Friday, March 8, 2019
My review of last week's episode: Confection.
"Do you think a golem's wandering around Oxford?"
Alas, there's not. There's usually a wild card episode in Endeavour seasons, but Degüello doesn't quite live up to the promise of that dialogue! That said, it's one of the most satisfying conclusions the show has produced in a while, largely because it feels like, well, a conclusion.
Sunday, March 3, 2019
My review of the previous episode: Apollo.
The first body is an overdose. Max and Morse are standing alongside when Strange blunders up and says, "Puked 'is guts up, then?" It's a reminder of Strange's crusade to find Fancy's killer, which plays a back-up role in an episode that's full to the brim with dead bodies. It's also a chance for Max to get in a zinger, as he often does when Strange discusses puke. ("What a lyrical child you must have been, sergeant," is still my favorite, but "Been at the Keats again, sergeant?" ain't bad.)
Russell Lewis had to be frustrated that Inspector Morse already had an episode named Happy Families, because that's the theme of the story more than anything. Unhappy families, of course. There aren't any fireworks (no tigers or haunted houses to be found here, as there usually are in the season's third episode), but this is a strong meat-and-potatoes story which, like last week's story, manages to land quite a few serious character-based punches.
Thursday, February 21, 2019
We've seen Shaun Evans in front of the camera, but this is our first chance to see what he can do behind it. It turns out, the answer is: quite a lot. After a rather functional finale established the new status quo, Endeavour finds time to dig into real character conflict in this insightful, thematically rich second episode that balances all of its subplots beautifully.
The story starts with Adam Drake - a snarky jerk - and his girlfriend, Christine Chase. They attend a party with Drake's colleagues - the Humbolts and Wingqvists. Adam and Christine's bodies are discovered the next day at the scene of an apparent wreck.
Meanwhile, Thursday is assaulted by some thugs and on doctor's orders he's put on light duties, which means he and Morse - newly reassigned to Castlegate CID - investigate the wreck together. Christine's body has been disturbed, and it looks like she died before the "accident."
Monday, February 18, 2019
My review of the previous season finale: Icarus.
There's a certain ineffable quality about Endeavour. I always feel like I've visited a far-off country when I return to the series, regardless of my critiques of individual episodes (this is me obliquely referring to my grumpy review of last season's finale). Why is that? There's a good dollop of nostalgia, certainly, as this episode's beginning demonstrates (C.S. Bright stars in a re-creation of a classic British road-crossing PSA). But there's also an air of lost grandeur - a Brideshead Revisited wistfulness which laments changing institutions and lost innocence.
Both Inspector Morse and Endeavour are full of that emotion. Pylon is as well, though it ultimately tries too hard to be too many things to fully cohere as a story. Nevertheless, it's another fresh start for the show, and it reminded me anew the reasons to appreciate it.
I'll get into those later in this review. First, we need to talk about the Morsestache.