**Contains spoilers for all episodes of Marcella season 3**
Marcella returned for season three with a new format that featured our titular detective taking on a new identity in a new city to infiltrate the criminal Maguire family in Belfast.
In true dynamic Marcella style, she took the family down one by one – literally and metaphorically – with a finale that appeared to provide our beleaguered protagonist with a happy ending. She drained their bank account of millions of pounds, kidnapped the sole Maguire heir, took on yet another alias, and hired a private jet to fly her to a far flung country to start afresh.
Or did she? As she awaited to board her plane, she received a mystery phone call from someone asking for Marcella Backland, leaving us wildly intrigued, and the series open for another instalment.
So, could Marcella return for season four? And where would we find Marcella this time round?
Here’s everything we know so far…
Has Marcella season 4 been confirmed?
There’s no official word on whether the show will be back, and as the series is currently still airing on ITV, it’s unlikely to be announced just yet. RadioTimes.com has reached out to ITV for comment.
When will Marcella season 4 air?
As there’s no official confirmation that it will be back, there is obviously no air date. We’ll keep you updated with information as soon as it’s released.
Marcella season 4 spoilers
Earlier this year, Anna Friel told RadioTimes.com that her eponymous detective could return for another season, and could end up absolutely anywhere, preparing to embark on a new life – or so it seemed in the finale.
“I can’t tell you what I want for Marcella in season 4 because I know what happens in season 3, and it’s quite a twist and a surprise and I can kind of tell you… She could go to Cuba. She could go anywhere,” Friel explained.
Creator Hans Rosenfeldt has also said that “anything could be possible” in terms of where the series could go next, after extracting Marcella from her familiar surroundings and implanting her in the bosom of the Maguire family as undercover agent Keira Devlin. But having so many possibilities comes with its drawbacks too, as topping the last format and coming up with an idea equally as original requires imagination and fresh ideas – and inspiration to “spark” them.
“I haven’t even though about (season 4) yet, to be honest,” Rosenfeldt told Digital Spy. “Because there is, as I’ve said, no obvious thread to say, ‘Let’s start there. That was interesting’… In a good way, you can do anything, basically. And in a bad way, there’s nothing to spark your imagination into, ‘Oh, that would be fun.'”
Hans did suggest the possibility of a spin-off with some of the cast members however, including Marcella’s undercover handler Frank Young (Hugo Speer).
“You could do the story around them,” he continued, “like a Godfather thing. But from the characters we brought in, I would say that Frank is possible, because he’s in charge of those undercover operations. And the people he’d bring in – apparently, since he brought in Marcella – are maybe not the most suitable for it.
“So I think he’s a fun character. His whole organisation of undercover cops all over England or abroad – that’s a possible spin-off. But I’d say that’s probably it.”
It would have to be a prequel, as Frank died in the Maguire family shootout in the final episode.
Meanwhile, Friel has previously said that the show was originally meant to end after the third series, telling press at the launch for season 3 last year: “It was always intended to be a trilogy, but the end of the third season is left very much open. I guess it depends on how much the viewers here like it.”
Marcella season 4 cast
Anna Friel would of course be back as Marcella, and fans will be hoping that Ray Pathanki will return as DI Rav Sangha. The final episode saw Rav caught up in the crossfire of the Maguire shootout, but Marcella described him as an “officer down” rather than a fatality when she called for backup.
As the Maguire Family annihilated one another one by one in the shootout, none of those characters are likely to return. However, the Maguire matriarch, Amanda Burton’s Katherine Maguire, did survive, as she was bed bound after being semi-paralysed from a stroke. She witnessed Marcella stealing the family’s blood money and her granddaughter Katy, whose parents Stacey and Bobby Barrett were murdered – directly and indirectly by Finn and Rory Maguire. So she could return to somehow relay the information about Marcella to the authorities, but we imagine the new season will take on a fresh format with new cast members.
Keira’s undercover handler Frank Young (Hugo Speer) also died in the Maguire gun battle, so we won’t be expecting him back either, although his backstory could perhaps be uncovered, so he could be return in flashbacks. Unless he leads a spin-off show, as creator Hans has suggested.
As Marcella is still presumed dead, it’s unlikely that her ex-husband Jason Backland (Nicholas Pinnock) would be back – he wasn’t in season three either – and we’re not sure we’ll see Marcella’s colleague DCI Laura Porter (Nina Sosanya) return either. But with Marcella, anything is possible.
Marcella season 3 ending explained
Leaving the Maguire family dead in her wake, the finale featured Marcella stealing their money and Stacey and Bobby’s daughter Katy, and preparing to board a private jet to start a new life under the alias of Miss Hart. However, as Marcella quaffed champagne at the airport with baby Katy on her lap, she received a mystery phone call in which the caller asked for Marcella Backland.
This indicated that someone knows she’s still alive and had managed to track her down – and we had a small inkling that that someone could be Rav Sangha. Could Marcella be lured back to the world of crime solving, at which she is so adept?
As creator Rosenfeldt explained, anything could come next. The mystery phone call at the end of the series hinted that Marcella could be about to be drawn back into the world of crime solving, as she was a top serial killer catcher. It’s unlikely that she will return to her old life in London as she is presumed dead and thus has severed ties with her family.
Marcella also has a new ‘daughter’ now too, and as she killed Finn in the finale – albeit in self-defence – she would have a lot explaining to do. We could imagine her joining a murder squad in another country perhaps, but where, we’re not sure.
Creator Hans Rosenfeldt is Swedish, and the show has been described as a “scandi-noir” inspired crime thriller, so maybe we could see Marcella and Katy turning up in Sweden, with a crossover with The Bridge’s tormented lead detective Sofia Helin’s Saga? OK, we’re getting a bit carried away, but that’s definitely our pitch, Hans.
All eight episodes of Marcella season 3 are available to view on the ITV Hub – check out our Drama hub for all the latest news.
If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.