What will happen next in Marcella? Season 3 ending explained

Anna Friel hinted at redemption for her long-suffering detective in the show's finale. So will Marcella be back? **Contains spoilers**


**Contains spoilers for all episodes of Marcella season 3**


Anna Friel hinted at “redemption” in season three’s finale for her long-beleaguered London detective Marcella Backland – who, over the course of three tumultuous seasons, has travelled some rocky terrain, to put it mildly. Nothing says absolution quite like leaving a criminal family dead in your wake, draining their bank account of 24 million pounds, and hiring a private jet to fly off into the sunset.

That was Marcella’s happy ending after going undercover as Keira Devlin to infiltrate the gangster Maguire family in Belfast, and orchestrating a fatal shootout between the family members from which she escaped unscathed. The sole survivor – bar Amanda Burton’s incapacitated matriarch Katherine Maguire – was the baby daughter of recently deceased parents Bobby (Martin McCann) and Stacey Barrett (Kelly Gough), Katy – who Marcella took with her on her apparent journey to recovery.

Marcella’s undercover handler Frank Young (Hugo Speer) also died during the bloodbath – so it would appear that she could be ready to start afresh with a new identity, and enough money to support herself and Katy for life.


A brief Marcella recap: in series one, Marcella feared she had murdered her husband’s pregnant lover, in series two, she caught a grisly child serial killer and recalled accidentally killing her baby daughter Juliette – with her grief and guilt manifesting itself into the blackouts that have been plaguing her ever since.

So, fans have been left wondering what could be next for our eponymous detective, with Friel having previously suggested that Marcella could head to Cuba. Heck, according to Friel, “she could go anywhere”. But there was one small setback in the series’ final moments. Going under a new alias of ‘Miss Hart’, she received a mystery phone call at the airport with the unknown caller asking for ‘Marcella Backland’. She hung up, took an insouciant sip of her champagne, before boarding her private jet with Katy in tow. But did it take off into the horizon? Or was she drawn back into the world of crime solving?

We take a look at what could be in store for Marcella if season four is confirmed, while picking up the loose ends left dangling after the denouement.

Who was the mystery caller?

Our first thought was DI Rav Sangha (Ray Panthaki), who – though caught up in the Maguire family shootout – was described by Marcella/Keira as “an officer down” rather than another fatality. So fans will be hoping that he survived the gunfire. Friel has hinted there this is something between Marcella and Rav that goes beyond professionalism and friendship. “I think Rav has a secret love for her,” Friel previously told us. “I think he is the character who loves her most. If she dug deep, she loves him too, which she keeps running away from anyone kind or good because she’s afraid to lose it. “

Did DI Rav Sangha pull through?

A recap of the Maguire family shootout: The gun battle began with Jack Healy (Laurence Kinlan), lapdog and secret lover of Finn Maguire (Aaron McCusker) – Finn being the alpha male of the Maguire pack – shooting Marcella’s undercover handler Frank Young. In self-defence, Frank then knifed Jack to death. Marcella, Finn and Rory Maguire (Michael Colgan) were caught in a stand-off, which ended when Stacey shot Rory for putting a hit on her husband Bobby.

BUCCANEER MEDIA FOR ITV MARCELLA SERIES 3 EPISODE 1 Pictured: RAY PANTHAKI as Rav Sangha. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms For further information please contact: Patrick.smith@itv.com 07909906963

Finn then killed Stacey, and Marcella killed Finn, and poor Rav was caught in the crossfire. However, as previously mentioned, Marcella described Rav as an “officer down”, so we have everything crossed that he survived.

Could Katherine Maguire dob Marcella in to the authorities?

Katherine was at the home when the Maguire family began brutally taking each other out. After the gun battle, Marcella entered her room holding on to Rory Maguire’s eyeball – gulp – which she used to access his computer and transfer all that blood money into her own bank account. Marcella informed Katherine that it was for Katy, as it was what Stacey would have wanted. Despite being rendered semi-paralysed and unable to talk after suffering two strokes, will Katherine be able to communicate with police and somehow tell them that Marcella has run off with her granddaughter and her son’s money?

Was Frank Young legit?

To say that Frank’s conduct with Marcella was unprofessional is an understatement – halfway through the series we see how he trained Marcella for her undercover job, taking her to a safe house to get her into physical shape despite her mentally unbalanced state. Marcella later discovered that Frank’s wife and daughter were dead – despite him previously telling her that they were estranged and living abroad. In fact, it transpired that his family were murdered in the crossfire between the Maguires and rival criminal family the Callaghans.

Marcella season 3

So Frank was living vicariously through Marcella’s undercover mission, which was his personal vendetta against the Maguires. It would appear on the face of it that he was a real officer, as he had access to police files, creating a fake identity for Marcella as Keira Devlin which Rory Maguire was sucked in by, and acted on Marcella’s informant intelligence.

What happened to the mayor?

Remember when a journalist was tasked by the Maguires to drug the mayor –  they had everyone on their payroll –  after he attempted to clampdown on the Maguire family’s chokehold of the area? Said journalist was then taken out by a Maguire henchman and thrown out of his apartment window – as witnessed by Marcella – but did the mayor die too?

Has Marcella found peace?

Sure, Friel said that Marcella will be vindicated from former horrors in the end, but has she found inner peace? The show’s twist unveiled Keira’s stalker as Marcella – who wanted to stop Keira from abandoning her job as an undercover detective when she began to enjoy life immersed in the bosom of the Maguire family too much. “I’m a good detective,” she finally affirms to Rav towards the end, which appeared to snap her out of her fantasy of being a gangster’s moll-turned-head-matriarch. Atop a cliff, letting go of Keira and returning as Marcella – signified with her hair suddenly going from blonde back to brown  – she then comforted Keira, promising her that she would never turn her back on her again. That seemed a lot like redemption to us.


Marcella season three is available to stream on ITV Hub now. If you’re looking for something to watch tonight, check out our TV Guide. Visit our hub for more Drama news.