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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".