‘Endeavour’ Review: Farewell to the Morse Cinematic Universe

The week will also see the return of “And Just Like That…” and “The Bear,” as well as the arrival of a new Marvel series, giving space to a creeping British mystery for its ninth and final season. may become Weird choice. But it’s just self-preservation.

Fans of “Endeavor,” which reruns on PBS’ “Masterpiece,” on Sunday, are a particularly grumpy and vocal crowd. Would you like to review other British crime dramas? “How about Endeavor?” Make a list of your favorite international TV shows? “You forgot Endeavor!” Your email check? “‘Effort’!” I have endured for 11 years. Not this time.

The reason for this dedication is not difficult to understand. The drama, set in his late 1960s to his early 70s, revolved around young Oxford police detective Endeavor Morse (Sean Evans), and aired for eight seasons in the even more popular series ” It is the first part of Inspector Morse. And with its early and solidly successful spin-off Inspector Lewis (nine seasons from 2006 to 2015), Endeavor is part of the Morse cinema universe, self-referential in every way. It has become self-nostalgic. The Marvel version. (Colin Dexter, who wrote the novel the character is based on, made frequent Stan Lee-like cameos in all three series until his death in 2017.)

Russell Lewis, who wrote all 36 episodes of Endeavor, predictably emphasizes the archive’s connection in the final three 90-minute episodes. The grisly and partially unsolved storyline of Endeavor Season 2 returns with a special closing and a long-forgotten but colorful cast of characters. Revisit your favorite locations in and around the picturesque Oxford campus where all three shows were set.

Motifs such as Morse’s drinking, reticence towards women, and cautious relationship with his colleagues from Inspector Morse back to Endeavor are in approximate order until he becomes the moody, arrogant, and indigestible character he is seen as. refined. In the original series (if not impossible, imagine Evans’s Morse — a sleek, well-tailored, ever-clenched body) transforming into John Thaw’s cranky middle-aged grump. is still difficult).

What matters most to Morseiana fans is the more literal correspondence between shows, and the final season doesn’t cut corners. Filmed in the same University of Exeter quad, the scene in which Morse one day dies of a heart attack foreshadows the original series. In general, this fan-her service may not be as elegantly handled or evocative as one would expect, but fans can still be satisfied with the final orchestration of music, locations, and cars in the final episode. There is a nature.

As has been the case throughout the show, the weekly mysteries aren’t very interesting. These, like other period crime shows on the British network ITV, are presented in a polite, quietly handsome style, but tend to be baroque levels of complexity, coincidence and implausibility. , it’s hard to take the crime-solving aspect of the show seriously. As Morse investigates a musician’s poisoning, a metafictional case involving a detective show within a detective show, and a series of not-so-funny Dons of Oxford murders, it’s hard to keep track of and care about the mound of corpses. Have difficulty.

Fortunately or wisely, the show didn’t deplete the secret weapon. Evans does a solid job as Morse, conveying the character’s intelligence and stinging sense of alienation. But it was two notable British actors who were pure joy to watch, who sided with him for nine seasons. Anton Lesser as Superintendent Bright and Roger Allam as Thursday, Morse’s direct boss.

The final season is as much Aram’s as it is Evans, with the taciturn, old-school Thursday struggling as cop, husband, father, and, to Morse, acting father. (This season also provides a tortuous answer to the question of why Old Governor Morse was never mentioned in “Captain Morse.”)

The timeline of the story reaches 1972, where Thursday is more troubled than ever by the increasingly violent and morally unhinged British society around him, and the confusion Aram embodies feels just as genuine. . Loyal, unyielding, and arm in arm with the modern world, Thursday feels like the kind of person who would post, “Forget Endeavor!”

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