Endeavour series 2, episode 4 - TV review: A gripping, sordid, startling and magnificent end to the series

A sordid tale of police corruption and child abuse brought series 2 to a startlingly end

Neela Debnath
Monday 21 April 2014 14:00

In the most gripping instalment of Endeavour yet, viewers were left on the edges of their seats as the second series of the detective drama drew to a close.

Morse was in prison, framed for a crime he didn't commit, while DI Thursday may or may not be dead after getting shot by the same officer responsible for Morse's incarceration. Poor old Monica was left alone at home - can their relationship survive this massive blow? Probably not.

Meanwhile, police corruption and paedophilia went unpunished - it was a cliffhanger that will undoubtedly bring viewers back next year.

Writer Russell Lewis has devised a powerful thriller with the grandeur of The Shadow Line and State of Play, and just like both of these dramas, the shocking levels of corruption in 'Neverland' bled into other strands of life.

Endeavour always feels contemporary despite the lack of smartphones and computers, and this episode was no different.

Lewis' story focused on police corruption and a paedophilia scandal at a children's care home - two topics that have been in the news recently.

Nevertheless, the series has managed to remain a Sixties outfit without ever coming across as anachronistic.

'Neverland' wasn't completely successful as a conspiracy theory thriller though. The pacing felt wrong, there was not enough of a build-up to the events in the last few moments of the episode.

While things heated up in the last 15 minutes, there was not nearly enough action in the build-up to the end, leaving viewers clock-watching until the final segment.

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Yes, Morse had to sift through the corruption and the child abuse to find the links but it took too long to get to the meat of the story.

This episode could easily have worked as a mini-series of its own. Unfortunately, Lewis had to fit as much as possible into 90 minutes and make 'Neverland' work as a series finale, which played havoc with the pace.

Series two of Endeavour has offered viewers a series of compelling stories shot in an incredibly cinematic style that elevates it from run-of-the-mill police procedurals.

At times the elaborate stories have need some explanation and Morse drifts into murder mystery cliché but on the whole Lewis has given viewers more great adventures in this prequel series to Inspector Morse.

More of the same next year, please.

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