Warning: Contains full spoilers for Endeavour's season 9 finale.


Just like that, Endeavour has now drawn to a close. The ninth and final season of the hit ITV crime drama has gone out with a bang, but also brought with it answers to burning questions and revisited a major past case.

The Inspector Morse prequel series managed to tie everything up succinctly but many viewers went into the final episode wondering just what would unfold that means that John Thaw's Morse never mentions a man named DI Fred Thursday (played by Roger Allam). How would Endeavour Morse (Shaun Evans) wrap things up in this series, especially seeing as everyone seems to be leaving Oxford?

Well, for a rundown of everything that happened in that final dramatic episode of Endeavour, read on.

Endeavour season 9 ending explained

Endeavour season 9
Shaun Evans as Endeavour and Roger Allam as DI Fred Thursday. ITV

In this episode, as well as the mystery of Blenheim Vale, Endeavour is investigating a number of untimely death notices in the Oxford Mail, each with a cryptic message and taking him to a series of funerals.

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But he comes dangerously close to being a victim himself as the murderer, who we find out is local handyman John Bingley, puts out a death notice for Endeavour in the Oxford Times.

Thankfully, Strange comes to Endeavour's rescue as Bingley tries to strike Endeavour with a hammer. We learn that Bingley has a contract to maintain shops and offices so he knew the ones that were unoccupied. He used the telephone numbers for the properties when putting out notices in the Mail and posed as the undertaker when the Mail would ring to confirm the deceased. He also used his wife's floristry business to swap over the cards for his own cryptic Latin messages.

His motivations for murder were driven by his own prejudice, homophobia and racism, not appearing remorseful at all but stating that he was doing the job that the police should be doing.

In the background of this final episode were a number of other pressing scenarios too: Blenheim Vale, Joan and Strange's wedding, Sam's defiance, Fred's changing moods and, of course, the state of Fred and Endeavour's relationship.

The occasion of Joan Thursday (Sara Vickers) and DS Jim Strange's (Sean Rigby) wedding is bittersweet for many fans because although Endeavour and Joan's romance has been teased throughout the series, it seems as though it just never was meant to be for this pair. And Joan and Jim's wedding only confirms that.

Instead, we're treated to a dream sequence of Endeavour attending the wedding reception and in the fantasy, Endeavour finally admits how he feels to Joan, leading to the pair sharing a passionate kiss. But in reality, Endeavour wishes her the best and gives her a long hug before Joan and Jim set off on their honeymoon.

What happened to Morse and Thursday?

Endeavour season 9
Jack Bannon as Sam in Endeavour. ITV

As is often the way of Endeavour, everything is seemingly connected and no more so than in this final episode.

In regards to Blenheim Vale, Arthur Lott (played by Danny Webb) returns to the series, having last appeared in the show's pilot episode. He is subsequently revealed as being one of the main villains in the historic child abuse scandal after the case was left somewhat unresolved in the season 2 finale Neverland.

The long-standing case has impacted Endeavour and Fred in both personal and professional ways but we also learn that Charlie Thursday (Phil Daniels), Fred's brother, is caught up in the entire affair after being dragged into it by Arthur. If you cast your mind back to season 5, Fred had to loan his and Win's savings to his brother, money which Charlie then lost, and it left Fred unable to retire at the time.

Arthur orders Fred to close down the Blenheim Vale investigation but Fred also demands for his money to be returned to him. Because it falls on the day of Joan's wedding, Endeavour later confronts Arthur in place of Fred. Endeavour asks him who killed Andrew Lewis and what happened to ‘Big Petey Williams’, the boy who DS Peter Jakes (Jack Laskey) had to give up after being tortured for his name as a child.

Jakes's guilt followed him through the Blenheim Vale investigation and Williams was believed to have disappeared, possibly murdered and buried in the Blenheim Vale grounds. But Arthur states that he took Williams up to Lincoln to a couple by the name of Kennett. This leads to Endeavour making the link back to the recently killed Raymond Kennett, aka Tomahawk, who was stabbed at the pub.

Arthur makes out as though he's about to give Endeavour over the briefcase full of Fred's savings and then hits Endeavour, ready to kill him. But the biker gang then arrives, intent on killing Arthur after another of their crew was previously stabbed in Camden on Arthur's orders. Endeavour later attends Joan and Strange's wedding reception and collapses, but we later see him treated in hospital for his injuries.

It's left off-screen what happens to Arthur (and also to Charlie) but later, in those final moments between Endeavour and Fred, Fred admits that Arthur "had it coming". It's unclear whether Endeavour was actually privy to what unfolded but he does keep the true identity of Tomahawk to himself, not telling Fred. "The Peter Williams that Jakes knew died a long time ago," he says.

Instead, Endeavour has figured out the true identity of Tomahawk's killer: Fred Thursday.

Endeavour tells Fred that he told the bikers that Tomahawk was a registered informant, Lott's "man on the inside", in the hopes that it will buy Tomahawk's real killer some time, alluding to Fred.

We find out that Tomahawk had threatened Fred's son Sam before he went into the toilet at the pub, a scene we saw previously in the finale but are transported back to later on.

Tomahawk looked ready to attack Sam with a knife for being on his turf but coming up behind him, Fred tells Tomahawk to go on his way. Tomahawk tries to stab Fred, leading to Fred stabbing him instead. Fred was initially there to confront Sam over him stealing money out of his wallet but instead, comes to his rescue by killing Tomahawk.

Endeavour found one of Sam's coat buttons at the scene of the crime and also linked it back to Sam's jittery demeanour in the church yard when he was spooked into leaving after hearing a member of the biker gang ride past. Endeavour also recalls Fred's "unrecognisable" behaviour that night when he snapped at him for visiting the Thursday household. "I know thee not, old man," Endeavour says disappointed.

Endeavour says that what happened between Arthur Lott and what happened in the yard "stays between us" but says it's clear that the biker gang are out for "an eye for an eye", saying it's unsafe for Sam. Endeavour tells Fred that Sam must disappear, meaning Fred, Win and Sam have to move much further away than just Carshall.

It also means the detective pair can't see each other again but because they aren't connected to this, Strange and Joan are fine to stay in Oxford, with Endeavour saying he'll look out for them.

Before they go their separate ways, Endeavour gives Fred the briefcase full of money and Fred gives Endeavour his gun. Endeavour says “Goodbye sir” to Fred just as Inspector Lewis said to Morse when he died.

Shaking hands one last time, Fred affectionately refers to Endeavour by his first name, but the Detective Sergeant replies: “Morse, sir. Just Morse.”

The very final scene is of Endeavour leaving Blenheim Palace in his black Jaguar and driving past John Thaw's iconic red Jaguar, a fitting tribute to the original series and incredible end to this prequel.

Endeavour's season 9 finale and all episodes are available to stream on ITVX now. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what’s on.


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