Warning: This article contains spoilers for Guilt season 3.


Often hailed as a hidden gem of a series in the ever-expanding world of TV and streaming, Guilt is the Scottish drama that just continues to go from strength to strength. Written by Neil Forsyth (The Gold), the past three seasons have provided twists, turns and dark humour aplenty.

Naturally, now that season 3 has wrapped up, thoughts have turned to the possibility of a fourth season. The award-winning comedy-drama has amassed a loyal legion of fans since the first series debuted in 2019; but even so, another season is not in the pipeline.

Guilt follows brothers Max and Jake, played by Mark Bonnar and Jamie Sives respectively, as they initially dealt with resulting guilt from the hit-and-run of an elderly man in season 1. But the series also focuses on the rest of its cast and, in season 2, focuses on the theme of revenge as Max attempted to rebuild his life after a stint in prison.

Emun Elliott (The Gold, The Rig) was also a significant character in season 2, as his character Kenny helped Max on his mission for the truth while also building somewhat of a ramshackle business and navigating his own budding relationship.

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Season 3 was all about redemption with the brothers being reunited to take on enemies old and new, while also causing them to seek ever more desperate solutions to their problems. Series creator Forsyth has stated that the third season is the final, with his vision being that Guilt is a trilogy.

Read on for everything you need to know about why there won't be a season 4.

Why won't there be a Guilt season 4?

Mark Bonnar and David Hayman in Guilt season 3
Mark Bonnar and David Hayman in Guilt. BBC/Expectation/Happy Tramp North,Anne Binckebanck

Quite simply, the series was never intended to be four seasons. Speaking to the BBC about his "dream" of doing Guilt as a three season-long drama, Forsyth said: "I did have a pipe-dream of doing a trilogy but that felt like something that was so distant in those early days when it was just about trying to get the show on the air and keeping it on the air. That’s the big challenge. It’s very hard to get a show on television and it’s even harder to keep it there.

"After the second series, when I spoke to the BBC, I said that what I’d like to do is one more and I feel very privileged to have been given the opportunity."

When asked about how it feels to be able to tell a complete story within 12 hours of TV, he said that it's a "fantastic feeling", adding: "It’s so rare as a television writer to be the one who actually makes the decision that a show is going to come to an end.

"To sit down with a third series and think 'This is it, how do I want the story to end? Which characters do I want to bring back to tie things up?', that was extremely satisfying as a writing exercise. It’s the first time I’ve ever had a series where I’ve made that decision as the writer so I found that quite exciting actually, to literally get to the end of a story."

Part of the reason for the trilogy format of the series is so that thematically, everything ties together and wraps up well. Forsyth explained: "The thematic approach has been Guilt in the first series, Revenge in the second and in the third it is Redemption". He said of the third season: "This time around it was interesting to watch the characters in their own ways all seek some level of redemption. What that might look like to each of them was also interesting."

Similarly, Bonnar has said of the final season: "Of course, I’ll be sad to say goodbye to the show. But I think what Neil has done is absolutely right. It was time and I think the mark of a class act, as Neil is, is knowing to get out while we’re on top."

Forsyth has described the third season as the "final act" for Max, Jake and the other characters we've met along the way – and it most certainly feels that way. It goes without saying that if you're yet to watch Guilt's season 3 finale, be warned as there are major spoilers ahead.

In the final episode, things really did seem to be coming full circle for Max as he was introduced to his first child, the result of his and Erin's (Sara Vickers) fling in season 2 that she kept a secret. But living in Dundee and estranged from her villainous mother Maggie (Phyllis Logan), there's certainly the hope that Erin and Max could build a new life together.

In a complicated plan to help ensure that his brother would continue to lead a more morally sound life, Jake stopped Max's plan to pass money through Kenny's Leith Legal account. And if the above remains true, his plan definitely appears to have worked. As for Jake, he travelled to Berlin to live out his dreams of being a recording studio owner and did so in the hopes of giving artists the chance that he never had. How heartwarming, right?

Kenny also had somewhat of a brainwave and together with Yvonne, the pair vowed to start building a new work life together, hoping to open up a chain of Leith Legal practices as a family business for the children they plan on having. The finale was packed full of betrayals, escape plans and twists with the other secondary characters having their storylines wrapped up also. While it's sad that the series is complete, it just means we'll have to continue to rewatch on BBC iPlayer.

Guilt seasons 1-3 are available to watch on BBC iPlayer. 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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