DATELINE: Darker Yet
Since the previous episode took off on Agatha Christie’s Mirror Cracked, it seems inevitable that in this week’s Endeavour, Morse should be a variation on Miss Marple’s 4:50 from Paddington.
We are delighted to have even a pale copy of Agatha Christie for delectation on PBS. However, things are becoming decidedly grisly and downright tawdry in terms of murder in an episode called “Passenger.”
Something unpleasant is happening, but even from the vantage of history, we aren’t sure what is happening to these characters any more than they know. We have seen snippets of past seasons, a discarded opera album, signed to Morse from a killer of the past.
Others in small parts of Morse’s life are moving on with their lives, as is Thursday’s daughter and the blonde officer who now is interested in the newest, young detective.
Only in one short scene is the cast of good guys together in the police station, questioning the extremes of modern murder.
With this episode ending with a soft radio report about the death of Robert Kennedy in June of 1968, we have a layer of despondency raining on the unsavory crimes. The murders themselves seem improbable with hyperbole, yet the reality of the era was moving toward a new level of lawless horror to end the 1960s with the Manson-LoBianca killings looming ahead.
Morse is unable to find any silver lining as he grows more isolated.
The roof of standard, expected behavior among police also is collapsing, even to the degree that staid Chief Constable (Anton Lesser) meets an appalling breach of police etiquette that leaves him sputtering. The world is too much with Endeavour.