DATELINE: PBS Masterpiece
Each season of Endeavour, the continuing prequel saga of Detective Morse, now in reverse order, has one superb episode that towers over the other excellent mysteries. The finale of S4 is top-drawer.
Endeavour is a prequel, of course, taking John Thaw’s original Morse back to the 1960s when he was a young investigator. The latest called “Harvest” starts with a 1962 murder that he opens as a cold case in 1967.
As usual, Roger Allam and Anton Lesser are around as Morse’s supportive superior officers.
In many ways this is the most modern episode so far: it deals with the red herring of an atomic energy plant emitting radiation. The tie to the murder of an Oxford botanist muddies the waters in a small town near the nuclear plant. Cleverly planted clues abound.
As a tarot card relates during the investigation, Endeavour (Shaun Evans) is facing “death,” in some form. He scoffs as that is his line of work, and the other insight is that he is unlucky in love. Yes, we’ve seen plenty of that over the four seasons.
This one hinges on autumnal equinox, which Morse notes is a scientific time, though cultists and local Stonehenge followers seem particularly in a state of high anxiety.
Entwined with the case, we have Morse’s complicated relationship with his superior’s daughter, which seemingly comes to a head. Alas, more information must await S5, which promises more episodes as this cast and storyline sharpens. We await more murders.