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TV Review: Endeavour - Series 3 Episode 2: 'Arcadia'

This week's Endeavour shrugged off the Gastby-esque glamour for the supermarket and DS Peter Jakes bids farewell. Katy Sandalls reviews.

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Image: ITV
Image: ITV

This week, "Arcadia" took us back into the world of Endeavour Morse as we remember it, with Thursday and Morse being tested by a number of strange occurrences that all centred on an Oxford supermarket. With a suspicious death, a kidnap and the presence of glass in baby food, Oxford City's finest were rushed off their feet to find a solution. In the middle of it all Morse decided to move house.

If this reviewer is not mistaken, this seemingly insignificant detail actually shows our favourite detective moving into the house seen in the later Inspector Morse series. This move may also prove that the relationship between Morse and Nurse Monica Hicks is over too. This is a shame because she and Morse had a tender connection that seems to have disappeared too quickly. This is most likely because of Morse's time in prison; as we saw in "Ride", Monica was the only one to know where Morse had gone but he didn't want even her to call him unless it was an emergency. This does mean, however, that there may be some sort of relationship blossoming between Morse and Joan Thursday, Inspector Thursday's daughter. She's always had a soft spot for Morse who continues to blunder every time they speak at the Thursday residence. Morse was once engaged, could it have been to Joan Thursday?

The episode itself was cleverly constructed - and without imitating any great 20th century novels this week - with the real reasons behind the murder staying hidden until the very last moment of the episode. Often in detective dramas this means that the ending has been tacked on quickly and can sometimes become implausible. This certainly was not the case with "Arcadia". The one problem that I had with the episode was that the explosion that followed the rescue of Verity Richardson seemed unnecessary and slightly cliched in places. It did however give DI Jakes the chance to play the hero.

I remember remarking last series that the character of Jakes had developed greatly by the end of the series, what with his breakdown in the final episode over his horrific past proving a moving moment amongst the tension and all. Jakes has clearly evolved once again, with his intentions to leave the force and start a new life in America coming as quite a shock. Jakes has definitely had an interesting relationship with Morse over the course of the show. Once a thorn in Morse's side, Jakes soon became the only person left in the force who Morse and Thursday could trust by the end of the second series. Last week's episode showed that in Morse's absence this trust had led to a particularly effective partnership between Thursday and Jakes.

The ending to this episode was particularly touching. Morse's token to Jakes' unborn child seemingly dispelled any negativity that remained between the two. It's evident that Jakes had been concerned by Morse's decision not to attend his leaving party in the pub, but the gift of bonds proved him wrong to worry and was a nice detail.

We're now halfway through the series and Endeavour seems to be on the up once more. Hopefully "Prey" will keep up the success of "Arcadia".

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Bertjan Smit Posted on Monday 6 Apr 2020

Can''t wait untill iets shown here in Holland. Great show.


Claire Posted on Monday 6 Apr 2020

Well, obviously, "this reviewer" is no Morse fan: the flat he moved into in this episode is a basement one, quite unlike the 2 storey flat in a house that he lives in in 'Inspector Morse', and he was engaged but it was to Susan, a fellow student when he was at Oxford, a character that predates 'Endeavour' (see pilot episode) but one that does appear in a later Morse. There, glad I cleared that up. I really should get out more.


Dawn Fleming Posted on Monday 6 Apr 2020

why did Jakes leave?


Cassandra Posted on Monday 6 Apr 2020

I enjoyed the episodes with nurse Hicks, but I knew the writers would not let that last. Your not that brave. What was the purpose of the short relationship anyway. I guess we will not see her again, too bad.


Janice Cartwright Posted on Monday 6 Apr 2020

Wasn't that Hicks in hospital scenes as nurse to kidnapped girl? Sure did look like her.


LBT Posted on Monday 6 Apr 2020

It was the same woman - whether she was supposed to be Nurse Hicks or not, I would have to check the credits. When I saw them in one scene face to face, I watched them carefully to see if they would acknowledge the previous situation, and I did not see that they did more than look only a second longer than necessary. ?????


Anonymous Posted on Monday 6 Apr 2020

Yes, you could not believe that she and Morse had once had a relationship, given the cursory way they looked at each other. This, I think, is a deep fault in the script. I could not believe it was the same woman and had to check the credits. How and why the relationship ended was never revealed in my eyes. This was a strange interlude, as if the writers wanted us to forget it had ever happened.

Kathryn Wright Posted on Monday 6 Apr 2020

You all have to pay attention. Of course that was the lovely Nurse Hicks! My heart jumped when I sawr ( how you Brits pronounce SAW) her as she brought so much interest & verve to this show. Nurse Monica really infused this show with dimension & color (pun NOT intended) and I wondered if the writers had reclaimed their spines but no, it was just s chance encounter with Nurse Monica revealing how the experience w/ Endeavour had left her (sad & empty) and she did say to him that she hoped he treated the "next one" better than he treated their relationship. To bad indeed!


Ilona Fann Posted on Monday 6 Apr 2020

I really liked Monica as Endeavour's girlfriend. She was so sweet and the right personality for him. I didn't think that Joan was the right girl for him. Too sassy!


Deb Posted on Monday 6 Apr 2020

Bring Monica BACK!


Zu Posted on Monday 6 Apr 2020

In one Episode, Morse was talking about them going away together. He was even looking in a jewelry store window, and the camera zeros in on a diamond ring! Got us all ready for something and then, he runs away.


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