my arse, as they say. Be it the fault of the writers, directors, or whomever, Endeavour the character and the series are losing their charm. The longer I watch the Endeavour episodes, the more I want to re-watch the “Inspector Morse” episodes starring John Thaw.

It’s been reported that there is no Series 3 yet scheduled to be filmed. Rumors suggest that the actor Shaun Evans is seeking different acting challenges apart from Endeavour. It has also been reported that Colin Dexter didn’t want the Endeavour series to encroach upon John Thaw’s “Inspector Morse” time frame.

Cliff-hangers notwithstanding, I think it’s time to call this series completed.


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