Review: Endeavour (Series 4)

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10.0 Entertaining

Endeavour thrills its audience with plot twists that will keep the audience on the edge of their seat.

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Endeavour‘s fourth series draws on the success of its previous episodes, thrilling audiences with intriguing yet largely standalone criminal cases, romances, and that beautiful bond between Endeavour Morse (Shaun Evans) and Fred Thursday (Roger Allam).

Each of Series 4’s four episodes is unique in plot and the criminal case explored, but are linked together by the personal lives of its cast, as the storylines which unfurl in their romantic and family lives develop across the series. Each story has its own case, which successfully engages audiences, each succeeding in challenging the audience’s assumptions and beliefs.

Endeavour continues to explore the tumultuous era of the sixties, as old fashioned values are challenged by the emergence of rock n’ roll and modernity. Indeed, throughout the season, modernity appears to be portrayed negatively, often connected to the crimes which arise in Oxford. This can especially be seen in Episode 2, where a rock n’ roll group create chaos in Oxford with their wild lifestyle, as their drug use directly leads to death and heartbreak; and in Episode 4, where the secrets of a power station are ominously connected with the death of a botanist.

The first episode picks up where last season left off, providing the unique case of the day while exploring Morse and Thursday’s heartbreak after Joan’s departure. Their relationship is frosty as Thursday still clearly holds resentment over Morse allowing Joan to escape without a word. However, as the episode continues, Thursday recognises that blaming Morse is both unfair and of no use, thus allowing the two to mend fences, once again becoming the fearsome pair that audiences know and love. The same can not be said of Win Thursday (Caroline O’Neill), who is destroyed by the loss of her daughter, presented as lost, almost zombie-like, for most of the season. However, a chance phone call later in the series manages to bring her out of her depression, and by the end of the season she is once more the happy and capable wife that Thursday depends on.

Producers continue to create a thoughtful and entertaining piece of work in Endeavour, developing characters slowly and presenting new and engaging storylines each week. Each episode’s ending is neither obvious nor beyond belief, as the producers expertly walk a fine line to produce plot twists which will amaze while maintaining the real-life and plausible aspect of the show. Audience members are consistently challenged throughout the season, as their detective skills are tested through tantalising red herrings and repeated plot twists. This ultimately creates a show that entertains its audience while making them think; a style which has unfortunately become rarer in the modern world of television.

The characters maintain their complexity, as even Endeavour and Thursday are prone to mistakes, arrogance and other faults which highlight their humanity. These flaws only make the audience love the characters more, as they are not simple or one dimensional, instead feeling lifelike, which allows the audience to empathise with them. Series 4 once again teases Morse’s past, especially through the mystery of a beautiful woman who broke his heart. This mystery has been teased throughout all four seasons, and the third episode suggests that audiences might finally meet her soon.

While Endeavour and other characters in the show seem to be in a relatively happy place in their lives, tarot cards which keep appearing throughout the show act as a warning for audience members, as they foretell of tragedy. This is made especially clear in the last episode when Morse chooses the card death; though who’s death is being foretold is yet to be seen.

The fourth series of Endeavour is highly entertaining, providing episodes which are both intriguing and engaging. Each episode is well told and explores plots that will challenge its audience, keeping them on the edge of their seat. With clean language and entertaining plot twists, this show is a hit for all the family.

Watch the trailer for the fourth series of Endeavour below.

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Student at the University of Southampton studying English. I love food, films, tv and music. I also love to read, made apparent by my chaotic bookshelves. My main addictions are sugar, caffeine and Netflix.

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