Shetland series 8 continued this week with episode 3, and ended on a pretty shocking revelation – that DI Ruth Calder could be related to the murder victim.
Now THAT would be a serious conflict of interest for the visiting detective, who doesn’t seem to be in any rush to get back to work with the London’s Met police…
Meanwhile, we’re still no nearer knowing who killed Ellen, although her body was last seen on a field seemingly as some sort of symbolic sacrifice.
Here are all the burning questions we have after watching Shetland series 8 episode 3… Are you as gripped as us?
***Warning: spoilers from Shetland series 8 episode 3 ahead***
Shetland series 8 episode 3 questions: Are Ruth Calder and Ellen Quinn sisters?
DI Ruth Calder (Ashley Jensen) clearly has no love whatsoever for her dad, the late Reverend Calder. He seems to be the main – or only – reason she left Shetland when she was a teenager, and never looked back (until now). While her brother Alan seems to think he was a good dad, and Ruth should cut him some slack, Ruth’s old flame Cal Innes has also mentioned her dad being difficult…
In episode 3, we discovered at least one of the reasons why Ruth seems to hate her late dad. And it’s a pretty valid reason! Viewers learnt that the OG Reverend Calder cheating on Ruth’s mum when she was dying of cancer.
Jean Ferguson (Jennifer Black) turned up at Ruth’s hotel to clear the air, but it didn’t really work out like that. Instead, Jean spilled some more unwelcome home truths about Ruth’s dad. More specifically, that she wasn’t the only woman he cheated with.
In fact, she dropped quite the bombshell on unflappable DI Calder. Jean revealed that Ruth’s dad also had an affair with Stella Quinn (Dawn Steele). Not only a woman half his age, but also the mother of the murder victim at the centre of this series of Shetland.
Back in her room, Ruth Calder gazed at photos of Stella Quinn, and her daughter Ellen, comparing them to a picture of her dad and herself when she was younger. Were you thinking what she was obviously thinking? That Stella Quinn could have become pregnant with Rev Calder’s child, making Ellen Quinn Ruth’s secret sister.
Why did Peter Ayre steal Ellen’s body, and what does the sign mean?
In Shetland series 8 episode 3, we discovered that plumber Peter Ayre – the eyewitness in the first instalment – had been indulging in some very disturbing practices.
He stole Ellen’s dead body from the mortuary, and tried to burn her corpse in a ritualistic fire. Luckily, DI Calder and ‘Temporary’ DI Tosh managed to stop him in time. But why on EARTH was he doing it?
Does this mean he’s the man who has been slaughtering sheep on the island? And is he responsible for Ellen’s death? We’ll have to wait until episode 4 when Ruth and Tosh get to interrogate him.
As yet, we don’t know what the symbol tattooed on Ellen’s body meant. But it’s the same symbol found sprayed on the dead sheep, and that Peter Ayre marked out in petrol in the field before setting it alight. Is the symbol personal to Ellen and Peter, and what does it mean?
Shetland series 8 episode 3: Who killed Ellen Quinn?
As yet, we’re not really any closer to finding out who killed Ellen Quinn… Is firestarter Peter Ayre to blame? At this point, we doubt it. More likely that they were friends, and he was honouring her death with the weird ritualistic fire.
We still suspect the less than empathetic granny Grace Bain may have played a part… However, other suspects came to light in episode 3. Not least Shetland loner Tom Knox. He left a corn doll where her dead body was found, and seemed to have a bit of a crush on her. We also learnt, though, that she was “scared of him” and that Tom “used to hassle her” and “give her grief”.
Another eyebrow-raising complication is that Tom Knox’s family had beef with Ellen’s family, the Bains’. They fell out over some land way back, and it’s certainly enough of a reason to want revenge against the family. Basically, the Bains left the Knox family totally broke, essentially robbing Tom Knox of his inheritance. Crucially, Tom has no alibi for when Ellen was killed.
Honestly, though, it’s probably none of these suspects! If we know Shetland, it will be someone we’ve not even thought of yet!
What happened to Dr Azir Sadat’s son?
Viewers also learnt more about Dr Azir Sadat and his wife Farida in episode 3 of Shetland series 8. Namely that Ellen’s cousin Heather is blackmailing them.
We discovered that Azir and Farida’s son “drowned” when he fell into the loch behind their family home, but Heather seems to think this isn’t the whole truth. As Azir told her to “back off” and told her “there’s no more money”, she hissed back: “We both know who killed your boy. So, if you want to see your little girl grow up, you’d better stick to the deal.”
How this is related to Ellen Quinn’s murder, if at all, we don’t yet know. But we DO know that Dr Azir Sadat was the last person Ellen called before she died.
Ellen had stayed at the Landmark psychiatric unit, where Dr Sadat works, after suffering from an acute case of dissociative disorder. Essentially she had a breakdown. And it was Ellen’s cousin Heather who took her in, where they kept her in for a few days. How is this all linked?
Shetland series 8 episode 3: How is Amma Calder involved?
In episode 2 of Shetland, DI Ruth Calder made the awful realisation that her sister-in-law Anna Calder may be connected to Ellen Quinn’s death.
After all, she smokes the same unique brand of cigarettes that were found where Ellen was staying just before she was killed. However, Amma is denying any link. So why lie if she’s innocent and doesn’t know anything?
We now know that Amma met Ellen at Landbank, but were they closer than Amma says? If so, why is she lying?
Is DI Calder staying in Shetland?
DI Calder no longer has any reason to be in Shetland. Ellen Quinn’s death is no longer linked to Cassidy and his thugs, so Ruth can go back to London and carry on her life. But she hasn’t returned.
Could the pull of her hometown – or her old flame Cal – be too much for her? Meanwhile, we know that Tosh can’t become DI without working elsewhere for a while. And she’s not prepared to do that. So… It’s looking like a DI Ruth Calder shoe-in. And we couldn’t be happier!
Shetland series 8 continues with episode 4 on Wednesday, November 22, 2023 at 9pm on BBC One.
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