This article contains spoilers for 9x01 and 9x02 of Endeavour but not 9x03.

Saying goodbye to Endeavour on MASTERPIECE feels like losing an old friend. I want to thank the cast and crew for sharing their talents with us these past nine seasons! I cannot wait to see which projects you all will pursue in the future. I know many fans have shared their stories with MASTERPIECE Studio but I realized my recording was going to be way too long for the staff to edit so here it goes:

My journey with Endeavour started in April 2018. I know I am much later to the party than some fans but I was intimidated because I never watched Inspector Morse or Inspector Lewis. Once I started, however, I made it my goal to finish all the previous episodes before Season 5 premiered in the summer of 2018.

I fell for Endeavour immediately. Despite the difference in genre, Endeavour had the same stylistic DNA as Poldark: the big-budget movie cinematography distilled onto the small screen, the attention to historical details, and the quality of the acting. Both series share a production company in Mammoth Screen, and I could write a thesis about how much I love Damien Timner and his team’s work, but I don’t want to digress.

Russ Lewis’ scripts are integral to Endeavour’s place as such an intellectually and historically rich police procedural. Morse’s 1960s Oxford is a much less optimistic place than 1960s Poplar on Call the Midwife. Although there are historical events and trends common to both series, the culture of Oxford is both urban and suburban. Each case gives you an intimate portrait of the victim(s) and suspect(s) but also reflects larger societal conflicts based on class, race/ethnicity, sexuality/gender, politics, and religion. Even the cases that boil down to a spouse covering up an affair are never “paint by the numbers” mysteries you can predict.

“Sway” (Season 2, Episode 3) is my all-time favorite Endeavour episode. Not only is the case a study of 1960s fashion and sexism: there’s a lot of character development woven in as well. We find out about Thursday’s life during World War II, and the secrets and PTSD he’s carried. Morse also turns his off-and-on flirtation with Monica Hicks into a formal relationship. (Now is a good time as ever to formally confess that I mourn Morse and Monica far more than the missed connections with Joan.) In fact, Monica’s presence in Seasons 2-4 was for me the element that sealed the deal on loving the series. Endeavour still does not get enough credit for how well post-Windrush Black Britain is portrayed. I wrote about this topic last season, and it still holds true for Season 9’s cases.

After watching for nine seasons, I have the sense that young Endeavour Morse’s social awkwardness could be driven by unexamined neurodivergence. I don’t believe this was ever Colin Dexter’s intention, but I could sense it in the way Shaun Evans portrayed his hesitancy around women and also his attention to details others ignored. I also sensed it in Morse’s love for intellectual rigor even though he quit academia. “Dev” and “Awkward Detective Bae” were my nicknames for Morse on first viewing. I knew eventually young Morse would grow older, wiser, and more cynical of the world; young Morse’s journey was still compelling for someone who didn’t have the full context of older Morses’ story.

Watching Endeavour was, for me at least, never a solo pursuit. Ever since Season 5’s premiere, I’ve live-tweeted so many of my opinions and whodunit guesses using #EndeavourPBS. I also connected with UK and international fans on social media. While I never got the chance to visit Oxford during filming, or attend UK or US official events for the series, I’ve lived vicariously through the experiences of fellow fans. Finding the fan community on Twitter in particular was also invaluable as they helped me escape racism, misogyny, and toxicity in Facebook period drama groups. I’m thankful for the years of common bonding, behind-the-scenes photos, spoilers slipped under the table, and recommendations to watch the cast and crews’ other projects. I am so grateful and thankful that I got the opportunity to bond with fellow Endeavour fans and I hope to keep in touch with them all after Sunday’s finale.

Morse is not an island when it comes to solving crime, and neither is Shaun Evans alone on the screen. We’re going to miss seeing Roger Allam, Sean Rigby, and Anton Lesser play Morses’ police colleagues. We’re going to miss James Bradshaw as the coroner scheduling meetings at 2 PM. We’re going to miss Sara Vickers as Joan, the first love who got away. We’re going to miss Abigail Thaw as Dorothea Frazil fishing for information for the newspaper alongside honoring the original Inspector Morse, John Thaw. There are also numerous guest stars playing witnesses, suspects, and residents of Oxford throughout the seasons. I’d also like to thank Barrington Phelong (R.I.P.) and Matt Slater for giving me a newfound appreciation of opera through their work on the soundtrack.

Although Season 9 is very bittersweet, it’s been wonderful to see callbacks to past episodes. I especially appreciated how “Uniform” had a show-within-a-show that referenced my second all-time favorite episode “Cartouche” (Season 5, Episode 2). I also appreciated the Easter Egg references to Season 2’s Blenheim Vale scandal, recurring characters, missing threads from Season 6, and recurring characters from Season 3. Russell Lewis poured so much care and attention into the scripts so that Endeavour fans had the most complete closure possible. There’s no doubt that we will all feel the finality in a different way, but at least we are lucky compared to other series that ended in sudden cancellations.

The beauty of British television is that even though it may be the end of the road for Endeavour, there’s no doubt we’ll see the cast and crew in future series. We’ll always remember the good times we’ve had in the past decade (or three) and the friends we’ve made on and off the screen. Goodbye Endeavour, you’ll go down in British TV history as one of the best mystery/procedurals ever!