The second episode of Endeavour Season 8 starts jauntily. The wisteria is blooming; women are wearing short skirts in loud, groovy patterns. Model Lynn Parry (Lottie Tolhurst) hits on Bright during his art class, and cute girl Patty Grady (Kirsty Oswald) gets winked at by cabbies. The Applebys, Allison, and Baz (Lucy Aarden and Nicholas Shaw), who just got lei'd upon arrival at the Hawaiian-themed resort owned by Major Jones (Andrew Woodall), are also dressed at the height of fashion. Groundskeeper Del Grady (Joe Gallina) can't take his eyes off them. But it's all fun and games until gunshots ring out.
DeByrn: The body doesn't lie, Morse, myself not withstanding.
Morse is not having a good day, as his stepmother just arrived. Viewers haven't seen Gwen Morse (Lynda Rooke) since Season 1 (though she did appear in the original Inspector Morse series). Morse's stepsister, Joyce, is engaged, and Gwen is moving to be closer but doesn't get the house until next week. She's invited herself to live with Morse in the interim. But Morse doesn't have time to entertain her. Dudley Lunn, a cab driver, was shot in his taxi. His watch stopped at ten till seven, but DeBryn insists the body's been dead 12 hours at most.
Ann Lunn (Amy Griffiths) insists their marriage was good (she'd reported him missing when he didn't come home) but asked if the police could break his death to Pauline (Andrea Lowe), Dudley's first wife. Pauline tells a different story; Dudley gambled, drank, and cheated, and their son, Mark (Regan Garcia), is a troubled kid. They divorced because he knocked Ann up. His fellow cabbies — Brian Frussell (Ian Hallard), who made eyes at Patty, Clarry Haynes (Fraser James), who dropped off the Applebys, and Joe North (Oliver Johnstone), who dropped off Gwen — confirm Pauline's version of the man. Also, Dudley picked up fares freelance at the railway station.
The cab dispatcher, Ifan Roberts (Wayne Carter), confirms the ride was not official. Thursday notes cabbies are easy marks for thieves, and Strange says there've been multiple attacks recently. The cab is practically in the country, a long way for killing, but Strange points out there's a hippie nudist camp just down the lane (the resort run by Jones) and gets assigned to check it out. Creative editing follows, but the Applebys heard "a car backfiring" around 10 p.m., consistent with DeBryn's time of death. Allison is nervous; Grady keeps watching them, but Baz waves off her concerns. He needs to, having accidentally admitted to knowing exactly where the body was found.
The following day, a second body, a priest, is shot during confession, post-7 p.m. mass, by the same pistol as Lunn. Again, there's a smashed watch: 3:50 p.m. In the church, Morse finds a bag with a masonic apron, gloves, and film reels of porn. In the confessional is carved "Jesus saves but Swift scores on the rebound" and "Micah 5:15." The rectory's Mrs. Walsh (Catherine Cusack) says the priest's brother showed up demanding money every few months, and window cleaner Lee Timothy (Shadrach Agozino) heard a fight two nights prior. Frazil, looking to write up the story, says he struck her as a priest who'd lost his faith.
Gwen's visit is timely. When she starts sneering at his job, he points out that his father was a cabbie, though she insists he was a private chauffeur. The late elder Morse also liked gambling and women and left his mother after getting Gwen in the family way. Perhaps that's why he connects with Mark, who's hanging around where his father died with the gun Dudley gave him. Morse then goes and gets hammered before trying to visit Joan. Not sure how Morse'll take Strange and Joan out on a fancy dress date to Strange's masonic lodge, held by the Maynards. As North is their cabbie and hits on Joan, he'll probably hear about it soon. Drunk, he stumbles into the road and gets side swiped by Clarry, who takes him home.
Morse finds an IOU for £25 in the back of Clarry's cab from Dudley and discovers Lunn (and Lynn) performing in several film reels. Frazil figures out the weird business cards in everyone's wallets, the Ostrich Fancier's Club, as the code name for the porn studio. Then Maynard, the head of Strange's lodge, is shot while his wife was out of town (North drove her to the station); the mantle clock is set to 3:10 p.m. Reconvening in the sitting room, Morse realizes it's the same room where the club filmed the pornos. The window cleaner, Timothy, finds the body, and viewers see he lives with Lynn.
Back at the station, Morse looks through the evidence from the first shooting and realizes the flower Strange picked up is from a lei. Just then, Patty Grady shows up, having been beaten within an inch of her life by her husband, Del. She admits she was having an affair, and when Morse asks who with, she says Dudley Lunn. But Del may not care about that, as he's drunkenly crying and burning photos. Morse and Strange arrive at the resort too late and find Grady hung himself. He didn't burn everything, though. Morse finds pictures of Del and Baz; the latter admit they'd had an affair but insists he's straight. He told Del so, not far from where they heard the gunshot.
As for Thursday, he recognized the priest's "brother" as Len Drury (Matt Rixon), head of the London vice squad. He was running the porn show, blackmailing the priest into it by threatening to reveal the latter's fondness for boys. Drury promises to pass on info if he hears any in exchange for Thursday's silence, but it's not needed. Reporting to Bright, Morse sees an image of Lynn in his sketchbook and recognizes her, and when he interviews her, he learns her father is Ifan Roberts. Confronted, the dispatcher admits he was horrified when he discovered his daughter performed in blue films when Dudley invited him to join the club. He killed all three men, setting their clocks to read "CWY," his nickname for her in Welsh.