The 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