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Endeavor Recap: Season 8, Episode 1

Try is available for streaming. Summary previous episode.

Jack Swift wins matches for Oxford Wanderers, so it’s possible that someone called from the pay phone at the Plaza Hotel and threatened to be shot if he played his next football game. Morse doubts the threat is serious, but Bright assigns him to guard Swift: Morse doesn’t care about sports, so he won’t be distracted. The only thing that Swift said was unusual lately was that he spotted George Sellars, a friend from home, in town, but, oddly enough, hadn’t heard anything about George.

Morse would have preferred to work on the death of a young woman in Oxford. She was secretary to the college administrator, Lucius Stamfield. She came to the office in the morning to find a valentine and a package addressed to Stamfield on her desk, which exploded and killed her, injuring another secretary.

Postal strike and none of the Oxford services have a record of delivering anything, so the package must have been hand-delivered. The explosive device appears to have been made from dynamite attached to an alarm clock.

The victim was engaged and had a sister who spends time at a shelter for abused women run by Joan Thursday. Strange visits to talk to the sister and learns that the victim visited her occasionally and came recently to leave toys for his sister’s children. Before leaving, Strange asks Joan to join him at a charity ball, and she agrees.

Morse has to attend his own evening event: Wanderers owner Robert Fenner runs a fashion house, and Swift has to attend his own fashion show at the Plaza Hotel. During the show, Morse overhears someone in the lobby saying that they will “get it at the end of the show”. He immediately calls Thursday for support, but it turns out that the person he overheard is a television personality and that Swift is surprised to appear on the show where all of his friends and family show up and tell stories.

Swift is from Northern Ireland, so many guests stayed at the Plaza Hotel, including Swift’s friend George, whom he had spotted earlier; George’s wife Sarah; and Duke Ward, the talent coach who first discovered Swift. John Paul Martinelli, a young Irishman who has been called “the next Jack Swift” and who plays on the team facing the Wanderers in their next game, is also on the show as a fan of Swift.

Martinelli and Swift have a common agent, Ray Jubba, who secures promotional deals and sponsorships for them, and secretly negotiates a transfer for Martinelli Wanderers. Duke Ward, who also discovered Martinelli, hates Jubba for infringing on the talent of his discoveries for a net profit instead of developing their talent.

Swift leaves the after-show party early with Morse. He was tired of the celebrity life. He has a wife but regrets losing his girlfriend from his youth when he had to choose between her and football. He is unfaithful, calling the woman to spend the night, which leads to some screaming when his wife returns home the next day.

Swift plays in a threatened match, but disappears at the end of the game, much to Morse’s anger. The coach assures Morse that Swift is just taking a bath. Morse eventually goes to check the locker rooms and finds Swift’s wife screaming: a body in Swift’s tank top is floating in the tub. But it’s not Swift: it’s Martinelli.

He died from drowning, but was also hit on the back of the head, possibly with a champagne bottle. No fans could get inside, so the attacker must have been someone from the club or one of their guests.

Duke Ward saw Jubba’s agent talking to what he thought was Swift, but it was actually Martinelli in Swift’s T-shirt, and accuses Jubba of killing him. Prior to the game, Martinelli asked Duke for advice: Jubba urged him to pull out of the match to make sure his move to the Wanderers went through. Martinelli did miss the free kick and lost the game. Swift also had to be sold, as he was already a little out of his prime; coach Wanderers was going to tell him after the match.

Speaking of Swift, Morse and Thursday find him safe at home. He and Martinelli had a bit of a fight on the pitch, but after the match they shook hands and exchanged jerseys as a sign of respect. Perhaps the attacker wanted to attack Swift, but mixed up the jersey.

Fingerprints on a bottle of champagne lead to Duke Ward, but he tells the police that he simply took the bottle from Martinelli, who was about to open it. Ward feared that Martinelli would squander his talent on such extravagances as Swift.

Morse tries to determine if the explosive package was meant for Stamfield or for the secretary he actually killed. He visits the victim’s apartment and finds another valentine from her fiancé, as well as a paper from an Oxford student. The groom explains that he personally delivered his card, given the mail strike, and that the victim’s apartment was recently broken into, but she did not report it. Soon she received money from the late great-aunt, whom she liked best.

The student confesses to Morse that he was in love with the victim he paid to have his papers reprinted. He left an unsigned valentine for her in her office, arriving early for this. He was nearly caught by someone he thought was Stamfield even though it was still early.

Morse then visits Joan’s safe house, where he is rude to her and she is disturbed by his penchant for daytime drinking. (Recently, he has been in the habit of falling asleep on the couch and sleeping after a night of drinking.) He searches the victim’s sister’s room: he believes the victim had something of value that the break-in was looking for, and so she may have moved him to safety. Somewhere like the dollhouse she gave her sister: Morse finds a hidden cassette in it.

The cassette was taken from Stamfield’s tape recorder, which the victim recorded every day. It accidentally turned on during a conversation between Stamfield and Fenner, the owner of the Wanderers. The two men conspired to cash in on the rent of the Wanderer field, which is owned by the college. The victim heard the plan and then asked for money – this is the money she told her fiancé, which she will receive soon, from her aunt. Stamfield wanted to buy her off, but Fenner took matters into his own hands. The timer used in the bomb can be seen at his house in a photograph scattered in a magazine, and the paper the package was wrapped in showed traces of his fashion house design.

But what about the threat to Swift? Morse and Thursday visit Sarah Sellars at the Plaza Hotel and find out that her husband George is abusing her and that Swift found out about it – Sarah was Swift’s first love, which he left to play football. Morse knew to come to Sarah because he recognized the chain ring he saw at Swift’s house as the one she wore. She just gave it to Swift to finally put the past behind her.

She tells the police that George has a gun – he is associated with militant groups fighting against Catholics in Northern Ireland. Morse and Thursday hurry to Swift’s house, where George has already shot the officer guarding Swift and is now threatening the football player himself. Swift participated in a charity event benefiting Catholic groups; George’s militia sent him to punish Swift. Morse and Thursday manage to stop the bloodshed and arrest George.

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