Endeavour, Series Two – More Morose Morse?

 

A bruised and battered Endeavour sulks and skulks his way around delightfully convoluted plots in Series Two. Still in ‘green synthesis’ mode, the show hits its best with the Fifth season. Meanwhile, series two continues to delve deeply into the angst of being Morse.

It has all the other regular features, as well. Telly and Travels says

… I am ashamed to admit that the places I recognise most in Endeavour, Lewis and Morse are the public houses. 

As always, all the episodes are written by Russell Lewis, for whom my respect grows.

Though the Shaun Evans pouts are as adorable as ever, some reviewers find the series somewhat lacking in contrast to the previous season.

In the words of  The Passing Tramp

 Series Two, however, I found ultimately disappointing, despite some very high points (episodes 2 and 3). 

Series 2 – 2014 – Trailer

In the course of looking for stuff about Endeavour I came across a fascinating site that shows you how long it takes to watch the show.

Episode 1: Trove – Directed by Giuseppe Capotondi

“Forget It, Morse; It’s Oxfordshire.” says:

The first episode of the series,”Trove,” about a murder case embroiling a British beauty queen, Diana Day (Jessica Ellerby), had a somewhat dodgy plot, depending on a hugely unlikely coincidence of the tragic Greek sort (and yet one that has been used a number of times now in modern cop shows), forced motivation, and the seemingly obligatory Colin Dexter theme of the beautiful young woman having sex with a muuuuuch older man, but it still entertained (happily, Morse got to do a bit of decoding, a nice nod to Colin Dexter’s puzzle-oriented mysteries).

  Episode 2: Nocturne – Directed by Giuseppe Capotondi

longish95.blogspot.com is another site that offers pleasurable reviews of the episodes

This … episode of Endeavour takes a Scooby-Doo twist, complete with a haunted mansion, creepy little girls, and a historical mystery.

Episode 3: Sway – Directed by Giuseppe Capotondi

Another common factor in the Endeavour series is a touch of colour – to make amends for the racism in the UK in those days? In this episode, a Black nurse, Endeavour’s neighbour, with whom an intimacy of sorts has developed, struggles with the detective’s flickering signals.  By now, we sort of gather that it’s Thursday’s daughter for whom he yearns.

As usual, actor Allam, Inspector Thursday, has good reviews for the episodes:

Set against the backdrop of Fred and Win Thursday’s 25th wedding anniversary and Fireworks Night …

… The story starts in typical fashion – the death by strangling of three married women, none of which appear connected until Morse makes the sharp observation that none of the victims were found with their wedding rings. In the course of the inquiry, DI Thursday comes across a woman he had “known during the war”, (and, in fact, “known” during the war) who is so shocked at the sight of him she faints – not that he looks any less stunned. Who she is and why she’s important to him are made clear pretty quickly, but what this means for their lives two decades on is less so.

Episode 4: Neverland – Directed by Geoffrey Sax

 

Featuring a ventriloquist and tackling the delicate issue of abuse in a home for rehabilitating children, this episodes pits the protagonists against society’s big guns.

denofgeek.com has some classic write-ups on the episodes:

…Neverland dealt with horribly topical subject matter in the same compassionate, tasteful manner to which we’ve become accustomed over Endeavour’s two series so far. … ‘Neverland’ depicts a society in denial of its worst impulses even as it indulges them under cover of ‘charity’ to its least fortunate.

… Neverland shows us the first steps on Morse’s long and lonely road to Inspector status, and creates a welcome continuity between the young detective and his jaded future self. …

We end on a cliffhanger, with Thursday fighting for his life in hospital and Morse languishing in prison, accused of murder. 

IMDB has a delightful page with trivia and more:

When Morse follows the franked letter to a law office, the plaque outside the door reads “Vholes, Jaggers, Lightwood, Solicitors” … lawyers who play prominent roles in Charles Dickens novels. Vholes in “Bleak House”, Jaggers in “Great Expectations” and Lightwood in “Our Mutual Friend”.

Now, that was a spectacular ending for a season – high drama. Whatever some may say, Series Two has its charms.

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