Adam H. Kerman
2019-07-08 17:07:43 UTC
episode and sets up a bit of the plot for one scene.
Tons of revelations in this episode, with various dangling plot points
wrapped up from the previous season that no viewer remembers much
about from a long year ago, and no one liked enough to re-watch episods.
At college, the chief librarian of (I forget the name of the library) is
murdered. He was part of a group of ramblers, walkers who went on great
treks through the beautiful countryside, nearly none of which we saw.
Immediate suspects are two professors using the library, including one
who enjoyed reading erotic prose from the Edwardian era that was in a
special collection not generally accessible. He said he was writing a
paper but it wasn't his field.
Morse completely violated his privacy by obtaining records of everything
he borrowed. I really have no idea what Morse was thinking unless he
wanted to read the literature himself.
There was also a wealthy family that donated a stamp collection to the
same library. This library's collections are certainly eclectic. The
other professor was going through those. The family's name was
Teagarden, but it's supposed to be Baumgarten. They were Jewish and only
a handful escaped Germany before the rest perished in a bombed WWII
labor camp, including a well-known physicist.
Turns out that the second professor was harassing the first professor,
who had promised to use his influence with a counselate to get them out
of Germany. The first professor was an admirer of the physicist. This
part of the story made no sense, that anyone could believe that the
first professor had any kind of contact to set up an immigration or
refugee visa. The second professor was in love with the physicist's
daughter and blamed the first professor for failing to help them. The
first professor had notebooks from the famous physicist but they
demonstrated advanced senility and he destroyed them to hide his
condition and not call into question his earlier work.
That's certainly fortunate, because what would have been the
implications of a Jewish prisoner of the state inadvertently
contributing to the German war effort if he hadn't been senile at this
These two professors had nothing to do with the murders.
Meanwhile, a brand-new council housing high rise building collapsed. It's
daytime, limiting the deaths and injuries to women and children. If it
had been overnight, far more people could have been killed.
I tried a quick Goog to see what ripped-from-the-headlines news story
this was based on but didn't spot anything. Do any of our friends from
the UK recall this?
It's a reinforced concrete structure. Morse would figure out that the
corrupt building contractor substituted aggregate in the concrete
mixture made from sand mined from the ocean and not aggregate from a
nearby quarry that the Council was charged for, and pocketed the
difference. Salt in the mixture caused immediate corrosion in the rebar.
As far as I know, the structural ill effects would take place slowly
over time and wouldn't lead to immediate catastrophic failure within a
few months of completion.
This was discovered by the Council building inspector a year earlier, a
fellow rambler friend of the librarian's. He was shot in the back and
his corpse hidden in the Council housing project, exposed with the
Morse then concludes, with no evidence, that the librarian had been
killed as he was looking into the disappearance of his friend.
There's a corrupt politician covering everything up. We already knew
about the Acting Chief Constable's corruption, I guess, probably from
dialogue last season. He's been mainly an off-screen character. Bright,
still in Traffic, is called into a metting with the politician and the
ACC and told to end Morse's investigation. Bright points out that Morse
isn't in his chain of command and also flat out tells the politician
that he won't be his friend. This leads to the attempt of Bright's life
and the amusing way in which the attempt is thwarted.
Thursday, still miserable about events I've forgotten from last season.
He made some bad decision that led to a complete loss of his savings or
somehing? His marriage has collapsed. His wife isn't speaking to him. A
very weak Thursday succumbed to Box's entreties and accepted a payoff.
His wife immediately knows what's up and tells him that she won't take
the money. In this episode, Jago hands Thursday a second payoff RIGHT IN
THE POLICE STATION, which is absurd. In another conversation with his
wife, after not speaking her mind for a year, Win finally tells him that
she doesn't care that they don't have money, that they've been poor
before but survived, and that she wants the man she married back. She's
seen a solicitor to initiate divorce. They have a huge fight but both
characters are a bit laconic and neither raises a voice. Neither one
wants to keep the house as both children are adults.
Thursday writes his wife a long letter but we aren't shown its contents.
He screws up his courage and returns both payoffs to Jago.
There's a big Wild West confrontation at the quarry/mining operation.
The construction contractor is there, one of the principles in the
conspiracy, also a Mason who also tried to influence Strange to block
the investigations. This was actually to be the place that Morse was
executed, but all four men show up.
Because the war is fought with exposition rather than shooting and Jago
is present but not Box, Morse immediately figures out that it was Jago
who took over the rackets from the local mobster (was he killed or did
he simply disappear?), including all the heroin laced with quinine
deaths that Strange has been investigating. DeBryn the pathologist was
also kidnapped. Box is corrupt and has covered up murders but he has no
stomach to cover up the murders of multiple police officers to keep the
conspiracy going. Jago admits that all the deaths with a gun
Box took off some criminal, including Fancy's, were actually Jago's
because Jago is the expositioning villain.
Jago claims he can write a convincing report blaming all the corruption
on the four men and that they shot each other dead for REASONS. Could
this possibly be foreshadowing?
Bright makes the bold pronouncemet: Jago may have influence over patrol
and C.I.D., but he has no influence over Traffic! At that moment, I was
expecting Bright's men to swoop in as a motorcycle calvary, which might
have been fun, but that doesn't happen. Instead, the villains run for
high ground and it's a race to see who can get the drop on whom.
So we can resolve the scene, Thursday pursues Jago but Jago gets the
drop on him in a movie-style confrontation in which Jago sticks the gun
in Thursday's face. In the real world, you don't do that because that
has put the gun within reach of the guy you're trying to kill. Somehow, Morse
and Box get there. Morse knows enough to point his gun at Jago from a
Remember the foreshadowing? Box stops Jago, shooting him dead with one
shot but not before Jago got off a shot, traumatically injuring Box. He
hasn't died by the end of the episode.
Back at the station, Bright explains the report that he's going to
write, closing the books on the corruption and avenging Fancy's death,
again, something no viewer remembers the details of from a year earlier.
Thusday gets a field promotion from Bright, so he's still not as high as
he was last season. Hadn't he been demoted two steps? Strange will
return to Thames Valley as Bright's right-hand man.
Morse gets Bright's gratitude but no promotion.
Thursday returns home. His wife is lit so she glows and we know that
Thursday is once again a man in her eyes.
Bright returns to his wife. At first I thought she'd died but looking
again, she's either sleeping or passed out on a couch as I can see
We see Morse purchase a house that he got cheap 'cuz dead junkies were
found in it at the episode's beginning. Also, the police motor pool have
repaired the Jag. All those years of Inspector Morse, I thought Morse
was driving his personal Jag (remember, Lewis never drove him) and not a
The house Morse purchases is rather large for one person. What I recall
from the original series was Morse's home consistet of a living room,
only, in which he listened to music and drank. Morse never ate so there
was no kitchen set. We never had the impression that it was anything but
a small, efficient apartment for a man who owned nothing but records.