Foyle’s War: The Hide on Masterpiece Mystery PBS – Recap & Review

Image from Foyle's War: The Hide: Michael Kitchen as Inspector Foyle © 2010 MASTERPIECEThe Hide, the final episode of series VI of Foyle’s War aired on Masterpiece Mystery last Sunday. It was by far the best of the season.

It’s August 1945 and the Allied Forces are celebrating the end of the war in Europe and the Pacific. However, Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) has his own celebration. His replacement has arrived at the Hasting Police Station and he is now officially retired. First on his agenda; book a passage to the US to take care of the mysterious unfinished business alluded to previously. It takes only a newspaper headline to distract him away from his plans and straight into investigating another mystery.

A young solider from a prominent Hastings family has been accused of treason for participating in the British Free Corps, a group of British POWs who were recruited at the end of the war by the Nazi’s to fight for Germany against the Russians. Foyle questions the dejected James Deveraux (Andrew Scott) in prison, but he offers no explanation why he will not give evidence for himself in his court martial. Everyone around him is also resolved to let him hang including his defense attorney and his father Sir Charles Devereaux (David Yelland). Only Foyle believes that he has an ulterior motive for self-destruction and is determined to discover it. After interviewing James’ family, friends and fellow soldiers, Foyle finds an interesting connection to the murder being investigated by DI Paul Milner (Anthony Howell) in Brighton of Agnes Littleton, Sir Charles’ former secretary. Why did the killer remove the photo of her boyfriend Jack from her room and who is he?

Meanwhile, Adam Wainwright’s (Max Brown) Hill House, a crumbling residential hotel that he is running with Sam Stewart (Honeysuckle Weeks) is riddled with plumbing problems and sinking in debt. It all seems a hopeless business until a local developer offers to buy him out. Sam sees it as a gift; Adam sees it as mercenary progress and goes to war with the city planners launching a local campaign to save his house and the Hastings village green from destruction. Their personal relationship is still undefined even though Sam is offering more than her share of subtle encouragement and Adam does not seem to know how to make his feeling known.

In the first scene we are given a direct shot of the murderer’s tacky shoes. My mother always told me that you can tell everything you need to know about a man by his shoes. ;-) Given that excellent bit of sleuthing advice, I admit to suspecting the killer of Agnes the moment he appeared in his first scene. Any man who would wear those shoes seriously lacked class and was clueless. With a bit of deduction of the male cast, this actor fit the bill. Why do writers and directors always cast weaselly types who appear unable of killing a fly in the role of the murderer? Geesh. Do they think these suspects are red herrings or something? After years of watching murder mysteries, I must be getting too good at detecting whodunit to be fooled.

I enjoyed Sam’s romance, or more appropriately lack of one. It seemed suiting to her straight forward personality. She’s not a romantic and did not bring that out in Adam. Foyle’s instant interest in James Deveraux and dogged pursuit of the investigation immediately raised my suspicions. We know that he was wrangled into being a DCS and faithfully fulfilled his tenure during the war, so only some important connection to the accused could possibly distracted him from his long awaited retirement and trip abroad. Personal connections are the ties that bind in this story and skillfully they are not all revealed until the very last. As ever, Michael Kitchen as Christopher Foyle was brilliant. Never has so much been said with so few words. Let’s hope that the series continues next year. If not, one of the best detective series ever has had its last hurrah.

Image courtesy © 2010 MASTERPIECE

57 thoughts on “Foyle’s War: The Hide on Masterpiece Mystery PBS – Recap & Review

    • Ruth, I know you are a Inspector Lewis fan too, and I just watched episode one of the fourth season. How I love this show. Can’t wait to chat about it come August when it airs in the US. ;-)

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  1. I loved the beginning where Foyle couldn’t turn over the keys to the new guy at police HQ fast enough. Wonderful twist at the end. I think there will be more or why is Foyle going to America? From a much earlier episode, he told an American bad guy that after the war they had unfinished business. I wonder if it’s a continuation of that story line? I could watch Michael Kitchen in anything. So much of his acting is done with his eyes. Absolutely brilliant. Glad to see Antony Howell back, but I guess the actor who played his son is busy with other things. Too bad. I saw Honeysuckle Weeks in a Det. Lynley episode, and she gave a bone-chilling performance. The range of these actors is amazing. I agree with you; it is one of the best detective series ever. Only thing was the POWs would have been in a camp for four years, not three.

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    • Mary, the thought of Foyle in America is interesting. What will the brash and unsophisticated Americans (in comparison to the Brits) think of his stoic manners? And Sam & Adam have possibilities for more conflict if Foyle’s son reappears on the scene before the wedding. Oh – a ladies imaginations jumps from one possibility to the next. :-)

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      • My impression, and everyone else who has view the series is that its absolutely fantastic.
        This ole Texan is waiting impatiently for a new season.

        Best to all fans!

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  2. Oh I’ve loved it from the beginning, yes. This was an excellent episode. Can’t say enough about it & I do hope there will be enough whining (I volunteer) to get them to do just a few more.

    Thanks for the recap. I hope it encourages people to watch, rent the earlier DVDs, etc.

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  3. Definitely one of the most memorable episodes of the whole series. Amusing start, with him trying to get out of the office as fast as possible. As Mary mentioned above I was surprised not to see Julian Ovenden return but was glad to see Anthony Howell (although a little shocked at his character’s insecurity which made him almost rude to DCS Foyle at the beginning of the set) and Honeysuckle Weeks once more. Michael Kitchen does such a great job as Foyle and I’m so glad that they brought the series back and look forward to possibly seeing more. I felt the ending was a bit abrupt.

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  4. Yes, I liked this one too. But perhaps I’m clueless (for I watched it twice) but was the Devereaux son supposed to be Foyle’s son or am I missing something? I just didn’t get that ending.

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      • Hi, Laurel Ann –

        I noted your offer to post a private explanation for the last series of Foyle – and I beg to be included please! They screened that final episode here in SA last night and I, too, am confused. It’s usually very clear who did what and who’s who, but this time I was baffled. I gathered that Foyle’s previous relationship with Devereaux’s wife made him very protective over her son – but is the son HIS OWN son, or what?
        Please let me in on the lowdown and post to me privately –

        Many thanks !!!!

        Gwen Podbrey

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    • Janet, if you re-watch the last scene with Foyle and Deveraux, there are clues to answer your questions. First, why is Foyle taking on the investigation when he has just retired and on his way to the US? Second, he says to Deveraux that he knew his mother twice, with emphasis. Foyle would not do this unless he was trying to make a point.

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    • I have just finished watching ‘the Hide’ on DVD just bought-so it’s the 2nd time. It is still a fascinating drama by any standard. My ‘gut’ feeling is that James is Christopher’s son which explains why he took such an interest from the beginning. I do hope they make Seies 8 to clear up the ‘synchromesh’ murder in the States, the ‘unfinished business’, hopefully filling in the gap about Caroline and Christopher and his paternity/not. Also I would like to see Andrew back after the oblique reference to him being in London after the war. Of course we must have the obligatory wedding with Sam and her young man.

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  5. Pingback: Masterpiece Mystery PBS 2010 Season Preview « Austenprose

  6. Just my opinion but the 2nd story: “Killing Time” did not come up to the standard of writing shown by Anthony Horowitz. I felt that David Kane, the writer, may have been called in at the last minute to put together a script.
    Very good , yes, but to me, not very believable.

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  7. Never have I been so captivated by a series as Foyle’s War. So far above all the Law and Orders, CSIs, and the rest. Michael Kitchen, an unknown to me previously, is the best actor around. I even went back to “Caught On a Train” and looked for all those same facial expressions. They were there in a very young Michael. I feel bereft that the series has ended. I’ll buy them on DVD and watch them over and over.

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  8. oh, Betty, then you need to go back and watch “Out of Africa”. When I first started watching ‘Foyle’s War’ I knew that I knew Kitchen but could not place him until watching the above movie. Oh, my.

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  9. Loved the entire series, but particularly The Hide. It makes for an excellent ending episode, but I’m convinced there has to be another series or at least one more episode coming. In Fifty Ships Foyle promised to bring the American to justice after the war. Well… Laurel Ann can you email me privately so I can run my take on the end by you? And I’m sure all fans would love to see the promise of The Hide fleshed out in future episodes. For Michael Kitchen fans, don’t forget to find a DVD of Enchanted April. A wonderful ensemble of Brittish actors, and MK is lovely.

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  10. It is great that such a fine series has been so popular abroad when it has been (until recently a lttle overlooked here in Britain). I think Michael Kitchen is brilliantly understated. I agree with the comment abobe about what I have been told by women friends is a woman’s film’ ‘Enchanted April’. It is about four women on vacation in Italy after the First World War. It got mixed reviews from the critics and was a bit sentimental but so what? I loved it – both because of the great deal about the legacy of the Great War that is left unsaid and because of the great female cast.

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  11. Michael Kitchen is amazing. All fine series of Foyle’s War ‘are so interesting and they aren’t so stupid and without any mind in the brain like state detectives. I’m the fan of these series also as inspector Morse, Lewis and few other. They are so delicious, wise and elegantic. They all had enough English humour, which I like very much indeed. I”m from Lithuania and got possibility to watch such series by Hallmark( now DIVA).

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  12. Of course Foyle is going to america to get the yank who stole the syncro trans invention and killed the real inventor. Season 2 “50 ships.” Living in Costa Rica with no TV (DVD’s only) has allowed me to watch all the foyles war episodes a number of times. Still can’t understand Sam in some shows though. Thanks for the sub titles in the last set. Wish they were in Spanish too. Only one bad show in the lot. I think Killing Time is a bit of a reach. Unbelievable start middle and end. Only other thing is how nimble Millner is with one leg. No limp at all in most shows and he actually runs into a bomb shelter in one….. not bad for 1942 technology. Kitchen is good but now I watch these for the supporting cast and ways they take 60 years or so off the locations. Great stuff.

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  13. Just watched the first 22 episodes over an extended Christmas break. So glad to have bought the actual DVDs as these will certainly be rewatched. What an excellent series! I hope this talk of at least one more episode comes to fruition.

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  14. I have enjoyed the series very much.

    There are just three things I would like to point out:

    Mr Foyle did not retire but as he pointed he resigned. This allows for more episodes.

    He has some unfinished business in America. View the episode “Fifty Ships”. He had to let an American go for the sake of the war effort and the American and UK alliance.

    He said he would be back for the wedding between Sam and Adam.

    Looking foward to Series 8.

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  15. Series 8 – to be or not to be, that IS the question! Hopefully there will be, otherwise many of us will find ourselves in a perpetual state of Foyle withdrawal.

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  16. I hope there will be another series, but if there are any more episodes, it would mostly likely be just a one off special to finish up the 50 ships story, as most of the characters story arcs have finished.

    Anyone wanting a similar series should check out ‘Jericho’ staring Robert Lindsay broadcast by ITV. 50’s period detective drama, not to be confused with the US series of the same name.

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  17. Just got all the Foyle’s War series on DVD over the holidays and have watched them all. Michael Kitchen is fantabuolus!!! just takes my breath away with the depth of feelings he evokes. I was taken by surprise by the voice over at the end of “The Hide”. Foyle always seemed so above reproach… I will assume he “knew” Caroline before he met his wife. I think it makes him more human…. I would be very happy to hear that they are going to make more. We should find out how he gets on in America, and see Sam and Adam get married.

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    • I agree that “The Hide” was excellent in many ways, but the chronology was dodgy in general. Foyle’s son Andrew seems to be around 21 or 22 at the beginning of the series – so born around 1917. Yet James Devereaux, potentially Foyle’s son (I think we’re meant to be unsure of this, as Foyle himself is unsure) is only around 6 or 7 when his mother is killed in 1925 – so born no earlier than 1918. Yet there was no suggestion at all that Foyle had been married at the time of his affair with James’s mother.

      And if James’s mother was killed in 1925, how on earth could she have been having a relationship with a refugee from Nazi Germany?

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  18. I just watched all of the Foyles War Series and enjoyed them very much; but here is the problem with the last entry “The Hide” is James Devereaux Christopher Foyle’s Son or not by Lady Caroline?

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  19. Robert – If you’re able to watch The Hide again, keep in mind that Michael Kitchen’s (Foyle) acting style is minimalist – less is more – and you’ll find it very satisfying.

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  20. I’ve just read through the comments and I’m leaning toward James being Christopher’s son, but please e-mail me (or give an answer with “spoiler” noted) to let me know what you think. I can’t watch the episode again because it’s back at the library already — a long waiting list for it!

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  21. I have to admit I felt a little desolate when the last episode of Foyle’s war was viewed at our house. I didn’t want it to ever end! We are hoping Foyle comes to America to bring Mr. Paige to justice and I do hope that Foyle finds that not all Americans are as boorish as some were portrayed! Also, we want to see Sam’s wedding and maybe find out more about James (the other son?) As for Michael Kitchen: forget all those “wanna-be” leading men in Hollywood, Micheal Kitchen has it all over them!

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  22. Yank here. I have watched Foyle’s war with my mother (who’s father fought in Italy) and we have really come closer through our mutual enjoyment of the show. Each episode leads into some discussion of her childhood and memories of that time.

    I must weigh in on the is-he/isn’t-he debate over James Devereaux and Foyle. I think it is clear that Anthony and the producers wished to leave this matter open to ‘audience interpretation.’ Personally I feel Foyle would have acted out of his obligation to Caroline – his absolute and unyeilding sense of moral duty. It is not necessary that James be his son for him to have taken the steps that he did. I do expect a final episode, and hope the wait is not too long!

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    • I have to agree with you immensely! My mom and I watched this series together, and while she insists that James is his son, I insist that he is not. You summed up my feeling completely with this post. =)

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  23. There will be a large void if an 8th series isn’t considered. Foyle pursuing final justice cries out as a story to be told.

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  24. I have watched the entire series of Foyle’s War and am now at such a loss. How can this series be over? It was such an intelligent program with engrossing characters and plots. Please tell me that either we will go forward to America or back to more stories of England during the war years!

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  25. I agree with GuyB that Foyle would have acted as he did out of obligation to Caroline alone but the question of James being his son is very interesting. I would be happy to have the private comments on this as well.
    Michael Kitchen is absolutely one of the best actors to come along in years! I first ‘fell in love’ with him in “Enchanted April” but will now look for him in some of the above mentioned films.
    Andrew Foyle seems to have vanished after vowing to keep working on Sam until she falls in love with him again.
    Seems there’s lots of unfinished business to keep us going. I hope so!!

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  26. I sincerely hope that Mr. Horowitz strongly considers producing a Series 8. Foyle’s War, to be blunt, is one of the finest programs to appear on television in recent memory.

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  27. I’m a Janeite (www.austencats.com) and a Foyle fan. The series was outstanding, but I have to admit I was a little disappointed in the last three episodes because I felt Sam and Andrew were meant to be together at the end (or maybe the end was originally supposed to be the VE day episode.) I figured they probably couldn’t get Julian Ovenden for the series because of contract issues, or something of that nature. I’m still hoping they’ll be more episodes and Andrew will reappear!

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  28. Oh, I think it is quite clear that James Devereaux is Foyle’s son. The clinchers for me are two. First, we are told be the housekeeper, or whoever she is, that as a boy, James wanted to be a policeman … runs in the blood, you see. Secondly, James’ mother would have had a different way of saying good-bye to Foyle – she would spell it out: “My husband and I are going to have a baby, and our fling must come to an end.” But instead she speaks in a veiled way about “the sake of the child.” I mean, can you imagine Foyle, needing her to urge him not to contact her again if he thought she was pregnant with her husband’s baby? Moral man that he is, Foyle would not dream of coming between a child and his father no matter how smitten he was with the mother. The urging is necessary precisely because Foyle knows he is the father. And I guess there is also a third clue: Foyle’s offer to help Devereaux in his future life. He’s acting the father.

    Strange to think of Foyle’s son being lord of the manor. If the series continues, I wonder if he’ll pitch it all to become a cop!

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  29. Ok, I have to say why I think James is Foyle’s son, so – SPOILER ALERT:

    There are many reasons to believe this to be true, as stated in previous comments. The one thing that clinched it for me was when Foyle told James, “I knew your mother.” He went on to describe the circumstances under which they met. Then Foyle looks James squarely in the eye and says, “I KNEW her.” It made me think of the biblical meaning of knowing someone.

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  30. My wife and I are big fans of the series and we just went through all the episodes in sequence….We’ve now watched THE HIDE 4 times and the last 10 minutes of it a number of times just to make sure….James is Foyle’s son….there were a lot of great clues that lead to that conclusion..a number of them were mentioned above….Sam asking the woman at the school if she remembered Foyle and her saying that as a child he was ALWAYS asking questions…that comes after people were talking about James ALWAYS asking questions in the freicorps….but if you watch the way KItchen and the actor playing James played that scene….James realizes it as soon as Foyle hits him with the second I KNEW HER….
    THE HIDE is my favorite episode of the series…WONDERFULLY written,,,Kitchen is amazing….his portryal of Foyle reminds me a lot of the Guiness portrayal of Smiley…I know Horowitz is a novelist and this episode would make a great novel…
    I SINCERELY hope there’s another series….this vein is so rich it would be a shame not to mine it….

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  31. Am I the only one who didn’t like “The hide”?

    Up until this episode we all knew how much Christopher missed his wife (fifty ships, enemy fire among others) We’d learned that his late wife meant everything to him, and that he was very concerned about his son Andrew being a RAF pilot. Father and son had great chemistry, and Andrew and Sam seemed so right for each other (loved Andrews comment in All Clear, when he wanted to marry Sam and said if only to make his dad her father-in-law).

    “The Hide” sort of threw all these illusions away.

    Personally I hope Barbara from “They fought in the fields” returns in a follow-up. Christopher was interested and so was she. Even better, she felt like the right woman for him:)

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  32. No Monika, you are not the only one who didn’t like “The Hide.” I will say that I was enjoying it until that absurd, character-violating twist at the end. First, I do not need an explanation for why Foyle was investigating James’ case. For five seasons now we have seen that Foyle can see where something is not right where others do not, and is determined to find the actual truth where most others will not. He even gives a bit of speach in “The Hide,” about how since there seems to be no one else interestest in finding the truth, he had better do it. That is what I love about Foyle. He would not need a deeply personal connection to want to help James, or to look for the truth. I also think that what appeared to be a loyal, and devoted relationship with his late wife was very endearing, and agree that the father and son relationship between he and Andrew was particularly well done. All sacraficed for cheap, attention-seeking plot twist!!! Sooooooo irritated. May just give my copy of the sixth season away and pretend it didn’t happen.

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  33. So looking forward to the 8th season of Foyle’s War. We go into withdrawal every time PBS does its fundraising, disrupting our usual fare.

    Not a big fan of Insp Lewis, though I like the actors and have watched several episodes. We call them “the walking detectives” because they always seem to be walking hurriedly while talking “at” each other to advance the plot. Also, too many red herrings. Loved Endeavor and glad to hear more are coming. DCI Banks is also very good, hoping to see more of those too.

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